Skolrood Law Firm Blog

Serving Central and South Virginia

3 Road Hazards All Motorcyclists Should Be Aware Of

by Staff Blogger | February 15th, 2018

Motorcyclists have a lot to contend with when they head out on their bikes. In addition to always being on the lookout for inattentive drivers, they also may have to ride on roads that aren’t always well-maintained. In fact, road defects, hazards, and debris that are often little more than minor annoyances for drivers in cars, trucks, and SUVs can cause serious accidents for motorcyclists.

It’s important to both understand the most common road hazards and know how to avoid them when you’re riding. At Skolrood Law Firm, our Virginia motorcycle accident attorneys have seen many cases where riders were injured because of poor road conditions—especially these three common hazards:

  1. Potholes – Potholes can range from small divots in roadways to large gashes in asphalt that can heavily damage and even total large passenger vehicles. They can be deadly for motorcyclists, as they can cause riders to be thrown from their bikes.
  2. Gravel – Gravel can form when roadways begin to break down over time, but it’s also used on some rural roads. While it’s suitable for driving over in passenger vehicles, it can cause motorcycle tires to slip, resulting in accidents.
  3. Slick asphalt – Modern passenger vehicles have tires that are designed to grip in a variety of conditions, and with four wheels making contact with the ground, it’s harder to lose control. But motorcycle tires are small and have less traction, and with only two wheels, slick conditions can cause riders to lose control.

Watching out for road hazards can reduce your risk of a crash, but it can’t eliminate it completely—especially when other drivers are negligent. If you were hurt by a careless driver, we want to help. Call today for a free consultation.

What Compensation Is Available for Traumatic Brain Injury Victims?

by Staff Blogger | February 8th, 2018

When organs are damaged via illness, injury, or other types of trauma, the effects can be devastating for victims. Even minor damage to vital organs can require corrective surgery, hospitalization, and even transplantation.

But the brain is slightly different. When brain damage occurs, the consequences can be permanent and far-reaching on victims’ lives. Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) can be caused by everything from diseases and illnesses to accidents and acts of violence.

When people suffer TBIs, they may experience cognitive difficulties, changes in personality, and even the loss of their ability to live independently. At Skolrood Law Firm, our Roanoke brain injury lawyers help victims and their families recover compensation for things like:

  • Lost income – Many TBI victims are unable to return to their careers, while some are unable to work in any capacity, resulting in decades of lost pay and earning potential.
  • Medical bills – People who suffer TBIs often need extensive medical care, rehabilitation, and even in-home care from nurses and healthcare workers—all of which can be extremely expensive.
  • Pain and suffering – TBIs are difficult not only for victims, but also for their families. Because victims may need constant care and experience personality changes, their families often find it hard to cope with their new daily lives.

When TBIs occur because of other people’s or parties’ negligence, victims and their families can pursue claims for compensation. Our legal team knows what it takes to build strong TBI claims, and we’re ready to put our experience to work for you. Call today for a free consultation.

Frequently Asked Questions About Medical Malpractice

by Staff Blogger | February 1st, 2018

Victims with strong medical malpractice claims may be entitled to significant compensation for things like medical bills and lost wages after a healthcare professional’s mistake. But not everyone who wishes to file a claim has a strong case.

Because medical malpractice claims are so heavily dependent on evidence and often involve going up against big hospitals and healthcare partnerships, pursuing compensation can feel intimidating.

At Skolrood Law Firm, a Roanoke medical malpractice attorney knows that medical malpractice claims can seem confusing. We hope these frequently asked questions and their answers can clear up some common misconceptions about medical malpractice claims:

  • What constitutes medical malpractice? Medical malpractice happens when a healthcare provider fails to uphold a recognized standard of care—any action that would be taken by any prudent medical provider in similar circumstances—when treating a patient.
  • How can you determine that a patient is a victim of medical malpractice? Patients who experience bad outcomes or who receive ineffective treatments from medical professionals aren’t always victims of medical malpractice. Proving that malpractice occurred requires experience and the ability to link known symptoms and conditions with negligent treatment protocols and examinations.

If you have any additional questions about medical malpractice in Virginia—or if you think that you or someone you love were the victim of a healthcare provider’s negligence—don’t wait to get help. Call us today for a free consultation.

Proving 3 Factors in Your Wrongful Death Claim

by Staff Blogger | January 25th, 2018

Losing a family member is devastating. But if their death was caused by another’s negligence, the aftermath can be even more painful. It can also be financially devastating, especially if the decedent was the primary income-earner in your household.

Filing a wrongful death claim may help you recover damages after your loved one’s death. In Virginia, it requires proving three key factors:

  1. The death was due to negligence or defects. To be eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit, surviving family members and their legal counsel must be able to prove that the death was caused by a person’s or organization’s negligence, or due to defective equipment or products.
  2. The negligent act would have been grounds for a personal injury claim. A good rule of thumb for wrongful death claims is that the circumstances surrounding them are similar to those of personal injury lawsuits filed by living victims and their families.
  3. The death resulted in financial damages for the family. Surviving family members who file wrongful death lawsuits must have suffered financially due to their loved one’s death, and they must be able present evidence supporting their monetary losses.

The Roanoke wrongful death lawyers at Skolrood Law Firm know what it takes to build strong claims for grieving families, and it’s our goal to help you get the compensation you deserve during this difficult time. Call today for a free consultation.

Tips for Driving Near Big Trucks

by Staff Blogger | January 18th, 2018

Even the largest pickup truck or SUV is no match for a tractor trailer on Virginia’s roadways. Large passenger vehicles may weigh between 6,000 and 7,000 pounds, while fully-loaded big rigs can weigh up to 80,000 pounds. That’s why it’s vital to do everything you can do to avoid an accident while sharing the road with these massive vehicles.

Each time you drive near a tractor trailer, you can follow these tips to keep yourself and others on the road safe:

  • Stay out of tractor trailers’ blind spots. Truck drivers have multiple large blind spots that make it difficult for them to survey the areas near their cabins and trailers. Avoiding the areas directly underneath the driver and passenger side doors, in front of the cabin, and behind the trailer will help you stay visible to the driver.
  • Don’t pass and then slow down. Because of their enormous weight, trucks are often much slower to accelerate and get up to normal highway speeds than other vehicles. That causes drivers to pass them. However, passing a big truck in heavy traffic or in situations where you need to immediately stop is dangerous, as semi trucks have much longer stopping distances than cars, pickup trucks, and SUVs.

Those tips can help you reduce your risks, but they can’t prevent the negligence of truck drivers, companies, and owners and the roles they play in accidents.

If you or someone you love were hurt in a truck accident, it may have been due to an industry violation. A Roanoke truck accident lawyer wants to investigate and prepare a claim that’s designed to help you get compensation. Call Skolrood Law Firm today for a free consultation.

Occupations Associated With Traumatic Brain Injuries

by Staff Blogger | January 11th, 2018

In recent decades, workplaces have become more focused on improving employee safety and well-being. Agencies like the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the U.S. Department of Labor have created regulations and guidelines to protect workers while they’re on the job, but serious and even life-threatening injuries still happen daily at workplaces across America.

Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are among the most devastating workplace injuries, as they can leave victims unable to work and reliant on others for care and basic needs. TBIs are more likely to occur in some occupations than others, such as:

  • Construction – Construction workers are at a higher risk for TBIs than people in many other lines of work. Construction sites are full of heavy equipment and machinery, and workers can be seriously injured by falling objects—even when they’re wearing hard hats.
  • Roofing – Falls are a common cause of TBIs, and roofers are particularly at risk for that type of accident and injury. Unlike construction workers, roofers may not have scaffolding or catwalks to protect them, increasing their chances of falling long distances.
  • Driving – Truck drivers, bus drivers, cab drivers, and delivery drivers can suffer TBIs during traffic accidents. And because they’re on the road all day, their risks of being involved in serious crashes are much higher than people in other occupations.

The Roanoke brain injury attorneys at Skolrood Law Firm know that some workers are more prone to TBIs than others, but we’re here to help anyone who suffered a TBI due to another person’s negligence or carelessness.

Whether you or a loved one is the victim of a TBI, we want to build a claim on your behalf. Call today for a free consultation.

2 Ways to Prepare Your Vehicle for Winter Driving

by Staff Blogger | January 4th, 2018

Many parts of Virginia, including Roanoke, have seen extremely low temperatures in recent days. When temperatures dip below freezing, ice can form on roads and bridges, making routine drives and commutes treacherous and much more likely to result in serious accidents.

There are many safety precautions you can take in all types of weather to protect yourself while driving. But you can further reduce your risk of being involved in an accident and prepare your vehicle for emergency situations this winter by following these tips:

  1. Pack emergency supplies – Winter weather can worsen significantly in a matter of minutes—often with little to no warning. Motorists throughout the U.S. may get stuck or stranded in their vehicles in extreme situations. Stock your car with emergency supplies, including water, food, blankets, and a change of clothing in the event you get trapped in your vehicle.
  2. Replace your unreliable, old, or corroded battery – Cold weather can significantly reduce a car battery’s performance, and in some cases, batteries may even fail when temperatures dip below freezing. If your battery is old or leaking, replace it with an all-weather model as soon as possible.

The Roanoke car accident attorneys at Skolrood Law Firm know that the challenges drivers face during the winter are different and more dangerous than at any other time of year. We also know that when other motorists don’t take those threats and risks seriously, accidents can happen.

If you or someone you love was hurt in a crash that was caused by a negligent driver, we’re here to help. Call today for a free consultation.

How We Can Prove Medical Malpractice

by Staff Blogger | December 28th, 2017

Medical malpractice is a term that describes devastating and potentially fatal mistakes and oversights on behalf of doctors, surgeons, and other healthcare professionals that put patients in danger. But the burden of proof that indicates a healthcare worker was negligent falls on victims, and going up against big hospitals can feel intimidating.

At Skolrood Law Firm, our Roanoke medical malpractice lawyers aren’t afraid to stand up for our clients against even the biggest hospitals and insurance companies. That’s because we know how to prove malpractice occurred. We do that by:

  • Using expert witnesses – Although we’re well-versed in medical malpractice claims, we aren’t doctors. However, we can utilize expert witnesses who work in the medical field to support evidence we find that indicates malpractice occurred.
  • Linking your injury or illness to a specific time – It’s not enough to present an illness or injury and claim it happened due to provider negligence. By collecting medical records and documentation, we can leave no doubt in the insurance company’s mind that you were harmed by a healthcare professional.

Don’t feel intimidated or scared by the thought of pursuing a claim for compensation against the doctor or hospital that hurt you. They should be held accountable for their negligence, and we want to fight for the compensation you deserve. Call today for a free consultation. We’re here to help.

Motorcyclists, Watch for These Inattentive Driver Behaviors.

by Staff Blogger | December 21st, 2017

When you get around town on two wheels, you face many risks that drivers and passengers in cars, pickup trucks, and SUVs don’t often worry about. While people in passenger vehicles are protected by seat belts, air bags, and other advanced safety features, motorcyclists like you have only their safety gear to protect them in the event of an accident. That’s why preventing crashes in the first place is so important.

As a motorcyclist, you can reduce your risks by watching the road for potential hazards, including potholes, oil spills, loose gravel, and debris. You can also improve your safety by reducing your speed when negotiating turns, knowing your limits as a rider, and never lane-splitting.

At Skolrood Law Firm, we know that safety-conscious motorcyclists are much more likely to avoid accidents, but we also know that some motorcycle accidents are caused by negligent drivers. Knowing the common causes of driver-induced motorcycle accidents can help you stay alert and attentive when riding near vehicles. Those causes include:

  • Following too closely – If you hear or see a vehicle following you too closely, change lanes whenever possible. Rear-end collisions can be fatal for motorcyclists, even at relatively low speeds.
  • Lane crowding – Drivers don’t always give motorcyclists the room they deserve or need. When a driver drifts into or crowds your lane, you may be pushed into adjacent lanes or even off the road entirely. When that happens, slow down to allow the vehicle to merge or speed up to get in front of it.

Drivers and motorcyclists have a responsibility to safely share the road. But too often, drivers fail to uphold their end of the deal, as they may not look for motorcyclists or treat them with the respect they deserve.

If you or someone you love was hurt in a motorcycle accident that was caused by a careless driver, we want to hear from you. Call today for a free consultation, and get a Virginia motorcycle accident attorney on your side.

Who Can Be Held Responsible After a Truck Accident?

by Staff Blogger | December 14th, 2017

Truck accidents aren’t just dangerous for the drivers and passengers involved—they’re also legally complex. Pursuing compensation after a truck accident can be a difficult task for victims and their families, as multiple parties may share some of the blame for the crash. To make matters worse, trucking companies are often protected by big insurance companies and legal teams, leaving many victims with little to no recourse if they try to obtain damages on their own.

We know how complicated truck crashes can be, but an experienced Roanoke truck accident lawyer at Skolrood Law Firm wants to help. When we take truck accident cases, the first thing we’ll do is collect evidence to determine who can be held responsible. There are four parties who are often at fault for truck accidents:

  1. The truck driver – Truck drivers can cause accidents when they violate traffic laws, drive while distracted, or drive while sleepy and fatigued.
  2. The truck owner – Semi trucks must be maintained regularly. When truck owners fail to repair and replace worn out parts, the truck may not function properly, and drivers can lose control.
  3. The truck company – Truck companies are responsible for providing safe working conditions for drivers and for complying with federal regulations.
  4. Another driver – Not all truck accidents are the fault of anyone associated with a truck. In some cases, trucks are involved in crashes because of the careless behaviors of other drivers.

Our legal team knows how to quickly and accurately determine who can be held liable for your crash. In many cases, two or more parties may be at fault, and we won’t hesitate to make sure the insurance company knows who was responsible when we build a claim.

Get the experienced legal representation you and your loved ones deserve. Call us today for a free consultation.