From Charlottesville, Virginia

Covering the state of Virginia, Wilson & Hajek, a personal injury law firm, is centrally located in Charlottesville, Virginia. Francis Hajek is an experienced Virginia personal injury attorney and lawyer who provides aggressive representation and personal service to his clients who have suffered injuries. Since 2007, he has been listed in Best Lawyers in America. www.winjurylaw.com

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Texting and Driving Laws Difficult To Enforce

The Lynchburg News and Advance reports that police are finding that the new Virginia ban on texting while driving is difficult to enforce. The police officer has to observe the driver texting in order for a violation to occur. In Central Virginia, only 40 convictions have been obtained for the offense since the law went into effect in July, 2013. In all of Virginia, there were around 650 violations of the law in the first 6 months after the law took effect, with even fewer convictions. And yet, driving while distracted, and texting while driving is very distracting, accounts for 20 percent of traffic accidents. Virginia has not done a very good job of educating the public about the law. When you enter Maryland, there are huge signs advising the driver that cellphone use while driving is not permitted. In Virginia, there are plenty of signs advising the driver that speed is checked by aircraft, when in fact, Virginia no longer uses aircraft to ticket speeding drivers. Those signs should be changed to warn drivers about the dangers of texting and driving. Teenage drivers are at particular risk because of their inexperience. it would help to remind them that they should avoid such risky behavior. Francis P. Hajek Wilson & Hajek, LLC, a personal injury law firm Experienced Injury and Accident Lawyers Serving Virginia, including Albemarle, Charlottesville, Fluvanna, Louisa, Madison, Nelson, Orange, Greene, Augusta, Buckingham, Staunton, Waynesboro, Culpepper, Richmond, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Hampton, Newport News

Monday, August 25, 2014

Accidents Caused by Texting and Driving

As a Virginia personal injury lawyer based in Charlottesville, Virginia, I have been surprised by the number of reports of recent car accident caused by drivers who are texting while behind the wheel. I suppose it is good for business, but such accidents are completely unnecessary, not to mention the fact that texting while driving is illegal. Even before such conduct was criminalized, it didn't make much sense. the driver who texts is like a drunk driver. Just today I was behind a car on the interstate that was slowing down rather markedly - from 70 to the mid-fifties - even though the speed limit had not changed. Of course, when I passed the car, I could see the driver using his smartphone to text. At least he stayed in his lane while texting. So often, the texting driver is straying into my lane of travel. There are several campaigns going on across the state that are designed to increase awareness of the dangers of texting and driving. Virginia still permits the use of a cellphone while driving, although many states, including Maryland and Washington, DC have placed limits on the use of a cellphone by a driver. In light of several recent studies that document the attention deficits of drivers using a cellphone, such restrictions are probably wise. If you have been injured as a result of a driver texting while driving or using a cellphone while driving, call me for a free evaluation of your case. Francis P. Hajek Wilson & Hajek, LLC, a personal injury law firm Experienced Injury and Accident Lawyers Serving Virginia, including Albemarle, Charlottesville, Fluvanna, Louisa, Madison, Nelson, Orange, Greene, Augusta, Buckingham, Staunton, Waynesboro, Culpepper, Richmond, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Hampton, Newport News

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Tractor Trailer Accident Shuts Down I-64

A tractor trailer accident has shut down I-64 near Black CatRoad according to reports from the Charlottesville Daily Progress. Apparently five vehicles were involved including two tractor trailers. Unfortunately, the accident resulted in one fatality. The Progress reports that the accident happened when a tractor trailer failed to stop in time for a crash on the interstate that had already happened. The tractor trailer struck an SUV and there was a chain reaction crash. One vehicle burst into flames. This type of accident is not unusual on heavily trafficked portions of interstate highways. There have been recent attempts to limit the hours that truck drivers can operate their rigs and there have also been a number of laws recently enacted that focus on distracted driving, including texting and using a cell phone without a hands free device while driving. We don't know yet why the tractor trailer driver failed to stop. Since there was fatality, the investigation will be detailed and the cause of the accident should be determined. I have worked with the former lead investigator for the Virginia State Police in looking at accident causes. In an accident involving a tractor trailer, there are many sources of information. In this case, the speed of the driver before the accident could be a factor as well as the hours that he or she had been on the road. For most of us who travel the interstates on a regular basis, an accident like this on wis just an inconvenience. But for the people involved, it can be life changing. Francis P. Hajek Wilson & Hajek, LLC, a personal injury law firm Experienced Injury and Accident Lawyers Serving Virginia, including Albemarle, Charlottesville, Fluvanna, Louisa, Madison, Nelson, Orange, Greene, Augusta, Buckingham, Staunton, Waynesboro, Culpepper, Richmond, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Hampton, Newport News

Monday, August 4, 2014

Ban on Texting Lowers Injury Death Rate In Automobile Accidents

Personal injury lawyers and attorneys in Virginia and other states know all too well that a significant number of accidents are caused by drivers, particularly teenage drivers, who are trying to text and drive at the same time. The Washington Post reports today that a new study has concluded that "texting bans can reduce teen fatalities by as much as 11 percent." Virginia is one of the states that has such a ban in place. However, the study also found banning all handheld devices is the most effective way to reduce traffic deaths across all age groups. Thirteen states have such a ban. Virginia is not one of the states that bans all handheld devices. Our neighbors to the north, Maryland and Washington D.C., do have such bans in place. Hopefully, all states will realize that the use of handheld devices poses a risk to all drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians and so take measures to limit their use while driving. Francis P. Hajek Wilson & Hajek, LLC, a personal injury law firm Experienced Injury and Accident Lawyers Serving Virginia, including Albemarle, Charlottesville, Fluvanna, Louisa, Madison, Nelson, Orange, Greene, Augusta, Buckingham, Staunton, Waynesboro, Culpepper, Richmond, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Hampton, Newport News

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

700+ Car Accidents And One Snowy Day

Snow and car accidents seem to go together. Monday's snow resulted in over 700 Virginia car accidents and a host of personal injury victims. The problem with a car accident caused by snow is that the at fault driver often says that it wasn't his or her fault, it was the snow that caused the car accident. However, such defensive statements must be analyzed in the context of all the facts surrounding the car accident. Was the other driver going too fast for the conditions? If so, snow is not a defense. Di d the other driver fail to clear the snow off their vehicle and so had limited visibility? Is so, the snow is not a defense. An experienced personal injury lawyer can assist you in looking at all the facts surrounding your accident and determine if there is a claim for damages. Francis P. Hajek Wilson & Hajek, LLC, a personal injury law firm Experienced Injury and Accident Lawyers Serving Virginia, including Albemarle, Charlottesville, Fluvanna, Louisa, Madison, Nelson, Orange, Greene, Augusta, Buckingham, Staunton, Waynesboro, Culpepper, Richmond, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Hampton, Newport News

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Bus Driver Causes Accident in Snow on I-95

I-95 was closed for several hours after a bus overturned in snowy conditions. The bus driver was charged with reckless driving as he was driving too fast for the conditions present on the interstate highway. The bus was en route from New York to Georgia. The circumstances of the accident are reminiscent of another recent bus accident that also involved driver error and resulted in serious personal injury to several bus passengers. Long distance travel by bus can be attractive because of low fares. However, sometimes the price can be high when the driver is fatigued and makes judgment errors that lead to a serious accident. The full facts are still not known for this most recent accident, but we do know that several bus passengers have already paid too high a price. Francis P. Hajek Wilson & Hajek, LLC, a personal injury law firm Experienced Injury and Accident Lawyers Serving Virginia, including Albemarle, Charlottesville, Fluvanna, Louisa, Madison, Nelson, Orange, Greene, Augusta, Buckingham, Staunton, Waynesboro, Culpepper, Richmond, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Hampton, Newport News

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Virginia Supreme Court Reinstates Punitive Damage Award

A drunk driver injures two people in a Virginia car accident. The injuries are not serious or life threatening, but not only is the driver drunk, he is also talking on his cell phone when he causes a car accident. Both cases go to trial and both accident victims obtain an award of compensatory and punitive damages. One injury victim gets an award of fourteen thousand dollars ($14,000) in compensatory damages and one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000) in punitive damages. The other injury victim gets an award of five thousand six hundred thousand dollars ($5600)in compensatory damages and also gets one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000)in punitive damages. The trial judge thought that the $100,000 was okay for the car accident injury victim who received an award of $14,600, but felt that the award of $100,000 for the car accident injury victim who received an award of $5600was just too much. In fact, the trial judge reduced the punitive damages award to $50,000. The Virginia Supreme Court recently reversed the decision of the trial court. The Virginia Supreme Court's decision is a good one. The drunk driver's conduct was terrible. Francis P. Hajek Wilson & Hajek, LLC, a personal injury law firm Experienced Injury and Accident Lawyers Serving Virginia, including Albemarle, Charlottesville, Fluvanna, Louisa, Madison, Nelson, Orange, Greene, Augusta, Buckingham, Staunton, Waynesboro, Culpepper, Richmond, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Hampton, Newport News