Morgantown Firefighter Injured by Drunk Driver

Two Morgantown firefighters, heroes to their families and the Morgantown community, were taken to Ruby Memorial Hospital after a drunken driver slammed into them as they were responding to a fire on Richwood Avenue. The injuries are non-life threatening, but serious none the less.

One fireman was treated and released, and the more seriously injured firefighter was kept overnight for additional treatment as a direct result of being run over in the accident caused by the drunk driver. The incident occurred at around 11:15 p.m., Wednesday, November 18, 2015.

Fire Truck
Morgantown Firefighters Injured by Drunk Driver

One of the firemen got out of the truck at the scene and that’s when the drunk driver drove left of center trying to pass the fire trucks and hit the fireman and one of the trucks. The woman driving apparently drug the victim 20-25 feet and ran over his leg before coming to a stop.

Fortunately for these firefighters, their medical bills should be covered by workers compensation coverage.   However, since the State Workers Compensation Fund was abandoned several years ago, these type of claims are being handled by private insurance companies such as Brickstreet Insurance.

The private insurance companies use adjusters to handle these claims and most injured workers have a hard time getting their treatments and bills paid.     Since these insurance companies cannot be sued for bad faith (thanks to laws that protect them), they typically handle these claims the way they want to, without any interference from the judicial system.

Another problem these firefighters face is getting full compensation for their injuries.    Even if the workers compensation insurance companies treat them fairly, they are only compensated for a fraction of their compensable injuries.    The party that caused their injuries often don’t have any or enough insurance coverage to compensate them, and complex insurance coverage issues often accompany these types of claims.

A Morgantown woman is facing charges of DUI causing injury after hitting the Morgantown fireman with her vehicle while driving under the influence Wednesday night.

Help for Morgantown Injury Claims

At Robinette Legal Group, we handle claims like these every day and have the experience to help injured workers navigate through the complex web of insurance coverage issues and laws.   We would be pleased to help you and the initial consultation is absolutely free:  304-594-1800 or after hours  304-216-6695.


WDTV News: Driver Charged with DUI After Hitting Morgantown Fireman, Shannon Chavez, November 19, 2015.

Read more about a person’s rights after being hit by a drunk driver:  Morgantown Drunk Driver Accidents and Injuries

Lawsuits Filed After Scaffolding Collapses

Construction workers face danger daily in the ordinary course of their workday. Even so, when a work site has been secured by safety procedures which have been carefully implemented, builders have every reasonable expectation of returning home to their families intact.  When an ordinary work day turns disastrous and lives are forever changed, these hard-working men and women can no longer provide for their families.  After a construction accident, what remedy exists for the injured to obtain necessary medical care and for these families to build new lives?

In October, 2015, two tragic scaffold collapses in Houston, Texas have resulted in injuries, deaths, and at least one worker left in a vegetative state.  So, who was at fault, and who will provide care for these workers and their families?

Building Scaffolding
Building Construction, Scaffold Collapse

Investigations are on-going, and whether the collapses were caused by anchors at the top of the building breaking loose after these anchors were improperly secured, faulty construction or materials used in building the scaffolding, faulty concrete causing a lack of integrity in the soundness of the scaffold’s attachment to the building, or bolts not properly secured, the investigations will point to the parties or party responsible for the failure of the scaffolding to provide protection and support.

Some of these workers will suffer life-long injuries, and will most likely collect Worker’s Compensation benefits, unless the companies involved have opted out of Worker’s Comp Insurance as provided by Texas law.  Many large retailers, trucking companies, health care, and food companies have already opted out, which means the employer has almost complete control over the medical and legal process after workers are injured.

Worker’s Compensation exists because employers owe a duty to workers injured on the job and their families and pays for the workers’ medical bills and lost wages.  According to an investigation by ProPublica and NPR, the Texas alternative to Worker’s Comp usually cuts off treatment after two years and doesn’t pay compensation for most permanent disabilities and strictly limits payouts in the event of a death or catastrophic injury.

The families directly affected by these scaffolding collapses in October have retained lawyers to obtain any and all benefits due to them as a results of the workplace accident which has caused these horrific injuries.  Their construction accident attorney will investigate the cause of the accident, the extent of injuries and long-term impact on these individuals and their families, and whether or not a third party can be sued, such as the contracting company which installed the scaffold system or the manufacturer of the scaffolding.

These families have acted wisely in obtaining legal representation right away.  All states have a time limit (statute of limitations for work injuries) for injury claim lawsuits to be filed, and as time passes, evidence and witnesses can become difficult or impossible to find.

The personal injury lawyers at the Robinette Legal Group, PLLC based in Morgantown have represented many construction accident victims in West Virginia during the past twenty-five years, and are ready to help you if you have been hurt or are suffering after the death of a loved one.  We have successfully handled a wide variety of claims ranging from slip and fall injuries to wrongful deaths from coal mine explosions and power plant accidents.  If you were injured in West Virginia, protect your legal rights by calling us today for a free case evaluation:  304-594-1800 or after hours, 304-216-6695.


WV Lawsuit After Severe Head Injury in Coal Mine

West Virginia Coal Miner Injured, Files Lawsuit

Brain Injury, Work Accident
Brain Injury, WV Coal Mine Accident

Every year, miners suffer serious injuries due to the decisions of coal operators to violate safety regulations. The employers in this industry are obligated by law to meet certain standards in order to keep miners as safe as possible, and when they neglect this responsibility the consequences can be catastrophic.

According to the complaint, despite pointing out a safety hazard regarding the height of the mine roof and track conditions to the defendants on several occasions, the plaintiff says the companies never addressed the problem.

On Aug. 3, 2013, the plaintiff was traveling on the back of a transport vehicle in the mine, without a hard hat, when his head hit the roof protrusion that he and other employees had noted to the defendants. The complaint also states that the employees that operated the man-trip did so at unsafe speeds and that the plaintiff did not have time to react to avoid the hazard.

The resulting injuries were severe, the suit claims, including traumatic brain injury, impaired mobility and activities of daily living, permanent scarring and physical impairment. Both defendants have suffered lost wages and benefits, future earning capacity, future medical expenses and past medical expenses totaling nearly $1 million.

Edward Ellis Jr. and Tina Ellis filed the suit Aug. 3 in Wyoming Circuit Court against Pinnacle Mining Co., Cliffs Natural Resources Inc., Cliffs North American Coal Inc., Cliffs Logan County Coal LLC, Cliffs West Virginia Coal Inc. and Cliffs Mining Services Company.

Related Articles:

Coal Mine Roof Collapse Results in Two Deaths in Boone County, WV

New Regulations Mandate Proximity Sensors for Continuous Mining Machines to Prevent Crushing Injuries and Death

West Virginia Man Accused of Falsifying Safety Mine Records

Wrongful Death Lawsuit Filed After Mining Fatality

What is Vehicular Manslaughter?

In general, vehicular homicide, also called negligent homicide, involves a person’s death that is the result of a driver’s negligent operation of a motor vehicle, or resulting from operating a vehicle while committing some unlawful act that may not necessarily amount to a felony.  The charges are compounded if the negligent driver was drunk, DWI, or under the influence of drugs at the time of the collision.

The victim of a vehicular homicide wrongful death can either be a pedestrian, another motorist, or a cyclist, or the victim can be the passenger in the car, SUV, boat, truck, bus, or motorcycle.

In West Virginia, when the  wrongful death of any person happens within one year as a  result of injuries received by an individual who is in reckless disregard of the safety of others, the person who caused the collision may be guilty of negligent homicide.

In WV, this crime may be punished by imprisonment for up to one year and/or by a fine of $100.00 to $1,000.00 and that driver may lose his or her license if convicted of negligent homicide.

The term “vehicular homicide” has been discussed lately as Caitlyn (Bruce) Jenner faces charges stemming from a deadly four-car accident in which Jenner was involved.  One woman was killed in the wreck and others injured.

The police investigation into the deadly four-car accident involving Jenner is finished and the results could lead to a misdemeanor manslaughter charge.  The laws pertaining to vehicular homicide have the legal effect of calling a vehicle which is being recklessly driven a potentially deadly or dangerous weapon.

Jenner was driving a black Cadillac SUV that was the third vehicle in a multiple rear-end collision.  Jenner’s SUV hit a car from behind, sending it into oncoming traffic where it was hit by another SUV.  That driver died at the scene.

Even though Jenner was traveling under the posted speed limit, the investigation determined that Jenner was going at an unsafe speed for the conditions at the time of the collision.

The DC Caller recently featured an editorial which contemplates the question that is on the minds of some:  if Jenner is criminally charged and found guilty, does he/she face time in a male or female prison? Of course this will never happen, as Jenner will hire the best defense attorney available.  That’s an interesting question which will have to be decided by the courts, but nevertheless, male or female, that issue would not affect the insurance issues related to the personal injury and wrongful death claims resulting from that collision.

As far as compensation for a family who has suffered such a tragic loss due to the negligence of another motorist, insurance may not only be limited to policy limits, but also punitive damages resulting in greater compensation may be pursued if the negligence was due to DUI or DWI.

Morgantown Wrongful Death Attorney

If your family has suffered the loss of a loved one, provider, or child, just as the offending driver must retain a criminal lawyer for the protection of his or her legal rights, it is imperative that the suffering from that driver’s actions retain an attorney to represent their best interests.  The insurance companies are just that, companies most concerned with their bottom line.

To secure your financial future after such tragic loss, contact a Morgantown personal injury attorney for a free consultation today.  304-594-1800 or after hours, 304-216-6695 to speak directly with a National Board Certified Trial Attorney for his opinion of your case based on twenty-five years experience with insurance companies and collision claims.

You May Also Want to Check Out These Articles:

Other articles you will find helpful:

Should I use Facebook or other Social Media if Considering an Injury Claim?

If you wait, it may be too late.

It is Your Responsibility to Protect Your Legal Rights after an Accident.

Why is the Insurance Company Offering so Little for my Claim?

CNN, “Caitlyn Jenner could face misdemeanor manslaughter charge in car crash,” By Steve Almasy and Paul Vercammen, August 20, 2015.

Fatal Accident on Grafton Road near Morgantown WalMart

Monongalia County authorities have responded to a head-on vehicle accident on Grafton Road in Morgantown that happened at about 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, April 28th, 2015.

Head on collisions occur from a variety of reasons including DUI, distracted driving, inclement weather, health conditions, falling asleep at the wheel, and traveling the wrong way on a one-way lane or approach, texting while driving, brake failure, tire blowout, dangerous road conditions, and speeding.  Whatever the cause, the result is often tragic and ends in great loss for individuals and families.

A white car, driven by an Arthurdale man in his 20s, was traveling southbound on Grafton Road when it crossed the center line and struck a flatbed truck head-on, according to state police. Grafton Road was shut down for a couple of hours. According to WV State Police in Morgantown and MECCA 911, the driver of the white car was killed.

The driver of the flatbed truck was taken to Ruby Memorial Hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

State police are investigating the exact cause of this collision.


WBOY News:

WAJR News:


Fatal Two Car Accident in Preston County WV

Head-on collisions result in tragedies which change lives and families forever. About ten percent of all fatal road accidents result from head on collisions, and 75% of these occur on rural roads and two lane highways.  These are the most dangerous of accidents and often result in very serious injuries.  Failure to negotiate a curve in the road is a cause of about a fourth of these wrecks, which is certainly a known hazard in Preston County.

Often speed, distracted driving, and falling asleep are factors in one driver crossing the center line and causing a collision with a second vehicle.  These accidents often result in concussions, broken bones, loss of limbs, knee injuries, shoulder and back injuries, and sometime death.

Kingwood, WV:  Recently, one person was killed and three others injured in a head-on crash along Veterans Memorial Highway in Preston County.  The two-vehicle accident involving a pickup truck and a sedan occurred Tuesday evening around 5 p.m.  The two people in the pickup truck were transported to Preston Memorial Hospital.

Elizabeth Renshaw, 83, of Kingwood, was pronounced dead at the scene, police said.  She was a passenger in the car driven by Thomas Renshaw, Jr., 64, of Roanoke Rapids, N.C. HealthNet was summoned to fly Thomas Renshaw to the hospital for treatment for his injuries.  The collision involved a Nissan and a Ford 150.  Both people in the truck, Anthony Runner and Courtlin Hicks, both age 30, were transported to Preston Memorial Hospital.  The extent of their injuries is not publically known.

The cause of the collision is still under investigation and it is not yet known why one of the vehicles crossed the center line.

Compensation for Injuries Resulting from West Virginia Accidents

If the accident has been caused by another negligent driver, after seeking medical attention, the next most important thing to do is to seek compensation for your losses.  As a victim of a car accident you must ensure that you rights are protected and that you receive the rightful compensation. You may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, loss of wages, pain and suffering, disfigurement, and disability.  To learn about your legal rights, call The Robinette Legal Group, PLLC  for a free consultation with an attorney.

Click Here to Visit our Website to learn more about car accident injury claims.


 WV MetroNews, “One Dead, Three Injured in Preston County Crash” Dave Wilson, April 15, 2015.

The Dominion Post, “One Killed In Preston County Crash,” April 15, 2015.

Two Major Crashes on I-68 in Two Days ~ Please Drive Carefully

Multi-car Accidents on I-68

When the days are short and the temperature drops below freezing, driving hazards are increased exponentially.  Snow, ice, and foggy conditions make driving treacherous, often causing vehicle wrecks and injuries.  When winter driving is made even more dangerous by debris on the road, the results can be fatal.

In December, a young New Jersey man was killed and several others injured in a chain-reaction accident on Friday, December 19, 2014 on interstate 68 in Preston County near the Monongalia County line close to the Coopers Rock exit. While it was originally reported that six other vehicles were involved, later reports indicated that seven vehicles were involved in the collisions.  The crash occurred around 9:30 p.m. and closed both east and westbound lanes of the interstate for several hours, creating a several mile-long traffic backup.

I-68 crash.jpg

The next day, on Saturday December 20th at about 6:30 p.m., a series of tragic collisions shut down I-68 again at mile marker 29. On I-68 Eastbound, both lanes were closed from Hazelton Exit to Friendsville Exit in Garrett County, MD, and the closure was expected to last for 3-4 hours.  Two people died, one a Morgantown man, following the chain of wrecks on Interstate 68 in Garrett County near the West Virginia state line.  The initial wreck was the cause of the death of the first accident victim, and the police reported that while traffic was stopped in the eastbound lanes to allow a helicopter to land at the scene, there was a chain reaction accident that claimed another life.

Our hearts and prayers go out for the crash victims, families, and friends who have been directly affected by these tragic accidents. Grief and recovery were not in their plans; the holiday season will never be the same for these families.

Drivers need to take into account that a different weather exists up on those elevated mountain passes and take precautions accordingly.  The unexpected is more likely to occur, so heightened vigilance and attention to the road is required during these winter months.

For more information from Robinette Legal Group, PLLC about these collisions or multi-car collisions in general, please click here to visit our website.


WVMetronews, “Chain-reaction crash on I-68 claims one life” by Jeff Jenkins, December 20, 2014.

Topix, “Chain Reaction on I-68 claims one life, backs up traffic,” December 20, 2014.

Fracking News: Contamination of Wells may be Remedied by Replacing Casing and Cementing

A new study finds contamination of drinking water in parts of Texas from the extraction of shale gas, but the primary cause is not what some people had feared.

Researcher Avner Vengosh says the contamination of the wells that they analyzed was not directly from the process of hydraulic fracturing deep underground, but from well-integrity problems such as poor casing and cementing.

“We can tell that the contamination derived from leaking of the shale gas wells, and therefore if those leaks could be fixed and corrected, this contamination could be avoided and stopped.”
– See more at:

Four Ambulance Workers Taken to Local Hospitals after Collision on Route 250

Ambulance and Emergency Rescue squad medical personnel are some of the hardest working individuals in West Virginia, witnessing scenarios no one wants to see and helping injured people in Monongalia and Marion Counties in the aftermath of horrific situations and collisions.  These situations  require immediate skilled medical assistance; at times rescue workers must work extremely long hours.

It is a real tragedy when the emergency workers, in the course of their duties, become the accident victims after they have devoted so much time and effort to helping others.

This week we heard about the two vehicle collision in Marion County on Route 250 that sent four emergency rescue workers to two hospitals. The patient they were transporting died in the collision, and the Marion County Rescue Squad employees were badly injured.

Links to News about the Ambulance Collision:

WBOY News, 1 Dead After Ambulance Collision on Route 250 in Marion County,” September 22, 2014.

West Virginia MetroNews:One dead after Marion County ambulance wreck,” Jeff Jenkins, September 22, 2014.


Truck Wreck on Route 20, Texting while Driving Suspected Cause

Several people were taken to the hospital after a two-vehicle collision near Wallace in Harrison County, WV near Lumberport.  Six people were injured in the two pickup truck crash.  Texting while driving is suspected as a possible cause of one of the pickups crossing the center line, causing the head-on collision.  Unfortunately, the four people in the pickup that crossed the center line were not wearing seat belts and sustained serious injuries. The driver and the passenger of that truck were flown to Ruby Memorial Hospital by HealthNet for severe head trauma. The two passengers in the rear of that truck and also the two people in the other pickup were taken to UHC for treatment for injuries sustained in the truck collision.

Source:  WBOY News, “Several People Taken to Hospitals After 2-Vehicle Collision in Harrison County,” Lauren Talotta, September 20, 2014.



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