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 the 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 for 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.

What if a Police Officer Caused my Injury?

police state trooper cruiserWe all understand the need to call the sheriff, city police, or state police if we are involved in a serious accident on a motorcycle, or while driving a car, or truck.*  But, who do you call and what can you do if the collision was caused by a local police officer or WV state trooper?

Every year accidents and injury are caused by police officers while in the line of duty.  In a recent West Virginia auto collision, a motorcyclist was clipped by a police cruiser in pursuit of another motorist, causing substantial injury to the rider.

It was an unintended collision, and the policeman was just doing his job, but this injured biker now is suffering from injuries, medical bills, lost wages, and may be facing surgery and therapy in the future to gain a more full recovery after the accident.  This is all going to be very expensive.  Who is going to pay?

Can I sue a police officer, police department, state agency, or city for damages?

Even if the police officer was on-duty, the standard of care the officer must abide by is the same as any other citizen, except when the officer is in pursuit of another individual.  In the latter circumstance, the rules for the operation of his motor vehicle change to allow him to exceed posted speed limits and the like.  However, the officer is not permitted to disregard the safety of other motorists.

When a public employee causes a motor vehicle collision, there are special laws that govern the liability of the State and political subdivisions. Generally, state agencies such as the Department of Highways are immune from civil lawsuits except in certain circumstances. When a public agency or political subdivision can be sued, the claim is limited to a modest insurance coverage limit. When a police officer causes a collision, it must be determined whether the police department is insured under the State policy. So, an officer can be sued, but there will likely be a limit of insurance coverage available.

What type of damages can be recovered after a car or motorcycle accident?

Accident victims can be compensated for economic damages: actual dollar losses such as medical bills, lost wages, and lost future income earning ability. Pain, suffering, humiliation, loss of enjoyment of life, and grief over the loss of a loved one are some of the non-economic losses for which a person may receive compensation. Punitive damages are also awarded in rare cases which serve to punish a defendant for extreme negligence and serve to deter future similar conduct by that defendant and others (such as in a NC case where the police officer caused a collision due to road rage incident).

Recently another lawsuit was filed in WV wherein a man is suing the West Virginia State Police for injuries he sustained in a car accident caused by one of its state troopers.

A West Virginia State Trooper negligently struck the front left side of the plaintiff’s vehicle and caused him to veer off the road and strike an electric pole.  The plaintiff claims as a result of the defendant’s negligence and carelessness, he sustained damages and injuries, including broken ribs, a permanent back injury, medical expenses, loss of earning capacity and loss of enjoyment of life, and pain and suffering.

In Indiana, top-tier personal injury attorney William Hurst has been involved in many cases where a police officer’s negligence caused a motor vehicle accident, killing or seriously injuring a client or client’s family member.  In his blog, he outlines the special difficulties in bringing suit against police officers such as partial “waivers” of the sovereign immunity to allow the State, Cities, etc. to be sued for personal injury when their employees caused injury but have imposed restrictions and limitations as who can be sued and what an injured party can recover.

West Virginia Personal Injury Attorneys

Because of the complexity involved in crashes directly involving police vehicles, it is imperative you contact an experienced personal injury attorney to find all applicable insurance coverage and have an advocate on your side to fight for your right to compensation for your injuries.

If you have questions about a West Virginia road incident, Attorney Jeff Robinette would be glad to answer your questions.  Call today:  304-594-1800 or after hours 304-216-6695.

* West Virginia accident law states the driver of a vehicle involved in a crash resulting in injury to or death of any person or total property damage to an apparent extent of $1,000 or more shall immediately by the quickest means of communication, give notice of such crash to the local police department if such crash occurs within a municipality, otherwise to the office of the county sheriff or the nearest office of the West Virginia State Police.

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.

TwitterLinkedinGoogle +Facebook

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.

Mountainfest 2013 Motorcycle Fatality

Mountainfest Morgantown WV Motorcycle EventBiker Killed In MountainFest Accident

An estimated 60,000 motorcycle riders attended this year’s MountainFest sponsored by Triple S Harley Davidson of Morgantown, WV.  My observation was it was a well regulated, safety focused event, but some circumstances such as rain showers all day and evening Saturday, July 27th were beyond the event host’s control.

Sadly, a motorcyclist attending MountainFest in Morgantown WV was killed Saturday in a highway accident.

The biker was part of a line of motorcycles leaving MountainFest along Chaplin Hill Road. Rain-slickened roads after a rain storm caused the driver to lose control of his bike and drive into oncoming traffic where the motorcycle collided with a Dodge Neon. Police say the man was killed instantly.Mountainfest 2013

The driver of the Dodge Neon was transported to Ruby Memorial Hospital with minor injuries, according to police. A passenger in the car did not sustain any injuries, and no charges are expected to be filed.

Rain was the probable cause of twelve other crashes that day, so EMS crews stayed busy.  Local and State police were on top of the event and stopped several instances of reckless driving.Motorcycle with flames

Morgantown WV Motorcycle Crash Attorneys

Motorcyclists have rights on our West Virginia roads and highways. After an accident, many car and truck drivers will say that they didn’t see the motorcycle. Isn’t that another way of admitting they were negligent?

Jeff Robinette of the Robinette Legal Group, PLLC is ready to stand up and fight for your rights to pursue full and fair money damages after a motorcycle injury or wrongful death. If you or a family member has been involved in a motorcycle accident, don’t let the insurance company tell you it was the motorcyclist’s fault. It’s a common tactic. Insurance defense lawyers know that juries are often prejudiced against bikers.

Free Consultation · No Attorneys Fees Unless You Win · Statewide Motorcycle Practice

Yes, 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. Even if they admit liability on the part of their policyholder, 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.

We know what motorcycle accident cases settle for and we know what juries are likely to award if the case goes to court. We don’t back down in our pursuit of fair compensation for you.

We have trial experience in the most complex types of motorcycle accident injury and wrongful death cases, including:

From our offices in Morgantown, we are prepared to represent motorcycle accident injury victims throughout West Virginia.  Contact us for a free consultation about your bike wreck injury claim today.

Call 24 hours a day:  304-216-6695 or during office hours:  304-594-1800.

Source:  The Dominion Post, July 28, 2013:  http://www.dominionpost.com

Is There a Difference Between a Collision and an Accident in WV?

Collision CareOne of the classic ways that insurance adjusters begin the process of defeating your claim is to label the wrongful conduct of their own insured driver as an accident.   They will attempt to gain sympathy for their insured driver and make the collision sound like just a little mistake — an accident.   While it is true that many minor collisions occur every day and cause no personal injuries to anyone, it is not accurate to say that all collisions are “accidents”.

When a significant auto collision occurs, causing serious personal injuries, it is self-evident that the person who caused the collision violated the motor vehicle safety laws and is thus guilty of careless, negligent conduct.

It is important to never refer to the conduct of the at-fault driver, who caused your serious injuries, as a mere mistake, or the auto collision as an accident.  If the collision was truly an “accident,” then the law may not hold anyone responsible.  The law requires that legal liability be established on the basis of fault, referred to as negligence.

 WV Uniform Crash Report Replaces Uniform Accident Report

 For many decades, law enforcement officers used the “Uniform Accident Report” form to annotate information about the auto collision.   Notice the word “Accident” in the title of the form?    Insurance companies and defense lawyers loved it!   During trials, the defense lawyer, the police officer, and even the judge referred to the collision as an accident.   So, what’s a jury to think about your claim if it was caused by an accident?  Well, I can tell you from experience — not much.

Recently, however, the use of a revised auto collision report form was mandated in West Virginia.   The change was primarily brought about because a new form had to be created to be integrated with computer software.    Irrespective of the reasons to get a new form in the system, every state, county and city police force must use the revised form: “State of West Virginia Uniform Traffic Crash Report.”   Did you notice the word “Crash” in the title of the report?  You can bet the insurance adjuster and defense lawyer noticed it.

So now, even police officers must recognize that they are investigating car “crashes,” not mere “accidents.”    But, old ways are hard to break, and it will take constant reminders to adjusters and even judges to refrain from referring to the police report as an “accident” report.

 Morgantown WV Collision Injury Lawyers

If you or your loved one has been injured due to someone’s careless, negligent conduct 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.

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.

TwitterLinkedinGoogle +Facebook

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+

Injured in WV? Get the Facts.

Free Books for WV Accident Victims:

Beside Still WatersRighting the WrongsCollision Care

Click on book image for immediate download, or if you are a WV injury victim, call 1-304-594-1800 or email our office today to have a soft cover book sent to your home at no cost or obligation to you.

Collision Care: A Guide for West Virginia Accident Victims will give you the basic facts that you must know in order to make the best decisions for your present and future circumstances and to help you achieve the best result possible regarding your injury claim. (87 pages)

Righting the Wrong: West Virginia Serious Injury Guide provides serious injury victims and their families essential information about the insurance claims process to enable them to maximize their efforts to rebuild their lives. (161 pages)

Beside Still Waters: West Virginia Fatal Injury Guide provides surviving family members the information they need in order to pick up the pieces of their lives to enable them to rebuild a financial future for themselves and their children. (123 pages)

Click on a book cover image for a free immediate download, or if you are an injury victim or family member, call our office today to have a soft cover copy sent to your home. Due to limited availability, there is a limit of one book per family.

All of these books can also be purchased on Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble for $16.95 each, plus shipping, but if you act now, Jeff will send it to you at No Cost or obligation.

Some of the useful information you will find in these books:

  • What Are My Legal Rights?
  • What Is Legal Liability?
  • What Is Comparative Fault? What happens if we were both at fault?
  • How Do I Prove My Claim? What documentation must I provide?
  • For What Damages May I Receive Compensation?
  • Do I Really Need A Lawyer? How to choose the right lawyer for your case.
  • Can I Afford A Lawyer?
  • Financial Motivation Of The Insurance Company – to minimize their pay-outs and maximize their own profit.
  • What is a wrongful death?
  • Statements and Authorizations – Think twice and get advice before you sign that release!
  • Social Media Traps and insurance company surveillance of your activities.
  • Spoliation of Evidence , vehicle salvage issues.
  • And much, much more!

Bonus Information: The Anatomy of a Real-life Injury Case and 10 Ways to Ruin Your Case

Our Mission
Morgantown lawyer and principal attorney, Jeff Robinette, shares what he believes is the mission of the Robinette Legal Group, PLLC. The primary objective of a personal injury law firm is to help the average person who has been the victim of negligence against the powerful resources of the insurance industry.

About the Author:

Jeffery L RobinetteJeffery Robinette is a personal injury lawyer with decades of insurance litigation and trial experience in personal injury and wrongful death claims. Prior to representing injured individuals exclusively, Mr. Robinette was a partner in a major West Virginia law firm where he focused his legal practice on defending serious personal injury and wrongful death claims and lawsuits stemming from auto and truck collisions. He has also represented the nation’s largest and most powerful insurance companies at all levels of litigation including jury trials and appeals in state and federal courts in West Virginia.

Mr. Robinette taught insurance companies and their adjusters how to follow insurance laws and regulations, including how to adjust insurance claims in good faith. He was a frequent speaker at insurance conferences on West Virginia insurance law.

Submitted by the Robinette Legal Group, PLLC, West Virginia Injury Lawyers.  Call us today: 304-216-6695 or 304-594-1800.  We are glad to answer your questions.

FacebookTwitterLinkedinGoogle +

Seven Things that Really Irk People with Disabilities

wheelchairs on beachI recently read that since the start of the wars with Iraq and Afghanistan, over 17,ooo American soldiers have been catastrophically wounded, and the military has treated 1,559 amputee soldiers, many who are double amputees.  With advances in better protected vehicles, body armor and improved medical care, more soldiers who would have been killed in the past are now wounded amputees.   There are more people now than at any other time in history who are working to overcome the limitations imposed by disabilities. (World Magazine, “Walking Wounded,” by Edward Lee Pitts, 11/17/2012.)

As a former soldier and now as an attorney, along with the spinal cord injury lawyer in Ontario, who helps people navigate through the insurance claims process  after having sustained catastrophic injuries from vehicle or workplace accidents, I am particularly interested in and well aware of the impact such injuries have on an injured person’s future and family.  As families and friends prepare for holiday gatherings, here are some tips for putting others at ease.

The following are some courtesy tips provided by the United Spinal Association:

  • Put the person first:  say “person with a disability” rather than “disabled person;” say “wheelchair user” rather than “wheelchair bound” or “confined to a wheelchair.”  The wheelchair enables the person to get around and participate in society.
  • Always speak directly to the person with the disability, not just to their companion or aide.  Respect their privacy and do not make their disability the topic of conversation.
  • Avoid outdated terms like “handicapped” or “crippled.”  Also avoid euphemistic jargon like “differently abled.”
  • Ask before you help:  just because someone has a disability, don’t assume they need help.  Adults with disabilities want to be treated as independent people.  Only offer assistance if the person seems to need it.
  • Avoid touching a person’s wheelchair – even if t’s from bestmotorizedwheelchair.com, or scooter, or cane.  It is considered part of their personal space.
  • Never lean over a person in a wheelchair to shake someone else’s hand.
  • Never, ever, use a person in a wheelchair to hold people’s coats or set your drink on their desktop.  (Surprisingly enough, some people do these things.)

No matter how a person’s catastrophic injury occurred, sensitivity and respect is crucial in our interactions with people with disabilities, just as it is with everyone else we encounter.

Submitted by the Robinette Legal Group, PLLC, West Virginia Workplace Injury/Wrongful Death Lawyers. Free books — 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.

Related Article:  Rules of the Road for Motorized Wheelchairs

 

Common Foot Injuries From Accidents

Workplace accidents, car accidents, truck accidents, and motorcycle accidents often result in various types of foot injuries.  These injuries can be extremely debilitating and life changing.  Suddenly, through no fault of your own, you find that you can no longer enjoy activities that have been an important part of your life up to the time of the accident.  Often surgery, physical therapy, and weeks of limited activity are required for optimum healing.  Some of the most common foot injuries include compartment syndromes, fractures of the metatarsals, and fracture of the heel bone (calcaneus).

Acute Foot Injuries

Acute foot injuries that often result from work or motor vehicle accidents include severe bruising, torn ligaments, puncture wounds, ruptured tendons, joint sprains, muscle strains, as well as various types of broken, fractured, shattered, or dislocated bones.

Compartment Syndromes of the Foot

Ankle pain - detailCompartment syndromes of the foot typically result from workplace, industrial, agricultural, warehouse, and motor vehicle accidents.  When a heavy object runs over, crushes, or impacts the foot, swelling occurs along with severe pain. The foot structure consists of many small compartments.  These compartments are filled with muscles, nerves, and tendons and are lined by a tight membrane.  When an injury to the foot occurs, there is often some bleeding in the muscle tissue, causing the foot to swell and expand.   The lining of this membrane has a limited capacity to expand.  If the fluid and muscle swelling inside the compartment becomes significant, they may exceed the blood flow in and out of the small compartments.  If the pressure inside the compartment increases too much, the nerves and muscles start to get squeezed and stop functioning properly.

Metatarsal Fractures; Lisfranc Injury

Injuries to the metatarsal joints are quite common.  They can occur from something as simple as twisting your foot when stepping unevenly or may occur from more violent injuries such as a fall, work accident, or car accident that crush the metatarsals. Surgery is required in most of these injuries.  The broken or dislocated foot bones often need screws that are inserted internally into the bones across the joints for optimum healing.  If surgery is not performed, then a boot or a cast is used.  It can take eight to ten weeks for this fracture to heal with a 70% success rate using the cast.  Surgery has a better success rate with a six-week healing time.  The screws are typically left in for four to five months after the surgery and then removed.  No walking on the foot is permitted for six weeks, and then walking is allowed with a removable b oot for the next four weeks.  Swimming and biking are permitted early on after the surgery. If left untreated, full healing may never occur which means you will never return to your normal activities and which also may lead to painful arthritis that requires treatment.

Fracture of the Heel Bone (Calcaneus)

Fractures of the heel bone are debilitating injuries.  Usually, these fractures occur from car accidents and work accidents when a tremendous force crushes the heel and fragments the bone. Surgery is required to put the bone back together with a metal place and multiple screws.  This procedure decreases the likelihood of severe arthritis later on and maximizes the potential for a good recovery.  If the bone is severely crushed, the bone may also need to be fused.  Following the surgery, no walking on the foot is permitted for three months, and physical therapy is required.  Typical recovery time is about six months.  Occasionally, the surgery does not result in healing and must be repeated. Surgery on the heel  should be performed as soon as possible after the injury to prevent permanent widening and deformity of the heel in addition to chronic pain and arthritis.

Morgantown Accident Lawyers

If your foot or heel injury has resulted from an accident due to the negligence of another driver or your employer, please contact our office and we would be happy to evaluate whether we can help you gain compensation for  your pain, lost wages, and medical bills.  Jeff Robinette at the Robinette Legal Group, PLLC in Morgantown, WV has helped many workplace accident and car accident victims get the recovery they need. Call today for your free consultation at (304)594-1800 or visit our website to learn more about navigating the legal process of recovering from your injuries.  If you are a WV accident victim, we would be glad to send a free book to your home, or make an immediate download of one of our three books available to you for no cost or obligation.

  Facebook Twitter Linked In subscriber Google plus P Intrest