Tag: accident

What To Do When You Are Involved In A Traffic Accident

What To Do When You Are Involved In A Traffic Accident

Getting into an automobile accident will almost always be a frightening experience. It will certainly be frustrating and will most likely become expensive. However, with some advance preparation and by following a few steps, you may find that surviving a car accident is possible, even under the worst conditions.

Chesterfield County, Virginia reckless driving
Scene of the reckless driving accident in Chesterfield County, VA

How to Prepare Before an Accident Happens

Whether you have one car or several, each one of your automobiles should be outfitted with some emergency supplies and an emergency safety kit. There are a few things such as a spare tire, an owner’s manual, and paperwork, such as the registration and insurance information, that are probably kept in your car at all times. There are several other items to include, however, that will make your response to an accident easier or could even save your life in certain situations.

  • Jack, jumper cables, sealant for tires, filled toolbox, important fluids, fuses, spare headlamps, gas can
  • Emergency blanket, bottled water, snack food, fire extinguisher, gloves, first aid kit, auto escape tool
  • Paper, pen, emergency contact phone numbers, cell phone, battery-powered radio
  • Flashlight, fire extinguisher, duct tape, flares

Step-by-step Response to an Accident

  1. Safely Stop Your Car

It is illegal all over the country to leave the scene of an accident. So, whether you bumped another car while parking, you were rear-ended on a highway, or you involved in a major pile-up, always find a safe place to park and promptly pull over. This doesn’t mean that you can leave the scene and park a mile away, either. Just be sure that you have moved out of traffic and that you aren’t creating another dangerous situation. If you are tempted to just drive off, remember that you could be held legally and criminally liable if you leave.

  1. Get Help For Anyone With Injuries

When you are involved in a multiple person accident, you are somewhat responsible for the welfare of everyone else who was involved. You must proceed with caution, however. Begin by asking the other people if they are okay. If anyone has been hurt, call 911 or the police to get professional assistance. If you attempt to administer any time of medical care without the appropriate training, you could cause a great deal of damage. This will only make a bad situation worse.

  1. Call the Police

If there are no injuries, you will still need to contact the police. These officials will talk to the different people involved in the accident and may have questions for any witnesses. Most of the time, you won’t be able to get payments or assistance from you insurance company without the official police report. No matter how small you may feel the damage to your own car is, you will need to involve the police. This step will protect all of the parties and is vital to receiving coverage through your insurance company.

  1. Gather Information

As you share your information and gather information from the other people involved, it will be very important that you share and receive the following five pieces of information:

  • First and last names
  • Current addresses, phone numbers and other contact information
  • License plate numbers and driver’s license numbers
  • Name of the insurance companies and contact information
  • Make, model and year of the other involved cars
  • A record of the time and date of the accident, the location of the accident, the types of injuries and how bad the injuries appeared
  • Name and badge identification for the police officers who are at the scene of the accident

If you have the resources available, you may want to snap a few pictures of the accident and the area where the accident occurred. If any court proceedings result from the accident, you will be glad that you were prepared with the added information.

  1. Get Medical Attention

Even if you are feeling fine right after the accident, it is important that you get medical attention. You may want to head into a local hospital or you might be able to schedule a visit with your primary medical care giver. Hopefully, you will be given a clean bill of health. However, if you begin to suffer from symptoms which are a result of the accident and you had NOT visited with a doctor, then you probably won’t get any kind of assistance from your insurance company.

Prevention Is the Safest Course

Car Accident

The very best way to survive an accident is to prevent one from occurring. This isn’t possible in all situations, but you can take some steps to make it more likely. Consider enrolling in a defensive driving class or consulting with your auto insurance provider. These are two great resources for finding information about safe driving, being prepared for an accident and how to best respond.

Drive safely!

 

Can a Reckless Driving Charge Be Expunged?

Can a Reckless Driving Charge Be Expunged?

Many people are very surprised to find out how serious a Reckless Driving charge is in Virginia. And for good reason. Reckless Driving in Virginia is a Class 1 Misdemeanor, which is a lot more serious than a typical non-criminal traffic offense such as Speeding or Failing to Obey a Highway Sign. Reckless Driving carries a maximum penalty of 12 months in jail, a $2,500 fine and a 6 month suspension of your driver’s license. While it is certainly true that most Reckless Driving cases simply involve a fine, and in some cases involving speeds in excess of 90 miles per hour a short jail sentence and/or license suspension, the ramifications of simply being convicted of a criminal offense like Reckless Driving are very significant. For some, it means a loss of a security clearance. For others is means loss of employment. And yet for others it means a serious conviction on their record and auto insurance problems.

suspened-license-virginia.jpg

As a result, clients often ask whether a Reckless Driving charge in Virginia can be expunged from their record. Often, the answer is no, it cannot be expunged. Under Virginia law, a person’s criminal charge can be expunged from their criminal record only when the charge is dismissed or an order of nolle proseque is entered in the matter. Moreover, a charge that has been dismissed can only be expunged when the dismissal is not a result of a judge finding that there were sufficient facts to enter a conviction but instead of entering the conviction the judge took the case under advisement to give the defendant an opportunity to have the case dismissed anyway. Expungment generally requires the dismissal be related to innocence of the defendant.

The vast majority of dismissals in Virginia Reckless Driving cases, particularly those cases where the charge is reckless driving by speed (over 80 miles per hour or 20 miles per hour over the posted speed limit), are a result of the judge taking the case under advisement for a period of time to allow the defendant to do driving school. Upon completion of driving school the judge may dismiss or reduce the charge. Consequently, these cases would likely not qualify for expungment under Virginia law. Indeed, even cases that were dismissed because the judge hearing the evidence does not believe the facts support a Reckless Driving conviction often do not require expungment because there is no record of the charge on the defendant’s “criminal record.” Reckless Driving convictions often only appear on the defendant’s “traffic record,” and if a Virginia judge dismisses the Reckless Driving charge in court, it is often the case that no mention of the charge would appear on the person’s traffic record.

As you can clearly see, since there often is no opportunity for an expungment of a Reckless Driving charge it is imperative to hire a good traffic attorney who can achieve the very best result possible on the case. If the attorney does achieve a great result, there will often be no need for an expungment. As they say, an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure.

The Weiland Firm, PLC is a leading firm of VA DUI Attorneys

Call (804) 355-8037 for a free consultation

CDL Driver Charged with Reckless Driving in Richmond

Virginia Reckless Driving Accident in Richmond

reckless driving Richmond, VA
Venable is charged with reckless driving for an accident on I-95 at exit 74A in Richmond, VA

State Police have charged a driver with reckless driving following a single-vehicle tractor trailer accident on Interstate 95 in Richmond, VA. Police were forced to close the exit ramp to the Downtown Expressway at exit 74 for almost eight hours while the wreck of an overturned tractor trailer was being cleared from the roadway.

The accident occurred around 11 PM when the driver of a 2002 International tractor trailer carrying dual trailers lost control of the vehicle, causing the truck to hit the jersey wall on the ramp. The second trailer then flipped on its side. The driver, fifty-six year old Wiley F. Venable, Jr. was not injured in the crash. No other vehicles were involved.

Virginia State Police say that speed was a factor in the wreck. Cautionary signs along the exit ramp advise drivers to slow down to 25 miles per hour when exiting the interstate.

The contents of both trailers had to be loaded onto a second truck before the flipped trailer could be turned upright. The ramp was reopened the next morning around 7 AM, causing slight delays in commuter traffic heading northbound into downtown Richmond.

Mr. Venable, of Midlothian, faces a reckless driving charge and must appear in court in the City of Richmond, Virginia.

Need a Virginia Reckless Driving Lawyer?

Call The Weiland Firm, PLC at (804) 355-8037 for a free consultation

Reckless Driving Accident on I-95 in Chesterfield, VA

Reckless Driving Crash in Chesterfield County, Virginia

Chesterfield County, Virginia reckless driving
Scene of the reckless driving accident in Chesterfield County, VA

A man has been charged with reckless driving following an accident in Chesterfield County, Virginia. Robert M. Krill was charged with reckless driving after running a rented U-Haul truck into a vehicle stationed on the shoulder of Interstate 95, killing one man and shutting down I-95 southbound for hours.

Virginia State Police responded to a two-vehicle accident on Interstate 95 southbound at mile marker 64 in Chesterfield County, VA.

Steven Ridley, 35, of Richmond, VA had stopped his 2010 Chrysler 300 M on the right shoulder of the interstate and activated his hazard lights. He was in the process of changing a flat tire. Krill’s U-Haul truck ran off the right side of the interstate, hitting both Ridley and the Chrysler.

Ridley died at the scene. His 14-year-old son was also outside of the vehicle helping his father change the tire. He was uninjured. Ridley’s daughter was seated in the front passenger seat at the time of the accident and suffered minor injuries.

Krill was wearing a seatbelt at the time of the accident and suffered serious, non-life threatening injuries.

The Virginia State Police say the investigation is ongoing. They are working with the Chesterfield County Commonwealth’s Attorney to determine if they will press further charges against Krill.

Robert M. Krill is charged with reckless driving in Chesterfield County, Virginia.

The Weiland Firm, PLC is a leading firm of Virginia Reckless Driving Lawyers

Contact us at (804) 355-8037 for a free consultation

Deadly DUI in Hanover County, Virginia

Man Charged in Deadly Hanover, Virginia DUI

Hanover County, Virginia DUI
The wreckage of Lawrence’s SAAB following the DUI crash

Police in Hanover County, Virginia have charged a man with DUI. Fifty-six-year old Richard E. Lawrence, Jr. was arrested in connection with a deadly accident occurring in Mechanicsville on Saturday night.

The accident occurred shortly before 9 PM. Lawrence was driving a 1999 Saab on Pole Green Road in Hanover County, VA when his vehicle crossed the center line, colliding head on with a 2002 Chevrolet Blazer in the opposite lane. The Chevy Blazer was occupied by a woman and three children, ages two, six and seven.

When emergency crews responded to the accident, the Saab was on fire. The victims were rushed to the hospital. A female victim in Lawrence’s vehicle was pronounced dead at VCU Medical Center in Richmond, VA. Her name has not been released. Lawrence remains at VCU Medical Center. The remaining four victims who occupied the other vehicle were treated at VCU Medical Center and released. Police say the surviving victims are recovering well.

According to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Hanover County Police are continuing their investigation and speaking with witnesses. A police spokesman has said that additional charges against Lawrence are being evaluated in conjunction with the Hanover Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office.

Richard E. Lawrence, Jr. is charged with DUI in Hanover County, Virginia.

The Weiland Firm, PLC is a leading firm of Virginia DUI Lawyers

Call (804) 355-8037 for a free consultation

Richmond Football Player Guilty of Virginia Reckless Driving

Richmond, VA Football Player Guilty of Reckless Driving

VA Reckless Driving, hit and run
Jimmy Speros pled guilty to reckless driving in Richmond, VA

A University of Richmond football player recently pled guilty to reckless driving in a Richmond, Virginia traffic court. James L. Speros, Jr. was charged with reckless driving and hit and run following an accident in Richmond’s West End.

Speros pled guilty to misdemeanor reckless driving and misdemeanor hit and run. The misdemeanor hit and run charge was reduced from a felony. Speros was fined $1,000 and given twelve-month suspended jail sentence.

The incident occurred in February when Speros drove his pickup truck through a stop sign, hitting an SUV and causing it to strike a brick wall. The two occupants of the SUV were injured.

Speros walked away from the scene and was arrested three days later for hit and run. According to the Richmond Sheriff’s Office, he faced a magistrate and was given a $3,500 unsecured bond before being released.

Jimmy Speros is an offensive lineman for the University of Richmond Spiders. He is also the son of noted NFL coach Jim Speros.

University of Richmond Director of Athletics Jim Miller said Speros has been allowed to continue on-campus football activities, including practice, but that no decision had been made as to reinstating him fully in the university’s football program.

Speros was found guilty of hit and run and reckless driving in Richmond, Virginia.

The Weiland Firm, PLC is a leading firm of Virginia Reckless Driving Lawyers

Call (804) 355-8037 for your free consultation

Driver Not Guilty of Reckless Driving in Spotsylvania

Driver Charged with Reckless Driving after Hitting Virginia Radio Host

reckless driving, Spotsylvania, Virginia
Brian Strobel (pictured) was struck by a vehicle while walking his dog. Ralph Rupillo was accused of reckless driving in his death.

A Virginia man has been found not guilty of reckless driving in Spotsylvania, VA. He was accused of reckless driving in an incident that killed noted local radio personality Brian Strobel.

Ralph Thomas Rapillo was charged with reckless driving when his vehicle ran off the road and struck Strobel.

Judge Ricardo Rigual ruled in Spotsylvania County General District Court the evidence was not sufficient in supporting a reckless driving charge. He declared Rapillo not guilty.

The accident occurred in the early evening hours of March 7, 2012 as Rapillo was driving his 2001 Nissan near Harris Mill Court in Spotsylvania. His vehicle ran off the street, hit a mailbox and struck Strobel who was walking his dog off the roadway.

Strobel was thrown onto the hood of the vehicle and then to the ground where he was run over. He was pronounced dead on the scene. The vehicle then hit a garbage receptacle before coming to a stop in a nearby yard.

Rapillo stopped at the scene and dialed 911. It is unsure what caused Rapillo to lose control of his vehicle. Police say weather conditions were clear and there were no signs of drug or alcohol use. Phone records also show that the accused was not on his cellular device at the time of the accident.

Mark Gardner, Rapillo’s defense attorney, argued there was no evidence his client was driving recklessly: “The mere fact that an accident occurred does not automatically mean it was reckless driving. Mr. Rapillo has civil liability, not criminal.”

The Court agreed. Ralph Thomas Rapillo was found not guilty of reckless driving in Spotsylvania County, Virginia.

Do you need to speak with a Virginia Reckless Driving Lawyer?

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