Posts by Ed Atkinson


In February 2021 Virginia car accident attorney Ed Atkinson concluded a $225,000 settlement for a Gloucester youth injured in a serious motor vehicle accident.  When the pickup truck in which he was a passenger took a turn too fast it left the roadway and struck a guardrail and a trial.  The young man fractured his femur and had to be lifted by air ambulance to a Newport News hospital for immediate surgery.  His surgical team inserted a steel rod into the femur.  With extensive physical therapy the youth has returned to his normal activities and career training.


Virginia dog bite lawyer Ed Atkinson secured a policy limit settlement from a homeowner’s insurance policy in a serious dog bite claim in early 2021.  The incident took place in the days following Thanksgiving when a pit bull attacked a woman over a plate of leftovers, causing permanent injury to her face including the loss of an eye.  Multiple surgeries were required at enormous cost.  A major factor in the case was negotiating for a substantial reduction in the client’s health insurance provider’s lien.  Without significant reductions, the client’s medical bills would have devoured all the the proceeds from the homeowner’s policy in question.  This dog bite claim settlement underscores two points.  First, owners of certain dog breeds should be required to carry liability policies in sufficient amount to compensate those injured through negligence.  Second, health insurance companies should be severely limited in their ability to pursue subrogation claims against their own policyholders.


In late 2020 Norfolk, VA accident lawyer Ed Atkinson settled a car-strikes-pedestrian case after protracted negotiation and civil litigation.  Atkinson argued that the driver of a rental car failed to maintain a proper lookout and was otherwise negligent when he drove into a busy intersection near Old Dominion University and knocked a man walking his dog up onto the hood of his care.  Serious knee and hip injuries resulted, requiring physical therapy and surgery.  Thankfully the client was able to return to his favorite exercise activities and work obligations.

Filing Nursing Home Lawsuits Due to Neglect in the Age of COVID-19

nursing home abuse covid-19The COVID-19 pandemic has created a high-stakes situation for families who have loved ones in nursing homes or other long-term care facilities. With many of these facilities now saturated with coronavirus cases, elderly residents have been left to suffer the consequences of inadequate care—in many cases, this means preventable death.

The Health Crisis Has a Disparate Impact on the Most Vulnerable

Rapid spread of the novel coronavirus highlights the gap between what many nursing homes promise and what they actually deliver. A huge proportion of coronavirus deaths in the United States—not to mention Great Britain and Italy—derive from elder care facilities where the virus was allowed to spread unchecked and wreak havoc on those with existing health vulnerabilities.

Virtually every day new evidence emerges demonstrating that substandard care, understaffing, and lack of basic safety equipment and practices—already present prior to the pandemic—allowed COVID-19 to spread through nursing homes like wildfire.
Many nursing homes prevented staff from wearing masks and gloves during the pandemic, downplayed the threat of the virus and withholding information about exposure to COVID-19 and refused to quarantine infected nurses and other staff.

How You Can Gain Control of The Situation

If your loved one has been a victim of elder abuse or nursing home neglect, you should immediately secure the services of a personal injury attorney. Filing a complaint in court on your own can pit you against a team of skilled lawyers, large medical institutions, and giant insurance companies who all benefit from protecting one another. Without proper legal counsel on your side, your chance of attaining justice for a loved one diminishes drastically.

Wrongful death lawsuits due to nursing home malpractice or neglect may lead to a settlement. But they often go to a jury trial due to the confidence of the defendant’s legal counsel and facility’s management. Therefore, an aggressive personal injury law firm like Atkinson Law located in Norfolk, Virginia must be prepared to fight for compensation, hold facilities accountable and thereby force measures to be put in place to avoid future heartache for other families.

If poor care has robbed your loved one of dignity, well-being, or even life itself during the global COVID-19 pandemic, call Atkinson Law now at 757-648-8579 or use the contact form right here on this page to get in touch with an attorney who is passionate about nursing home neglect. Helping you navigate through this difficult time is our highest calling.

Nursing home neglect is something that should be taken very seriously. If you are looking for a partner to help you tackle this difficult situation, lean on the Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys at Atkinson Law today. We can be reached at 757-648-8579.

How safe are Pitbull and Pitbull Mixed-Breeds as a family pet?

The mention of Pitbull-breed dogs stirs up strong feelings. Some people swear to their gentleness, while others are uncomfortable being near them. Most Pittbull owners will tell you that their temperament is much more docile than what the stereotypes would have you believe. This may be the case when the canine in question is in the right environment. In fact, Pitbull breeds may show no signs of aggression around humans, including young children, but humans may not be the ones in immediate danger.

Pitbull Genetics Can Favor Aggression Toward Animals, Including Other Dogs

The Pitbull breed was created for strength and fearlessness in the face of large predator animals like bears, wolves and wild boars. To this day, Pitbulls and related breeds like the Dog O Argentina serve as the boar hunting dogs of choice. It is no wonder then that Pitbull canines have become a symbol associated with groups looking to portray a tough, loyal and powerful image.

There are several variations of the Pitbull breed, including the American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, American Bully, and the Staffordshire Bull Terrier. The name Staffordshire comes from the geographic origin of the breed: a landlocked county in the West Midlands of England where the dogs were believed to be originally bred for use in various blood sports.

Animals Might Be Most At-Risk from Pitbull Aggression

The lineage of these breeds points to potential dangers to other animals, even domestic pets. Pitbull breeds constitute the majority of dogs used for illegal dogfighting in the United States. In this unlawful and cruel activity, the dogs are bred and selected for animal aggression. They can make the news for attacks such as an incident where a Boykin Spaniel was mauled by a Pitbull running loose in a Virginia Beach neighborhood. In another incident a Pitbull pulled away from its owner and began attacking a neighbor’s dog in Athens, GA, as noted in an Athens-Clark County Police Department report. As a result, the dog bit and injured a child.

An alarming number of Pitbulls and Pitbull mixes find their way into animal shelters. Many can pass safety evaluations, which primarily screen them for aggression toward humans (one typical test involves taking a food bowl away from an animal and seeing if it bites). A dog approved for adoption can indeed be very sweet to its new family, who may be taken by surprise when their new dog attacks a neighbor’s animal without provocation. Training can certainly help in most cases.

pitbull attack victimIn my experience as a dog bite personal injury lawyer, I have seen countless incidents where a dog owner rushes to protect their pet when a dog fight breaks out, only to get attacked by the aggressive dog while trying to intervene. When pit mix charges my dog, I immediately scoop my dog up and loudly yell at the aggressive dog, which often responds obediently to a stern human voice.

Understanding breed behavioral tendencies of Pitbulls and mixes means appreciating that such dogs can be docile and loyal to humans, but can still be provoked to the point of aggression by other animals. Whether it was a Pitbull or another breed, if you have experienced personal injury from a dog bite, call an experienced law firm like Atkinson Law at 757-648-8579 or use the online contact form today to get the help you need.


Pitbull Attacks and Dog Bites are something that should be taken very seriously. If you are looking for a partner to help you tackle this unfortunate situation, lean on the Dog Bites Attorneys at Atkinson Law today. We can be reached at 757-648-8579.

Most Common Types of Nursing Home Abuse

elder abuse in virginia Nursing home abuse is never a fun topic to discuss. If you have a loved one residing in any type of nursing home or long-term care facility, it’s important to recognize signs of abuse. If we can condemn these actions, we can improve not only the standard of care for our loved ones, but a standard for quality care across the board. Atkinson Law is here to help you recognize the most common types of nursing home abuse to keep an eye out for.

Physical Abuse

Physical abuse in the nursing home is likely one of the most reported. Any type of physical force or unnecessary roughness that results in pain or harm to your loved one is considered physical abuse. Whether it is hitting, shaking, beating, pushing, excessive restraining, or even sexual assault, physical abuse is something that should be stopped right away.

Emotional Abuse

Emotional abuse is something that may not be reported as often, but still happens in nursing homes. Humiliation, ridicule, yelling, threatening, name calling, and even embarrassing the patient in front of others are all examples of emotional abuse that should be taken seriously.


Another heartbreaking topic includes neglect as a form of abuse. Leaving a patient unattended for hours, not changing their clothes, finding the patient in their own feces for an unknown amount of time. These examples are heartbreaking yet happen so frequently. If you feel like your loved one is being neglected, it’s time to speak up.

While physical abuse, emotional abuse and neglect all sound horrendous, they are sadly not uncommon. 1 in 3 nursing home residents report that they have suffered elder abuse. 1 in every 10 senior citizens have been reported as being abused in the last year. How can we make a change and keep our elderly loved ones safe? At Atkinson Law, we are here to help. If you feel like your elderly loved one has been abused in a nursing home, come talk to us. Call us today at 757-648-8579.

Eye Opening Stats on Nursing Home Abuse

nursing home abuse attorneysIf you’ve never done your research on nursing home abuse, it’s time to get familiar with a few statistics. At Atkinson Law, we have seen so many families alarmed at the eye-opening stats regarding nursing home abuse this day in age. The truth of the matter is, millions of our elderly Americans are abused or neglected in nursing homes, but only a fraction of those incidents are reported. At Atkinson Law, we hope that our actions lead to a decrease in these eye-opening statistics and overall better healthcare for everyone.

Nursing Home Abuse Numbers

According to the National Research Council Panel in 2003, between one to two million Americans who were 65 or older had been injured, exploited or mistreated by those that they depended on to take care of them. However, only one in every six cases are actually reported. As loved ones, we need to be aware of this concerning problem and proactive in both prevention and consequence. Another alarming statistic on the board happened during a study case between 2000-2002. During this time, 20% of all nursing homes across our country were cited for some sort of violations. These violations included those that led to both physical injury and even death. This is a large problem and as our population that needs skilled facility centers grows, this area of concern will only get worse. We must start reporting these problems to find better solutions for our loved ones.

Is it About the Money?

While we cannot go around and ask every individual in the country how they feel about their jobs, there is correlating evidence that suggests that many nursing homes purchased by investor groups or corporations have sacrificed patient safety to increase profits. As they try to hide themselves from regulations and litigation by making webbed structures of shell companies and subsidiaries, it does not stop us here at Atkinson Law.

If you suspect that an elderly loved one has fallen victim to nursing home abuse, let us know right away. Call our professionals at Atkinson Law. For more information, contact us at (757) 648-8579.

Nursing Home Ownership, Neglect and Elder Abuse

A recent investigation by NBC News reveals a pattern of neglect and criminality at nursing homes and elder care facilities owned and operated by Skyline Healthcare.  While the report is deeply disturbing, it reveals what nursing home negligence attorneys and victims know all too well: corporate cost cutting and low government oversight translate into systematic elder abuse and neglect.

Skyline Healthcare, owned by New Jersey investor and former insurance salesman Joseph Schwartz, came to manage over 100 nursing homes across 11 states.  The company gobbled up extended care facilities as fast as possible and, in each case, slashed costs to the bone.  Former employees reported to NBC that Skyline Healthcare ran up huge bills with vendors and would simply switch providers when the bills came due.

One former nursing home employee told NBC that she called a state agency to report that the water was about to be shut off at one facility.  Other persons interviewed reported nursing home residents with horrible injuries and neglect.  One had an open wound showing gangrene and even maggot infestation.  In another incident, a resident with dementia walked out of her nursing home through broken automatic doors, collapsing in an ice-covered parking lot, naked and frost-bitten.

Most people would be horrified about these situations and would insist that nursing home chains be subject to oversight.  At present, the federal authorities are understaffed and have trouble keeping up with changes in the industry.  One of the only effective means for holding elder care facilities and corporate owners responsible is the civil lawsuit.  An elder neglect or abuse lawsuit can force a nursing home to pay compensation.  When this happens, it can motivate the company to change its negligent care practices to avoid further financial consequences.





$47,500 settlement in pit bull attack personal injury claim

Norfolk personal injury lawyer Ed Atkinson negotiated a  $47,500 settlement for a young man attacked at work by his boss’ pit bull in Chesapeake, Virginia.  The owner had the pit bull on a leash and said it was friendly.  When the young man went to pet the dog, however, it made a vicious lunge toward him and bit him, latching onto his face.  The attack left scars on the young man’s lip and chin.

Negotiating the dog bite injury settlement took time.  The dog owner’s insurance company, based in Florida, was not very familiar with Virginia dog bite law.  Through some patient explaining and tense discussions, the home owner’s insurance company decided to substantially increase their offer.  The company argued that the dog bite victim provoked the dog and assumed the risk by petting it.  They also argued that there was no prior bite, which, as dog bite attorney Ed Atkinson explained, Virginia law doesn’t say will make or break an animal attack case.

This is case features yet another “rehabilitated” pit bull.  That is, the owner under whose care the dog attacked someone adopted the dog without extensive knowledge of its history.  A certain trend has emerged where charities encourage people to adopt pit bulls, with assurances that they are very gentle animals.  In the first place, pit bulls may in fact be gentle toward people, true, but they tend to show aggression to other animals, which can trigger an attack on a person who is only trying to keep two animals from fighting one another.  Second, unlike some other breeds, pit bulls pose a problem for adoption because their original owners in many cases wanted an aggressive dog.  Some may have even mistreated the animals.  All of this can happen without the adopting family knowing about it.

Norfolk personal injury lawyer

“On the cover of the Rollin’ Stone!” – Atkinson Law in the news

I am pleased to report that Atkinson Law settled two cases in December with a combined value of $1.15 million, and it earned an article in Virginia Lawyers Weekly, a statewide trade publication.  It all arose out of a serious car accident on the eastern shore.  My clients were making a left turn with a green arrow and a driver coming from the other direction ran a red light at a high speed.

The mother-daughter pair were some of the nicest people I have ever met.  After mediation concluded, I asked the mother what she would use her settlement money for.  She answered that she needed some new church clothes.  Nothing wrong with that!

One thing this case taught me was the importance of seeking an attorney early if you are injured in a car accident.  When relatives contacted me, I went to the hospital to meet the daughter in Newport News.  With me was another great personal injury lawyer, Bill O’Mara, who did a huge amount of work in this matter.  Attorney John Cooper was a force to be reckoned with in negotiations.  I was glad he was on our side!

This personal injury case marks a milestone in Atkinson Law’s growth and success.  Thanks to all my clients, family, friends and colleagues who helped get us to this point.  On to the next one!