July 2015 - Kamerow Law
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Safe Passing Of Bicyclist Laws In Virginia

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Safe Passing Of Bicyclist Laws In Virginia

Safe Passing Of Bicyclist Laws In Virginia

It can be dangerous for a motorist to pass a bicyclist too closely. Either the bicyclist or the motorist can swerve, veer or experience a split second of difficulty, and a tragedy can occur. There are 26 states plus the District of Columbia that require motorists to give bicyclists three feet of a clearance buffer zone when passing them. Virginia became one of those states on July 1, 2014.

The New Law

If necessary, the driver of the motor vehicle must also slow down to a reasonable speed before making the pass with the required three feet of clearance. The new passing law also applies when passing electric personal assistive mobility devices, power assisted bicycles, mopeds and animals or animal drawn vehicles traveling in the same direction as the motorist. Before that, Virginia only required two feet of clearance. The three foot clearance law is also being considered by four other states.

Getting Buzzed

Many bicyclists experience close and high-speed passes by motorists. They call these buzzes. These buzzes frighten and anger bicyclists because they create dangerous situations. Creation of the fear and anger is usually unintentional by most motorists due to simple lack of awareness, but some of them pass at high speeds and closely on purpose. Sometimes accidents occur. Over 600 bicyclists were killed or injured in Virginia in 2013. Bicyclists don’t have the protection of a steel body around them. They don’t have air bags or seat belts either. Other than a helmet, they’re unprotected and much more vulnerable to serious injury than drivers or occupants of cars, trucks or SUVs.

Penalties

A driver in violation of the three foot clearance law can be cited. If found guilty, minimum fines and court costs would total $81. Three to four points could be assessed against the guilty driver’s license. Virginia law enforcement officers have now been trained on accurately determining a three foot distance between a motor vehicle and a bicycle.

Narrow Roads

On narrow roads, drivers are required to wait for a chance to pass the bicyclist with three feet of clearance. Compliance even requires the motorist to cross a road’s center line. That also has to be done safely.

The Virginia Bicycling Federation is now looking at both safe following and door opening laws. Both failed in previous legislative sessions. If you or a loved one have been injured in a bicycle accident, contact Kamerow Law today at 703-370-8088

My Semi-Truck Did Not Pass Inspection, But My Boss Made Me Drive It Anyway

My Semi-Truck Did Not Pass Inspection, But My Boss Made Me Drive It Anyway

If you drive a truck for work, you know how important it is for that truck to be running in the best way possible. This ensures that you’ll be safe while on the road and that you won’t experience any problems. If the truck that you drive happens to fail inspection, this basically means that major repairs will need to be made to that vehicle in order for it to be deemed safe to drive on the road. If your boss is making you drive a truck that has failed inspection and your boss is also not doing anything to help the situation, you may have a lawsuit on your hands.

What To Know

When you have an inspection done on a truck, it will either pass or fail. If the vehicle fails, this means that repairs are going to need to be done so that it can be driven again. Depending on the state that you live in, you or your boss will have a specific amount of time to get these repairs done in order for it to be driven. This is not illegal for you to be doing, since you can drive the truck while it is getting ready to be repaired.

However, if you are noticing that your boss is still making you drive the truck and is not looking to repair the issues, this is a major problem. The reason this is such a problem is because of the fact that a failed inspection has been deemed necessary for a reason. This means that there is something wrong with the vehicle that needs to be addressed and that the car is generally unsafe to be driving around, especially if it is a company vehicle and you are going to be driving it around a whole lot. It could cause a serious truck accident.

What To Do

If your boss is still making you drive a truck that has failed inspection, you can and should consider filing a lawsuit. This is very unsafe for you to be doing and it is negligent on the part of your boss. This is why it might be a better option to go with an attorney who can help you out when you are driving a company car that has a failed inspection. This issue is actually a lot more common than you might think, so it pays to check into it with a lawyer. If you have questions regarding your legal rights, contact Kamerow Law Firm today at 703-370-8088.

Is There Anything I Can Do If My Step-Father Took Everything In My Mother’s Will?

Is There Anything I Can Do If My Step-Father Took Everything In My Mother's Will?

The Execution Of My Mother’s Will Was Not Supervised By An Attorney, And My Step-Father Took Everything. Is There Anything I Can Do?

Before the assets of a deceased person can be distributed, a will must be probated and an executor appointed. You can hire an attorney, though not required because the heirs have a right to contest the provisions of the will and the validity of the document itself.

There are a number of reasons why you might consider petitioning the court to review your mother’s will. Did she have another will, which named you as executor, then suddenly change her mind on her death bed? Was she competent enough to sign the document? These are questions that can only be answered by a judge in determining the validity of the will executed by your step-father. An experienced probate attorney can help you determine if legal action is going to work in your favor.

Why Should I Hire A Probate Attorney?

Because the probate process (i.e., legal proceedings) can be very complex, especially if an adversary contests your claim(s). The basis to challenging validity depends on the situation, which includes undue influence– when a beneficiary manipulated or pressured the deceased person into signing a will– fraud, and an assertion that the deceased person was not mentally competent at the time of signing. The fine line between the deceased being mentally competent at the time of signing and not is one that can only be legally determined by a magistrate– probate attorneys train for years to argue this very point.

The fees of a probate attorney vary by area, but larger estates may result in higher fees, depending on complexity. As an heir, if so stated in the will, you have a right to review the will even after it has been executed. Again, you can do this by contesting its validity based on a number of things. The quick rule is: if something doesn’t feel right, investigate. Hire a lawyer to ensure that justice is done not only for the deceased, but for the surviving family members as well.

Contact Kamerow Law Firm today for questions regarding your legal rights at 703-370-8088.