Skolrood Law Firm Blog

Serving Central and South Virginia

Tips for Re-Acclimating to a Congested Commute

by Staff Blogger | May 28th, 2020

COVID-19 hasn’t gone away, but many cities and states are beginning to reopen. That will mean more people heading back to work and more traffic on Virginia’s highways and interstates.

Whether you were still doing your daily commute, or were just getting out to buy groceries and other essentials, you may have noticed that roadways had much less traffic than before, as more people were staying home. The loosening of restrictions and the reopening of offices and businesses may slowly result in traffic volumes returning to normal, and that can increase your risks of being involved in a crash.

Keep these tips in mind as you re-acclimate to your daily commute:

  • Maintain a safe following distance—With fewer cars on the road, this was more easily accomplished during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic. But it’s still important to leave plenty of distance between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you, especially in heavy traffic.
  • Avoid distractions—Larger traffic volumes mean a higher chance of stop-and-go traffic or sudden slowdowns. It’s important to always keep your eyes on the road, your hands on the wheel, and your mind on the task at hand, particularly when driving in congested areas.
  • Stay calm—Many people rate their daily commute as the most stressful part of their day. Wide-open freeways were a nice respite, but traffic volumes are slowly increasing. Stay calm if you experience newfound congestion and traffic jams, as doing so will help you stay safe.

The Roanoke auto accident lawyers at Skolrood Law Firm are here to help if you or someone you love gets injured in an auto accident, whether it’s during your daily commute, on a vacation road trip, or just while driving to the store. Contact us today for a free consultation.

Is There a Limitation on How Much Money You Can Receive for Medical Malpractice?

by Staff Blogger | May 21st, 2020

There are few things more devastating than finding out that you or someone you love suffered because of a healthcare provider’s negligence. Whether it was your doctor, surgeon, or other medical professional, you expect them to give you the highest-quality care throughout your treatment. But that doesn’t always happen, and it can put innocent people at risk of developing serious and even potentially fatal complications.

At Skolrood Law Firm, our Roanoke medical malpractice lawyers help innocent victims get compensation for medical malpractice claims. One of the most common questions we’re asked by current and potential clients is whether there’s a cap on damages for these types of claims. The answer is YES—Virginia law caps the amount of money victims can receive when negligent healthcare providers cause them to suffer injuries or illnesses.

Compensation caps were instituted beginning August 1, 1999. Medical malpractice that occurred between that date and June 30, 2000, are capped at $1.5 million. That amount increases by around $500,000 every year. On July 1, 2020, it will increase to $2.45 million from a cap of $2.4 million established on July 1, 2019. Keep in mind that those caps are for when the malpractice occurred—not when the claim settles.

Have additional questions or concerns about a potential medical malpractice claim? Our law firm is to here to help. Contact us today for a free consultation. We know medical malpractice claims, and we know what it takes to win.

Protect Yourself with the Right Gear when You Ride Your Motorcycle

by Staff Blogger | May 14th, 2020

All auto accidents have the potential to cause serious and even fatal injuries. That’s why safety is such a major priority for auto manufacturers. In addition to lifesaving seat belts and airbags, modern passenger vehicles have other technology designed to protect drivers and passengers, including lane departure warning systems and crash avoidance features.

Unfortunately, motorcycles don’t have anything comparable. Motorcycles don’t offer any protection to riders outside of lights, brakes, and steering. That means it’s up to riders to avoid accidents as much as possible and protect themselves in the event that they’re involved in crashes. The best way to reduce your risks if you’re involved in a crash is to protect every square inch of your body with protective gear.

Never leave home without fully suiting up. That means wearing a full-faced, DOT-approved helmet, as well as thick riding jacket and pants, gloves, and boots. The gear you wear should be durable and resistant, as it will be the only thing protecting your skin from the asphalt if you take a spill off your bike. In addition, your helmet is the most important piece of safety equipment you’ll ever wear, and it can save your life during a crash.

Surviving a motorcycle accident is a blessing, but it can be just the start of your troubles. You may be facing expensive medical bills and lost wages. Having an experienced Roanoke motorcycle accident lawyer on your side can make a big difference when it comes to getting the money you’re owed, and that’s what we’re here for. Contact Skolrood Law Firm today for a free consultation.

Do You Know the 4 Big Truck “No Zones?”

by Staff Blogger | May 7th, 2020

Big trucks are an essential part of the economy. They deliver goods around town or even across the country. But knowing their importance to our daily lives doesn’t make them any less intimidating to drive around.

The largest semi-trucks can be dozens of feet in length and weigh up to 80,000 pounds. Staying safe around these mammoth vehicles means being seen by their drivers. Unfortunately, big trucks have massive blind spots. Because truck drivers sit so high up off the road compared to drivers of cars, trucks, and SUVs, their visibility is limited. It’s reduced even more when they haul long trailers.

The four blind spots that truck drivers must contend with—and that drivers must do their best to avoid—are:

  1. Directly in front of their cabins—Small vehicles are particularly difficult to see in the areas just a few feet in front of truck cabins.
  2. Directly behind their trailers—Truck’s mirrors aren’t positioned to provide drivers with visibility behind their trailers.
  3. Underneath driver side doors—The driver side mirror provides drivers with a good view of the area behind them, but not the area underneath them.
  4. Underneath and behind passenger side doors—Drivers have even less visibility on their passenger sides, with the blind spot extending from underneath the door to several feet behind it.

Avoiding these “No-Zones” can reduce your risk of a crash, but you may still be vulnerable to negligent truck drivers, companies, or owners. And if you or someone you love is hurt by a negligent party involved with a big truck, our Roanoke truck accident attorneys are here to help. Contact Skolrood Law Firm today for a free consultation.

We’re Here to Help After Your Loved One’s Wrongful Death

by Staff Blogger | April 30th, 2020

If you recently lost a loved one because of someone else’s negligence, the Roanoke wrongful death lawyers at Skolrood Law Firm want to help. Wrongful deaths can occur in a variety of circumstances, whether it’s an auto accident, motorcycle accident, slip and fall, or even medical malpractice. Simply put—if your loved one’s death was preventable and caused by carelessness, an oversight, or aggressive behavior, we want to speak with you.

It’s our job to get dependents, spouses, children, and other people related to those who died in wrongful death incidents full compensation for their losses. When you contact us, we’ll collect evidence that shows your loved one wasn’t at fault for their fatal accident, injury, or illness. Then, we’ll determine how much your family is owed for things like medical bills, lost wages, funeral expenses, pain and suffering, loss of support and companionship, and more. Finally, we’ll negotiate with the insurance company to get you paid.

When you’re grieving the loss of someone you love, the last thing you should have to deal with is an uncooperative insurance company that’s doing everything it can to avoid paying you the money you deserve. Leave that up to us. We have many years of experience fighting for the rights of injured victims and their families, and we know what it takes to win. In addition, we’ll be your advocate from day one. We know you’re going through one of the most difficult experiences in life, and we’re here for you.

Get in touch with us today for a free consultation. Leave the legal process up to us, while you focus on grieving and honoring your loved one’s memory.

Is Your Loved One Getting Adequate Care at their Nursing Home?

by Staff Blogger | April 23rd, 2020

Nursing home residents are supposed to receive high-quality and attentive care from doctors, nurses, and other staff members. But that doesn’t always happen. Residents being abused or neglected by caregivers is all too common, and it’s often related to poor management, profit-over-safety mentalities, and hiring under-qualified employees.

Unfortunately, another concern for nursing home residents has emerged in recent weeks: the threat of being infected by COVID-19. This pandemic has spread to all corners of the globe, and it’s particularly dangerous to nursing home residents. That’s because the virus already hits elderly people and people with existing medical conditions the hardest, and that describes a large segment of the nursing home population in Virginia.

If your loved one lives in a nursing home facility, you may be unable to visit them at this time, or your visits may be limited. That said, it’s still important to keep a close eye on your loved one’s health and wellbeing. Call them often and try to arrange virtual visits via webcam. Many nursing home residents feel frightened and more alone than ever right now, and hearing the voices and seeing the faces of their loved ones can brighten their days.

And as always, if you find out that your loved one was mistreated, neglected, or abused while living in their nursing home, Skolrood Law Firm wants to help. Our Roanoke nursing home abuse lawyers will do everything in our power to get your family maximum compensation for your loved one’s mistreatment. Contact us today for a free consultation.

We Offer Experienced Legal Representation to TBI Victims

by Staff Blogger | April 17th, 2020

All injuries can be devastating and life-changing in their own ways, but few injuries have such immediate and profound impacts on victims’ lives as traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). The brain is a sensitive, delicate organ, and even minor damage to it can result in changes that affect the way victims live, work, and spend time with loved ones.

For example, common side effects of TBIs can range from psychological problems such as personality changes and cognitive deficits to physical issues such as persistent headaches, nausea, and dizziness. TBI-related complications can make life difficult for victims and their loved ones, and that’s why we believe they deserve maximum compensation when their injuries are caused by others’ negligence.

If you or someone you love suffered a TBI as a result of an auto accident, motorcycle accident, medical mistake, or any other oversight, we’re here to help. Our Roanoke brain injury lawyers know what you’re going through, and it’s our goal to help you through the physical, mental, and financial recovery processes, one step at a time.

When you contact our firm, we’ll collect evidence that proves you weren’t at fault for your TBI, while also determining who is. Then, we’ll calculate how much money you need to for your TBI-related expenses and hold the liable party responsible for those costs. And if they refuse to pay, we won’t hesitate to take them to trial.

At Skolrood Law Firm, we see our clients as people, not case numbers. We’ll never accept a lowball settlement if it isn’t enough to compensate you for what you’ve been through. Contact us today for a free consultation.

Reduced Traffic Isn’t an Excuse to Lose Focus

by Staff Blogger | April 9th, 2020

Virginia is currently under a stay-at-home order, and that means many businesses are closed or have reassigned employees to work from home. If you’re considered an essential employee and still need to go into work, or if you’re driving to complete essential tasks and errands, you may have noticed that previously jammed highways and interstates are relatively traffic-free.

This can be a nice change of pace, especially if you’re used to daily delays during your morning and evening commutes. But fewer cars on the roads doesn’t mean you should take your mind off of safe driving. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that drivers on rural roads—with little to no traffic—die at a rate 2.5 times higher than drivers on urban highways.

That statistic goes to show that traffic doesn’t mean you have a higher risk of a fatal crash, and decreasing it also doesn’t mean you’re any safer. It’s up to you to drive as safely as possible to protect yourself, your passengers, and other motorists, regardless of what’s going on in the world or how busy the roadway is. Safe driving during a pandemic or at any other time of year means avoiding distractions, staying at or under the speed limit, never following too closely, staying in your lane, and never driving while impaired.

The Roanoke auto accident attorneys at Skolrood Law Firm know that even the safest drivers can still be involved in crashes, especially when other drivers fail to do their part. If you were hurt in an accident caused by a negligent driver, we want to help. Contact us today for a free consultation.

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.