Spicer, Olin & Associates, P.C. Spicer, Olin & Associates, P.C.

Blacksburg Law Blog

Tractor-trailer accidents are increasing in Virginia

As in nearly every state, semi-truck accidents are on the rise. When fully loaded, an 18-wheeler tractor-trailer can weight upwards of 80,000 pounds. Unevenly distributed weight inside the vehicle can become unstable, causing it to slide, jack-knife or roll over. Added to the mix, standard passenger vehicles only weigh around 4,000 pounds. In an accident with an 80,000-pound big rig, those in the passenger vehicle are less likely to escape without serious injuries or fatalities.

While most truck drivers try to drive responsibly, some trucking companies push them to ignore rest and mileage limits. Speeding and breaking traffic laws become even more problematic when delivery times govern whether a driver is fired. When big trucking companies value profit over lives, the risk of catastrophic heavy-truck accidents increases dramatically.

A domestic violence charge can affect child custody

When a Blacksburg, Virginia, resident faces a criminal charge related to alleged domestic assault, he may realize that jail time, fines and other consequences are real possibilities. Moreover, a conviction related to domestic violence can make it very hard for a person to find a job or continue his education.

However, what some might not realize is that, even more so than other types of crimes, domestic assault convictions come with significant collateral consequences that can interfere with a person's life and goals years or even decades down the road. This is so even if it is a person's first offense and there are no aggravating circumstances.

Hands-free devices may help reduce the number of accidents

A previous post on this blog talked about how the Virginia Legislature passed a law that will ban motorists in this state from holding their phones while their vehicles are in motion. The previous post suggested that, while the law will probably help keep drivers from holding their phones, it may not do much in the way of reducing car accidents related to distracted driving.

However, a recent study offers a slightly different perspective. The study, which involved observing the behavior of Virginia and other motorists, suggested that those who used a hands-free device while talking on their phones actually were less likely to be involved in an accident.

Virginia passes law banning handheld devices

Virginia recently passed a new measure designed to curb the ongoing problem of distracted driving. As opposed to the current law, which critics have described as difficult to effectively enforce, the new measure flat out bans people from holding their cellular phones, as well as other types of technology, while their vehicle is in motion. The new measure does give motorists a little leeway to check phones while stopped at a traffic light or to look at a screen, so long as they are not holding the screen in their hand while they drive.

While proponents of this measure say such laws are statistically proven to prevent people from holding their phones while driving, other analyses suggest that the law might not be enough to curb the broader problem of general in-car distractions. For instance, there has been no conclusive proof that these laws actually reduce the number of car accidents. It could be that Virginians are engaging in distracted driving, but they are doing so without holding their phones.

At a certain point, drowsy driving is like drunk driving

Although some unfortunately do take the risk, many people in Blacksburg, Virginia, would never dream of getting behind the wheel while drunk, or even if they suspected that they might be drunk.

However, if one trusts the results of a recent study, these very same people may be more than willing to get behind the wheel when they have had inadequate sleep or are otherwise just too tired to drive.

What is the deadliest drug in the Virginia opioid crisis?

It is no secret that Virginia is hit hard by the opioid epidemic. Misuse and abuse of opioids lead to addiction, criminal punishments and deaths. The number of opioid overdose deaths in 2016 was a staggering 1,133. 

One piece of information is important to understanding this crisis: what drug is causing the most harm. While a lot of people may assume prescription opioids or heroin is to blame, there is another substance behind the majority of these deaths. 

What does regulatory compliance entail?

As its name implies, regulatory compliance refers to an obligation that Blacksburg, Virginia, businesses have to follow the network of federal, state and local laws and rules that pertain to that business. These rules and regulations can cover even small and mid-sized businesses, and they run the gamete over all sort of topics, such as human resources, safety, recordkeeping and data privacy.

Businesses may even be expected to have in place controls that help the government prevent fraud, money laundering and even dealing with countries against which the United States has imposed economic sanctions.

What is the role of title insurance in real estate transactions?

Whether one is buying a private home, an investment property or commercial real estate, he or she may notice in the closing paperwork that he or she is spending a few hundred or even a few thousand dollars on title insurance.

The idea behind title insurance, like other types of insurance, is not to have to use it. It exists not so much to protect the physical structures on the land one is buying as it is to secure the legal right of the new owner to hold the land in the first place. Of course, in a normal transaction, a person legally gets the property he or she purchased with no encumbrances.

The long-term consequences of a serious head injury

One of the possible consequences of a truck accident in Blacksburg, Virginia, is a serious head injury. Especially given the size difference between a full-sized truck and a smaller passenger vehicle, one can easily see how a victim of a negligent truck driver can easily leave the accident suffering head trauma.

Virginians are likely well aware of the most serious consequences of a traumatic brain injury. Assuming a person survives the injury at all, he or she could survive only on a permanent on long-term comatose state. Obviously, a person in a coma needs around-the-clock medical care and is unable to provide for himself or his family.

Federal rules limit the time truckers can be on the road

Fatigued driving is dangerous behavior for any motorist traveling through the Blacksburg, Virginia, area to engage in.

One need not be an expert to recognize that someone who is too tired behind the wheel, even if he manages to stay awake, is prone to making major errors in judgment, losing control of his vehicle, drifting and other behavior akin to drunk or drugged driving.

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Spicer, Olin & Associates, P.C.

Spicer, Olin & Associates, P.C.
504 S Main St
Blacksburg, VA 24060

Phone: 540-315-8799
Phone: 540-315-8799
Fax: 540-951-5139
Blacksburg Office Location