Bergeron Law Firm

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So far Bergeron Law Firm has created 12 blog entries.

Swimming Pool Accidents…a Parent’s Worst Nightmare

Let’s begin with a sad story… a scenario that never had to happen.  Several years ago, on a Sunday afternoon, a young man invited a neighbor over to his mother’s house to help him work on a car.  His neighbor came over and brought his 2 ½ year old child, who played in the front yard while the guys worked on the car in the front driveway.   The house had a swimming pool in the back yard that was surrounded by a fence with a gate.  Initially, the gate was secured by a chain with a lock. A few weeks before, though, the lock was lost.  Instead of replacing the lock, the owner secured the gate by wrapping the chain around the gate and the gate post. At some point as they worked on the car, the men realized that the child was no longer playing in the front yard.  After a frantic search, [...]

By | 2019-06-17T17:31:22+00:00 June 17th, 2019|Injuries to Children, Wrongful Death|

Important Facts About Wrongful Death Cases in Virginia

Tragically, last year, 819 people lost their lives in car crashes on Virginia roads.  While this number is down slightly from the number of traffic-related deaths in 2017, it is still significantly higher than the 700 fatalities that occurred on Virginia roads in 2014, since which the number of deaths has been steadily increasing, suggesting that our roads are getting more congested, and more dangerous. While I pray that you will never need this information, here are some important things to know about cases arising from traffic-related fatalities in Virginia. Who can file a wrongful death suit? Historically, Virginia law is based on English Common Law (law made by the decisions of judges), under which there was no legal right to recover compensation for a death caused by another person’s negligence.  Indeed, under the Common Law, while there was a long-standing right to seek compensation for one’s personal injuries, if the injured person died as [...]

By | 2019-08-06T11:02:23+00:00 May 16th, 2019|Auto Accidents, Wrongful Death|

What Should I Do After a Bicycle Accident in Virginia?

About 20 years ago, when I worked in DC, I used to bike to work from Northern Virginia.  Loved it.  The commute was often the best part of the day, though I’ll admit there were days when I feared the wind would blow me off the Roosevelt Bridge and into the Potomac. I know many people who live in Arlington and Fairfax Counties still do commute by bicycle.  And with spring arriving and the weather improving, more and more people are out and about on their bikes. Unfortunately, more traffic means more possibility of accidents, and the injuries caused by bicycle accidents can be just as bad, and sometimes worse, than those arising from car accidents. What do you do if you’re seriously hurt in an accident while biking?  Can you make a claim against the person who hurt you?  Would that even be covered by insurance? The answer to that last question depends on [...]

By | 2019-08-06T11:03:04+00:00 April 15th, 2019|Bicycle Accidents|

Bicycle Safety and Virginia Law …FAQs

It’s pretty obvious that bicycles lack the many safety features that cars and other vehicles on the road have.  There is no enclosed cabin made of steel and plastic, no airbags, seatbelts, or other built-in safety features.  While riding a bike, you are completely exposed, and often hit the ground, tree, fence, other vehicle, or hard surface head first.  Bicyclists sometimes forget that they are “technically” driving a vehicle and must share the road and follow bicycle and traffic laws.  If you or someone else is injured in an accident involving a bike, failure to do so could impact your case in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Can I ride my bike on the sidewalk? It is legal in Virginia to ride your bike on sidewalks unless prohibited by local ordinances.  If riding on a sidewalk, you must always yield the right of way to pedestrians.  Sidewalks are constructed to keep pedestrians safe.  When attempting to [...]

By | 2019-08-06T11:00:02+00:00 April 12th, 2019|Auto Accidents|

When Should I Call a Personal Injury Attorney?

You’ve been injured due to the recklessness or negligence of another…it could be a car or bike accident, slip and fall, or maybe a dog bite. The insurance company is not being helpful or responsive. They may have offered you a settlement and you don’t know if it’s fair or if you should take it. Medical bills are piling up. You can’t work or need to take time off for physical therapy and doctor appointments. So, you ask yourself this question… Do I need the help of a personal injury lawyer? If you think the answer may be yes, then when is the right time to make a call to an attorney? Your first priority should always be to seek medical attention immediately and have your injuries evaluated and treated. Your second priority should be to speak with a personal injury lawyer about your case. If you have sustained injuries in the accident, especially long-term [...]

By | 2019-03-18T17:48:06+00:00 March 11th, 2019|Post Accident Activities|

I’ve been in a car wreck: Should I call a lawyer?

The short answer is YES! That was probably the answer you expected to hear, especially from a personal injury attorney, but my reasons are probably not what you’re expecting. A good personal injury lawyer can empower you to solve some of the problems arising from the collision yourself. Not everybody who has been in a collision needs to hire and pay a lawyer right away.  But if you’ve been in a car accident, there are things you need to know, questions you need answered, and real-world problems that you need to solve.  For instance: How does insurance work? How do I get my medical bills paid? What happens to my car? How do I get it fixed?  Who pays for the damage? Whose insurance company should pay for the property damage and medical bills? When should I use my own insurance? Should I accept a settlement from the other driver’s insurance company? Should I even [...]

By | 2019-04-09T11:47:36+00:00 February 14th, 2019|Auto Accidents|

7 Steps to Take After a Car Accident in Virginia

You’re on your way to work on the Beltway.  A car in another lane swerves toward you.  You try to avoid it, but . . . crash . . . Over 120,000 automobile accidents occur each year in the Commonwealth of Virginia.  Most involve only property damage… damage to the vehicle, but just over 50% involve personal injury to the driver and/or passengers in the car.  And unfortunately, approximately 750-800 accidents result in a fatality each year. If you or a family member is in a car accident, it is important that you protect yourself and your interests.  Here’s a quick checklist of things you should do immediately after a crash. Stop! Never leave the scene of an accident even if it seems minor and you don’t think anyone was hurt.  Unless your vehicle is interfering with traffic, remain where you ended up after the accident.  Turn on your hazard lights.  If you are in [...]

By | 2019-03-19T11:40:57+00:00 January 11th, 2019|Auto Accidents|

How Child Personal Injury Cases Differ From Adult Cases

Whether walking or biking to school, or riding as a passenger in a car, any accident or serious injury involving a child is a traumatic event to both the victim and her family.  A child’s injuries can be very complex and can affect his life now and into the future, sometimes for the rest of his life.  If the child’s injury arises from the negligence of someone else, it is important to know that the law treats children differently than adults.  Let’s look at some of those differences and how they might affect your case. Children are held to a different standard As I discussed in a previous blog, “Contributory Negligence – Do I Need a Personal Injury Attorney”, Virginia is a contributory negligence state.  Contributory negligence is a rule of law that holds that if two people are involved in a collision and both were negligent in causing the collision, then neither can recover [...]

By | 2019-03-19T11:43:56+00:00 November 21st, 2018|Auto Accidents, Injuries to Children|

Driving After a Concussion . . . Are You Getting Behind the Wheel Too Soon?

For many adults, the ability to drive an automobile is one of the most important factors in ensuring quality of life.  Driving allows one to engage in a wide variety of life activities, including employment, family, social, and community activities that are central to one’s physical and emotional health, identity, happiness, and enjoyment of life.  But a concussion can cause a constellation of symptoms and deficits that can significantly impair our ability to drive.  Because driving can be so central to our lives, though, and because the symptoms and deficits caused by a concussion can be hard to observe and assess, we sometimes return to the road sooner than we should, putting ourselves, our passengers, and others on the road at risk. What is a concussion? A “concussion” is a type of traumatic brain injury - or TBI – usually caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head (direct impact).  In many cases [...]

By | 2019-08-06T11:01:13+00:00 September 25th, 2018|Driving Impaired|

Contributory Negligence… Do I Need a Personal Injury Attorney?

Steve is driving home from work, approaching a 4-way intersection.  Steve does not have a stop sign, but traffic on the side-street, attempting to enter the intersection from Steve’s right or left does, so Steve has the right of way.  Steve is driving in his lane, under the speed limit, doing everything right, except . . . he’s texting.  At the same time, John is driving a car that is approaching the intersection from Steve’s right.  John is in a hurry, is speeding and distracted, and does not see the stop sign.  John blows through the stop sign and the two cars collide.  In the Commonwealth of Virginia, does Steve have a winnable claim against John?  Maybe not.  Why?  Virginia is one of a handful of states that still follows the law of contributory negligence.  Let’s take a look at contributory negligence and how can it affect your potential car accident case? What is contributory [...]

By | 2019-04-09T11:39:51+00:00 August 20th, 2018|Auto Accidents|