I’ve Been Involved in a Car Accident

Guest Blog by Adam Rosenblum, a personal injury lawyer who is admitted to practice in both New York and New Jersey. 

Car AccidentIf you have been involved in a car accident and are unsure of what to do, it is important to understand the best course of action to take.  Understanding your rights and how to proceed can help ensure that you are given proper compensation and are well on your way to repairing your vehicle or gathering the compensation to purchase another one. 

As soon as you are involved in a car accident the first step would be to seek aid by way of calling the police and an ambulance for medical attention if anyone is in need of it.  If you find that someone is seriously injured and attempting to move that person would result in further damage, contact emergency services immediately. 

As police arrive and begin making an accident report, it is important to remember to never admit fault at the scene of an accident to the other driver, police, or even persons that were in your vehicle at the time the accident occurred.  When the police begin the process of filing an accident report, make sure all information is filled out accurately and correctly.  You should get the name, license number and other essential information from the other driver involved in the accident.  

If the police officer issues you a traffic ticket in connection to your accident, it is important that you seek the advice of an attorney to protect your rights. 

How Do I Go About Filing a Claim? 

If the accident has left you injured or has resulted in damage to your vehicle or the other person’s vehicle, it is important that you file a claim with your insurance company. 

Filing a claim is the best way to get legal compensation and help yourself or anyone else involved in the accident get on the path to medical recovery or monetary damages for your vehicle.  

As soon as the accident occurs you should exchange insurance information with the other drivers involved.  This step is especially important if you were not the one at fault during the accident as you could potentially end up paying a higher deductible fee after an accident.  Document any damages that occurred by taking pictures of the accident itself and the surrounding environment.  The insurance representative will also take their own set of photos, but pictures will help in explaining your own personal experience in the accident.  

Claiming Damages 

All states require by law that drivers insure their vehicles in order to legally operate them.  This prevents any potential mishaps that might occur when getting into an accident with the other driver not having insurance and covers both yourself and others in your policy from personal injury resulting from an accident.  If the other driver does not have insurance, then it is important you call the police to make a report.  

Your own insurance policy also helps cover you if the other driver involved in the accident does not have his or her own insurance.   If you find yourself struggling to receive a claim for either monetary damage or a personal injury settlement resulting from a car accident, contacting an experienced personal injury attorney will get you well on your way to successfully gaining compensation and reduce an liabilities that you might forced to pay as a result of the negligence of another party. 

Welcome to the WV Accident Blog by Jeffery Robinette. 

Author Bio 

Adam RosenblumAdam Rosenblum is a personal injury attorney licensed to practice in New York and New Jersey.  For more information concerning car accidents in New York and New Jersey, visit Adam Rosenblum at personal-injury-nj.com  and rosenblumlawfirm.com.

Gas Well Flash Fire in Tyler County, WV

Compressor-Fire-1-650x350Authorities are investigating the cause of an explosion at a gas well compression station site in Tyler County.  The Twin Hickories Road compression station explosion happened on Thursday, April 11, 2013 in Wick near Middlebourne.  The facility is owned by Marietta, Ohio based Eureka-Hunter.  Three people employed by third-party contractors suffered severe burns and were flown directly to the West Penn Burn Center in Pittsburgh.  A fourth employee was injured, but treated and released at a local hospital.

Later, Eureka officials corrected initial reports.  The senior vice president of Eureka Hunter clarified the reported explosion was a flash fire, and the location was a pig receiving station along the pipeline, not a compression station as first reported.  The “pig” is a device to clean out pipelines to remove accumulated liquids.  This particular line carried methane as well as natural gas liquids such as ethane, propane and butane from the wellhead.

At about 7 p.m. on April 11th, Tyler County 911 received a call from a Eureka Hunter employee of an explosion with storage tanks on fire and at least two people injured at the Twin Hickories Road compression station near Wick, W.Va.

Fire and emergency responders were sent to the scene along with the Tyler County Sheriff Deputies. According to a press release, fire units from Shirley, Alma, Middlebourne, Sistersville as well as Saint Mary’s from Pleasants County and Paden City from Wetzel County responded.

Two Tanks on Fire near Tyler County Compression Station

“When we arrived on scene we had a track-hoe on fire and two tanks were on fire,” said a member of the Middlebourne VFD. “This was not a well, this was a compressor station.”

It was reported the workers were using a new piece of equipment to “pig” the line. However, it’s unclear what caused the fire. The blaze was intense and rekindled several times due to the heat. He said firemen took more than an hour to get it out.  Early reports indicated the natural gas liquids in the tanks fueled the fire.  The fire remained above ground and did not progress to the underground pipe lines.

“We went in and shut the valves off feeding the tanks. What was burning was what was in the tanks on top. It was very flammable,” he said. “It kept reigniting and burning off. We climbed on the tank, shut the lid, and put it out.”

West Virginia Gas Drilling Injury Lawyers – Robinette Legal Group, PLLC

The development of the Marcellus Shale oil and gas drilling in West Virginia provides many jobs to hard-working West Virginians.  West Virginia workers have a long-standing tradition of working hard in spite of dangerous and exhausting conditions.

In most cases, a worker who is injured on the job will be able to receive some benefits from a Worker’s Compensation claim. In West Virginia, if employer is found to have intentionally placed their employee in harm’s way, resulting in serious injury or death, that employee may qualify to file a claim against the employer’s insurance company. If the cause of your injury was due to faulty equipment or a negligent contractor, you may be entitled to seek additional monetary compensation from that third party.

If you or your loved one has been injured due to negligence or willful violation of safety regulations in the workplace, it is important to act quickly to protect your claim. Mr. Robinette has handled hundreds of cases involving serious injury and wrongful death and can provide the insight you need right now. Call Jeff Robinette today for a free evaluation of your case at 304-594-1800 or after hours, 304-216-6695 or visit our Robinette Legal Group, PLLC website:  http://www.robinettelaw.com

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Sources:

http://wvmetronews.com/three-burned-in-compressor-fire/  WV MetroNews, by Chris Lawrence, April 12, 2013

http://www.mariettatimes.com/page/content.detail/id/551182/-Flash-fire–in-Tyler-Co–investigated.html?nav=5002

OSHA Finds Management Failure led to Death at Blacksville No. 2 Mine

coal miner died, hat and glovesApril 11, 2013 update:  William E. Mock, 61, died in September at the Blacksville No. 2 coal mine in Monongalia County near Morgantown, WV.  Federal inspectors find death was in part due to a failure of management to ensure safety of its employees.

Mock, a general inside laborer, was fatally injured when an 11-foot by 5-foot piece of mine roof fell onto him on Sept. 13, 2012. Mock and another employee, Doug Ice Jr., were removing a piece of the permanent roof supports when the accident occurred. The Mine Safety and Health Administration’s fatal accident report concluded that failure to install additional support before the primary support was removed caused the accident.

The roof fell with just 30 minutes remaining in Mock’s shift.

“The plank was cut approximately half-way when they determined it was taking weight from the mine roof. Mock stopped cutting the board,” the report states. “A portion of a roof bolt supporting the board was exposed due to sloughing of roof material. Mock and Ice decided to cut the roof bolt with a track bonder. To avoid being exposed to a flash from the bonder, Ice turned his back. When the bolt was burned through, there was a loud ‘pop,’ causing Ice to duck. When Ice turned back around, he saw Mock covered with a rock from the lower chest down.”

Ice attempted to remove the rock but was unable to do so, according to the report.

“When assistance arrived at the accident site, Mock was checked for vital signs, but none were detected,” the report states. ” … The Mon County EMS Service transported Mock to the Waynesburg Hospital, where he was pronounced dead upon arrival.”

CONSOL could not provide proof to MSHA that either Mock or Ice had received task training for removal of permanent roof support.

MSHA’s report says management failed to assure that persons removing the roof were located in a safe position, failed to examine the roof conditions prior to removal and failed to provide task training instructing the miners in appropriate procedures for removing the roof supports.

“Management personnel were not present when the accident occurred,” the report states. “No member of mine management was with Mock and Ice during the entire shift, including the removal of the load bearing support.”

In its root cause analysis of the accident, MSHA determined that the “most basic causes of the accident” would have been correctable through “reasonable management controls.” The report says CONSOL has since taken corrective actions to ensure policies and safety instructions related to the causes of the incident.

CONSOL received eight citations in relation to the investigation of the fatality.

Source:  http://www.statejournal.com/story/21943312/managements-failure-noted-in-consol-miners-death, by Taylor Kuykendall, April 11, 2013.

Original Post:  A CONSOL Miner, William Edward Mock died on Thursday, September 13, 2012 after being seriously injured when he was struck by a large rock during a workplace accident along the track haulage at the Blacksville No. 2 mine.  According to the Dominion Post, the accident is under investigation and CONSOL is looking into what happened.  

While the mine has a portal in West Virginia west of Blacksville, the bulk of the coal being mined is in Pennsylvania. The site of the accident will determine which state mine safety agency is involved.

CONSOL said it will provide updates on the accident as information becomes available and will work closely with federal and state mining officials to determine the cause of the incident.

West Virginia coal miners are among the hardest working professionals in America. Despite strong MSHA regulations, coal mining continues to be one of the most dangerous occupations in the world. Every year, miners are injured or killed because the coal operators continue to circumvent or violate safety laws for the protection of the miners.

If your loved one has been injured or killed while working in or near a coal mine in West Virginia, you are entitled to certain workers’ compensation benefits and other recoveries from the coal company for “deliberate intention” violations set forth in West Virginia law, Section 23-4-2. Moreover, you may also be entitled to seek a recovery for money damages from any third parties – like equipment manufacturers and subcontractors – that contributed to or caused your injuries.

Free Consultation · Contingency Fees · Don’t Lose Your Workers’ Comp Benefits

The Robinette Legal Group is recognized as one of the region’s most successful coal mining injury litigation firms. Our attorneys understand the regulations and we know how to look beneath the coal dust to find the true cause of the accident and the full extent of your injuries and financial damages that result. We work independently as your attorney or with your workers’ compensation lawyer to seek the full and fair compensation from the insurance company that is liable for damages. 

Submitted by the Robinette Legal Group, PLLC, West Virginia Injury Lawyers. Free books and downloads for WV accident victims — Call us today: 304-216-6695 or 304-594-1800 for your free copy of Righting the Wrong: WV Serious Injury Guide; Collision Care: WV Auto Injury Guide; or Beside Still Waters: WV Fatal Injury Guide for Families.

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Medical Marijuana: Child-Safe Packaging Needed

jolly lolly medical marijuana suckerThe Compassionate Use of Medical Marijuana Act aims to amend West Virginia state law so that physician-supervised patients with an authorized chronic or debilitating medical condition can cultivate plants and possess up to an ounce of usable marijuana for medical purposes. The measure also allows for the establishment of five compassion centers to dispense medical cannabis to qualified patients.  The proposal to legalize medical marijuana in West Virginia seems destined to die in committee this year, but now is the time to consider how to better protect children.  Bills of this type are gaining traction across the country, and we will likely see this come up for debate again in WV in 2014.

Certain safety measures have been included in House bills 2230 and 2961 which govern highway and workplace safety, but based on Colorado’s experience since legalizing cannabis use for medical purposes, some definite safeguards need to be in place to protect the children of our state. 

Since the legalization of medical marijuana in Colorado, 14 children ages 8 months to 12 years old have been hospitalized for accidental ingestion of toxic amounts of pot in the past two years.  Though according to many medical professionals, it is nearly impossible for an adult to overdose on marijuana, children must be protected as much as possible from attractive forms of the delivery of this drug (such as suckers, gummy worms, or brownies — though I’m not sure why adults need these forms of delivery for their medicine) — primarily through the common sense of adult users, and secondly, through child-safe packaging and clear reporting and tracking for marijuana poisonings. 

Already included in HB 2230 for the protection of drivers:  “Operating, navigating, or being in actual physical control of any motor vehicle, aircraft or motorboat while under the influence of marijuana, except that a registered qualifying patient or visiting qualifying patient may not be considered to be under the influence of marijuana solely because of the presence of metabolites or components of marijuana that appear in insufficient concentration to cause impairment.”

Addition safeguards in HB 2230 address hazardous work environments in West Virginia such as heavy equipment operations, coal mines, and gas well drilling sites:  “An employer is not required to allow the ingestion of marijuana in any workplace or to allow any employee to work while under the influence of marijuana,” and for the protection of employees:  “A registered qualifying patient may not be considered to be under the influence of marijuana solely because of the presence of metabolites or components of marijuana that appear in insufficient concentration to cause impairment.”

Tamper-proof Packaging Needed for Medical Cannabis:

In an April 1, 2013 article by Michael Booth of the Denver Post focuses on the accidental ingestion of medical marijuana by children leading to ER visits which has spurred new debates about safe packaging.

From early 2005 to late 2009, Children’s Hospital Colorado had exactly zero emergency-room visits by kids who had ingested marijuana. In the following two years, when medical marijuana became legal in Colorado and federal officials backed off prosecution, it had 14.

Pioneering studies of ER charts by Colorado doctors show looser pot laws leading to childhood poisonings, often from mistakenly eating tantalizing “edibles” like gummy worms or brownies.

Those doctors are now helping lead the charge for mandatory safety packaging as Colorado gears up for even broader legal sales of pot with recreational-marijuana stores.

“We’ve seen a dramatic increase in pediatric exposure,” said Dr. George Wang, a Children’s ER doctor who also works with Denver Health’s Rocky Mountain Poison and Drug Center.

Safety packaging, as in other medicines, “is a supplement to careful parenting that has been shown to work,” said Wang’s colleague, Dr. Michael Kosnett. “There are solutions available right now.”

And the marijuana industry agrees, up to a point , but argues that the tamper-proof packaging would greatly increase the cost of producing these goods and would add to landfill problems.

Serious Medical Consequences for Small Children

There are serious medical consequences for small children, though, even while marijuana advocates say an adult “overdose” of pot is nearly impossible.

Prescribed dosages of THC, the active ingredient in marijuana products used to control nausea from chemotherapy, is between 4 and 12 milligrams for children ages 2 to 4, based on body surface area. Some “edibles” have 300 milligrams of THC, Kosnett said.

The researchers say individual safety packs would be best, but the current recommendation of all items leaving the store in one secure package is “better than nothing.”

Because there is no clear reporting category for marijuana poisonings, doctors have to cull through files to count cases. Presbyterian/St. Luke’s, which operates Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children, said it does not track similar cases.

The cases studied at Children’s included decreased levels of consciousness and breathing trouble. Children can also vomit from ingesting too much of a strong substance and aspirate the vomit.

Child-ingested pot is also dangerous because ER doctors aren’t looking for it as a cause of any symptoms they see, Wang said. That can lead to invasive and expensive diagnostic efforts, such as a spinal tap or CT scan, if parents are embarrassed or scared to mention the true cause.

“When children get admitted to the ICU, that’s serious,” Kosnett said. Symptoms may appear similar to meningitis, for example.

Safety packaging and parental prevention should be noncontroversial, said Dr. Robert Brockmann, president of the Colorado Academy of Family Physicians, especially as newly legal recreational use will greatly expand the supply.

“None of that information is being disseminated when it’s dispensed,” Brockmann said. “It’s like liquor or prescription medications, or anything else you don’t want your kids to get into.”

Kosnett likens the social moment to that of the 1970 U.S. Poison Prevention Packaging Act, which launched many of the safety containers now ubiquitous in medical and chemical markets. One standard for packages, Kosnett said, is that no more than 20 percent of 5-year-olds be able to open a container within 10 minutes.

Such measures have cut pediatric poisonings in various categories by 40 to 90 percent over the decades, he said.

Submitted by the Robinette Legal Group, PLLC, West Virginia Injury Lawyers. Free books and downloads for WV accident victims — Call us today: 304-216-6695 or 304-594-1800 for your free copy of Righting the Wrong: WV Serious Injury Guide; Collision Care: WV Auto Injury Guide; or Beside Still Waters: WV Fatal Injury Guide for Families.

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Read more: Colorado pot accidents spur call for childproof packaging – The Denver Post http://www.denverpost.com/news/marijuana/ci_22912949/colorado-pot-accidents-spur-call-childproof-packaging#ixzz2PssKcndX

I-79 Crash Kills Two Teens in WV: A Message for Friends

seatbelt pictureTwo Upshur County teenagers are dead following an early Saturday morning accident on Interstate 79 in Harrison County on March 30, 2013.

Emergency officials say the two teens were thrown out of the car when the driver lost control and hit a guard rail.  The accident happened at about 4:00 a.m.  The car flipped several times after hitting the guardrail.  Speed may have been a factor.

The girl was in critical condition at Ruby Memorial Hospital at one point over the weekend, but Harrison County authorities say she died from her injuries.

The accident happened at Mile Marker 128, between the South Fairmont and Saltwell Road exits, of I-79.

A Message for the Friends of these Teens:

Could these lives have been saved if they had used seatbelts?  Why did this happen and how could it have been prevented?  Do you realize that 78% of all people ejected from vehicles suffer fatal injuries (die)?  This could have been you.

Wearing a seatbelt is not only a good idea, it is the law.  On Thursday, March 28, 2013, the West Virginia House of Delegates voted to make failure to buckle up a primary offense (you can get pulled over just for this) and will owe a $25 fine if caught not wearing your seatbelt.  This bill is now moving through the senate.  Up until now, not wearing a seatbelt has been a secondary offense.  Supporters of this landmark decision highlight the facts that in WV alone, seatbelt use could result in 14 lives being saved, 146 serious injuries avoided, and over 32 million dollars in medical costs saved every year, not to mention averting the inestimable suffering of the accident victims, their family, and friends which is always the result of these crashes.

Think about it!  Your parents are right about seatbelts.  Buckle up — because we love you.

Submitted by the Robinette Legal Group, PLLC, West Virginia Injury Lawyers. Free books and downloads for WV accident victims — Call us today: 304-216-6695 or 304-594-1800 for your free copy of Righting the Wrong: WV Serious Injury Guide; Collision Care: WV Auto Injury Guide; or Beside Still Waters: WV Fatal Injury Guide for Families. We are glad to answer your questions.

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