Marion County Multi-Vehicle Accident on I-79 Caused by Teen Driver Injures 6

Sheriff Deputy Hit While Helping a Disabled Truck
Sheriff Deputy Injured While Aiding a Semi-Truck

Rear End Collision on I-79 near Fairmont, WV Caused by 17-Year-Old Driver

Six people were transported to Ruby Memorial Hospital Monday evening after a vehicle accident on I-79 in Marion County.  Authorities responded to a tractor trailer on fire near exit 139 on I-79 around 8:15 p.m.

A deputy was putting down flares to divert traffic from the right lane into the left lane and was hit by a vehicle.

The driver of the first vehicle, followed the deputies instructions to move lanes. As Sutherland was switching lanes, a second vehicle, driven by a 17-year-old, approached and failed to notice the deputy or the flares. The vehicle driven by the 17-year-old rear-ended the first vehicle, which spun the vehicle around hitting the deputy that was directing traffic.

The deputy flew approximately 40 feet into the ditch line. The deputy was transported to Ruby Memorial Hospital and is reportedly in stable condition. There is no word on the extent of his injuries.

The two drivers, as well as three passengers, were taken to Ruby Memorial Hospital.

Charges are pending against the 17-year-old.

Source:  WV Always (WBOY News) 6 People Taken to Hospital after Marion County Accident, January 17, 2017

 

Miracle Baby in a Drainage Ditch Story Illustrates the Need for Secure Child Seats

The most amazing thing happened along I-30 this week when a tractor-trailer sideswiped  car also traveling down the the interstate, tearing the door off the vehicle and causing the car to flip.  The driver, a mother, and her baby were ejected from the vehicle.  Her car seat was soon found, but the infant wasn’t in it.

A short time later, a good samaritan who was searching the area heard some noises from some piles of hay alongside the highway.  He continued his search, and found that an eight-month-old baby was sitting up in the bottom of a drainage ditch, holding out her arms to be picked up.  She wasn’t screaming, wasn’t crying… merely waiting.

Drainage Ditch Where Baby Was Found
Drainage Ditch Where Baby Was Found

The drainage ditch was about 25 feet from the roadway.  It is imagined that the baby rolled down the hill after the semi hit the car and caused the accident, and landed in the drain, sustaining only a scratch on her forehead.  It took three firefighters to get her out.

The mother and four other people were taken to the hospital for more serious injuries.

Miracle Baby After Rescue

Miracle Baby Thrown From Car and Survived
Miracle Baby
Police confirmed that the child was not properly restrained in the car seat at the time of the semi-truck accident and that the car seat was also not properly installed.
The driver of the truck was cited for an improper and unsafe lane change.

Car Seat Safety

Miracles can and do happen, but you can’t count on a miracle to save your child in the event of an accident.  Make sure your baby is properly secured in the car seat, and that the seat itself is securely fastened into your vehicle.
Car Seat Properly Installed
Car Seat Properly Installed

Tips For Keeping Your Little Ones Safe:

    • Read the car seat instruction manual and the portion of your vehicle’s owner’s manual on car seat installation. Every car seat needs to be installed using either the lower anchors of the LATCH system or the seat belt to secure it in place. If you choose to use a seat belt to install your car seat, pay close attention to how to lock your seat belt in the vehicle owner’s manual. Because every car seat and vehicle is different, it’s important to follow all instructions carefully.
    • Place the car seat in the back seat of your vehicle and follow the manufacturer’s installation directions.
    • The car seat must be secured tightly in the vehicle. It should not move side-to-side or front-to-back more than 1 inch when pulled at the belt path.
    • If it is a forward-facing seat and has a top tether strap, connect it to the tether anchor and tighten. This step is very important as it limits forward head movement in a crash.
    • If it is a rear-facing seat, make sure the car seat is installed at the correct recline angle. Most car seats have built-in angle indicators or adjustors that help with this step.

Learn More About What You Should Do After a Collision

Get 7 Tips for Car Accident Claims


Sources:

CNN, Infant Ejected from Car is Found Alive in Storm Drain, November 28, 2016

USA Today, Thrown from Car, Baby is Found Safe in Storm Drain, November 28, 2016

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), The Right Fit, Car Seat Installation 

 

Legal Insight: Night-time Truck Accidents

Truck Accident, night
Morgantown WV Night Truck Accidents: WV Truck Accident Law | Morgantown Truck Accident Lawyer Explains

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Night Truck Accidents, WV, I-79 and I-68

By Attorney Jeffery L. Robinette, Personal Injury and Legal Malpractice Representation

The federal department of transportation guidelines for commercial motor vehicles provide explicit directives and warnings regarding the safe operation of tractor trailers.    An empty  tractor trailer can stop quicker and respond faster to emergencies on the road than a fully loaded one.

Night driving dictates even more safety precautions because a tractor trailer operator can only respond to emergency situations he observes — if his speed exceeds the illuminated area of his headlights, then the driver will not be able to safely respond to an emergency situation until it is too late which may cause a fatal truck accident similar to the many devastating collisions we hear about on I-79 and I-68 near Morgantown.

During daytime driving, the visibility may be a quarter mile ahead, so a driver can see and anticipate how to respond to an emergency situation in time to avoid a collision.   At night, the illumination may only give a driver 200 feet of visibility, but his speed at 70 miles per hour may require every bit of that distance to stop his truck, depending on his load weight and road conditions.   If the driver is exceeding the posted speed limit at night, he won’t be able to see problem areas ahead in time to stop safely — hence, his stopping distance will exceed the illumination distance of his head lights.

It is quite obvious which tractor trailers are loaded on an uphill grade, but on level ground and certainly going downhill, heavily loaded trucks are especially vulnerable to collisions because they have little ability to slow down if there is an emergency situation ahead of them.

While there are many exceptional truck drivers who take great care to keep the public safe, there are others that exceed safe speeds, tailgate passenger vehicles, and fail to keep their trucks mechanically safe for operation.

Wrongful Death Investigations of Fatal Truck Accidents

In investigating fatal truck accident cases, it is imperative to pursue facts that point to truck driver fatigue or other types of negligence. Driver logs must be examined, hotel receipts, GPS devices, black box evidence, dash cam videos, and other sources of evidence that paint a picture of the circumstances leading to the accident.

This thorough approach gives the best possible chance of obtaining favorable results for an injured person or a family after filing a wrongful death claim after a fatal collision.

These big-rig truck accidents are the result of the volatile combination of speed and weight, causing a situation which is too often much more devastating than any other type of vehicle collision.

The most common causes of commercial truck accidents include:

Questions?  Contact Us Today & Learn How We Can Help.

Sources:

Comprehensive Q&A about Truck Accidents

WBOY News:  One Dead After Multi-vehicle Accident on I-79

Truck Wreck on Route 20, Texting while Driving Suspected Cause

Several people were taken to the hospital after a two-vehicle collision near Wallace in Harrison County, WV near Lumberport.  Six people were injured in the two pickup truck crash.  Texting while driving is suspected as a possible cause of one of the pickups crossing the center line, causing the head-on collision.  Unfortunately, the four people in the pickup that crossed the center line were not wearing seat belts and sustained serious injuries. The driver and the passenger of that truck were flown to Ruby Memorial Hospital by HealthNet for severe head trauma. The two passengers in the rear of that truck and also the two people in the other pickup were taken to UHC for treatment for injuries sustained in the truck collision.

Source:  WBOY News, “Several People Taken to Hospitals After 2-Vehicle Collision in Harrison County,” Lauren Talotta, September 20, 2014.

 

Multi-million Dollar Verdict in Tire Blow-out Lawsuit

Tire Blow-Outs are a Common Cause of Vehicle Rollovers wheel after tire explosion

Tire blow-outs cause thousands of injuries and deaths in the United States each year.  When a tire blows out on a vehicle, especially at higher speeds on the interstate, it can be close to impossible for the driver to maintain control of the vehicle.  Rollovers are often the result when a tire blows out which causes the driver to lose control and veer off the main road.  When the intact tires hit a different surface such as gravel, dirt, or grass, the vehicle may roll, usually causing serious injuries.  Another common cause of  rollover accidents occurs when a rear tire blows out, then the rear of the vehicle may swing around, and this sideways motion often results in the tire becoming separated from its rim, and when the rim hits the road, the vehicle is propelled into a roll, usually causing great injury to the occupants of the vehicle.

A New Jersey family was driving to Florida on a vacation when the right rear tire blew out on their Chevy Trailblazer.  The family’s adult daughter was driving at the time.   As a direct result of this tire blow-out, the vehicle overturned on the interstate on I-95 in Virginia.  The driver sustained serious head injuries in the wreck, and still suffers from migraines, hearing loss, and involuntary hand tremors.  Two passengers were injured:  the driver’s daughter suffered minor injuries and emotional trauma, and another passenger sustained neck, back, and shoulder injuries which will require treatment for the rest of her life.

The vehicle had been serviced three days before the accident, and had been serviced a total of 17 times by the same dealership before the crash.  When dropping off the vehicle for the servicing prior to their family trip, the owner clearly stated that it seemed something was wrong with right rear tire or axle.   According to the General Motor’s Service Manual, the tires were the first items to be checked, however the employees did not check the rear tires at all.  Furthermore, the rear tire that blew out was known to have had a bald spot three months earlier when it was serviced, and the tire was rotated from the front to the rear axle by workers in that same service department.

Following a thirteen-day trial, the jury awarded 7.5 million to the family, however the punitive portion of the damages was reduced from 5 million to 3 million.  Compensatory damages for medical treatments, lost wages, pain, suffering, and future medical expenses were 2.5 million for a total final award of 5.5 million.  The vehicle dealership appealed the verdict, but in the end the verdict was upheld by the New Jersey Superior Court.

Collision Care Ebook adIf you have experienced injuries as a result of a tire blow out and want to find out more about your legal rights, contact the Robinette Legal Group, PLLC to discuss your case.  Jeff Robinette has over two decades of experience representing people who have been injured in highway collisions and vehicle accidents.  Call today:  304-594-1800 or after hours, 304-216-6695.

Source:  The National Trial Lawyers, “NJ Appeals Court Upholds $5.5M Verdict in Tire Blow-Out Lawsuit,” by Andrew Findley, April 29, 2014.

Whiteout Conditions Cause Multi-vehicle Accident on I-81 in West Virginia

One of the beauties of West Virginia is its mountains and high altitudes. It looks like “almost heaven” from the windows of our homes, but once you get out on the roads, it can seem quite the opposite when snow, ice, and foggy conditions make driving treacherous, often causing vehicle wrecks and injuries. We all have pressing obligations which make going out on the roads, no matter how bad the conditions, seem mandatory.

Whiteout causes multi-vehicle accident on I-81Driving hazards are increased exponentially, though, as the temperature drops below freezing and can make even the simplest commute extremely dangerous, causing multiple-car crashes.  A recent example of this was when a snowstorm in late March 2014 caused whiteout conditions in Berkeley County near Martinsburg, WV causing more than 40 vehicles to collide in two separate incidents on Interstate 81 near Falling Waters, West Virginia, killing two people and injuring seven others.

The two fatalities occurred on the northbound lane, and the seven people were injured in the accident on the southbound lane of I-81.  A total of 44 vehicles were involved in this traffic pileup, including several tractor-trailers, and 15 to 20 vehicles were significantly damaged. The injured were taken by helicopters to Berkeley Medical Center in Martinsburg. The vehicles were rerouted to Highway 11, but it was slow going due to the high number of vehicles and people making their morning commute on the interstate.

Challenges and risks unique to the season – which this year has extended much longer than expected — require heightened vigilance, and drivers must adjust their driving to meet the demands of the road.

How to File an Insurance Claim if You have Been Involved in a Multi-car Collision

In a multi-car pileup, fault may be harder to prove because of the multiple vehicles involved. Contact your insurance company right away and provide information about the effects of the accident on your vehicle and your health, and any information you gathered from other drivers at the accident scene. If you have any reason to believe you were injured and haven’t seen a doctor, go immediately.

Sometimes the adrenaline your body produced immediately after the accident can mask symptoms which can later cause you a great deal of pain, and early treatment can eliminate a lot of future medical problems and pain. Often, early intervention with physical therapy can eliminate a need for surgery later – so get a medical opinion right away. Follow all doctor’s orders, document everything, and keep records and receipts from all medical office visits, as well as receipts from all expenses related to the crash.

If you have been severely injured, it is important to your claim for you to keep personal notes about how these injuries are affecting you and your family on a daily basis. If your damages were small and you weren’t seriously injured, chances are you can settle your claim yourself.

If you believe your insurance adjuster has not treated you fairly or considered all the facts and expenses related to your claim, you may need the help of an experienced car accident attorney. Claims adjusters are trained to minimize claims, so to obtain your case’s full value, a strong advocate on your side can be your best asset.

Questions? Call today: 304-594-1800 or after hours, 304-216-6695.

Find Jeff Robinette on Google.

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Source: WHSV.com: “2 Killed In I-81 Pileup During Whiteout in W.Va.” March 26, 2014.

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.”

Two People Injured When Tractor Trailer Loses Tire on I-79

Truck drivers and trucking companies are responsible for routinely inspecting their trucks and performing necessary maintenance. When they fail to follow these guidelines, innocent lives are put at risk.  Semi trucks that weigh thousands of pounds and travel at high speeds need to be in safe operating condition. Due to the speed and mass involved in commercial truck travel, failure to maintain truck parts can lead to serious accidents, causing catastrophic injuries and wrongful death.

A recent example in West Virginia occurred on February 27th, 2014 when two people were seriously injured when a tire flew off of a tractor trailer which was traveling south on I-79, then bounced across the interstate, and went through the car’s windshield in the northbound lane of traffic.

The collision happened at approximately 4 p.m. Thursday on Interstate 79 northbound just north of Jane Lew near Lost Creek.  The man who was driving the car was flown to Ruby Memorial Hospital with severe injuries and his passenger, a woman, was transported to a local hospital.  According to the news reports, the driver of the truck kept on going, not recognizing he was missing a wheel.

The truck was driving southbound when the tire came loose, traveled across the median and struck the car driving in the northbound lane.  Reporters called this a “freak accident,” but this type of collision resulting from faulty tractor-trailer maintenance is not as uncommon as you might imagine.

In fact, a few years ago I handled a very similar case in which a motorist was forced to swerve out of her lane of traffic to avoid an oncoming tire that had been thrown off of a semi-truck trailer.  Unfortunately for this driver, in her attempt to avoid the errant wheel, she collided with another vehicle and became involved in a multi-car crash.  The truck company’s response was, “This was just an accident.  These things happen.”Truck tire causes accident

These things “happen” as a result of someone’s failure to follow and obey DOT trucking regulations.  These things happen because of neglected truck maintenance and unperformed mountaintop safety checks.  These things happen when annual and periodic inspections are not performed as required.  These things happen when rims are not properly secured.  These things happen when wheels and rims are cracked or broken.  These things happen when stud or bolt holes on the wheels are elongated (out of round).  These things happen when nuts or bolts are missing or loose.

At Robinette Legal Group, we have extensive experience handling truck accident lawsuits for clients throughout West Virginia. While some law firms handle the occasional truck accident case, our firm makes truck accidents and personal injury law our primary focus.

Common causes of truck accidents include:

  • Faulty brakes
  • Faulty steering components
  • Truck tire blowouts
  • Inadequate lighting and reflectors
  • Inadequate under-ride protection

Our attorneys have the investigative resources to uncover the causes of truck accidents and determine who was responsible for the accident. We have access to experts in accident reconstruction, truck maintenance and other relevant fields who help us prepare our cases. We will put our skill and experience to work for you to help you obtain full and fair compensation for the losses you have suffered.

Contact Us

Have you or a loved one been injured in a truck accident? Call today to speak with an experienced accidents due to truck maintenance lawyer.  Contact us to learn how we can help you recover full and fair money damages for your truck accident injuries and financial losses.  From our offices in Morgantown, our truck accident lawyers represent clients in car accident and motor vehicle injury cases throughout West Virginia:  304-594-1800 or after hours, 304-216-6695.

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Source:  WBOY News:  “2 Transported to Hospital After Tire Breaks Car Windshield on I-79.”  February 27, 2014.

Three WV Teens Killed in Head-on Collision with Fire Truck

Due to the sheer physics involved in head-on collisions, the resulting injuries are typically severe and catastrophic. All too often, head-on collisions result in fatal injuries.  Tragically, such was the case in January 2014 when three, 16 year-old teenagers were killed in a violent crash with a fire truck on a Saturday night in Hancock County, W.Va., in the state’s northern panhandle.  The three firefighters were treated at the hospital and released.  I have been seated across the table with families far too many times as they are experiencing the greatest sorrow of their lives.  “If only…” is everyone’s recurring thought.

Sheriff’s officials said the fire truck was traveling north on state Route 8 near Tomlinson Run State Park, responding to a call about a chimney fire at about 9 p.m., when a southbound vehicle pulled into the northbound lane in an attempt to pass another vehicle. The driver was unable to return to the southbound lane and collided with the fire truck from the New Manchester VFD.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a head-on collision caused by another driver’s negligence, it is important to have an experienced personal injury attorney on your side.  At Robinette Legal Group, we are dedicated to helping injured people and their families recover compensation for the losses they have suffered. We are prepared to handle the most complex cases involving serious injuries and wrongful death.Beside_Still_Waters_-_Covers_3D

We have the skill and resources to handle cases involving catastrophic injuries and wrongful death. If you have been seriously injured, an experienced car accident lawyer will carefully assess the full extent of the damage and how it will affect you today and in the future.

West Virginia Motor Vehicle Collision Attorneys:  We Can Help.

Questions?  Call us today:  304-594-1800 or after hours, 304-216-6695 or click here to visit our website.

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Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/local/region/2014/01/19/Three-high-school-students-die-in-West-Virginia-traffic-accident/stories/201401190199#ixzz2r0B3QtVS

Cross Median Vehicle Collision on I-79

A cross median crash is a collision or wreck where a vehicle, or vehicles depart from the way traveled to the left, traversing the median separation between the highway’s directional lanes, and colliding with a vehicle traveling in the opposite direction.  In an attempt to prevent these often fatal collisions, grass medians separate interstate highway lanes and concrete or metal beam barriers have been installed in some known highway danger areas.

Grass medians can be somewhat effective, as also are traditional concrete and metal-beam barriers, but are expensive and can be difficult to install in some locations.  The good news is that the alternative of cable median barriers can provide an solution which is both comparatively inexpensive and effective.  A great advantage for West Virginia terrain is that these cable barriers are very effective on slopes.   National studies have shown a 96% reduction in fatal cross median crashes when these cable barriers are used, and several hightension cable designs are now available that can withstand multiple hits.

A recent three vehicle collision near Weston, WV where two vehicles collided in the southbound lanes of I-79 may be a case for consideration in determining whether or not the mere separation of lanes by a grass median is enough to prevent such head on collisions.  The impact of this collision drove one of the vehicles into the northbound lanes, where it slammed into a flatbed truck.   Tragically, the truck driver was injured and taken to Stonewall Jackson Memorial Hospital, and one person was killed in the wreck.  Clearly, the grass median was not enough in this case to prevent tragedy.

Accident reconstructionists are working to determine the cause of the initial collision involving the two cars in the southbound lane.crash on I-79 near weston

This accident was obviously a cross-median collision, but the absence of a standard definition leaves many accident situations in doubt with regard to characterizing them as cross-median crashes. Questionable examples include the following: vehicles departing the roadway, crossing the median, and colliding with a tree and vehicles crossing the median and falling from a bridge overpass onto a different road such as in a recent incident which occurred near Bridgeport, WV.

In October of 2013, on the southbound side of I-79 just past the Meadowbrook Mall exit in Bridgeport, a truck lost control as it was approaching the bridge crossing Johnson Avenue/Meadowbrook Road, hit the guardrail and then fell off the bridge on the street below.

The semi truck was completely destroyed and I-79 South was limited to one lane while the section of Johnson Avenue/Meadowbrook Road between the I-79 northbound on ramp and the I-79 southbound off ramp was completely closed.  One person was injured, but the truck driver was able to crawl out of the cab after the collision.

In light of trying to prevent such accidents from happening at all, or at least minimizing the impact and damage from such collisions, the National Traffic Safety Board (NTSB) is working toward better accident analysis in this area.  Furthermore, the NTSB recommends that NHTSA and Governors Highway Safety Association work together to add a standard definition for “cross-median crash” and a data element for cross-median crash accidents to the national databases.  Solutions to address the problem naturally include barrier application and installation decisions in where to best place highway dollars for driver’s safety.

Causes of cross median crashes are the same as you would expect in any motor vehicle collision, such as fatigue, improper lane changes, and inattention, but the good news is that research is showing that protective barriers, especially cable median barriers, can prevent most cross median crashes, regardless of the circumstances.

One of the least expensive solutions would be increased installation of cable median barriers which consists of 3 or 4 steel cables, tensioned and strung on posts which contain vehicles in the median once they leave the roadway where they are less likely to involve other vehicles and cause a multi-vehicle crash.

Cable median barriers are also some of the most versatile and forgiving barrier system available for reducing the severity of run-off-road crashes and show a substantial reduction in fatal and injury crashes when compared to concrete and metal beam barriers.  When struck, the cables flex and the posts break which absorbs most of the crash’s kinetic energy and redirects the vehicle along the barrier.  National studies have shown a 96% reduction in fatal cross median crashes when these barriers are used.

Indisputably, prevention is always preferable to the cure, but when a motor vehicle accident does occur, whatever the circumstances, human suffering and property loss is too often the result.  At the Robinette Legal Group, PLLC, we have spent decades helping the victims of such collisions gain the compensation they need to put their lives and health back together, as much as possible.

We know how to navigate the insurance agencies’ strategies to minimize reimbursement and compensation for your losses and how to help you gain your best possible result.  If you have any questions concerning injuries or financial losses, or property damage from a car, truck, or motorcycle accident, call us today to get the answers you need:  304-594-1800 or after hours, 304-216-6695.

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Source:  National Transportation Safety Board, “Safety Recommendation.”  October 4th, 2011.  http://www.ntsb.gov/doclib/recletters/2011/H-11-028.pdf