Motorcycle Fatality on I-79

A motorcycle crash on Interstate 79 on August 30, 2013 was the cause of death of a man from Clarksville, Tennesee.  The man was traveling south about two miles from the Goshen Road exit, when his motorcycle went into the median. He was thrown several feet from the motorcycle and landed in I-79’s northbound lanes and was pronounced dead at the scene.   Sheriff deputies said the driver was killed in the crash after he lost control of his motorcycle.  The reason why he lost control is still being investigated by local police and accident reconstructionists.  Often, the actions of other drivers on the road can force a motorcycle out of control.

Traffic in both directions was backed up for nearly two hours after the wreck.  Crews also contended with another fender-bender near the scene of the motorcycle wreck that was caused by the traffic.   The Monongalia County Sheriff ’s Department is asking anyone who may have witnessed the crash to call the department at 304-291-7260 and ask for Deputies Oziemblowsky or DeMedici.

Motorcycle Accident Prevention

Motorcyclists have all the same rights and privileges as any motor vehicle driver on the roadway.  Most of the time, when a motorcycle is involved in a crash, it is not the biker’s fault. Other drivers often fail to notice or fail to perceive a biker on the road until it is too late. Drivers of all other vehicles and all road users are reminded to safely “share the road” with motorcyclists, and to be alert to help keep motorcyclists safe.

According to the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, motorcyclists’ risk of a fatal crash is 35 times greater than an occupant in an automobile.  In 2007, 5,154 motorcyclists were killed nationwide – 38 in West Virginia.

  • Dangerous Left Turns: The most frequent impact scenario – forty percent (40%) of the crashes – involved the other vehicle turning left in front of the oncoming motorcycle while the motorcycle was going straight, passing, or overtaking the vehicle.
  • Dangerous Intersections: Most crashes occur at intersections, where the at-fault driver does not see the cycle until impact.
  • Dangerous Lack of Visibility: In multiple vehicle accidents, lack of visibility of the cycle is most often a contributing factor, with glare or other vehicles obstructing the at-fault driver’s view.  In two-thirds of multiple vehicle accidents with motorcycles, driver of the other vehicle violated the motorcycle’s right of way and caused the crash.
  • Dangerous Practices: The likelihood of injury is extremely high in motorcycle accidents-98% of the multiple vehicle collisions and 96% of the single vehicle accidents resulted in some kind of injury to the motorcycle rider; 45% resulted in serious injury and death.  Riders without helmets sustained a 600% greater rate of traumatic brain injury than riders wearing helmets.
  • Dangerous Reaction Time: Since the the typical motorcycle accident allows the motorcyclist just less than 2 seconds to complete all collision avoidance action, the cyclist should use every means to ensure he or she is visible to other drivers. Use of motorcycle headlamps in daylight and the wearing of highly visible yellow, orange, or bright red jackets can also significantly reduce accident involvement.

NHTSA estimates that helmets saved 1,784 motorcyclists’ lives in 2007, and that 800 more could have been saved if all motorcyclists had worn helmets.  The state of West Virginia requires that all motorcyclists wear shatter-resistant eye protection and a helmet that conforms to federally approved safety standards.

Sources:  http://www.robinettelaw.com/Articles/Avoid-becoming-a-Motorcycle-Statistic.shtml

http://www.dominionpost.com

Morgantown WV Motorcycle Accident Lawyers

The Robinette Legal Group is ready to stand up and fight for your rights to pursue full and fair money damages after a motorcycle injury or wrongful death.  You can try to file a motorcycle accident claim yourself, but there are some important things you will come to realize over time. The insurance company isn’t interested in protecting your rights and they will minimize the value of your injuries and your financial losses. That’s why having an experienced trial attorney from our firm is so important. We have years of experience handling motorcycle accident cases, as both defense lawyers and on behalf of injury victims.

Jeff Robinette at the Robinette Legal Group, PLLC is glad to answer questions about motorcycle accident claims.  Call today:  304-594-1800 or 24 hour line:  304-216-6695.

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Centra Bus Hits Pedestrian in Clarksburg

Clarksburg WV:  On August 29th, a pedestrian was hit by a bus as he attempted to cross the intersection of Main St. and 6th at about 4:15 p.m.  Clarksburg Fire and Police Departments and Harrison County EMS responded to the scene.

The man was taken to Northview Fire Station and then flown to Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown by HealthNet when he was found bleeding and unresponsive at the scene of this accident.Pedestrian killed in Clarksburg by Centra Bus

This is the third tragic pedestrian accident in this region within a week.  Both drivers and pedestrians need to take extra care to ensure you are never the cause, or the victim, of one of these horrible accidents.

Clarksburg WV Pedestrian Accident Lawyers

Every year in communities throughout West Virginia, hundreds of innocent adults and children are injured or killed while walking on a sidewalk or pedestrian crossing, or riding their bikes legally on our streets. When a car or truck hits a pedestrian, there is usually no question about who is going to suffer.

Going up against an insurance company to fight for full and fair money damages for your injuries or financial losses is no easy task. Insurance companies often devote substantial financial resources trying to beat you down and frustrate you until you accept their low settlement offer.

The  Robinette Legal Group puts you on an even playing field.  Jeff Robinette is a former insurance defense lawyer who understands the strategies and tactics insurance companies use to limit their liability.

Our firm has experience representing clients in all types of pedestrian and bicycle accident injury and wrongful death claims, including:

  • Intersection and crosswalk injuries
  • Parking lot injuries
  • Hit and run and uninsured motorist accidents

Contact our offices in Morgantown to schedule a free consultation about your pedestrian or bicycle accident injury claim. We represent clients injured in communities throughout West Virginia.

If you have questions about your claim, call 304-594-1800 or 304-216-6695 today.  We would be glad to take your call.

We are glad to provide free books and information for WV accident victims: Collision Care: West Virginia Auto Collision Guide, and Righting the Wrong, West Virginia Serious Injury Guide:  304-594-1800.

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Five Sent to Hospital after Crash on Chestnut Ridge Road

MORGANTOWN WV – A two vehicle accident happened around 9:30 Saturday evening near the entrance to Suburban Plaza, sending five to Ruby Memorial Hospital.

The two vehicles involved were a Ford Explorer and a Jeep Liberty. There were five people in the Jeep and two people in the Ford. Three people from the Jeep and both people in the Ford Explorer were transported to Ruby Memorial. Police say none of their injuries seemed life threatening.

The two west bound lanes and the center turning lane on Chestnut Ridge Road were closed for about two hours while officers from the Morgantown Police Department were investigating the accident.Suburban Plaza Wings Ole

Chestnut Ridge Road, especially in front of Suburban Lanes and Wings Ole’, remains the third most dangerous road in Morgantown, with thirty-four accidents last year.

Morgantown Car Accident Attorneys

If you or your loved one has been injured, it is important to act quickly to protect your claim in order to gain the compensation needed to help you move forward with your recovery and your life.  Mr. Robinette has handled hundreds of cases involving serious injury and wrongful death and can provide the insight you need right now.

If you have questions, call Jeff Robinette today at 304-594-1800, or after hours 304-216-6695.  You may also visit our website to find the answers you need today.  You don’t have to handle this alone.

We are glad to provide free books and information for WV accident victims: Collision Care: West Virginia Auto Collision Guide, and Righting the Wrong, West Virginia Serious Injury Guide:  304-594-1800.

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Elderly Pedestrian Killed While Crossing Street

Police are investigating the death of an elderly pedestrian killed on South High Street in Morgantown West Virginia in the evening on Monday, August 19th, 2013, the first day of the fall semester at West Virginia University.  The family of the decedent has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the Jimmy Johns Pizza Company, claiming that the company’s slogan, “Freaky Fast Delivery” encourages drivers to speed and drive recklessly.

Officers said a delivery driver heading north on South High Street at about 8:45 p.m. struck and killed an elderly Morgantown man who was crossing the street at the Simpson Street intersection.  According to the police department the driver failed to see the elderly man as he was crossing the street.

The driver was transported to Ruby Memorial Hospital and submitted blood samples for forensic testing, and the car was impounded for examination.  Officers are waiting to receive the forensic test results and plan to consult the Monongalia County Prosecutor’s Office before completing the investigation.

The Morgantown police and accident reconstructionists are investigating.

Weirton WV Business Man Killed by Truck while Walking

Just the day after the Morgantown man was killed, a Weirton businessman was struck and killed by a tractor-trailer while walking in a westbound lane of U.S. Route 22 near the Harmon Creek exit at about 11:21 a.m. Tuesday. Local police said it’s not clear why the man was in the highway, but no charges are expected to be filed against the truck’s driver.

Pedestrian Accidents In Morgantown

In Morgantown, though people of every age are at risk, students are the most likely victims of pedestrian accidents, especially on University Avenue, High Street, and Spruce Street.  Our most recent newspaper safety ad in the Dominion Post highlighted the fact that we need to be continually aware, because the students are often distracted cars as they cross these busy streets.

In 2010, a large grant was designated to inform the public of the danger of pedestrian accidents in and around our city through enforcement of ordinances already in place and social media campaigns.  The Morgantown Pedestrian Safety Board proposed a grant of $480,000  to help with walking safety around Morgantown.  Between 1998 and 2008 more than 226 pedestrians had been struck in an around Morgantown.  Sadly, it’s still happening.

We all need to pay closer attention as we drive or walk to ensure we are never the cause of such tragic pedestrian accidents which are heartbreaking for the driver and often deadly for the pedestrian.

Pedestrian Accident Lawyers in Morgantown WV

Every year in communities throughout West Virginia, hundreds of innocent adults and children are injured or killed while walking on a sidewalk or pedestrian crossing. When a car or truck hits a pedestrian, there is usually no question about who is going to suffer.

Going up against an insurance company to fight for full and fair money damages for your injuries or financial losses is no easy task. Insurance companies often devote substantial financial resources trying to beat you down and frustrate you until you accept their low settlement offer.

No Attorneys Fees Unless You Win

Many pedestrian accident cases are hit and run, or involve a situation where the car driver doesn’t carry insurance. That means you have to rely on your own uninsured driver policy to file a legitimate claim. Surprisingly, your insurance company may treat you as a hostile claimant, and you will need to fight to get the amount you are entitled to. It’s not right. It’s not fair. But it’s the way the game is played by the insurance industry. The Robinette Legal Group, PLLC puts you on an even playing field.  Jeff Robinette is a former insurance defense lawyer who understands the strategies and tactics insurance companies use to limit their liability.

Our firm has experience representing clients in all types of pedestrian accident injury and wrongful death claims, including:

  • Intersection and crosswalk injuries
  • Parking lot injuries
  • Loading dock injuries
  • Hit and run and uninsured motorist accidents

Contact our offices in Morgantown to schedule a free consultation about your pedestrian accident injury claim. We represent clients injured in communities throughout West Virginia.  If you have questions or want to know if you have a case, call Jeff Robinette at the Robinette Legal Group today:  304-594-1800 or 24 hour line:  304-216-6695.

Source:   http://weirtondailytimes.com/page/content.detail/id/603300/Weirton-man-struck–killed-by-truck.html?nav=5006#sthash.ge2wh2ub.dpuf

Did you know...they're back, pedestrian accidents

Sanitation Worker Killed by Tree Limb

In May 2013, a sanitation worker collecting trash in an alley in Moundsville, West Virginia, was killed when a broken limb fell from a tree and struck him in the head as he was collecting trash.

The limb was apparently damaged in a recent storm; it is unclear whether the truck struck the branch.  The worker suffered a massive head injury and was transported to hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

This was called a “freak” accident, but legally, could there have been any premises liability for this fatal injury?

How Healthy are Your Trees?  Danger Signs:

tree fall in parkBroken branches (called “widow makers” by arborists)

Weak branch unions

Old wounds

Ooze or fungus indicating decay

Sharp bends

Excessive pruning

Cracks

Cavity indicating advanced decay

As a home and property owner, you have a legal duty to keep your family and neighbors safe from tree hazards as much as it depends on you.  This list is not all-inclusive, so if you have any doubt about the soundness of the trees on your property, hire a specialist to inspect and evaluate safety issues.

How to Identify Tree Risks on your Property

Tree owners are not expected to have the expertise of a certified arborist in evaluating tree risk, but there are common defects and situations for which a tree owner may be held responsible as a “reasonable person” in the eyes of the law.

A hazard tree is one that has both a defect that may cause it to break apart or blow over prematurely and a target that could be damaged if the tree were to fail. A tree that has dead branches overhanging a sidewalk or street is a hazard because the dead branches may break off, striking a car or pedestrian. Without a potential target, a tree cannot be considered hazardous. Targets include houses, cars, outdoor decks, and, of course, people.

We recommend that private tree owners should inspect their trees twice annually: when the leaves are on the tree (spring and summer) and, for deciduous species, when the leaves are off the trees (late fall and winter).

Tree owners should also inspect their trees after severe wind events and storms. This is important because strong winds frequently cause tree damage such as broken branches, and cracks in the trunk.

Checking trees immediately following storms will help reduce the risk of defects becoming more severe and subsequently causing personal injury or property damage

Traditional Standard for Tree Owner Liability

The liability United States tree owners face from hazardous trees on their private properties has and continues to undergo a transformation.

The traditional common law legal test focused upon whether a tree owner had acted to create a hazardous condition on the property. When a tree owner did not act to create a hazardous condition on his or her property, the law did not hold the tree owner responsible for tree accidents. Essentially the law would not impose liability for the tree owner’s failure to act to remedy a natural hazard.

Only in cases where the tree owner had in some way acted to create or increase the risk of harm would liability attach to the tree owner. For example, removing a portion of a stand of trees, thus leaving the remainder susceptible to wind throw could be an example where a human act created a potentially dangerous tree situation.

Modern Trend for Dangerous Tree Litigation

Legal liability for private tree owners by structurally deficient trees or tree limbs has been undergoing a legal evolution over the last four decades.

The modern trend is towards a test that imposes greater responsibility and greater uncertainty on tree owners and arborists.

Abandoning the natural/artificial distinction, the modern test, adopted in half the U.S. jurisdictions, imposes general principles of negligence on tree owners.

Courts in each of the “modern” U.S. jurisdictions, however, have ruled in falling tree and tree-related cases that tree owners owe a duty to both passersby and other property owners to prevent harm to them from potentially dangerous objects on their properties.

The direction in which the trend appears to be proceeding raises the stakes for tree owners. Whereas immunity from legal liability may have previously existed, such liability can now more easily result from a tree owner’s actions or failure to act. The responsibilities of individual tree owners, particularly in urban areas, have increased in many states, and nothing suggests that the trend will abate.

Since the U.S. legal trend is clearly toward greater liability for hazardous trees, this warrants paying closer attention to the condition of one’s trees more than ever before.

Example of a Tree Liability Case

An example in the state of South Carolina was a lawsuit involving a decayed tree limb which fell onto an adjoining property owner’s land, striking and destroying an occupied automobile and injuring its occupant.

The tree owner argued that the law did not impose any duty of inspection on a tree whose limbs happened to overhang an adjoining business property.  The court did not agree, determining that while that may have been the prior rule, the modern rule requires the exercise of reasonable care to prevent dangerous trees from causing such injuries.

Negligence in Tree Management

To recover for injuries or damages caused by a falling tree or portion of a tree, an injured party must demonstrate that:

a tree owner had some duty to prevent the harm,

  • the tree owner breached that duty,
  • the breach was the cause of the injured party’s harm.

Since the modern trend is to establish in law a duty on the part of the tree owner to identify and repair or eliminate dangerous or hazardous conditions on the property, the modern threshold test is merely, was the dangerous object under the control or supervision of the tree owner?

But how does a court assess whether the tree in question was in fact hazardous or dangerous, and additionally, whether the tree owner’s legal duty to eliminate the hazard was triggered?

The legal principle at work essentially states that if a tree owner is actually aware, or should have been aware, of a defect or risk posed by a tree, remedial action is warranted, even required.  A tree owner must act as a reasonable person would have acted in the same circumstances.

West Virginia Premises Liability Attorneys

If you have suffered as a result of a fallen tree, broken limbs, or injured by any other premises hazard, we are here to help.  If you have any questions or are not sure if you have a case, call Jeff Robinette of the Robinette Legal Group, PLLC today and get the answers and help you need.  Call today:  304-594-1800 or 24 hour line:  304-216-6695.

Sources:

http://wvmetronews.com/2013/05/18/moundsville-sanitation-worker-killed-in-freak-accident/

Hazard tree liability in the United States: Uncertain risks for owners and professionals, by Michael J. Mortimer and Brian Kane, 2004:  http://www.summit-tree.com/pubs/Hazard%20Tree%20Liability.pdf‎

 

 

Mandatory Black Box for Cars: Impact on Injury Litigation

Black box for carsA new NHTSA rule requires all light  passenger vehicles be equipped with an Event Data Recorder (EDR) by Sep.1, 2014.   Most new cars already have them – measuring such inputs as speed, lateral  acceleration, pedal effort, seat belt use, wheel spin, steering wheel turn and  direction.  Supporters state that the data collected from these boxes could provide more information regarding car use and safety in a single day than could be collected through years of crash testing.  Even with the good which could be accomplished through this mode of data collection, the opportunity for misuse and hacking will be ever-present.

The proposed federal rule that would require black boxes or event data recorders (EDRs) in every U.S. automobile will also make personal injury litigation tougher, because in even clear liability cases where someone is involved in a collision while lawfully operating their vehicle, the “big brother” aspect of the black box will be used by the defense attorney to assign comparative fault to the injured driver.  In a manner similar to the comparative fault assigned now to a driver who fails to wear a seatbelt which results in an automatic 5% reduction of potential reimbursement of medical bills at trial, if according to the EDR the injured driver was exceeding the speed limit by even five miles per hour their claim could be reduced by that comparative fault.  Issues regarding potential tampering, hacking, and malfunction of the event data recording device will also impact the litigation of these claims.

The advent of new technology of any type will take years to adjust to, and the insurance companies have billions of dollars at their disposal to steer legislation and regulations to favor their position on denying claims and limiting payments to injury victims.   We have relied on eye-witness testimony for so long it is hard to imagine that a black box will replace eye witness testimony — but like it or not, we have to adjust to it.   I agree that data recorders can assist us in screening our cases better, and may even assist in getting better recoveries for some cases.    However, there are many collisions that involve some slight discrepency of our client, and the black box could be used against them, where an eye-witness would not be able to substantiate any fault to our client.    In the end, it will require us to be more careful in what cases we accept.

Morgantown Car Accident Attorneys

If you or your loved one has been injured, it is important to act quickly to protect your claim in order to gain the compensation needed to help you move forward with your recovery and your life.  Mr. Robinette has handled hundreds of cases involving serious injury and wrongful death and can provide the insight you need right now.

If you have questions, call Jeff Robinette today at 304-594-1800, or after hours 304-216-6695.  You may also visit our website to find the answers you need today.  You don’t have to handle this alone.

Read more:  http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/08/12/proposed-new-federal-rule-could-put-big-brother-in-your-driver-seat/#ixzz2brGNDhRY

Why are Ankle Injuries so Common after a Bicycle or Motorcycle Accident?

Reblogged from California Injury Victims Lawyer:

Ankle injuries along with ligament tears in and around the ankle are very common following a bicycle traffic incidents or motorcycle collisions for several reasons.  To understand these common factors that cause damage to the lower leg and anklebone, you must first understand the following:

The Anatomy of the Bones and Ligaments In And Around the Ankle

X-ray ankle joint.The anklebones are made up of three main bones that form a union between the foot and the shin.  These include the following: 1) the tibia is the largest bone in the lower part of the leg; 2) the fibula is the smaller of the two bones running along the shin and runs parallel to the tibia; and 3) the far ends of the tibia and fibula form the malleolus which connects to the top portion of the foot (the talus).   These bones are all connected by three groups of ligaments that connect bone to bone and assist in the movement of the joints in and around the ankle.  When there is a fracture of the tibia, fibula or talus or a tear of any of these joints, this can affect the mobility and function of the ankle and restrict the movement of the foot which can in turn inhibit simple tasks like standing or walking without the use of crutches or some other assistive device.

Ankle injuries can come in the form of fractures, ligament tears, or a combination of the two and are attributable to one main factor, namely, stress or traumatic impact to the joint.  This happens when the joint is either extremely flexed or extended and/or from severe force being applied to the joints or bones.  When only the ligaments give way to this trauma, you have a sprain or strain.  When the bones give way, you have a fracture.  When there is a combination of the two (as happens in many impacts related to bike and motorcycle crashes), this usually results in severe swelling of the leg, ankle and foot, pain coming directly from the site of fracture and from the surrounding area, black and blue bruising in or around the joint, and, in the most severe cases, the bone sticking out of the skin (so called “compound fractures”).

Why are the Anklebones and Ligaments In and Around The Ankle So Often Affected by Bike Accidents and Motorcycle Crashes

According to national accident statistics and data, approximately 87 percent of bicycle and motorcycle accident victims suffer injuries to their lower extremities including their legs, ankles and feet and lower extremity injuries were the most common injuries treated at trauma centers in the U.S. following a motorcycle collision. Tibia and fibula malleolar fractures were the most common of these injuries comprising 90 percent of all ankle injuries. (See U.S. Department of Transportation – National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Study: “Lower Extremity Injuries in Motorcycle Crashes” at p. 9).  One of the main reasons for this is that, unlike a driver or passenger in a motor vehicle such as a car, the bicyclist or motorcycle rider’s extremities are not protected by a steel cage.  In side impact collisions, the direct force of the vehicle strike can sometimes be on the lower leg itself or on the ankle or can cause the ankle to flex or extend in such a way as to tear ligaments or break bones.  The other factor in play is the ejectment of the bicyclists or motorcycle rider from their bike which can cause an impact between the bones and ligaments of the ankle and the pavement or other roadway surface.  Ankle injuries can also occur when the bike is “laid down” on its side which can come from both direct impact collisions and “near misses” which cause the biker to swerve and lose control.

Why is it Important to Seek Prompt Medical Examination and Treatment and Legal Assistance Following An Ankle Injury from A Bike Or Motorcycle Crash?

Because the anatomy of the tibia, fibula, talus and malleolus and the surrounding joints and ligaments is so complex, fractures, tears or combinations of the two can be somewhat difficult to diagnose and sometimes slow to heal properly.  The ankle is the main weight bearing joint for your entire body.  You rely upon it to be able to stand, walk, run, jump, and perform the basic tasks required for many jobs and occupations, home chores, and simple day to day living. This makes it imperative to seek quality consultation with an orthopedic specialist following a bike ankle injury which will include x-rays at a minimum and may and often should include more comprehensive diagnostic studies like an MRI.  It is important to fully ascertain the injury and the extent it will affect future mobility and the cost of present and future medical treatment for this type of severe injury.  It is equally important to hire a qualified personal injury attorney familiar with bike and motorcycle ankle injury claims to obtain the best medical evidence of the present and future costs  of treatment and obtain compensation accordingly.  Otherwise, you may be left with lifetime physical consequences like arthritis and other conditions that are not accounted for and not fully compensated.

West Virginia Foot and Ankle Injury Attorneys

If you are a West Virginian, or your injuries occurred in West Virginia, you need to know you don’t have to navigate through the insurance claims process alone.  Often future medical expenses will be incurred for a foot or ankle injury, and our foot and ankle injury attorneys in Morgantown would be glad to assist you to make sure you receive the full amount you are legally entitled to receive for your injuries.  Call Jeff Robinette at the Robinette Legal Group, PLLC today for a Free Evaluation of your claim:  304-594-1800 or after hours 304-216-6695.

Source:  http://www.victimslawyer.com/ankle-injuries-from-bicycle-or-motorcycle-accidents/ July 7, 2013 By , California Personal Injury Attorney.