Charlottesville Hazmat Scare

Reporting in May from the Charlottesville, Virginia area included an incident of a hazardous materials call, after travelers found white powder on the exterior of a vehicle during morning commuting hours around Monticello Avenue and Blenheim Avenue.

A cursory report showed that the Charlottesville Fire Department investigated the issue and determined the powder was not dangerous.

These kinds of emergency responses may seem insignificant or ordinary, but they are actually central to preserving public health and safety in a local area. Professionals of all kinds are called upon to utilize their skills and experience to make judgment calls in real-time situations, and to do their best to keep a local population safe.

From hazardous materials calls to 911 calls, from fires and earthquakes to criminal behavior and unsafe premises scenarios, local law enforcement and fire departments deal with a wide range of community issues. So do Charlottesville car accident lawyers or other legal teams called upon to be the voice for an injury victim in local courts. Those who work in these fields have a developed understanding of how a single public safety issue has a ‘domino effect’ in terms of emergency response, public danger and eventual containment.

Virginia injury lawyers who are representing clients in court look beyond the basic facts in an injury case to understand the full context of what happened on a particular day, in a particular place. These legal teams need to do detailed research to understand whether any kind of third-party negligence or lack of public safety contributed to an injury and accident. They need to have knowledge of not only the law, but the local realities in the Charlottesville/Albemarle community: what emergency response systems are in place? What safety precautions are proper for the community?

Something as trivial as white powder isn’t really trivial to someone who is trained to understand emergency response and public safety. Even hazardous materials calls that don’t result in actual threats can have their own secondary risks, including different kinds of chaos like secondary vehicle accidents and unpredictable activity by individuals who may be upset by possible hazmat threats.

This is just one kind of individual instance that shows how public officials, law enforcement departments and local Virginia injury lawyers keep an eye on what’s happening in the community to do their jobs well.

Virginia Injury Lawyers 

Virginia residents can get qualified, experienced legal advice from the Charlottesville car accident lawyers at Martin Wren, P.C. Our firm has a history of helping Charlottesville families and understanding the realities of the local community. We know what’s common in local courts and we understand how to present clients with their best options for legal action or litigation. Let us help find a way toward equitable compensation after an accident.

MartinWren, P.C.’s Ron Wiley Elected to Board of Governors of Virginia State Bar Real Property Section

Ronald D. Wiley, Jr., Of Counsel with MartinWren, P.C., was elected to the Board of Governors of the Virginia State Bar Real Property Section at the section’s annual meeting in Virginia Beach on June 13. The 12-member Board of Governors oversees the work of the Real Property Section, one of the largest sections of the Virginia State Bar. Ron Wiley has served as an Area Representative for the section since 2011 and has taught continuing education courses co-sponsored by the Real Property Section and Virginia CLE for many years. His article, A House Pet by Another Name?, was published in the current issue of the FEE SIMPLE, the Real Property Section’s newsletter.

Charlottesville Family Claims GM Defect Negligence in Lawsuit

After a local tragedy where a 20-year-old was killed in a car accident in Albemarle County, the family is suing General Motors.

The wrongful death suit focuses on the ignition switch defects, and is getting filed in federal court.

The GM defects in question have become fodder for various different news outlets and television shows, where broadcasters have put a big spotlight on the historic actions of the company around defects that many allege were covered up over a period of years. Citing the death toll from these defects, injury lawyers and others are pursuing activities against the company, to make sure that these kinds of corrupt practices by auto manufacturers do not increase in the future. Through executive changes and reactions to hearings and press events, GM has still not put to rest the outrage over these problems that make vehicles into more dangerous machines.

Communications and More

Some of the egregious details in this GM negligence case point to how callous and uncaring some of these companies seem to be in handling real consequences around their products.

Reports from local news venues show that the grieving family actually started receiving recall notices after the crash and were unable to get the company to stop sending these communications. It’s easy to see how this kind of blatant disregard will motivate families to pursue broader litigation or otherwise try to punish a company that seems extremely out of touch with the real and tragic results of inattention to public safety. Adding insult to injury, firms that fail to help families grieve are part of an extremely volatile controversy around honoring those who fall prey to some of the worst kinds of defective product accidents.

Charlottesville Car Accident Lawyers: Legal Responses

When called upon to represent clients in court, our Virginia Personal Injury Lawyers will take product liability and other factors into account to help compensate injury victims or the families of deceased victims. This involves doing specific fact-finding on the case and applying local, state and federal law while understanding what’s normal or common in a local court. 

Get Help from Charlottesville Car Accident Lawyers

If you or someone in your family has been injured in a local accident, get help from a Virginia injury law firm at MartinWren, P.C. Our Virginia Personal Injury Lawyers have helped many Virginia families to collect compensation for loved ones injuries. We will keep you informed about your case and help bring a personal right injury or wrongful death case forward. Let a Virginia injury law firm assist your family in getting what you deserve under the law.

For more information about our GM recall lawyers, please call MartinWren, P.C.’s Virginia Personal Injury Lawyers at (434) 817-3100.

VDOT Accommodates Holiday Travelers for July 4

The Virginia Department of Transportation is ramping up various activities to help meet the needs of drivers and passengers for this Fourth of July season.

Recent press releases last week show VDOT will lift lane closures and make other fixes to accommodate larger than usual traffic over the Fourth of July weekend from Thursday, July 3 two Saturday, July 5.

Other VDOT Activities

VDOT has also developed traffic tools for better on-road communications. These include a 511 Virginia service and the new signage around the Hampton Roads area to help drivers understand how to get to beach communities toward the south. These services can help drivers to factor in traffic conditions in real-time.

511 Virginia is available as a mobile app and also featured on a website. There’s also voice service from telephone interfaces.

New “Reach the Beach” signs and travel times can help deal with massive congestion around areas of southeastern Virginia. Traditionally, the I-64 corridor between Richmond and Norfolk has been a major source of headaches for commuters and others, served by a radio service that provides congestion information. These new tools will be useful in helping Virginia communities to respond to unusually high traffic volumes in areas like route 168 around Chesapeake.

VDOT Outreach to Drivers

VDOT is also asking drivers to be responsible on the road, to share the road and consider existing speed limits, and to also limit cell phone distractions and stay alert behind the wheel. VDOT is also asking drivers to follow Virginia’s ‘Move Over Law’ which helps handle traffic issues with stalled vehicles or other vehicles that are stopped with flashing lights in a travel lane or by the side of the road.

Charlottesville Car Accident Lawyers: Helping Traffic Accident Victims

Professional Virginia injury lawyers understand the kinds of factors that go into the average traffic injury, and how to represent Virginia clients in court. Charlottesville car accident lawyers look at whether any kind of negligence or inattention to public safety was a factor in an accident, to help get an injury victims family the best access to settlements or awards that could help cover the cost of care and recovery.

Call Virginia Personal Injury Lawyers

Look for qualified help from Virginia personal injury lawyers at MartinWren, P.C. in the Charlottesville area when someone in your family is suffering because of someone else’s mistakes. We help injury victims to access their rights under the law, to protect their futures and get money needed for all of the costs and hardships they will face. Get Charlottesville car accident lawyers on your side to fight for the money that you deserve and to get equitable treatment in Virginia courts.

For a free consultation with a Virginia personal injury lawyer, please call Kirk D. Becchi at (434) 817-3100.

Rockingham Plans Small Business Assistance

New efforts by some Virginia counties show the kinds of help that small businesses often need getting on their feet, and growing over time.

April reports from online publications like, passed on from the local Daily Record, show that around Harrisonburg, Virginia and other nearby towns, Rockingham County officials are helping to encourage small business growth through a dedicated program to develop public resources.

Rockingham County will help businesses to develop market analysis and other parts of business plans, as well as consulting on advertising. The meeting at Elkton Community Center will be part of the process for ramping up this program, which has the potential to foster more small business development in the downtowns of some of the small Virginia communities. In particular, a quote from Elkton Councilman Josh Gooden reveals that the town of Elkton may be underserved by downtown businesses, and that there may be a lot of room for development there.

Business Litigation Lawyers and Small Businesses

Small businesses need good business plans and other planning tools in order to be successful, including in rural communities like areas of Rockingham County or other Virginia counties like Albemarle. But these businesses also often need dedicated legal representation and counsel as they grow, in order to handle risk management, and that’s where Virginia business litigation attorneys come in.

Professional Virginia business lawyers help businesses to understand the world that they compete in, and how to shield themselves from some of the biggest dangers that could eventually lead to bankruptcy and business failure. Using local Virginia business litigation attorneys, small business leaders chart a course for their operations and steer clear of major problems involving litigation, non-compliance, dangerous behaviors by employees, and other risks that could otherwise upset the apple cart.

In addition, skilled business lawyers in Virginia and elsewhere really help business leaders to access the information that they need about their fields and industries. These legal professionals make a habit of showing their clients what’s standard, not just in industry, but in a local area that has its own rules and ordinances for business operations. Businesses truly benefit from a relationship with trusted and qualified counsel that can act as an advocate in an array of scenarios involving legal challenges.

Business Litigation Attorneys in Albemarle Co., Virginia

Charlottesville businesses and others around the Albemarle County area or elsewhere in Virginia can get good legal advice from the Virginia business litigation attorneys at MartinWren, P.C. Our skilled business lawyers will help clients come up with plans that will truly support business operations in the years to come. This helps business owners and leaders rest easy, knowing that they have qualified counsel in place to help them weather any storm, and to keep them a reputable and established part of their local community.

Traffic Changes in Downtown Charlottesville?

The Charlottesville City Council has a lot planned for future improvements to downtown areas, partially to make the city more attractive and fun to live in, and also to lower certain kinds of public risks.

The online periodical Charlottesville Tomorrow reported April 20 on various plans for changes along Charlottesville’s West Main St., including areas of the University of Virginia campus and downtown mall.

Reports include a $340,000 price tag for projects consulted by an Alexandria-based firm. Results will include more safety infrastructure for bicyclists and pedestrians in a crowded downtown area where traffic congestion, and the interaction of different kinds of traffic, has been a problem.

City Council Philosophy

This article extensively quotes city council member Kathy Galvin and her explanation of the difference between ‘go to’ and ‘go through’ streets. While some types of express streets are all about accommodating traffic, Galvin talks about areas of West Main as ‘go to’ areas that are more about different kinds of slower traffic, which means that safety involves slowing things down. For example, some traffic signals in the new plan may be replaced by roundabouts.

Planning deliberate public spaces takes a lot of the burden off of individuals, businesses and local governments to manage public safety. On the other hand, lack of planning can create the conditions for high rates of public accidents. By taking on some of these safety issues at a higher level, the city is providing for its residents. Within this framework, businesses and residents also have responsibilities: to keep owned properties safe and in conformance with local ordinances, to drive safely and operate business vehicles carefully, and generally, to look out for others in busy areas.

Downtown Development and Public Safety

The kinds of improvements planned for Charlottesville are one factor in often complex equations surrounding traffic accident and personal injury cases. A local Virginia injury law firm with experience representing injury victims understands that the unfortunate accident scenarios its clients face often resulted from a greater context involving individual choices as well as public planning.

From the time that a local personal injury lawyer is hired to represent a client, he or she will be looking at getting all of the facts around an accident to determine whether negligence or lack of attention to safety was a factor. Virginia injury law firm legal teams look to provide clients with opportunities for legal settlements to get compensated for their injuries. In a world where individual drivers and other at-fault parties often don’t have funds to contribute, getting qualified legal representation is extremely important for injury victims and their families.

Virginia Injury Law Firm

If you or someone you love has been injured in a Virginia traffic accident, talk to the lawyers at MartinWren, P.C. Our Virginia Personal Injury Lawyers have experience helping Charlottesville residents and other Virginians take their cases to court, and to get settlements or verdicts for the costs of care, recovery and more. Let us help you to get justice after you suffer harm from someone else’s fault.

Midway Manor Residents Talk Safety

In some cases, it takes concerned citizens to really raise the attention of officials toward real public threats in their communities. One example was reported on in April by local Charlottesville newspapers where residents at the Midway Manor community on South Street near Ridge McIntyre Rd. brought up traffic issues to the city council.

As with some other streets near the downtown Mall area, pedestrians often cross South Street to get to busy downtown areas. A lot of seniors also use this particular route, and some of them are reporting problems with sight distances that, if not tended to, could be trouble for pedestrians.

Seniors living nearby point out that their route is a straight line down toward the mall, but they have problems anticipating traffic coming down the street toward them as they cross. Residents have suggested signage, as well as removing parking areas near the intersection to provide better sight distances. These common sense solutions help to keep everyone safe in urban or downtown areas where vehicles and people often interact.

Traffic, Pedestrians and City Planning

These kinds of issues are really critical to public planning. They involve the usual concerns about traffic safety, combined with specific issues about pedestrian crossings, where city planners really have to look at the threat of the vehicles hitting pedestrians. There’s also the issue of creating safe spaces for local seniors and elderly citizens, who may cross more slowly and may have problems seeing or hearing oncoming traffic.

Virginia Personal Injury Lawyers and Public Planning

Local Virginia personal injury lawyers understand some of the biggest public safety threats in a Virginia town or city. When they counsel clients on bringing a personal injury lawsuit forward, these legal professionals use knowledge of case precedent, as well as knowledge of federal, state and local rules on public safety — that includes local ordinances and other realities in a particular community that need to be addressed as a specific case is being brought forward. Injury victims rely on personal injury attorneys to make sure that their interests are well represented in court. Often, an accident injury involves more than one contributing factor, and dedicated personal injury legal teams do the research and fact-finding to assess whether other parties may have responsibility to pay injury victims.

Local Virginia Injury Lawyers in Charlottesville

Personal injury victims in Virginia can get help from the law offices of MartinWren, P.C. Call our Virginia injury lawyers and ask about a personal injury case, to understand the context of your accident and injury, and what kinds of settlements may be possible. We’ve helped many Charlottesville families and others get access their rights under the law when negligence or inattention to public safety contributed to an accident. Let us help your family to get what you need for the costs of care and recovery, and more.

For a free consultation with a Virginia personal injury lawyer, please call Jonathan T. Wren at (434) 817-3100.

Local Review of Funding for Virginia Communities

Some recent communication between the state attorney general and various local officials in Virginia communities can be an informative topic for local businesses.

Reporting from the Daily Progress in March shows the state attorney general’s office in meetings with local boards from areas like Charlottesville and Albemarle, as well as other areas of Virginia, talking about funding for some top community issues. One of them is mental health and related behavioral problems within local areas.

Virginia Communities: Public Administration and Public Policy

Some areas of Virginia have struggled with these kinds of administrative problems for a long time. Systems involving the improper warehousing of the mentally ill or mentally disabled, along with high rates of recidivism in local justice systems, can add a lot of instability to life in a Virginia town or county.

Some of the most common issues with local courts and mental health facilities are related to a historic development of social services, and others reflect the changing needs and demographics of resident communities. Regardless, they are pressing problems for those who chart a course for Virginia’s future.

Virginia Business Litigation Attorneys and The Needs of Local Businesses

Businesses in Virginia also need to look out for their responsibilities and sources of liability. In many cases, that means looking at infrastructure and specific workplace protocols within an industry. But some workplace issues can also touch on the wider behavior issues that state officials are contemplating as they look at how to reduce crime rates or deal with relatively unstable populations.

Simply put, businesses need to anticipate the challenges they might face around their operations, for example, if a mentally ill individual, a criminal or an unstable person is able to access vital systems or otherwise compromise public health and safety. This may sound like an ‘outlier’ kind of situation, but it is a component of the kinds of risk management that Virginia business litigation attorneys suggest for Virginia businesses.

Businesses face a wide range of risks. Some of them have to do with the everyday operations that support core processes like selling products and services. Others have to do with the business real estate that a company holds and opens to the public. Beyond that there are many workplace safety issues that relate to worker’s compensation claims, or other kinds of personal injury claims brought by workers.

Getting Legal Help in Virginia

Virginia businesses can get qualified and professional counsel from the Virginia business litigation attorneys at MartinWren, P.C. Our firm has been helping Virginia companies to navigate the finer points of federal, state and local law for years, and we understand a lot of the challenges that businesses face. Let us help you to safeguard your business plan and prevent various kinds of legal problems in the future.

No US 29 Bypass

After much discussion and wrangling, the verdict is finally in on a new western bypass for U.S. Route 29 around Charlottesville, Virginia. Reporting from the Daily Progress March 19 indicated that the transportation advisory panel has terminated the bypass project. Part of this, according to what’s coming out about the project, is related to the request of the Federal Highway Administration, which had asked the state to find alternatives.

A Burden To Protect

The newspaper coverage around last month’s bypass activity clues readers in that boards are now trying to make tough decisions about how to handle high-traffic areas of Route 29. There is a suggestion that the 10-member local panel is working on a tight deadline, and there is also the indication in a quote by state transportation secretary Aubrey Layne that there hasn’t been much talk about “congestion mitigation” – the report details political grievances and other mitigating factors in a long-term process, but just like the deliberations on the bypass, it doesn’t really go into how officials plan to provide safety for local residents. Virginia injury law firm teams will be looking at how local planners support a safe environment on Charlottesville and Albemarle roadways.

Congested Traffic Areas and Traffic Safety 

Locals understand that congested areas of Route 29 present their own challenges to drivers and passengers. It’s often those congested transportation corridors where high rates of accidents occur, especially with sudden lane changes or other events like roadwork. High-traffic corridors have to be set up safely in order to handle large volumes of traffic, and they have to have appropriate safety signage and other public safety apparatus in place, along with serviceable road conditions.

Assessing Local Factors in Car Accidents

Lawyers working for a Virginia injury law firm will look at areas like U.S. 29 to assess whether local planners implemented correct safety precautions for residents. This is just one aspect of helping personal injury clients, including auto accident victims, to find ways to collect compensation for their costs and hardships as they struggle on the long road toward full recovery.

Personal injury lawyers in the state of Virginia work on both a proactive and a prescriptive basis. They help their clients to get around any restrictions or limitations posed by Virginia or local law, as well as federal law and guidelines. At the same time, they help clients to document a case in order to get a better chance of successful resolution.

Car Accident Lawyers in Virginia

At MartinWren, P.C., we help local personal injury victims get just awards for their case. As a top Virginia injury law firm, we have a lot of experience working with state and local statutes to help families care for the needs of an injured family member – call us at (434) 817-3100 to ask about the details of putting together a personal injury claim in Virginia.

Drone Operator Fined by FAA

In local business litigation cases, Virginia business litigation attorneys look at some very interesting cases of outside parties trying to impose costs on an enterprise. There is a fine line between the actual risks and liabilities that business operations generate, and other charges that may be effectively countered and dismissed in court.

An interesting example of a case against a local business was reported on in the Daily Progress March 6, where federal courts dismissed a legal challenge from the Federal Aviation Administration after marketers who used a drone to record aerial footage over Charlottesville’s UVA Medical Center.

FAA Charges

In this case, reports specify that the FAA imposed a $10,000 fine on the drone’s operators, charging that the operator flew without a pilot certificate and flew in “a careless or reckless manner.”

Interestingly, the agency produced actual instances of recklessness in the report, which included proximity to campus infrastructure and pedestrians, as well as intrusion into the airspace around the hospital’s helicopter landing port.

Professional Virginia business litigation attorneys can also take cues from the findings in this case, which involved an assertion by the National Transportation Safety Board that the FAA does not currently have “enforceable regulations” on certain types of remotely controlled aerial vehicles, often called “unmanned aerial vehicles,” or UAVs. This is a big issue, because these vehicles are actually being operated all over the country, and need to be regulated in some way. However, the local business in question was able to avoid liability through the use of competent legal counsel and a willingness to go through court procedures to clear its name.

Business Liability Counsel in Virginia

Virginia businesses benefit from securing competent and qualified legal representation when they encounter charges from local governments, federal regulators or any other parties. Some businesses keep counsel on retainer, and some shop for this kind of representation as needed.

The sorts of challenges presented above are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to anticipating business liability. Some common categories of business litigation are related to the “everyday activities” of business operations, where others stem from new projects, special events or other relatively uncharted waters. Either way, businesses that have an imposed system of insurance coverage and competent counsel can shield themselves from sudden legal problems.

In Charlottesville and around the state of Virginia, businesses can get help from experienced Virginia business litigation attorneys from the offices of MartinWren, P.C. At MartinWren, P.C., our lawyers have helped many businesses to handle risk and challenge legal liability. Call us at (434) 817-3100 to let us help your enterprise keep a reputation for excellence and handle anything that comes your way.