Hit and Run Drivers Face Civil as well as Criminal Charges

Car accidents are sometimes understandable mistakes or are simply unavoidable.  Sometimes they are caused by negligence like substance abuse or driving which has been distracted by electronics.  But as soon as drivers flee the scene in order to avoid responsibility, no matter the cause of the accident, it becomes a crime.  In these cases, families often file personal injury or wrongful death lawsuits against hit-and-run drivers in addition to criminal charges they are facing which may be up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine.

Drivers often flee the scene of a pedestrian collision due to fear of prosecution, fear of being found to have been driving under the influence of alcohol or illegal substances, or fear of having been found to have been driving without liability insurance, as are one in every seven drivers on the road today.

We need to send a message to hit-and-run drivers in West Virginia which is:  You will be caught, and you will be prosecuted, so don’t make matters worse for yourself or anyone else involved.

Beverly, WV:  Hit and Run on Highway Route 219

A good example of this involves the West Virginia State Police in Elkins who are investigating a hit and run that happened on Rt. 219 outside of Beverly around 4:30 p.m. on Friday, November 29th, 2013.  State Police have located and arrested the driver and charged him with DUI causing personal injury, leaving the scene of an accident, possession of a controlled substance, and possessing marijuana.

State Police said the perpetrator of this hit and run was driving north on Rt. 219 outside of Beverly and struck a young man who was walking on the shoulder with another person. Troopers said the driver  was answering his cell phone while driving around a turn when he traveled off of the roadway and struck the pedestrian who is now in critical condition. The second pedestrian was not injured.  At the time of this post, the pedestrian remains in critical condition at Ruby Hospital, and the hit and run driver is being held in Tygart Valley Regional Jail.

What Can A Victim Do In Such Cases?

This collision exemplifies all that can go wrong when irresponsible persons are behind the wheel of a vehicle —  driving under the influence, losing control of the vehicle and leaving the victim on the side of the road.   Thankfully, there was a witness who was able to communicate the identity of the perpetrator to the police.    But what about the victim’s rights of recovery against the perpetrator?   What can be done to make him responsible for the damages he has caused?   Unfortunately, in many cases, there is little that can be done.   If the perpetrator has insurance, it is often in the minimum limits required by law: $20,000.   One day in the hospital would absorb that amount.   More often, though, the perpetrator doesn’t have automobile insurance and has no assets.   A judgment against such an individual would likely be difficult if not impossible to collect.  Besides, he is likely to be spending some time behind bars for his illegal behavior.   These types of situations illustrate the need for responsible drivers to have sufficient underinsured motorist vehicle coverage and medical payments coverage on their own policies.

Elkins 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 and avoid paying you what your claim is worth.

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
  • 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.

Related article on Erin’s Law in WV stiffening penalties for hit and run drivers.

If you have questions, call 304-594-1800 or 304-216-6695 today.

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Source:  WBOY: “1 Arrested, 1 Hospitalized at Ruby Memorial Hospital Following Rt. 219 Hit and Run.”  December 3, 2013.

Look Alert: Second Pedestrian Fatality in Morgantown in a Month

Morgantown Police are investigating and fatal hit and run accident that happened early in the morning on September 15, 2013.  Police continue to search for the vehicle and driver which killed this student pedestrian on Patteson Drive in an area between Krepps Park and Arby’s.

According to a Morgantown Police Department news release, a vehicle was traveling east on Patteson Drive when it struck a pedestrian in the roadway. The vehicle then fled the scene.

Anyone with information regarding the incident is asked to call the Morgantown Police Department at (304) 284-7522.

Second Fatal Pedestrian Accident in Morgantown within a Month

The incident marks the second pedestrian hit and killed by a vehicle in the past 30 days in Morgantown. On Aug. 20, a man was driving along South High Street when he struck and killed an elderly Morgantown gentleman as he was attempting to cross the street.

Local Morgantown drivers need to stay alert and be aware, especially at night when visibility is diminished, for the sake of pedestrians crossing streets, especially downtown on High and Spruce Streets, and along Van Voorhis Road, Chestnut Ridge Road, and Patteson Drive.

Hit and Run Drivers Need to be Prosecuted to the Fullest Extent of the Law

Car accidents are sometimes understandable mistakes or are simply unavoidable. But as soon as drivers flee the scene in order to avoid responsibility, the accident becomes a crime. In cases like this one, families often file wrongful death lawsuits against hit-and-run drivers in addition to criminal charges.

We need to send a message to hit-and-run drivers which is:  you will be caught, and you will be prosecuted, so don’t make matters worse for yourself or anyone else involved.

Source:  The Dominion Post, “Student Killed in hit-and-run” by Alex Lang, September 16, 2013, http://www.dominionpost.com

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

Does it Matter if I Wait to Contact a Lawyer?

gavel and clockDoes it really matter if I wait to contact a lawyer about my wrongful death claim?

If you think that waiting a few months to speak with a lawyer won’t impact your wrongful death claim, think again.  Every day that you wait to seek legal counsel equates to a loss of opportunity to obtain full compensation for your injuries. In reality, it is the first 30 days following the fatal injuries to your deceased family member that are most critical to your case.

It is within this relatively short time period that initial inspections should be completed and necessary evidence and testimony secured. It is always best if a lawyer is consulted within the first few days following the tragic event, because certain evidence won’t last even 30 days. If you wait too long to develop your wrongful death claim, it will make the job of even a good lawyer more difficult to obtain a full recovery for the estate.

Waiting even a few weeks to get legal advice about your case may be just enough time for evidence to be lost or destroyed or an important witness to disappear.  Loss of vital evidence and witness testimony will cause permanent shortcomings in your wrongful death case.    Without evidence you have no way of proving liability against the responsible parties who caused the death of your family member.

You don’t know if or when your evidence will disappear or be destroyed. An important witness to your case will not likely call you up and give you their testimony and forwarding address before they skip town. When they skip town, there goes your evidence, too. And that documentary evidence — the tangible information like records and parts — you need to prove your case can disappear. Nobody is going to alert you to that either.

Also, please keep in mind that West Virginia allows only two years to file suit after the occurrence.  After this time, your claim will be forever barred.

It doesn’t matter if your evidence is accidently lost or intentionally destroyed; both have the same adverse impact on your fatal injury claim.  All these things happen without you knowing it — these are some of the legal ramifications of waiting too long to get legal counsel.  You don’t have to end up being further harmed — you can exercise your right to consult with your own lawyer about your injury claim today.

For further information about moving forward after a tragic, unexpected death, we offer a free resource for you to help guide you through the process of moving forward with your lives.  Click this link to gain the insight you need today:  Beside Still Waters:  West Virginia Fatal Injury Guide.Beside_Still_Waters_-_Covers_3D

No words or amount of remuneration could ever compensate all that you have lost when your loved one is taken from you.  As you move forward with your life, those who are responsible must be held accountable to give you a sense of justice and closure.  Jeff Robinette and his staff are available to answer your questions.  Every call is handled with compassion, and every case is handled with dignity and professionalism.

Call The Robinette Legal Group, PLLC today:  304-216-6695. You can also find Jeffery Robinette on Google+

Height of Cowardice: Deadly Hit and Run in Brooklyn

hasidic jewsA baby delivered after his parents were killed in a Brooklyn hit and run accident on Sunday, March 3, 2013 died early Monday morning.

Police were searching for the driver of a BMW and a passenger who fled on foot after slamming into a livery cab, killing the young pregnant woman and her husband.  The horrific crash happened in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn as the couple headed to a hospital when the mother believed that she might have been starting labor.

“This guy’s a coward and he should pay his price,” a community spokesman added that the community wants a homicide prosecution in the state of New York.  Strong words from the community:  “Law enforcement is going to find you.  Give yourself up before we find you.”

A young married couple, both aged 21, were looking forward to welcoming their first child into their tight-knit community of Orthodox Jews.  A year ago this community celebrated the marriage of this young couple, and yesterday over 1,000 had the sorrow of mourning their loss.

The engine of the livery car ended up in the backseat, where the mother, who was seven months pregnant, was sitting before she was ejected from the car.  Her body landed under a parked tractor-trailer, said witnesses who raced to the scene after the crash. The husband was pinned in the car, and emergency workers had to cut off the roof to get him out, witnesses said.

They both were pronounced dead at hospitals, and the medical examiner said they died of blunt-force trauma. Doctors had delivered the baby by cesarean section and lived until early Monday morning.

Neighbors and friends said the boy weighed only about 4 pounds. The livery cab driver was treated for minor injuries at the hospital and was later released. Both the driver of the BMW and a passenger fled and were being sought, police said.

Hit and Run Drivers Need to be Prosecuted to the Fullest Extent of the Law

Car accidents are sometimes understandable mistakes or are simply unavoidable. But as soon as drivers flee the scene in order to avoid responsibility, the accident becomes a crime. In cases like this one, families often file wrongful death lawsuits against hit-and-run drivers in addition to criminal charges.

We need to send a message to hit-and-run drivers which is:  you will be caught, and you will be prosecuted, so don’t make matters worse for yourself or anyone else involved.

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 about hit and run accidents.

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Source:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/04/williamsburg-hit-and-run-expecting-parents-baby_n_2805203.html?ncid=webmail1