Settlements & Verdicts

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In an attempt to curb drunken boating, the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries will be out patrolling for law-breakers this weekend. Operation Dry Water will target boaters who are boozing while operating vessels of all sizes. The efforts are a local extension of a nationwide campaign to crack down on drunken boating. Virginia Conservation Police Officers plan to step up patrols from June 29 through July 1st and ticket boaters they find to be drinking.

The Dangers of Drunken Boating

While we frequently hear about the dangers of drunk driving, boating and booze seem like a natural pairing. After all, many folks hit the water with a cooler full of beer ready to fish or sunbathe. Unfortunately, the effects of drinking are exacerbated by the motion of the water. The sun, wind and noise also contribute to intensifying the effects of alcohol. This can lead folks to slip and fall more easily, or make bad decisions while at the helm of their watercraft.

Injuries, Fines and Beyond

In addition to the increased potential for injuries, the legal consequences of being caught drinking and boating can be significant. Boat operators caught drinking may lose their privileges for a year. Repeat offenders risk even longer penalties. Fines of up to $2,500 and time behind bars is also possible for lawbreakers. As you and your loved ones hit the water this weekend to begin your early July 4th celebrations, remember what is at stake and make choices that enable everyone to safely enjoy the holiday.

Virginia Boating Accident Lawyer Richard Serpe

Richard Serpe has a Masters Degree (LLM) in maritime law from Tulane University School of Law, and has obtained the highest ranking (Proctor) from the Maritime Law Association of the United States. Richard Serpe has years of experiences protecting the rights of those that have been injured on the water. He knows how the insurers will do everything they can to minimize their financial liability, even if it is at the expense of decent treatment for the injured. If you’ve been injured in an accident because of someone else’s negligence, call us for a free case evaluation 877-544-5323.

Traumatic Brain Injury newsletterIt started out like any other day on the water for Elgin “Eddie” Stodghill, a 39 year old tankerman aboard a barge heading up the James River to unload fuel at a Richmond Terminal.  Pulling alongside the dock that August day, Eddie could never have imagined how drastically his life was about to change.

During offloading operations on the vessel, Eddie was required to adjust fuel lines, which were suspended by cables raised and lowered by a boom and winch. Due to a series of management and maintenance errors, the equipment had become extremely dangerous, although not in a manner that would be obvious to the naked eye. During the operations, the winch failed dropping the heavy equipment on Eddie, fracturing his skull and causing a severe brain injury.

Eddie was taken via ambulance to the Medical College of Virginia for an emergency craniotomy and was diagnosed with a fractured wrist, comminuted skull fracture, and intraparanchymal hemorrhage (bleeding in his brain.)

Due to Eddie’s traumatic brain injury, he faced a very long road toward recovery, and sought help in holding the companies responsible for his life altering injury accountable for their negligence.  The insurance companies refused for four long years to pay Eddie just compensation, despite his devastating injuries.

Eddie was considered a longshoreman, and faced special challenges in bringing a claim against the vessel owner. Maritime law presents unique procedures and substantive law that requires substantial experience to undertake. Richard Serpe obtained an advanced degree in maritime law (after graduating from law school) to enable him to assist maritime victims.

After years of negotiating with multiple insurance carriers to exhaust all available polices available to Eddie, his attorneys were able to secure a $3,500,000.00 settlement for him.

Facing long-term significant physical, emotional, and cognitive challenges, our firm assisted Eddie in setting up a financial plan that would carry him through the rest of his life, assuring he would live comfortably and have access to the best care going forward to treat his traumatic brain injury.

*Please understand that all cases are different and the results of one case cannot be used as an indication of what our firm may obtain for a similar case.