Patricia Wilkins Harrison Honored For Contributions to Brain Injury Awareness | Richmond Personal Injury Attorney

Every year for the past 11 years, the The Brain Injury Association of Virginia has held a conference called “Opening Doors: Communities, Partnerships, Opportunities.” This year the association presented its Weinstock Award to Patricia Wilkins Harrison of Harrisonburg for her contributions to creating awareness and improving services for people who have been affected by brain injury.

Patricia was prompted to start the Crossroads to Brain Injury Recovery back in 2005 after seeing that there was not much local assistance for people who suffered from brain injury.  Patricia’s son was in a car accident over 20 years ago which left him with a severe brain injury, so helping other people with the same condition has been a long-time mission for her.

The Crossroads to Brain Injury Recovery offers intensive case management for persons with brain injury throughout the 6th Planning District of Virginia, which includes the counties of Rockingham, Augusta, Rockbridge, Bath, and Highland.

Over 1.5 million Americans suffer nonfatal traumatic brain injuries each year which do not require hospitalization.  Traumatic Brain Injury, or TBI, can be caused by a number of things such as a fall, car accident, internal damage from a gunshot wound or surgical intervention, or loss of oxygen.  For an individual who survives an injury like this, the emotional, physical, and social changes can be devastating.  Find out more about traumatic brain injury statistics.

If you or a loved one has experienced a traumatic brain injury due to an accident, contact an experienced Virginia personal injury lawyer to help you with your case.

FAQ: Am I Required to Hire a Virginia Personal Injury Attorney?

If you’ve been involved in a car accident or you suffered a personal injury in the state of Virginia, you are not required to hire an attorney.  You can represent yourself in the court of law, but whether or not you should do this is debatable.

If you are very familiar with Virginia accident injury laws and understand court procedures, then perhaps you do not need an attorney.  You may also want to consider the severity of the injury, the amount of investigation involved, and how much money is at stake when deciding whether or not to go at it alone.

It never hurts to speak with an attorney to find out if your problem is something that you can work out yourself or if it will help to have the support of an experienced attorney.  Most attorneys do offer a free consultation.  A knowledgeable Virginia personal injury attorney may know laws or have resources that you may not be aware of.

Still unsure whether or not to hire a lawyer?  Read our previous article,  “5 Reasons Why You May Want to Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer.  You may also want to be aware of the mistakes people make when hiring a lawyer.

We also recommend ordering our free accident injury book before you speak with any lawyer or insurance adjuster.

Virginia Car Accident FAQ: When Should I Seek Medical Treatment? | Richmond Personal Injury Lawyer

If you’ve been involved in an auto accident in Richmond, it’s important to seek medical treatment immediately after an accident.  The longer you wait to see a doctor, the less likely you will receive fair compensation for your accident.  If you don’t get medical treatment, the insurance company will think that you were not seriously hurt.

Many people who are involved in auto accidents sometimes do not initially feel any pain or think they are not hurt, but sometimes pains – especially in the back area – may not show up for days or even weeks after the accident.  That’s why it is important to see a doctor if you’ve been rear-ended.  If you experience any type of neck pain, pain in the arms and shoulders, headaches, or dizziness, you could be suffering from whiplash.

Remember that your health comes first, so you should not let lack of money stop you from seeking medical treatment.  Even if you don’t have health insurance, there are some clinics or chiropractors who will accept payment for treatment after you have received your settlement check.  Just let them know that you were in an auto accident.  They will verify with your lawyer, and so when you do receive the settlement check, your lawyer will send payment to the physician or chiropractor.

Read more frequently asked questions about Virginia auto accidents on our website.

Richmond Police Looking For Hit-and-Run Driver

From WTVR.com: A 44-year-old man was hit by a car while crossing Hull and 12th Street and now Richmond police are on the lookout for the driver.

According to witnesses, the driver did stop and walk back to see if the man was ok. However, the driver left the scene before police could arrive at the scene. The man who was hit suffered a broken arm and fractured ribs from the accident. Someone who witnessed the accident told the man who was hit that he needed to go to the hospital, but the man refused any help.

A Richmond police spokesperson said that in this type of situation, the driver could be charged with a felony hit-and-run because he/she did leave before the police arrived.

According to Virginia code § 46.2-894:

“The driver of any vehicle involved in an accident in which a person is killed or injured or in which an attended vehicle or other attended property is damaged shall immediately stop as close to the scene of the accident as possible without obstructing traffic, as provided in § 46.2-888, and report his name, address, driver’s license number, and vehicle registration number forthwith to the State Police or local law-enforcement agency…”

If anyone has any information about this hit-and-run accident, contact Richmond Police Sgt. John Bowman at (804) 646-1369 or Crime Stoppers at 780-1000.

If you’ve been injured in any type of car accident, contact a Richmond lawyer who specializes in car accidents and personal injury cases. The O’Bryan law firm is available at 800-372-4099.

Can You Blame a GPS for a Fatal Car Accident? | Richmond Personal Injury Lawyer

March 12, 2012 1 comment

Do you always do what your GPS says? If it told you to make a left turn, but there were stop signs and clearly visible“Wrong Way” signs posted, would you still make that left?

For a driver from Richmond, this miscommunication from her GPS system caused a fatal accident that left a 23-year-old Chase City man dead. She claims that the GPS told her to make a left, which turned out to be a one-way street. Apparently, she’s not the only one who has made this mistake. Troopers and people living in the area have witnessed drivers going the wrong way in that same area just off Route 460.

So, who is responsible for this accident? Is it the GPS company or the driver? That would probably be up to a judge to decide.

Keep in mind that you cannot always depend on a GPS system to provide accurate directions as sometimes the software is not up-to-date. Although you can usually trust what the system does tell you, you should always be aware of road signage and be more alert in areas that are not familiar to you.

Has your loved one been involved in a fatal car accident? Contact an experienced Virginia personal injury lawyer who specializes in car accidents to help you get through this trying time.

Source: WSET.com – ABC 13

FAQ: Should I Contact My Car Insurance Company After an Accident? | Richmond Personal Injury Lawyer

If you’ve been involved in a car accident, some car insurance companies ask that you do report the accident to them regardless if you are at fault or not. Check your policy to see if you are required to contact your car insurance company because if you do not let them know about the accident, it could be grounds for them to drop your coverage.

One of the reasons why you may want to contact your insurance company is if the other driver’s insurance carrier is slow to take action and your car has to be fixed or you require medical care right away. If you have what is called collision insurance, you are covered for any damage to the vehicle caused by another driver hitting your car or if you hit an object such as a tree, pole, or road sign. It doesn’t matter who is at fault, collision insurance will take care of any damages.

If you do suspect that your insurance company may not provide coverage for whatever reason, it may be in your best interest to contact a Virginia personal injury lawyer. There are some companies who will try to blame you for the accident just to avoid paying out your claim even though you know for a fact that the other driver was clearly at fault.

Find out more about what car insurance companies don’t want you to know about your injury claim by requesting our free accident injury book.

Teen Deaths From Car Crashes Increase in Virginia | Richmond Personal Injury Lawyer

According to an article published over at the WSLS10 website, there has been a surge in the number of teenage deaths in Virginia due to car crashes. During the first three weeks of 2012, there were 11 teens who were killed, whereas only 3 died during the same period in 2011.

Reports from the incidents say that the majority of the crashes were caused by speeding, distractions, and going off the road. Because cell phone use is so high among teens, it would be interesting to find out if any of the teen drivers involved in these crashes were talking on the phone or texting while driving.

Safety organizations in Virginia have taken notice and are now on a mission to spread the word about safe driving among teens.

If you’re looking for helpful safety driving tips, read our article about keeping your teen safe on Virginia roadways. Another tip we would add is for parents to write up a teen driving contract that outlines safe driving practices and other car-related issues. This contract should be signed by the teen and the consequences of not abiding by the contract should be stated clearly. This lets your teen know how serious you are about their safety.

At O’Bryan Law we specialize in auto accidents in Virginia. Before talking with any insurance adjuster, it’s recommended to consult with an attorney to find out what rights you have as a victim of a car crash.

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