Showing posts from 2011

Airplane Crash Tragedy for Albemarle Family

It was with great sadness that I read the report of a plane crash involving a local family. In addition, a friend and business partner of the aircraft owner was also killed in the tragedy. Aviation disasters are usually thought of in terms of larger plane crashes involving commercial airliners, but the reality is that most plane crashes involve small aircraft piloted by owners. When I first started practicing law, one of the first cases in which I was involved concerned a Cessna aircraft that had crashed. Fortunately, everyone survived. The controversy was whether the crash involved pilot error or the failure of a fuel gauge. The current tragedy will likely involve a similar dispute, with the aircraft manufacturer and or mechanic pointing to pilot error and the other side looking to an equipment failure. Unfortunately, the victims have no input and the remaining family members are left to mourn their passing. The dangers of travel in the winter holiday season are emphasized by …

Medical Mistakes Equal Medical Malpractice?

Is a medical mistake considered to be medical malpractice? Most lawyers will tell you that a simple mistake without an injury is not malpractice. But, there are plenty of injuries that do result from medical malpractice. Medical malpractice statistics are appalling. For instance, an estimated 225,000 people die each year from some form of medical malpractice, ranging from incorrect diagnoses to surgical error. It is the third leading cause of death in this country. And yet, only two percent of victims file a claim for medical malpractice and even fewer ever receive any form of compensation. The Institute of Medicine estimates that 1.5 million patients are injured every year because of medication errors. Far less than 2 percent of the victims file a claim for medical malpractice. Why? One reason is that is difficult to prove medical malpractice. Most states have laws that require an expert opinion before a lawsuit is filed. In addition, many states limit recoveries, thus di…

Crosswalk Safety and Pedestrian Fatalities - A Difficult Case When The Driver Is Sober

Thanks to Beckley Mason for this guest post on pedestrian safety in crosswalks. The article is very timely as the Charlottesville Daily Progress just had a special feature about pedestrian accidents at the University of Virgina. The article came only a few days after a bicyclist was struck in a crosswalk.

Across the country, crosswalk laws are designed to protect pedestrians and encourage drivers to act cautiously and responsibly around intersections. Drivers and cyclists are expected to slow down and stop when a pedestrian wants to cross the street, and to generally cede right of way to the more vulnerable people. But a car, even traveling at 25 miles per hour, is harder to control than you might think. So pedestrians have a responsibility too, and aren�t protected by the law for crashes in which they leave the curb without giving approaching drivers a chance to see them and slow down.

According to California law, the driver's liability is mitigated by pedestrian's "dut…

Repeat of Deadly Weekend Car Crashes in Charlottesville

Perhaps it is the lovely fall weather in Charlottesville that is causing such mayhem on our highways. Veteran's Day weekend has been highlighted by several deadly crashes in the area. The sad part of this report is that the deaths were preventable. A deadly car crash on I-64 claimed the life of a truck driver who was not wearing his seat belt. The restrained driver of the smaller car survived. The obvious lesson is to wear your seatbelt. In another accident, the two passengers of a drunk driver were killed. The drunk driver survived. Another obvious lesson, don't get in a car with a driver who has been drinking. The purpose of this post is not to cast blame, but to spread caution. The highways and roads of our communities are dangerous when simple precautions and safe driving techniques are not used. Don't be a victim. Think before you drive and as you drive.

Francis P. Hajek
Wilson & Hajek, LLC, a personal injury law firm Experienced Injury and Accident Law…

Car Accidents Cost 300 Billion Dollars

Charlottesville Personal Injury Lawyer

The number is correct. Car accidents cost Americans 300 billion dollars a year. The average cost per car accident is over $1500. Obviously, there are a lot of car accidents every year in this country, and so insurance companies and personal injury lawyers are kept very busy. Interestingly, Northern Virginia contributes a hefty portion of the 300 billion dollar total each year with over 7.4 billion dollars in car accident costs. Since the Washington D.C. area is the worst in the nation for traffic congestion, this statistic is not a surprise. Is there an easy fix that will reduce the annual cost of car accidents. Probably not as 90% of car accidents are due to driver error. Smart technology may be a long term solution as advances in technology that improve driver awareness may reduce accident totals. For instance, a leading cause of driver error accidents is the failure to maintain lane position. Smart technology can detect such a problem…

Tired Drivers Cause Car Accidents

It is a fact. Tired drivers cause car accidents. The tired driver might be a truck driver pulling a trailer or maybe a college student heading home after exams. Some experts claim that as many as 60% of drivers on the road are driving drowsy. That statistic fits in with the portrait of our nation as being chronically sleep deprived. At some point in our driving careers, 36% of us will fall asleep at the wheel for a few seconds. This phenomenon is called microsleep and it is scary to realize how far a car or truck can travel in just a few seconds at 65 miles per hour. It is recommended that the long distance driver stop every 2 hours or 100 miles to stand up and stretch for a few minutes. Driving more than 500 miles a day is also not recommended.

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, Staunton, Waynesboro

Skiing Accidents in Virgina

Virginia skiing accidents (and snowboarding accidents) resulting in a personal injury are the subject of many questions under Virginia law. Unlike some states where skiing is major industry, Virginia skiing and snowboarding resorts are few in number and fairly small in size. Some local resorts are Wintergreen, Massanutten and the Homestead. Virginia does not have a comprehensive skier responsibility statute or other laws aimed at ski resorts and their operation. One general statute that does affect ski resorts concerns the operation of lifts used to transport skiers and snowboarders. These lifts are subject to regulation as an amusement attraction ride and have to conform to certain standards. Unfortunately, most personal injury claims involving skiers and snowboarders take place on the slopes of the ski resort. In such cases, the ski resorts often assert two primary defenses, contributory negligence and assumption of risk. In Virginia, proof of these defenses can lead to dism…

Drunk Driver Car Accidents In Charlottesville and Albemarle

Personal Injury Lawyer Charlottesville Albemarle

Two weeks ago in the Charlottesville area, a drunk driver caused a head on collision car accident that killed the driver of one car and seriously injured several passengers. This tragic case is not an isolated instance of drunk driving causing a car accident. Each year in this country, over 17,000 people die as a result of drunk driver car accidents. Recently, in Albemarle Circuit Court, a drunk driver pleaded guilty to two counts of maiming as a result of drunk driving. Another recent case in Albemarle Circuit Court involved a college student who was sentenced to 10 years in prison for a drunk driving accident that severely injured a construction worker. These are local examples of drunk diver car accidents that contribute to the national picture of over 1 million injuries a year caused by drunk drivers. Such a staggering statistic does not get the attention it deserves. To put the numbers in perspective, the terrorist attacks on…

Car Accidents and Fatality Statistics

Personal Injury Lawyer Charlottesville

Car accidents result in over 100 deaths every day. In Charlottesville, the last week has brought news of several fatalities resulting from car accidents. Over the last 25 years, over 1 million people have been killed in car accidents in this country. That amazing statistic ties is the result of an average of 40,000 deaths per year from car accidents. Nearly half of that yearly number is the result of drunk drivers causing the car accident wrongful death. And yet, most people think that they are fairly safe when traveling on the road. That perception of safety is not very accurate. The average driver has a 1 in 9 chance of being involved in a car accident each year. Such odds do not engender a feeling of confidence for me when I get in my car, even though I think I am a good driver. We should all think about our driving habits and the care that we take when driving in order to avoid becoming an addition to these statistics. So the next ti…

Car Accident Statistics Are Scary

Charlottesville Personal Injury Lawyer

Halloween is coming and there will be many scary costumes. But even scarier are the statistics concerning car accidents. Did you know that every year you drive, you have a 1 in 10 chance of being in a car accident? To surmount those odds, you have to be a careful driver who is prepared to deal with the bad driver or the unexpected hazard. As a personal injury lawyer in Charlottesville, Virginia, I am always surprised at how many of my injury clients are the victims of drunk drivers. Unfortunately, the drunk driver and the bad driver usually do not have adequate car insurance and so the car accident victim has to look to his or her own insurance policy. Another frightening statistic is that in the United States, there are over 40,000 fatalities every year caused by car accidents. Think of how many plane crashes it would take to reach such a death toll. There are also over 3 million car accidents every year. These mind boggling statistics s…

Madison Man Charged In Car Accident Injuring Albemarle Family

A head on collision on Old Lynchburg Road severely injured an Albemarle family, all of whom are being treated at the University of Virginia hospital in Charlottesville, Virginia. According to the Daily Progress, the driver of the car who struck the Albemarle family's vehicle was a 28 year old resident of Madison, Virgina. He has been charged with driving under the influence. Both drivers remain in critical condition. This car accident case illustrates a fact that personal injury lawyers know only too well. Drunk drivers cause serious car accidents on a regular basis. As part of our personal injury law firm practice, we monitor cases involving drunk driving. Many times, our clients have to testify at the trial of the drunk driver. We assist our clients as needed in this process. If the blood alcohol level of the drunk driver exceeds certain levels, punitive damages are a possibility in the personal injury lawsuit. In Virgina, an award of punitive damages is limited by sta…

Amtrak and Washington, DC

FELA Employee Railroad Amtrak Washington,DC

Amtrak is a railroad corporation based in Washington, DC. Over the years, our personal injury law firm has represented many Amtrak employees located in the Washington, DC area. Amtrak personal injury clients have included engineers, conductors mechanical services, electricians, car cleaners, firemen and oilers members and every other craft. All of our injury clients have had cases under FELA, the Federal Employer's Liability Act. Washington, Dc is a great place to try a personal injury case. Injured Amtrak employees can almost always have their case tried in Washington, DC because it is the headquarters. For a free review of injury case facts, call us.

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, Staunton, Waynesboro

Statements to Insurance Adjusters

Charlottesville personal injury lawyers, and lawyers all across the state of Virginia, are often faced with the issue of a prospective client telling them that the insurance adjuster required a statement. Fortunately, there is a Virginia law that requires insurance companies to provide a copy of any statement given by an insured to the insured or their lawyer. But the big question is, should the insured, the victim in the car accident, give a statement in the first place? As an experienced Virginia personal injury lawyer who practices across the state, I think the answer is a resounding no. The car accident victim gets no benefit from providing a statement. I have yet to encounter a case where the insurance company was more generous or accommodating simply because the insured gave a statement. In fact, nowadays, insurance companies are taking a very hard line on compensation for most accidents, particularly the low impact type of car accidents. In Charlottesville, the most comm…

Newport News Jury Awards 5.25 Million Dollars

A Newport News, Virginia jury has awarded a shopper 5.25 million dollars for a serious injury involving a forklift running over the shopper's foot. A patron of a store like Best Buy is a business invitee and is owed a high duty of care. apparently, the jury believed that Best Buy was negligent and so awarded substantial damages for the personal injury. Such large awards tend to be the exception rather than the norm, but they certainly receive the most publicity. If the jury had awarded no damages, we probably would not read about it in the newspaper. In this case, the medical bills and lost wages were significant and so the jury's verdict should be seen in that light. Our firm's record verdict in Virginia is $60 million. In that case, the damages were truly significant as the personal injury damages for medical care and lost wages were millions of dollars. Every personal injury case is unique. Some cases settle and others go to a jury verdict. Our mission is to re…

Virginia Car Accidents Dominate Labor Day Holiday Headlines

14 deaths from Virginia car accidents over the Labor Day weekend ruin a perfectly good holiday. Two of the deaths involved motorcycle accidents. The other car accidents were spread across the state with no region being spared. When our personal injury law firm handles a wrongful death case,the emotions involved are difficult to overcome. The victim's survivors often contact us when the pain of the loss is still quite recent. in one way, this early contact is very positive as we are able to investigate the circumstances of the car accident and wrongful death before evidence disappears. On the other hand, it is painful to go over the circumstances of the car accident and stir up memories of the incident. We are very mindful of the tragic nature of such cases and do everything we can to assist the survivors. Unfortunately, holiday weekends result in increased traffic on the highways and more car accidents and injuries. The next major holiday is Thanksgiving and we hope Virgi…

When Will You Get A Speeding Ticket?

According to an article in the Virginia Pilot today, it is unlikely that a driver will get a ticket unless he or she is driving more than 10 miles per hour over the speed limit. The article explores the myth and reality of the 10 mile pr hour "cushion" and concludes that such a cushion does exist. Of course, there are exceptions and some mentioned are driving just a few miles over the speed limit in a school zone or where children are playing. The 2010 record for speeding in Hampton Roads was 146 miles per hour. At that speed, the consequences of a car accident are catastrophic. AS a personal injury attorney, I am aware that most drivers exceed the speed limit when driving on interstate highways. If you drive the speed limit, you are going to be the slow poke. I am also aware that for every mile per hour increase in speed, the forces involved in an accident increase dramatically. It is not a linear progression. A car accident at 70 miles per hour is going to have mu…

Albemarle Car Truck Accident Sends Victim to Hospital

Car Accident Truck Accident Albemarle Charlottesville Injury Lawyer Attorney

Yesterday, a terrible accident took place when a truck struck a car on Route 250 in Ivy, Virginia, which is in Albemarle County. The Charlottesville Daily Progress reports that the driver of the car, which was an SUV was transported to the hospital with significant injuries. This car truck accident illustrates the unfairness of an accident's consequences when a truck hits a car, or even an SUV. The tractor trailer driver is rarely injured. meanwhile, the car or SUV driver is facing serious injuries and a long recovery. At Wilson & Hajek, we know that the car driver needs help in pursuing the driver of the truck and we have the expertise to investigate thoroughly the accident circumstances. For instance, tractor trailer divers are required to maintain a log of the truck's driving hours. This log can be a vital resource in establishing fault for an accident. In this case, early investigation o…

Fluvanna County Teen's Life Claimed in Car Accident

As a Virginia personal injury lawyer, I am always saddened by the reports of needless deaths in car accidents. This weekend, I read the obituary of a Fluvanna County teen whose life was cut short by a car accident. According to the Charlottesville Daily Progress, the teen ran off the road, struck a culvert and overturned. The teen was from Palmyra in Fluvanna County, Virginia. Unfortunately, the teen was not wearing a seatbelt and was ejected from the car. The circumstance reminded me of another tragic car accident many years ago which involved my brother. He was a seatbelted passenger in a car which overturned and he survived with just a few bruises. The driver was not wearing his seatbelt and was ejected and killed. I know that I have always worn my seatbelt since that time. Of course, there are always stories of the driver or passenger who was ejected and saved from the car fire and so swears that not wearing a seatbelt is good thing. But, I still think that a careful and…

Where To FIle A Personal Injury Claim In Virgina

Personal Injury Attorney Lawyer Virginia Venue

One of the more interesting decisions that a Virgina personal injury lawyer has to make is where to file a personal injury claim. Virgina law describes two types of venue (the [place where the lawsuit is to be filed), preferred and permissible venue. These categories of venue are found in the Virginia Code. Generally, the personal injury attorney is looking at the choices set out in the permissible venue section. The choices available depend in part on the type of claim, where the defendant is located and where the accident happened. An experienced injury attorney will determine all permissible venues and then analyze each forum (court) in the hope of selecting the most favorable. In a typical car accident injury case, the available forum selection will include the place where the accident happened and the home of the defendant. The home of the plaintiff is a possibility if the defendant is out of state or not to be found. Personal …

Railroad Repetitive Motion Injury Claims - A Growing Field in Railroad Personal Injury Law

In Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and all across the country, we are seeing an increase in railroad employee repetitive motion injury claims. These railroad personal injury claims involve injury to different parts of the body from strenuous job duties performed repeatedly over the years. The injury claims can also involve vibration issues from equipment such as locomotive engines and vibrating tools. The types of injuries include neck,and back problems, carpal tunnel syndrome, and knee and shoulder problems. For instance, a crane operator's duties typically involve working on a machine that has vibration issues. The duties also include heavy lifting and a lot of work at shoulder height or greater. As a result, we are seeing crane operators with neck and shoulder problems caused by their work over time. These claims can be pursued under the Federal Employer's Liability Act or FELA, a law designed to protect railroad employees. Railroad conductor…

Railroad Injury Law and Railroad Accidents

The Federal Employer's Liability Act ( commonly known as FELA )has been around since 1908. The FELA protects railroad workers injured on the job. There is no equivalent statute that protects train passengers injured in a train wreck or car train collision. Both groups of injury victims, railroad employees and train passengers are protected by Federal Rail Safety statutes. Our firm is well versed in all of these areas. Recently, there have been several train accidents in Virginia involving the new rail transit system in Norfolk, Virgina. Amtrak has also been involved in several high profile accident case over the last year. These types of cases require a lawyer who is familiar with the special laws that apply to these cases. Eddie Wilson and I work on these types of cases every day. We have been practicing railroad law and representing employees and passengers for decades. Call us for a free evaluation.

Francis P. Hajek
Wilson & Hajek, LLC, a personal injury law firm E…

Train Accident in Norfolk Virginia

Norfolk, Virginia finally has a light rail train transit system and train car accidents to go along with it. On August 17, 2011, a train struck a car making a turn at a railroad crossing. Remarkably, this was the second accident at the intersection and the light rail train transit system has only been running for a short while. The driver was ticketed. Apparently, there were no injuries on the train. This train car accident illustrates the dangers of railroad crossings. The driver and the car are usually the losers. Norfolk is going to see an increase in these types of accidents as the system has several intersections. Train operators and crews are at risk, as are the train passengers. Our law firm has significant experience in these types of cases.

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, Staunton, Waynesboro�…

Virginia Playground Injuries

Virginia Injury Law Playgrounds

If you or a family member is injured while playing at a city, town or county playground, do you have a claim for your injuries? In Virginia, the answer in most cases will be "no" and there are very few exceptions. The reason that personal injury claims for playground injuries are unlikely to succeed is Virginia Code Section 15.2-1809, which provides that cities, towns and counties have immunity for negligence claims arising from the operation of parks, recreational facilities and playgrounds. In order to recover for a playground injury, there would have to be proof of gross negligence. The Virginia courts have held that the standard of gross negligence requires proof that goes well beyond simple carelessness. It is more like a standard of deliberate indifference, where there is proof that the municipal entity knew about the playground defect and its dangers and made a conscious decision not to fix it. The mere fact that municipal workers …

Double Fatality in Orange County, Virginia

Personal Injury Lawyer Orange County Virginia
A double traffic fatality in Orange County, Virginia is still under investigation. What is known is that a car traveling on Route 20 in Orange County, Virginia was sideswiped by another car causing a serious accident. Whether wrongful death claims will be asserted is also unknown. In Virgina personal injury law, a wrongful death claim requires proof of negligence. The damages which can be recovered are also limited by statute. An experienced personal injury attorney can help the survivors navigate the maze of legal requirements. Orange county, Virginia is close to Charlottesville and most lawyers cover all the counties surrounding the city. At Wilson & Hajek, we practice injury law all over the state of Virginia as our focus is serious injury cases. Our firm holds the personal injury jury verdict record, obtained in Prince William County. Call us for a free consultation today.

Francis P. Hajek
Wilson & Hajek, LLC, a personal…

9 Traffic Fatalities in Washington DC In One Weekend

Personal Injury Lawyer Charlottesville

It was a deadly weekend on the roads of Washington,DC., 9 fatalities in a series of car accidents. News reports speculated that summer heat and vacations were factors. But, Central Virginia did not experience a similarly deadly weekend. In Charlottesville and Albemarle County, there were no reports of car accident related fatalities. Still, driving conditions can change quickly as summer thunderstorms bring in high winds and driving rain. On Monday evening, a severe thunderstorm swept through Charlottesville and left many residents without electricity. If you are in a car accident that is the result of severe weather conditions, it is important to contact an experienced personal injury lawyer to determine if you have a claim. If you are caught in a severe weather incident, it is best to get off the road. And, if you are going to Washington, DC, take the train.

Francis P. Hajek
Wilson & Hajek, LLC, a personal injury law firm Experien…

Norfolk Southern Railroad Violates Whistleblower Statute

Railroad Law Whistleblower Violation Norfolk Southern Employeee

The Virginia Pilot reports that Norfolk Southern was fined $122,000 for firing an employee after the employee reported an injury. Whistleblower investigations under the Federal Rail Safety Act (FRSA)are investigated by OSHA. OSHA found that Norfolk Southern had routinely intimidated employees into not filing injury reports. And, in this case, the employee had delayed reporting his injury due to a fear of being fired. It is expected that NS will appeal. Our law firm has represented railroad employees in whistleblower cases. The FRSA provides protection to railroad employees not only for getting fired due to reporting an injury, but also, among other things, when the railroad employee refuses to perform an unsafe task or violate hours of service requirements. If you are a railroad employee who has been injured on any railroad, whether it is Norfolk Southern, CSX Amtrak or even a short line railroad, call us, we are ex…

Virginia Law on the Eggshell Skull Plaintiff

Charlottesville Personal Injury Law Firm

Virginia law follows the common law rule regarding preexisting conditions. Frequently, a personal injury victim has a preexisting condition that makes them more likely to suffer from an accident than someone who is in good health. A good example is someone who has a history of back problems. A rear end collision is more likely to injure such a person and cause additional problems. Under Virginia law, the person who caused the injury is responsible for all the consequences of their actions, even if the action would not have injured a healthy person. This rule is known as the eggshell plaintiff doctrine. When you think about it, a person who is negligent should be responsible for all the consequences of their negligence, even if he or she did not plan on injuring a less than healthy person. In other words, you take your victim as you find them. The classic example is the individual who punches someone and shatters their "eggshell"…

$5.1 Million Truck Accident Settlement

Truck Accident Injury Law Virginia Settlement

The Virginia Lawyer's Weekly reports that a $5.1 million dollar settlement was reached in a Rockingham County truck accident. The truck involved ran a red light signal and struck the victim's car, causing injuries to the leg. The case highlights the dangers of accidents involving tractor trailers and large trucks. Usually, the car driver is the one who is seriously injured or killed. At Wilson & Hajek, our personal injury attorneys are familiar with the federal regulations that govern trucks and truckers. We also know that in such cases it is very important to obtain the truck driver's log. The driver is supposed to record accurately his hours and other information about his trip. In practice, we have found numerous instance where the driver has not kept good records and in some cases has even kept a double set of books. one for the authorities and one that was real. As a result, we always look for driver fatigue as…

Bypass Effect on Albemarle and Charlottesville Traffic Accidents

As a personal injury lawyer located in the Charlottesville and Albemarle area, I think one aspect of the bypass that has not received a lot of comment is the effect it will have on traffic accidents in the Charlottesville Albemarle Route 29 corridor. One focus of our injury law firm is accidents involving big trucks and tractor trailers. It is hoped that a large number of big rigs and tractor trailers would utilize the proposed bypass. Right now, a major source of the congestion on Route 29 as it meets Route 250 is the presence of these large trucks going to points north and south of Charlottesville. Obviously, a legitimate concern is the amount of diesel pollutants that are emitted by these trucks and the effect of such pollutants on surrounding areas. Is it better to have the trucks on the present route or on the proposed bypass? The answer to that question is not obvious and may never be satisfactorily answered. But, for now, it does look like the bypass is a go.

Francis P.…

Charlottesville Virginia Personal Injury Lawyer

A lot of Charlottesville personal injury lawyers advertise their services on television. In Charlottesville, injury lawyers cover the various stations with ads promising all kinds of services. There are ads in the local Charlottesville newspaper. Our injury firm has an ad in the Yellow Pages. My experience is that the best recommendation is a satisfied client. AS a result, I strive to make sure that I keep every client informed of their case progress. If there are settlement discussions, I keep the client up to date and work with him or her to accomplish the goals we have agreed on for the case. As a result, a lot of our cases are referrals from friends and clients. If you have a legal question, call me.

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, Staunton, Waynesboro

Albemarle Charlottesville Bypass Approved

The Route 29 bypass through Albemarle County and around Charlottesville has been approved. The opposition was fierce. So in several years we will have a way to avoid the congestion at 29 and Hydraulic Rd. Or will we? The chief proponents of the bypass are located in communities to the south of Charlottesville. In particular, Lynchburg representatives pushed hard for approval of the project. A lot of communities, such as Waynesboro, did not have a voice in the decision.As a personal injury attorney, I hope that the bypass will reduce the number of some of the horrible accidents that we see. Unfortunately, truck traffic may increase and speeds on the bypass will probably increase. In the end, more traffic means more accidents and we seem to be headed that way.

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, Staunton, Wayne…

Charlottesville Law Firm Offers Help for Injury Victims

Personal Injury Lawyer Charlottesville Virginia Beach Attorney Offices

Legal representation limited to personal injury law involving auto, truck, motorcycle and pedestrian accidents.

When you undergo a personal injury due to the fault of others, the firm of Wilson & Hajek is available to help solve problems that arise. Our lawyers take a firm, aggressive position to protect the rights of our clients. Our experienced personal injury lawyers immediately gather information about the claim that includes police reports, photos, statements and insurance information that concerns your personal injury.

We inform the insurance company that you are represented by our firm. This means they must have all information filtered through our office. They are no longer able to force one-sided and often damaging statements from the person suffering from a personal injury. This is one of the major protections you can achieve when you immediately hire an experienced personal injury attorney.

You may …

Virginia Cyclist Settles Injury Case for $2.25 Million

A Virginia cyclist has settled her personal injury case for $2.25 million dollars according to a published report from Virginia Lawyers Weekly. The case involved a mild traumatic brain injury as well as serious orthopedic injuries that are expected to result in a hip replacement. The bicycle rider was struck from behind and flew 130 feet in the air. A significant issue in the case was the delay in diagnosis of the brain injury. In my experience, mild traumatic brain injuries are often not apparent until the orthopedic issues resolve. The focus of treatment is on the obvious and brain injuries are often subtle in their signs. For instance, memory issues may be attributed to pain medication. The true origin of the memory is thus not appreciated until the injury victim stops taking the pain medication and finds that the memory problem does not improve. When I obtained a $60 million verdict for a mild traumatic brain injury, the facts were similar. It was several months after the …

Louisa Teen in Fatal Accident

A car accident claimed the life of a Louisa County teen this past week. According to the Charlottesville Daily Progress, the 16 year old attempted to exit her vehicle while it was rolling backwards down a driveway and was crushed. Her car then struck another car in the road. We don't know if it was an equipment failure or just an inexperienced driver losing control of her car. The victim can't tell us what happened. So the only way for a personal injury lawyer to figure out what happened is to bring some experts to look at the scene and the car. A mechanic should look at the car and an accident reconstruction expert can examine the scene and the facts developed by the mechanic. In this case, an explanation is needed and the facts should be developed.

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, Staunton, Waynesbor…

Motorcycle Accident in Charlottesville Area

Personal Injury Attorney Motorcycle Accidents Virginia

The Virginia personal injury law firm of Wilson & Hajek represents seriously injured motorcycle riders. Often the drivers of the vehicles causing the accident state that they just didn�t see the motorcycle. In the Charlottesville area, there have been several recent accidents involving motorcycles and at least one fatality.

Our personal injury law firm represents motorcycle riders. Many motorists treat a motorcycle as if it does not belong on the road. When discussing an accident, the vehicle driver often acts as if the motorcycle rider is invisible. The driver ignores the headlight, the person and the bike. Motorcycle riders have the same road privileges as cars.

To avoid personal injury, motorcycle riders have to drive defensively. They must avoid cars that pull in front of them, cut them off in lanes of traffic and crowd them on the road. The fun is in the ride and we all want to keep it that way. So keep a close look…

Virginia Personal Injury Cases Head to General District Court

A new option for Virginia personal injury plaintiffs is available as of July 1. Cases with a value up to $25,000 may now be filed in Virginia General District Court. The previous limit was $15,000. Personal injury plaintiffs can now take advantage of the shorter time to get a trail date that the district court offers. For smaller cases, it is an option worth looking at as there is also a right of appeal to circuit court if the judge does not make an award that is satisfactory to the plaintiff.For instance, in Albemarle County, a case filed in General District Court will usually be tried within 2 to 3 months. To obtain a jury trial date in circuit court can take a year or longer.

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, Staunton, Waynesboro

FELA Railroad Injury Causation Standard

FELA Railroad Injury Causation Virginia West Virginia Washington DC

Railroad employees should celebrate the recent Supreme Court case of CSX v.McBride. The case upheld the causation standard used in FELA injury cases. The railroad argued unsuccessfully that proximate cause should be the rule. Instead, the court kept in place a causation in the slightest standard. Essentially, this standard is a "but for" causation analysis for determining if a railroad worker should recover for an on the job injury. The significance of this FELA ruling is that railroad employees can continue to make claims and recover for injuries that are remotely caused by the railroad's negligence. For instance, if the lighting in the railroad employee's workplace is problematic, this factor alone can engender a recovery.

Francis P. Hajek Wilson & Hajek, LLC, a personal injury law firm Experienced Injury and Accident Lawyers Serving Virginia, including Albemarle, Charlottesville, Fluv…

Weekend Tragedy - Western Albemarle Student Killed

A traffic accident claimed the life of a Western Albemarle high school student this past weekend. The tragedy seems more immediate as I have a daughter who is a student at Western. The Charlottesville newspaper reports indicate that a Domino's pizza delivery vehicle struck the student as he was crossing Route 250. Albemarle police are investigating the cause but have not issued any statements about the cause of the accident. I am not going to speculate about the fault of either party. The tragedy is too overwhelming at this point. However, an effort should be made to collect information such as witness names and physical evidence, if any exist. Sometime, it is surprising what can be discovered. After over 27 years of law practice in Virginia and other states, I have learned to approach each case without prejudging the facts. All information must be collected as soon as possible. A site visit with an expert witness can provide valuable perspective. In these ways, a perso…

Virginia State Police Increase Patrols on I-64

Virginia State Police have increased their presence on I-64. The increase comes during the summer highway construction season. In Charlottesville and Albemarle County, several highway construction projects are ongoing. Increased patrols are designed to lower injury rates through lower highway speeds. Statistics show that every 10 mile per hour increase in highway traffic speeds results in a 7 percent increase in injuries. Injuries also tend to be more severe as the crashes involve greater speeds. As an injury law firm, we are particularly aware of the impact of high speed collisions and the tragedy that results. Hopefully, the visibility of state troopers will have the desired effect.

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, Staunton, Waynesboro

Railroad Law Update

Railroad Law Virginia FELA Injury Attorney Charlottesville

The U.S. Supreme Court Maintains Rights of Injured Railroad Employees

The U.S. Supreme Court, in a 5 to 4 decision, affirmed that an injured railroad worker only has to show that the railroad�s negligence played �a part � no matter how small � in bringing about the injury�. The June 23, 2011 decision addressed a basic railroad law question concerning the Federal Employer�s Liability Act (FELA).

The decision is a decisive victory for injured railroad workers. It leaves in place a standard set by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1957. In basic terms, it means an injured railroad worker does not have to show proximate cause, but only has to show the negligence of the railroad played a part � no matter how small � in bringing about the injury.

This is a solid victory for railroad workers and for the FELA attorneys who fought the railroads� attempts to change this law. The five judge majority ruled the FELA law intended to establish a…

Charlottesville Monday Morning

Monday morning in Charlottesville.

Fog, rain and gloom will not define the day. Instead, I will be working with an accident reconstruction expert to try to figure out how a car accident happened. Our firm often works with experts in different fields to try to determine what happened to cause an injury or death. Recently, a former railroad engineer and road foreman of engines was able to assist our law firm in determining the braking capabilities of a locomotive engine. This type of interesting exploration of facts makes for an interesting day and, hopefully, a successful injury 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, Staunton, Waynesboro

Teen Drivers and Summertime

According to the Center for Disease Control, teen drivers are four times more likely than older drivers to crash. In fact, every day there are approximately eight teen fatalities resulting from car crashes. In the summertime, this statistic gets worse. Night time driving also doubles the risk for the teen driver. If you have a teen driver in your household, now is the time to educate your teen about the risks of driving. At Wilson & Hajek, we hate to see teenagers injured or killed. Fortunately, there are positive steps that parents can take to avoid serious teen auto accidents. First, establish a zero tolerance policy for alcohol and driving. Second, establish a parent-teenager contract that sets forth the teen's responsibilities. Third, set a positive model for your teen by obeying traffic safety rules. According to the CDC, these steps make a difference and help prevent teen fatalities. For more information about teen driver issues, go to…

Injuries on Amtrak Train From Assault By Passenger

Are we ready for "train marshalls" who ride Amtrak to keep the peace. It may well be time in light of several recent attacks on passengers and crew. Sky marshalls are assigned to airplanes to prevent dangerous incidents. It seems that trains need the same protection. Last week, a passenger on a train headed to Lynchburg, Virginia, assaulted a train crew member shortly after the train left Charlottesville. The train was stopped in Nelson County and the passenger was removed. He proceeded to kick out the window of the police car and assault a deputy. Authorities suspect that the passenger was under the influence of something. Perhaps train crew members need to be equipped with pepper spray or other defensive materials. In any event, some response is needed. Too m any people depend on Amtrak trains for transport to allow a dangerous environment to exist.

Francis P. Hajek Wilson & Hajek, LLC, a personal injury law firm Experienced Injury and Accident Lawyers Serving…

Summer Road Construction and Accidents

Charlottesville Car Accidents - Road Construction - Injury and Accident Lawyers

It is summertime and the driving is not so easy. Charlottesville area road construction projects are creating backups and bottlenecks all over town. In particular, road construction on I-64 has created a daily headache for motorists trying to get past or access Route 29. Several car accidents have resulted as the interstate narrows from two lanes to one. In addition, the exit to south 29 is blocked off. Motorists have to detour through the Ivy exit and double back to exit onto 29 south. This project is just one of many in the Charlottesville and Albemarle area. According to statistics compiled by the Nation Highway Traffic Safey Admnistration, summer months experience the greatest number of accidents. In particular, July and August are the months when accidents seem to occur with the greatest frequency. Interestingly, Saturday is the most dangerous day of the week for auto accidents. So if you are …

Virginia Wrongful Death Act

Virginia Wrongful Death Act | Auto Accident Lawyers Wilson and Hajek Discuss Virginia Law

Charlottesville newspaper, radio and television news reporters have covered the recent tragic death of a teenager in Nelson County. The teenager was a passenger in a car where the driver apparently fell asleep. Even thought the youth was wearing a seatbelt, the violence of the single car accident resulted in death. The civil action concerning the death of a loved one in Virginia by a wrongful act, such as the action of the driver in this auto accident, is usually subject to the Virginia Wrongful Death Statute.

The damages that go to beneficiaries in a Virginia death by wrongful act case, such as an auto, truck, or motorcycle accident, are awarded according to Virginia statutory law. If a person is killed through no fault of their own, the following damages may be awarded by a judge or by a jury:

(1) any sorrow, mental anguish, and loss of solace suffered by the beneficiaries. Solace may include…

Charlottesville Pedestrian Struck and Charged In Accident

Charlottesville police have charged a pedestrian who was struck while crossing a street. He has been charged with crossing outside of the crosswalk. Most of the time, we tend to assume that the driver is at fault when a pedestrian is struck. And, Virginia law provides many protections for pedestrians who are crossing streets at intersections. However, the pedestrian also has a duty to maintain a lookout. Most significantly, the pedestrian will always be the loser in a battle between a car and a human. So even is the pedestrian has the right of way, a lookout is essential. In this case, the pedestrian had a duty to cross at the intersection. Of course, we do not know what the pedestrian will say. The bottom line is that you have to be careful when crossing streets

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, Staunton,…

Texting and Driving Update


Our law firm focuses on accidents and providing personal legal advice to seriously injured persons in Charlottesville and the surrounding counties and cities of Albemarle, Fluvanna, Nelson, Madison, Orange, Staunton, Waynesboro, and Louisa.

Our attorneys represent persons injured in car, truck and motorcycle accidents. Many of the personal injury accident cases that come to our offices in Virginia Beach and Charlottesville, Virginia involved alcohol related car accidents. Lately, we have seen an increase in the number of cases involving cell phone use, with a particular danger associated with texting while driving. Texting and driving is dangerous. Texting and driving is fast overtaking alcohol as the #1 cause of car accidents and serious personal injuries.

A local television reporter recently aired a video of the reporter riding with a state trooper in an unmarked police car. The video recorded drivers on the highway…

Wright Medical Hip Implant Cases in Virginia

Wright Medical hip implant devices and systems are experiencing the same problems that the recalled Johnson & Johnson DePuy hip implant devices have had. The problem revolves around the metal on metal construction of the parts of the device. The metal parts rub together and can release cobalt and chromium into the bloodstream of the patient. The device also causes pain for the recipient through the wearing and grinding of the parts. For instance, I am handling a case in Charlottesville, Virginia where my client received a Wright medical hip implant system in 2007. By 2010, my client was experiencing the same type of pain that had been present before the replacement hip was installed. As a result of the pain and a significant increase in cobalt and chromium levels in blood levels, my client required a second surgery to remove the Wright medical hip implant device and then had a new Johnson & Johnson hip implant device installed which was not of the metal on metal design. …

Virginia Car Accident Lawyers Cover the State


Our office locations allow us to serve auto accident injury victims throughout the State of Virginia for serious injuries ranging from soft tissue to catastrophic brain injuries.

When you are involved in a car accident through no fault of your own, problems crop up immediately: transportation, medical bills, insurance coverage, lost wages, and pain and suffering. These are the things which the lawyers at Wilson & Hajek handle for auto accident victims. From our office in Virginia Beach we cover Portsmouth, Norfolk, Chesapeake and the peninsula. From our office in Charlottesville we cover Albemarle County, Nelson County, Orange County, Madison County, Waynesboro, Staunton, Louisa County, and Fluvanna County.

You can contact us for a free consultation concerning your injuries from a car accident. You should make that contact before you give a statement, either recorded or…

Pedestrian Injuries in Virginia


We represent the injured but at the same time we promote safety. After a vehicle breaks the rules and you sustain an injury, you should contact us. We are currently handling pedestrian injury cases in Charlottesville and Norfolk. Both of the cases involve serious injuries, as would be expected for accidents involving cars and human bodies. Remarkably, both cases involve vehicles failing to stop for pedestrians lawfully crossing the road at an intersection where the pedestrian has the right of way.

Walking is a great activity for exercise. However, both pedestrians and drivers of vehicles must follow the rules to avoid personal injuries or deaths to pedestrians.

Pedestrians must use sidewalks when available. If there are no sidewalks, stay to the extreme left edge of the road and face the oncoming traffic. Pedestrians have the right of way on sidewalks. People…

Charlottesville Virginia Motorcycle Accidents

Eyes Wide Open, Motorcycle Accident Lawyers

Personal injury lawyers know that motorcycle riders must always be on the lookout.

The Virginia law firm of Wilson & Hajek, personal injury lawyers, has represented numbers of motorcycle riders who have been careful and have still been injured. Experienced lawyers know that even if a bike rider keeps his eyes wide open, as Johnny Cash suggested, they are sometimes unable to avoid autos changing lanes, coming out of side streets, driveways, and passing. It seems that the drivers of cars often either overlook or assume the right of way over a motorcycle. In fact, 75% of motorcycle accidents involve collisions with passenger vehicles. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), motorcycle accidents happen at a rate that is 35 times greater per travelled mile when compared to passenger cars. The motorcycle rider must keep a constant vigil for every possible dangerous situation in order to avoid serious persona…