Skolrood Law Firm Blog

Serving Central and South Virginia

Be Careful Walking, Cycling, or Riding this Spring

by Staff Blogger | April 2nd, 2020

Like many states, Virginia is currently under a shelter-at-home order to reduce the transmission and risks of COVID-19. Despite government orders to stay at home as much as possible, Virginians are allowed to venture outdoors to walk their pets and to get exercise. For many people, cabin fever is already setting in, making the warm early spring days a sanity-restoring indulgence, especially when enjoyed via walks, bike rides, and motorcycle trips.

At Skolrood Law Firm, our Roanoke personal injury lawyers want to remind everyone in our community to remain cautious and careful while getting exercise and enjoying the outdoors. Traffic may be lighter than usual, but that doesn’t mean you have free rein of the roads. Whether you’re traveling on foot, on a bicycle, or on a motorcycle, keep these tips in mind to stay safe:

  • Avoid distractions—Keep your eyes on the road, your ears attuned to your surroundings, and your mind on the task at hand. Don’t walk around using your smartphone or listening to loud music. To stay safe, you need to be aware of your surroundings at all times.
  • Use sidewalks, crosswalks, and bike lanes—If you’re walking or riding your bike, do those activities in designated areas. That means utilizing sidewalks and crosswalks as a pedestrian and bike lanes as a bicyclist.
  • Wear safety gear—As a bicyclist, you should always wear a helmet to protect yourself in the event of an accident. If you ride a motorcycle, you need to wear even more gear, including a riding jacket, pants, boots, and gloves. And if you’re out during inclement weather or times of low visibility, wear brightly colored clothing.

Everyone is focused on the effects of COVID-19 right now, but it’s important to remain safe and avoid injuries while we wait for normalcy to resume. If you or someone you love gets injured because of someone else’s negligence, we’re here to help. Contact us today.

The 4 Parties That Can Be Held Liable for Truck Accidents

by Staff Blogger | March 26th, 2020

When it comes to personal injury claims, especially those involving vehicles, truck accident claims can be put into a category of their own. That’s because there are no passenger vehicles on Virginia’s roadways that rival the size and weight of big trucks. Fully-loaded tractor-trailers can be 60-plus feet in length and weigh up to 80,000 pounds. Physics dictates that when they’re involved in crashes with cars, trucks, and SUVs, the occupants of those vehicles are highly likely to suffer serious injuries.

In addition to the serious injuries and subsequent damages that victims can claim, there’s also the aspect of liability. Unlike passenger vehicle crashes, where liability typically falls on a single person, the blame for a truck accident may fall on one of four parties, or in some cases, two or more of those parties. The parties that are typically found liable for at least some or all of truck accidents include:

  1. Truck drivers—In addition to following traffic laws, truck drivers are also required to follow truck industry guidelines, which cover everything from licensing and training to hours of service and rest periods.
  2. Truck companies—Companies that utilize trucks to deliver goods must ensure they’re loaded properly. If trucks are loaded in violation of industry standards, they can become dangerous and difficult to control.
  3. Truck owners—Whether they’re owned by drivers, companies, or third parties, trucks must remain in drivable condition. When they aren’t maintained, trucks are liable to break down and pose threats to their drivers and other motorists.
  4. Other drivers—Not all truck accidents are caused by parties associated with the trucks themselves. Negligent drivers can crash into trucks or cause truck drivers to swerve to avoid collisions, resulting in secondary crashes.

Because multiple parties may be held liable, it’s essential to have an experienced Roanoke truck accident attorney on your side right away after a truck crash. That’s what Skolrood Law Firm brings to the table. Contact us today for a free consultation.

Don’t Trust Just Any Law Firm with Your Truck Accident Claim

by Staff Blogger | March 19th, 2020

When it comes to personal injury claims, truck accidents almost belong in a category by themselves. Although they seem similar to accidents involving cars, pickup trucks, and SUVs, truck accidents are often significantly more damaging and legally complex. Victims frequently suffer more severe injuries, incur greater damages, and more parties may be considered potentially liable.

Another factor to consider is the sheer number of guidelines and requirements that the U.S. government imposes on the trucking industry. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), a division of the U.S. Department of Transportation, has many requirements that truck drivers, companies, and owners must follow. Those requirements are in addition to, and often stricter than, ordinary traffic laws.

When investigating a truck accident claim, it’s essential that your legal team understands all FMCSA requirements to know if any were violated. It’s not enough to simply determine if traffic laws were violated, as the FMCSA’s guidelines often so far beyond things like speed limits, coming to a complete stop at stop signs, and avoiding distractions.

In addition, proving that negligence occurred is just the first step towards getting compensation. Truck accident claims frequently involve larger settlements than passenger vehicle accidents, and that means insurance companies are even more reluctant to pay fair settlements. To avoid paying, they’ll offer victims lowball payouts, deny their claims altogether, or simply ignore them for weeks or months.

If you or someone you love was injured in a truck crash, the Roanoke truck accident attorneys at Skolrood Law Firm want to help you get your life back to normal. We have the experience and resources to get it done. Contact us today for a free consultation.

Medical Malpractice Claims Require Experienced Legal Representation

by Staff Blogger | March 12th, 2020

At Skolrood Law Firm, we believe that people who are harmed by medical professionals, whether they’re doctors, surgeons, nurses, or other specialists, should get compensation for their injury and illness-related expenses. But our years of experience assisting innocent victims has taught us that hospitals and other healthcare clinics are typically well protected from medical malpractice claims. In addition, the burden of proof for these types of claims is high, and unless there’s plenty of evidence, many victims see their claims get denied out of hand.

Our Roanoke medical malpractice attorneys know that the odds are stacked against individual victims and their families when they’re harmed by the people who are supposed to take care of them. That’s why we take pride in our ability to level the playing field and force healthcare providers and their insurers to take medical malpractice claims seriously.

We’ve seen the devastation that medical mistakes can cause to patients. Many victims suffer injuries and illnesses that lead to lifelong disabilities and serious complications that can severely impact their quality of life. That’s why we do everything in our power to help innocent victims get the compensation they need after costly mistakes, even when it involves going up against big hospitals and their many layers of protection against medical malpractice claims.

If you or someone you love was harmed by a healthcare provider, you don’t have to suffer in silence. Contact us today for a free consultation. We’re here to help.

Warm Weather Means More Motorcyclists and More Risks on Virginia’s Roadways

by Staff Blogger | March 5th, 2020

Spring hasn’t officially arrived yet, but warm weather is already pushing out the cold in Virginia. As temperatures heat up throughout the area, motorcyclists are itching to dust off their helmets and take their bikes out for a spin. Whether you’re a motorcyclist or just commute in and around the city, it’s important to be aware of the increased dangers motorcyclists face, especially during the first few weeks of spring and warmer weather.

Those risks include:

  • Roadway hazards—When it comes to road hazards and defects, none are more dangerous to motorcyclists than potholes. Potholes are especially common in the early days of spring, as they form during the winter and many haven’t been repaired yet.
  • Inattentive motorists—Drivers don’t pay enough attention to motorcyclists as-is. Combine that with months of not seeing many motorcyclists, and you have a recipe for disaster.
  • Heavy rainfall—Spring is a time of inclement weather, including heavy rainfall. Rain can make roads extremely dangerous for motorcyclists, as it can combine with oil, fallen leaves, gravel, and other debris to reduce motorcycle tire traction.
  • Fewer daylight hours—Unlike summer, spring still has relatively short days. That means that while it may be warm out, going for a late afternoon ride can mean driving home in the dark, a statistically dangerous time for riders.

The Roanoke motorcycle accident lawyers at Skolrood Law Firm are here to help injured motorcyclists this spring and any other time of year. We know that riders face elevated risks, especially when drivers fail to look out for them. And when they get hurt, insurance companies rarely give them fair treatment.

If you or someone you love was hurt on a motorcycle, contact us today for a free consultation.

Wrongful Death Claims Require Experience and Sensitivity

by Staff Blogger | February 27th, 2020

When you pursue a compensation claim because of an injury, it’s essential that you feel comfortable with the law firm that’s building your claim. Having a level of comfort and trust is even more important when your loved one passed away because of their injuries. At Skolrood Law Firm, our Roanoke wrongful death lawyers do everything in our power to give families like yours peace of mind throughout the legal process.

We know that you’re grieving your loss during this difficult time, and the last thing you want is to deal with the insurance company, filling out endless paperwork, and negotiating a settlement. When you call us, we’ll handle that for you. We’ll collect evidence that proves your loved one wasn’t at fault for their accident or injury, and then we’ll determine exactly how much money you’re owed for your loss. Finally, we’ll demand that the insurance company pay you fairly for what you’ve gone through—and if they don’t agree, we won’t hesitate to take them to court.

In addition to aggressively pursuing compensation on your behalf, we’ll also show you and your loved ones the compassion you need while you grieve your loss. We know that losing a family member is one of the most difficult experiences in life, and we’ll do everything we can to support you while you begin to move forward. Contact us today for a free consultation of your wrongful death claim. We know what you’re going through, and we have the tools, resources, and experience to help.

How to Handle the Insurance Companies After an Auto Accident

by Staff Blogger | February 21st, 2020

After a crash that wasn’t your fault, you need compensation for your medical bills and lost wages. For injured drivers and their passengers, settlements typically come from the at-fault drivers’ insurance policies, their own insurance policies, or both. But despite spending big money every year to convince people that they have their best interests in mind, insurance companies are instead focused on protecting their profits.

Big insurers generate huge profits year after year because they reduce or deny the payments that innocent victims are owed. One of the most effective ways they do that is by giving victims a chance to jeopardize their own claims. For example, insurance companies often contact victims in the hours or days after their accidents occur to ask them questions or offer them settlements. If victims admit fault, make contradictory statements, or accept the initial settlements, they may end up with far less money than they deserve.

Whether or not you have personal injury protection or MedPay insurance, you’re still required to alert your own auto insurance provider of a crash. When talking to your insurance company, stick to the facts of what happened. And if the other driver’s insurance company contacts you, the same strategy applies, though you should know that you aren’t obligated to speak with a representative of someone else’s insurance company.

The adjuster you speak to may seem friendly, but remember that their job is to either reduce or deny your settlement. If you have an attorney handling your claim, refer representatives of any insurance company that isn’t your own to your lawyer.

At Skolrood Law Firm, our Roanoke auto accident attorneys know how insurance companies operate, and we want to protect you from their tactics. Contact us today for a free consultation.

We Stand Up for the Rights of Mistreated Nursing Home Residents

by Staff Blogger | February 13th, 2020

Making the decision to move your loved one into a nursing home was difficult, but it was for the best. While nursing homes often represent the loss of true independence for residents, they also mean greater peace of mind from them and their loved ones, as residents have access to healthcare providers and wellness checks on a daily basis if they need them.

However, the perks of nursing homes can be greatly overshadowed by the potential downsides: namely, abuse and neglect. It’s no secret that nursing home residents in Virginia and throughout the U.S. are sometimes mistreated by staff members, caretakers, and medical professionals. That mistreatment can range from failing to give residents the care and attention they deserve (neglect), to outright physical, emotional, and sexual attacks (abuse).

When abuse or neglect happen, nursing home owners and administrators can be held liable, especially if they knew about the mistreatment or didn’t take action after previous incidents occurred. In addition, they also may be considered responsible if their hiring practices, such as understaffing or hiring unqualified workers, could have resulted in abuse or neglect.

At Skolrood Law Firm, our Roanoke nursing home abuse attorneys believe that residents deserve to be treated with respect, dignity, and care when living in nursing facilities. In fact, all nursing home residents in Virginia have many rights, and when those rights are violated, they need legal representation to protect themselves now and in the future—and that’s where we come in. If your loved one was mistreated at their nursing home, we want to help. Contact us today.

We Hold Negligent Drivers Accountable When They Collide With Motorcyclists

by Staff Blogger | February 6th, 2020

If you’re a motorcyclist, you know you have many things to worry about when you head out on Virginia’s roadways. Ice, loose pavement, gravel, fallen limbs, potholes, and wild animals are just a few of the dangers you must constantly be aware of while riding. But the biggest risk motorcyclists like you face is other drivers.

Most drivers are on the lookout for other passenger vehicles—not motorcyclists. That means they don’t always take the necessary precautions when turning left, driving through intersections, or changing lanes. When drivers aren’t looking out for motorcyclists, any riders near them face serious risks. And when their negligence results in accidents, we believe they should be held accountable.

At Skolrood Law Firm, we know the serious injuries that can result when motorcyclists are struck by cars, trucks, and SUVs. Victims often need immediate medical treatment, with some becoming temporarily or permanently disabled. Many suffer life-threatening injuries, even when they take all the proper precautions and wear safety gear such as a helmet, riding jacket, riding pants, and boots.

We believe that innocent injured victims should never have to pay out of pocket for their own expenses, and that includes motorcycle accident victims. But we also know that insurance companies are frequently biased against motorcyclists. Bikers might even believe that they contributed to their own accidents—even when evidence shows that isn’t the case.

If you or someone you love was hurt on a motorcycle, contact our Roanoke motorcycle accident lawyers today. We’re here to maximize your chances of getting the compensation you deserve, and we know how to win.

Why You Need a Lawyer After a TBI Affects Your Family

by Staff Blogger | January 30th, 2020

Few injuries are as devastating and life-changing as traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). People who suffer TBIs may experience a wide variety of symptoms and complications. Even minor TBIs, also known as concussions, can result in lifelong impairments, while more severe TBIs can cause permanent disability and even the complete loss of being able to live independently.

At Skolrood Law Firm, our Roanoke brain injury lawyers have helped many TBI victims and their families after accidents, injuries, and medical mistakes that result in brain damage. We know that TBIs can be particularly impactful when they affect primary income-earners in households, as the complications often make it difficult or impossible to work.

To make matters worse, TBI victims often require intensive medical care—sometimes for the rest of their lives. They may have difficulty completing routine daily tasks, such as dressing themselves, eating, or walking. Victims who suffered severe TBIs may need live-in medical care or around-the-clock attention from medical professionals, which can be extremely expensive.

If you or someone you love suffered a TBI, it’s important to have an experienced law firm on your side right away after the injury occurs. Settlements for TBIs often pale in comparison to the full extent of damages that victims and their families incur. Our lawyers can quickly and accurately determine how much your claim is worth, and we’ll fight hard to help you get every penny. Contact us today for a free consultation.