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Northern Virginia Personal Injury, Business, Family Law, Consumer and Estate Blog

Are truck drivers' hours regulated?

Anyone working long hours without sufficient resting time in between workdays would get tired and truck drivers are no different in that respect. Many may think that since they are driving and sitting all day long, they are not bound to get as tired, but this is not the case. Just like any other occupation, fatigue can lead to a delay in assessing situations and responding slowly. However, unlike other occupations, a truck driver is operating heavy machinery that can turn deadly if not operated properly.

The Department of Transportation has established federal trucking regulations about the trucking industry and these apply in Virginia as with other states across the country. In addition to this, we have state guidelines that conform to the federal guidelines. These rules limit not only the size of the vehicle, the weight of the items being transported and conditions under which it should operate, but also the number of hours that a truck driver is supposed to operate before resting.

Understand your rights after a vehicle accident

Distracted and dangerous drivers are a major problem in Fairfax and throughout the rest of Northern Virginia. All across the DC metropolitan area, individuals become victims of car accidents when others fail to use reasonable care in the operation of their automobiles. Distractions come in many shapes and sizes, including but not limited to talking or texting on a smartphone, consuming food or drinks, programing GPS and music devices and others.

After a vehicle accident can be a tough time for a victim. They may not know what steps to take or who may be able to help them. They may have injuries to recover from, whether they are minor abrasions or life-threatening complications. They may not be able to work and after they have been treated by medical professionals they may begin to receive costly bills for their treatment and care.

How does legal status of visitor affect premises liability?

Virginia residents may be aware generally of the concept that once they enter someone's property, they have the reasonable expectation that they will not get hurt on the property owner's property. This is why property owners spend time cleaning oil slicks and shoveling snow off the driveway-to ensure that they are creating the safe environment that they are legally responsible to. This concept is known as premises liability.

Under this legal theory, if you get hurt on someone's property then the property owner is liable for the injuries and accidents that take place. When determining liability, some states look to the status of the person entering the property and other states look at the condition of the property.

Knowing what to watch for following a brain injury is important

This blog recently discussed the significant costs associated with brain injuries. Because of the serious nature of brain injuries, and the fact that 138 Americans die each day due to injuries including brain injuries, it is helpful to understand how they are caused, how they are diagnosed and to be able to spot the symptoms of a brain injury when a victim or loved one has been injured. Brain injuries occur in a variety of ways and include a bump, blow or jolt to the head that disrupts the brain's normal function.

Brain injuries can be open or closed and the impact of a brain injury may be immediately evident or may take some time to discover. Brain injury symptoms include loss of consciousness or confusion; excessive drowsiness; dizziness or loss of vision; severe headache; numbness; weakness in arms or legs; slurred speech; or vomiting and nausea. The impact of a brain injury can be physical, cognitive and sensory. Brain injuries can also cause the victim to suffer mood or personality disturbances.

Brain injury treatment costs can be significant

The physical and emotional challenges and costs associated with brain injuries are significant. The financial impact of a brain injury, which can include medical treatment and long-term care in some instances, varies depending on the nature of the injury. A mild brain injury can cost approximately $85,000, while and moderate brain injury can cost $941,000 and a severe brain injury can cost $3 million.

The total cost of brain injuries in the United States is estimated to cost $48.3 billion each year. Around $31.7 billion of that cost is spent on hospitalization expenses. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, acute care and rehabilitative care for brain injuries costs around $9 billion to $10 billion annually. Additional costs not included can range from societal costs, costs to families, and lost costs associated with lost earnings and productivity.

147,000 defective power adapters recalled by major retailer

The harm that can be caused by a defective product can be significant. Retailer Barnes & Noble recently recalled power adapters sold with Nook tablets due to the risk of a potential shock hazard. Approximately 147,000 units are impacted by the recall. The casing of the power adapter can break when the power adapter is plugged into an electrical outlet which can expose the metal prongs of the power adapter, causing the risk of an electrical shock.

The retailer has received four reports of the power adapter breaking or the power adapter pulling apart and exposing the metal prongs which presents an electrical shock hazard. Consumers are advised to immediately discontinue use of the power adapter and can register online for a free replacement and $5 Barnes & Noble gift card. The power adapters were sold from November 2016 to January 2017.

Victims of catastrophic injuries enjoy legal protections

Catastrophic injuries can result from car, truck and other types of accidents and leave victims and their family members struggling in the wake of unexpected physical, financial and emotional changes and associated challenges. This blog recently discussed the sometimes catastrophic nature of brain injuries, however, other injuries can be suffered by victims in car and truck accidents that can also result in disability and impact victims and their families for a lifetime.

The recovery time associated with catastrophic injuries suffered in a car, truck or other type of accident can be extensive and can result in the need for ongoing medical treatment and care. Because of this, it is important to properly value the extent of the victim's damages, including physical costs; financial costs; and emotional costs. When victims have been harmed by a negligent driver in a car or truck accident, the negligent party may be liable to compensate victims for the damages they have suffered which is why correctly valuing those damages becomes so important.

What should victims know about traumatic brain injuries?

Many people may have heard the term traumatic brain injury but wondered what it refers to. Traumatic brain injuries are a serious concern for victims and contribute to approximately 30 percent of injury-related deaths in the United States. Each day in the U.S., 138 victims die from injuries including traumatic brain injuries. Overall, traumatic brain injuries (TBI) are a serious cause of death and disability in the U.S. and surviving victims may be left facing disabilities that can last a lifetime.

The challenges victims of TBIs face impact them, their families and communities. A traumatic brain injury can impact the physical, cognitive and emotional function of the victim. They may experience deficits of memory; movement; sensation, such as vision or hearing; and emotional function including personality changes, mood disruptions and anxiety. Traumatic brain injuries result from a bump or blow to the head and can be open or closed injuries.

Fatal Virginia truck accident results in deaths of three victims

Truck accident victims should be familiar with the different resources and protections available to them. Virginia authorities are investigating a recent fatal truck accident. The truck accident occurred between a tractor trailer and a passenger vehicle. Those investigating the truck accident reported that the semi truck was travelling southbound when it crossed the center line and struck a passenger vehicle traveling northbound. The semi truck overturned due to the force of the truck accident.

The driver of the passenger vehicle and his wife, both 69, were both killed in the accident. The third victim was the wife's mother also traveling in the passenger vehicle at the time of the accident. The 51-year old driver of the truck was charged with reckless driving and additional charges are pending. When truck accident victims have been injured by a negligent driver, they have important legal protections available to help them through the challenges truck accident victims commonly face following a truck accident.

Sufficient products warnings are oftentimes required for safety

This blog recently discussed the potential harm dangerous and defective products can cause children. Children can be harmed by products in a variety of different ways, including because of insufficient warnings. Even when a product has been properly manufactured and designed without any flaws, if it is without sufficient warnings, it may be considered defective. A product can be considered defective if it fails to provide sufficient warnings concerning foreseeable risks of harm that could have reasonably been avoided with sufficient warnings.

A product that is manufactured and sold for use with insufficient warnings can be considered defective if it causes injuries or other harm. Manufacturers have certain duties related to warnings and warning labels. Manufacturers are required to warn users of hidden dangers the product may have and must provide instructions for safe use of the product. The warning should be clear, specific and easy to identify. The warning should also be easy to understand.

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