September 2014 - Kamerow Law
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What Constitutes “Pain And Suffering” In A Car Accident In VA?

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What Constitutes “Pain And Suffering” In A Car Accident In VA?

When you read of a car accident in Virginia that involves personal injury, the victim, depending upon the extent of injury may have suffered loss of property such as a car, loss of wages because of injuries that keep him or her out of work, and – last but not always least – pain and suffering. Exactly what constitutes pain and suffering in a car accident?

Types of Pain and Suffering

Physical pain and suffering takes into account not only what the victim has suffered as a direct result of the accident, but, in addition, what the victim may suffer in the future because of injuries caused by another. Mental pain and suffering are any negative emotions a victim may feel, such as fear or anger, after the accident and how long those emotions may last or how much they may affect the victim’s life.

Examples of Pain and Suffering

As an example of mild pain and suffering after a car accident, a young man injures his back. The injury is not serious or permanent, but it does keep hum out of the national swimming tournament, for which he had long been practicing. That makes him angry and depressed.

A more severe example is a serious car accident that causes many broken bones and keeps a woman from her nursing job for months. She ends up needing the help of a therapist and psychologist, all as a direct result of the accident.

There is no “chart board” that lists pain and suffering examples by number. Each case is different because people and circumstances are different. Each case may rest with the experience and expertise of a personal injury lawyer. If you have been the victim in a car accident, contact a Virginia personal lawyer to discuss what may qualify as legitimate claims for compensation because of the pain and suffering you have endured as a result.

Our legal representation for you will be based on every aspect of your individual needs resulting from a car accident. You focus on recovery; we will focus on handling your claim to your total satisfaction. Call Kamerow Law Firm today; we can help.

Bicycling in Virginia

Like most other states, Virginia law says that bicyclists have all the rights and all the duties of any other road user. In practice, this means a bicycle rider must follow all traffic laws unless the provision states otherwise. Local municipalities may have additional provisions that apply to bicyclists.

Bicyclists on sidewalks, in crosswalks, or on shared use paths have the rights and responsibilities of pedestrians, and must yield to pedestrians in these areas. Some local governments prohibit bicycle riding on sidewalks in business districts. Bicyclists must come to a complete stop before entering a marked crosswalk if a stop sign is present, but in the absence of such a sign, the cyclist may proceed without stopping if there is no cross traffic.

Virginia bicyclists must obey all traffic control devices, but there is an exception provided for signal lights that do not respond. The rider must come to a complete stop and wait for two complete signal cycles or two minutes, whichever is less. Provided there is no cross traffic, the cyclist can treat the signal as a stop sign, yield as appropriate, and then proceed through the intersection.

A bicyclist must ride in the right lane as close as practicable to the right side. However, on a one-way street a cyclist may ride in the leftmost lane as close as practicable to the left side of the lane. There are exceptions, such as when a bicyclist is turning left, passing other vehicles, or avoiding hazards. Riders must not use a right turn lane if intending to continue straight through an intersection. If a lane is too narrow to share safely side by side with a motor vehicle, the rider may use the full width of the lane. Motorists are required to pass bicyclists at a reasonable speed with at least three feet of clearance.

Virginia bicyclists cannot ride more than two abreast, and if riding two abreast may impede overtaking traffic, they must ride single file. They cannot ride on interstates or controlled access highways and these are marked with conspicuous signs.

Turns must be indicated with standard hand signals using the left hand. Unlike a motorist, however, a right turn can be indicated by simply pointing right with the right hand. Bicyclists must keep one hand on the handlebars.

At night, a bicycle must be equipped with a white front light – not a reflector – that can be seen for 500 feet. It must have a red rear reflector visible for 600 feet, and if the road has a speed limit of 35 mph or more, the bike must have a red rear light also.

What To Do When A Will Was Signed While The Competency Of The Now Deceased Was Questioned

The laws in all states establish minimum requirements for the creation of last will and testament. The most basic, essential of this requirements is that the person making a will must be competent to do so at the time the instrument is signed.

In terms of competency to create a will, a person must generally know the extent and nature of his or her property, intend to make a last will and testament and understand to whom the property passes through the will at the time of that individual’s death.

Unfortunately, situations exist in which a person who is not competent executes a last will and testament. A person with an interest in the estate of a deceased person who may not have been competent when a will was signed needs to understand what to do in such a situation. Keep in mind that not all people will have the legal ability to formally raise a concern about the competency of a person at the time a will was signed. An example of a person who has an interest in the estate and who can raise this type of concern would be a close relative of the deceased person.

Identify and Interview Witnesses to Will Signing

A key step in addressing the matter of competence of a deceased person at the time a will was signed is identifying the witnesses to that event. The reality is that the perception of these individuals regarding the competency of the individual who has died will carry a great deal of weight when considering the validity of a will.

Obtain Medical Records

Obtaining medical records is not an easy task and likely will require an order for the probate court. Nonetheless, medical records can be very helpful in determining the health and mental state of an individual at the time he or she signed a last will and testament. On a related note, statements from health care professionals that provided services to the deceased person at the time the will was signed also provide compelling evidence regarding that individual’s competency.

Legal Representation

Because of the complexity of challenging a will and raising an issue that a person was not competent at the time it was signed, obtaining legal representation can be crucial. There are probate and estate attorneys that have experience in dealing with issues that include the competency of the deceased person at the time the will was signed.