Two Gas Well Drilling Workers Treated for Burn Injuries after Antero Well Site Flash Fire

WEST UNION —  Two oil and gas workers were installing a new separator at the Jonathon Davis pad site when a condensate leak occurred which caused a flash fire, burning two workers.  The flash fire at an Antero Resources well site in Doddridge County WV which burned two workers occurred on Sunday, October 27, 2013. One worker received first degree burns to his arms and hands, the other second degree burns to his arm.

One worker was sent to United Hospital Center and the second was taken to West Penn Burn Center in Pittsburgh, PA where he underwent a skin graft surgery.  One worker has already returned to work, the other is expected to remain hospitalized throughout the week.

Inspectors are working to determine an ignition source for the flash fire. The well pad is located off of Ramsey’s Ridge Road near West Union. There are several wells drilled on the pad and at least two are producing.WV gas well explosion

The West Virginia Office of Oil and Gas cited Antero Resources in August 2013 for failing to maintain well control in connection with a July 7 well explosion at the New Milton, Doddridge County Ruddy Alt well pad. Five men received severe burns in that gas well explosion and two of the men later died as a result of their injuries.

The Robinette Legal Group, PLLC, West Virginia Workplace Injury Attorneys 

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 us today for a free evaluation of your case at 304-594-1800 or after hours, 304-216-6695 or visit the Marcellus Shale Work Injury page on our website today.

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Source:  WBOY News.  “Antero Employee at PA Burn Center After Fire at West Union Well Site” By Kim Freda, http://www.wboy.com/story/23810159/antero-employee-at-pa-burn-center-after-fire-at-west-union-well-site, October 29, 2013.

If you Wait, it May be Too Late…

The following is from the transcript of a live chat our office recently received:

“I was in a car accident 2 years ago.  I have a head injury.  I have to take meds the rest of my life, and still have a knot on my head.  My doctor bills are around $10,000.00.”

“I called the insurance company to try to settle my claim about 2 weeks before the 2 years were up.  I didn’t know 2 years was all I had.  He told me he could not do anything with it until I had a doctor’s release form and to call him after I got it.  Then a week or so later I got a letter saying my case was closed.  When I called him he said they would not pay anything, even though I tried to settle it before the 2 years.”

She waited too long, trusted the adjustor, and now it is too late.

What is the Time Limit for Filing a Personal Injury Claim in West Virginia?gavel and clock

West Virginia law provides that you have two years from the date of the auto collision to take legal action (i.e., file a lawsuit) against responsible individuals and companies, including insurance companies, to seek compensation for the damages (i.e., your injuries and losses) you sustained in the auto collision.

If you do not file a lawsuit within the two-year statute of limitations period, your claim will be forever time barred. Two years may sound like a long time from now, but believe me, it is not when considering all the things that must be done to secure your legal rights against the responsible parties.    Every day that you wait to seek legal counsel equates to a loss of opportunity to obtain full compensation for your injuries.

Don’t miss your only chance for a fair insurance settlement

There are laws that protect you and your family from the consequences of negligent and wrongful behavior of others who caused your injuries and losses.  Your damages, which include your medical and financial losses and obligations, should be paid by the parties responsible for causing your injuries and losses — but they won’t pay, that is, not without a legal battle.

An experienced personal injury lawyer knows how to enforce your legal rights against the wrongdoers that caused your injuries and losses in a fair and professional way to obtain the compensation you deserve for your injuries.

What could happen if I wait to contact a Lawyer?

The first 60 to 90 days following your auto collision can make or break your case.   It is within this shorter time period that necessary evidence and testimony must be secured, treatment rendered and medical opinions obtained.

If you wait until after this time period has passed, and you have not developed your claim properly, it will make the job of even a good lawyer very hard to obtain a full recovery for you.   Worse yet, if you wait until close to the two-year statute of limitations period to consult with a lawyer, it is almost guaranteed that your claim has already been compromised.

You have one chance to gain fair compensation from your auto accident injuries.  Make sure it is done right.

Morgantown WV Injury Lawyers

If you need assistance with an insurance claim regarding a motor vehicle collision, we can help.  Call the Robinette Legal Group, PLLC  today for a free, no obligation consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney:  304-594-1800 or after hours, 304-216-6695 or visit our website to find answers to your questions.  You don’t have to handle this alone.

For more information, see our free report “Why the Insurance Company Doesn’t Want You to Hire a Lawyer.”

Source:  Collision Care — West Virginia Auto Injury Guide by Jeffery Robinette, Word Association Publishers, 2012.

Roll-over Crash in Harrison County

Clarksburg WV – Five young people in were involved in a serious roll-over crash on Highway Route 19 South near Laurel Park Road late on Saturday, October 19th, 2013.  The accident resulted in critical injuries in four of the car’s occupants.  The four individuals are in critical condition at Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown; two were flown there by HealthNet, one was taken to UHC by ambulance and then flown to Ruby, and one was taken by ambulance.  Two women and three men were involved in this crash.

Sheriff deputies said the driver lost control of the vehicle and that speed may have been a factor.  The sheriff’s department said the car went over an embankment near a body of water and rolled a few times, but thankfully, did not go in the water.

West Virginia Roll-over Crashes:

Of all the types of car accidents, one of the most dangerous and deadliest is the rollover collision. In a rollover, a car, truck, or other vehicle turns over onto its side or even its roof before coming to a stop in any position, so all four of the vehicle’s sides are involved and the vehicle experiences at least five impacts during the collision. When the roof of the car is impacted, there is always a danger of it being crushed.  While cars are designed to withstand some force in a collision, the impact and damage from rollover accidents are more likely to cause injury and death than other crashes because of the nature of the collision, the forces involved, and the damage that is likely to result to a rolled vehicle.

Another factor which makes these rollover wrecks so dangerous is the driver and passengers inside the vehicle can become trapped because of the damage to the vehicle. This may prevent occupants from obtaining the help and medical treatment they need or delaying such treatment, sometimes requiring the jaws of life to cut into the car and so the injured occupants can receive help and treatment.

Morgantown WV Car Accident Attorneys

If you have been injured in a rollover accident, you may have a claim for your damages. Contact the car accident lawyers at Robinette Legal Group, PLLC for a free, no-obligation telephone conversation.  Call Today:  304-594-1800 or after hours 304-216-6695.

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Sources:

WBOY News, “4 Taken to Area Hospitals After Vehicle Crash in Harrison County” October 20, 2013. http://www.wboy.com/story/23737492/update-4-taken-to-area-hospitals-after-vehicle-crash-in-harrison-county

Abels, Dave. “Rollover Accidents” http://www.daveabels.com/rollover-accidents.html October 21, 2013.

Early Morning U.S. Mail Truck Collision with Tanker Closes I-64

HUNTINGTON WV – The Huntington Police Department is investigating a crash involving two, tractor-trailer trucks which shut down all westbound lanes of Interstate 64 in Huntington.  Dispatchers received word of the crash at about 4:30 a.m. Thursday, October 17, 2013.

The crash involved a box truck owned by the U.S. Mail and a tanker truck carrying an unspecified substance. Dispatchers said the box truck overturned due to the crash’s impact and was leaking fuel from its tanks. One of the trucks also hit a bridge and knocked off a chunk of its concrete wall.
mail truck on side
The accident happened at the 9.5-mile marker, located just east of the 5th Street Road exit in Huntington. Officials were diverting westbound traffic off the Hal Greer and 29th Street exits.
Thankfully, there were no reported injuries, and unlike a May 2013 accident on I-64 in Kentucky involving a mail truck which caught fire as a result of a fuel leak, the contents of this US Postal Service truck were not destroyed and was transferred to another truck by Postal Service crews.  Even so, it is a good idea to follow up with any mail sent to or from this area recently if it is of any great importance.

New trucking regulations address the problem of extreme tiredness in truckers:

Both of these of these truck drivers involved in this 4:30 a.m. crash illustrate the types of drivers that are most at risk for driving error due to drowsiness.  In an effort to increase safety on our roadways and reduce driver fatigue, a leading factor in large truck crashes, the Department of Transportation has updated its mandates for breaks and rest periods for long haul truckers.

Tired drivers are far more likely to cause accidents than those who are well rested and driving in compliance with federal trucking guidelines. Tired drivers may also enter a dangerous state known as “highway hypnosis” in which dozens of miles may pass that they do not even remember. Whether a driver falls asleep at the wheel or is inattentive due to lack of sleep, the resulting accidents can lead to catastrophic injuries and wrongful death.  Under the new guidelines, drivers will have to stick to a schedule that requires taking a 30-minute break in the first eight hours of driving, cut the maximum workweek to 70 hours from 82, and “restart” those 70 hours with a 34-hour break once a week.

We are all guilty of driving while drowsy:

We all recognize how dangerous driving under the influence or texting while driving is, but driving while drowsy can be equally dangerous. Sleepiness can cause slower reaction times, blurred vision, lapses in judgment, and delays in processing information.  Most of us are not professional truck drivers, but drowsy driving affects us all.

Tips for avoiding becoming a drowsy driver statistic:

  • Get a good night’s sleep (seven to nine hours) before you begin your trip.
  • Plan breaks into your driving schedule; don’t be so rushed to arrive at your destination that you can’t stop for rest.
  • Stop every 100 miles or two hours for a walk, run, snack, or drink.
  • Bring a buddy who can share the driving.
  • If you think you could fall asleep, pull over and take a 15-20 minute nap.
  • Avoid driving at times you would normally be asleep.
  • Avoid alcohol and medicines that cause drowsiness.

Specific At-Risk Groups for Drowsy Driving:

  • Young people-especially males under age 26
  • Shift workers and people with long work hours-working the night shift increases your risk by nearly 6 times; rotating-shift workers and people working more than 60 hours a week need to be particularly careful
  • Commercial drivers-especially long-haul drivers – at least 15% of all heavy truck crashes involve fatigue
  • People with undiagnosed or untreated disorders-people with untreated obstructive sleep apnea have been shown to have up to a seven times increased risk of falling      asleep at the wheel
  • Business travelers-who spend many hours driving or may be jet lagged

Fast Facts about Driving while Fatigued:

  • 100,000 crashes each year are caused by fatigued drivers
  • 55% of drowsy driving crashes are caused by drivers less than 25 years old
  • Being awake for 18 hours is equal to a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08%, which is legally drunk and leaves you at equal risk for a crash
  • In 2010, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety released a study that shows that fatigue is a factor in one in six deadly crashes; one in eight crashes resulting in hospitalization, and one in fourteen crashes in which a vehicle was towed.
  • The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that drowsy driving results in 1,550 deaths, 76,000 injuries, and more than 100,000 accidents every year.
  • Caffeine can increase alertness for several hours, but you will still need adequate rest if you want to prevent fatigue related errors.

Warning Signs that it is time to pull over:

  • Difficulty focusing, frequent blinking, heavy eyelids.
  • Trouble keeping your head up.
  • Drifting onto rumble strips, swerving in your lane.
  • Inability to clearly remember the last few miles driven.
  • Missed exits or traffic signs.
  • Repeated yawning.
  • Feeling restless or irritable.

Before we launch into the fall and winter holidays, we need to consider the potential impact of driving while exhausted could have on our own safety, our families, and other drivers sharing the road with us.

Working with you to keep our families safe — The Robinette Legal Group, PLLC, Morgantown Personal Injury Attorneys serving the state of West Virginia.  We have vast experience handling truck accident claims.  If you need help with a motor vehicle collision insurance issue, call us today at 304-594-1800 or after hours, 304-216-6695.

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Source:  The Herald Dispatch, “Major truck crash closes I-64 Westbound” by Curtis Johnson, http://www.herald-dispatch.com/breaking/x1084575914/Major-truck-crash-closes-I-64-westbound, October 17, 2013

Logging Truck Crash Derails Fall Foliage Passenger Train in WV

logging truck and train accident on Cheat Mountain (2)Cheat Mountain WV — What could be safer than a pleasant day out with children and grandparents traveling on a scenic passenger railroad train through the mountains at ten miles an hour to admire the fall colors?  You just never know what a day can bring.  On this day in October, a logging truck failed to stop at a railroad crossing at the U.S. Route 250 crossing at Cheat Bridge on Cheat Mountain near the Randolph and Pocahontas County line.  The truck collided with a fall foliage sight-seeing passenger train, the Cheat Mountain Salamander, and caused two of the passenger cars to derail and overturn on their sides.

As bad as this collision was, it could have been far, far worse.  According to WVMetroNews, there were four cars on the train, and the truck hit the third car that was being used as a dining car and the logs from the truck went into the second car which was being used as storage and did not contain passengers.

The cars were reinforced with crash posts which is why the cars didn’t crumple when they were hit by this tremendous force and why metal didn’t shear and glass didn’t shatter.  Instead, they just got knocked off their track.  A second’s difference could have made all the difference for the passengers of this train.

The conditions for viewing the outstanding Cheat Mountain Sugar Maple display were not optimum on Friday, October 11th, 2013, which was a day plagued with drizzle, rain, and persistent fog.  The train carrying 63 sightseers and four crew members was traveling about ten miles per hour.

There was no immediate evidence that the truck driver had attempted to brake before his truck carrying logs ran through flashing railroad caution signals and crashed into two passenger cars of the Cheat Mountain Salamander, said a Randolph County Sheriff.  A complete brake failure, combination of thick fog and rain, or medical condition could have precipitated the accident.

The train’s engineer had to run a third of a mile to get assistance after the crash.  The site of the logging truck-train collision is in the no radio, no cell phone area near the Greenbriar Radio Telescope.  Injuries ranged from minor to serious — all 67 people on the train were transported for medical evaluation — some by school bus and some by ambulance.  HealthNet helicopters were not available because of the weather.  Over twenty people were treated for injuries.

The driver of the truck was declared dead at the scene and the truck was a total loss.  The Sheriff identified the log truck as belonging to H & H Fisher LLC of Pocahontas County.  An autopsy will be performed to determine the cause of death of the truck driver.

Investigators are working with the Public Service Commission rather than the National Safety Board which is not operating due to the partial government shutdown.

Unique Aspects of Logging Truck Accidents

Accidents involving commercial trucks are different than any other kind of motor vehicle accidents. In the first place, logging trucks and mining trucks on West Virginia roads are often fully loaded. Their sheer size and mass puts everything else on the road in danger. In addition, the companies that own and operate freight and cargo trucks are subject to federal safety standards. They know the level of liability they are under and will do everything possible to deny responsibility when one of their drivers is at fault.

Truck companies are under regulations by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Act (FMCSA) to keep detailed records of maintenance and driver activities. After a serious collision, these records could be altered or even disappear.  But as experienced trial lawyers with defense experience, we know how to guard against such actions. We hold the opposition to the highest standards of the regulations.

West Virginia Trucking Accident Lawyers

If you or a member of your family has been involved in an accident with a commercial truck of any size or weight class, talk to us. We provide a free consultation to discuss your case. If we are a good fit with each other, and you decide to retain our services, we will represent you on a contingency basis. You will not pay attorneys’ fees unless we help you recover money.

Time is an important factor in truck accident claims. Contact the Robinette Legal Group, PLLC today at 304-594-1800 or after hours 304-216-6695.

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For more information:  WV MetroNews, “Several still recovering from train accident; investigation continues” by Shauna Johnson, October 14, 2013:  http://wvmetronews.com/2013/10/14/several-still-recovering-from-train-accident-investigation-continues/