When Medical Conditions Cause Accidents, Injuries, and Property Damage

It is always tragic when an unforeseen major medical condition like a heart attack or stroke causes the collision of a bus, car, or truck and injures people and damages property.  The driver feels awful for being the cause of the collision, and those hurt by an accident or wreck are left wondering if it could have been prevented.  Medically unfit drivers can cause dangerous car, truck, and bus accidents, putting innocent people at risk of serious personal injury or death.  Unfortunately, sometimes these medical emergencies come on so suddenly that they could not have been foreseen, but in other cases the driver is aware that this possibility exists.

Truck Crashes into Home in West Milford WV

Just this week in Harrison County WV a truck, according to firefighters, “unknowingly” crashed into the side of a home, causing both occupants of the truck to be taken to the hospital for injuries, and caused extensive property damage to the home on Main Street in West Milford.  The driver of the truck pulled out of a Dollar General Store parking lot and then drove across the street right into the side of a house or building.  The most likely explanation for this accident would be a sudden complete loss of control by the truck’s driver, possibly caused by a medical condition.

Self-Reporting of Medical Conditions for WV Driver’s License Renewal

In West Virginia, when an adult goes to renew their driver’s license every five years, they are testing for general vision and are asked to self-report any medical conditions that may affect their driving ability.  Some of the conditions which may affect driving include severe arthritis, loss of vision and hearing, narcolepsy, any condition which could cause you to lose consciousness, mental disorders, and drugs which may cause drowsiness including pain medicines and medical marijuana. These drivers, if the license renewal is granted, are required by law to act prudently for their own safety and the safety of others with whom they share the road.righting_the_wrong_3d

Commercial bus and truck drivers are required to take a medical test every two years, but the actual rules as originally stated were too loose and opened the door to all types of abuses. For example, a terrible accident happened in New Jersey between a truck and a school bus that was caused by a medically unfit school bus driver, and just this week six people suffered serious injuries after a commercial bus crashed into a row of parked cars in Brooklyn, NYC.  The bus driver apparently suffered a stroke behind the wheel and lost the control of the bus.

To try to prevent such tragedies from happening again, now all bus and truck drivers are required to be examined only by a Certified Medical Examiner who has been specifically trained and successfully passed a test that qualifies them to assess if a CDL driver is medically fit to perform his job.

 West Virginia Car Wreck, Property Damage, and Truck Accident Lawyers

There is compensation available for the injured and those who have suffered property damage from an accident.  A qualified, experienced personal injury attorney knows how to maximize your recovery and gain the compensation you need to pay for all of your losses including medical bills, pain and suffering, and property damage.  If you have questions regarding a collision which has directly affected you, your vehicle, or your home or building, visit our Robinette Legal Group website to find answers, or call to talk to one of our attorneys to get the help you need:  304-594-1800 or after hours, 304-216-6695.

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Sources: 

WBOY News:  “Two people Injured After Vehicle Collides Into Building” by Marisa Matyola, March 17, 2014.

AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety:  “Driver License Policies and Practices.”

School Bus Accident in Monongalia County

Van rear-ends school bus on Canyon Road near Morgantown, Injuring Two Children

school bus accidentAccording to the Monongalia County Sheriff’s Department, two children were taken by ambulance from a Tuesday afternoon accident in which a minivan hit a school bus on Canyon Road on September 17th, 2013.

The bus driver had 46 kids on board. The bus departed Mountaineer Middle School and was stopped on Canyon Road when the accident occurred.  The driver said she had all of the bus’s normal caution lights on and the airbrake engaged.   “I thought I dropped my transmission,” the bus driver said, describing the impact. “Then I saw a plume of smoke come up behind the bus and the kids yelled.”  The van was partially lodged under the rear of the bus.

The children heard a large bump and said they thought the driver had just slammed on her brakes.  Those seated were not injured, but the two children who were injured were standing at the time of the impact.

No citations were issued at the accident scene; the accident is still under investigation.

The two injured children were taken to the hospital for medical evaluation, but thankfullly it seems that no one was seriously or sustained permanent injuries (although if is your child who is on the school bus, any bus accident is a serious matter).

What you need to know about School Bus Safety

  • It is illegal to pass a school bus that is stopped to load or unload children.
  • Red flashing lights and an extended stop sign arm signals to motorists that the bus is stopped and children are getting on or off the bus.
  • All 50 states require that traffic in both directions stop on undivided roadways when students are entering or exiting a school bus.
  • In all cases, traffic behind the school bus (traveling in the same direction) must stop.
  • The area 10 feet around a school bus is where children are in the most danger of being hit. Stop your car far enough from the bus to allow children the necessary space to safely enter and exit the bus.
  • Be alert. Children are unpredictable. Children walking to or from their bus are usually very comfortable with their surroundings. This makes them more likely to take risks, ignore hazards or fail to look both ways when crossing the street.
  • Never pass a school bus on the right. It is illegal and could have tragic consequences.

It is up to us to keep the kids safe – so please be careful!

Morgantown Accident Attorneys

Information provided by the Morgantown WV accident attorneys at the Robinette Legal Group, PLLC.  Prevention is always better than the cure.  Look alert for school buses and pedestrians, and let’s work together to prevent accidents.  If you have a question about accidents, call us today at 304-594-1800 or after hours 304-216-6695.

For more information see: The Dominion Post, “Van Hits School Bus; Two Children Injured,” by Ben Conley, September 18, 2013, http://www.dominionpost.com