What to Do if Your Uber Driver Is Involved in an Accident

How to Handle an Uber Collision

It’s no secret that Uber drivers have taken over our roads. You can find them everywhere. Since 2009 there are more than 75 million people who have used Uber. What makes them so popular is the fact that they are very convenient and cost-effective. However, they can also be risky and dangerous. Take note that vehicular accidents can have a significant impact on the rest of your life.


So what do you do if your Uber driver gets involved in an accident with you in the car? What you can do next depends on whether the Uber driver was acting as your driver or another person’s driver, and whether it occurred while they were “on the clock” or not. This guide focuses on what happens if you’re a passenger in an Uber when it’s involved in a car crash.

What To Do After an Uber Accident

You must always make sure that everyone is okay after any vehicular accident. This also applies during an Uber crash. Furthermore, if you require medical attention, then you should be sure to get it right away. Don’t forget to call 911 if you’re uncertain as to whether anyone needs urgent medical attention. It’s better to be safe than to be sorry in the end.

Uber crashes are similar to other car accidents in a lot of ways. You have to know what to do after any car accident. However, there are specific things you can do in an Uber accident. You should:

Morgantown Car Accident Image
Morgantown Car Accident

Call the police

It’s very important to call the police to the scene so they can create a report after an Uber accident. Make sure to stay at the scene with the Uber driver so you can also talk to the police officers. Don’t get tempted to get another ride and leave the scene. The police need to talk to everyone involved in the incident to get an idea of what happened and why. Usually, they’ll also include their opinion about who was at fault in the crash in their report.

Take note of everyone’s contact information

Make sure to get everyone’s information about who was involved in the incident, including your Uber driver, the other driver, and any other passengers. Since it’s difficult to determine who is at fault right away, collecting everyone’s contact info will be important.

Report the incident

You must also report the accident to a few key entities such as:


  • Uber (so they’ll report it to their insurance company)


  • Your insurance company


  • The other driver’s insurance company


It’s highly recommended that you make all of these reports right away just in case any of these insurance coverages apply. Most insurance companies have time frames in which you have to make a claim after an accident, and if you don’t act fast, you could waive your ability to get money for your damages and losses.

Seek Medical Attention After an Uber Crash

Please visit a medical facility on the day of your accident as soon as possible.  Never tell the police and insurance that you are not injured if you are not 100% sure you are perfectly okay after the collision.  Any statements will be used against your claim later on if you are experiencing after effects from the collision, and if you don’t quickly seek medical attention for your injuries, this will also be used to prove that you weren’t really injured.

In America, there are millions of people who use Uber daily. Accidents involving Uber drivers occur almost every hour of every day. That’s why it’s a must to have basic knowledge of the legal and insurance issues that will affect you if you’re ever injured in an accident with an Uber driver – either as a pedestrian or a passenger, bystander, or the other driver.


How to Teach Your Kids Bike Safety

In the midst of this pandemic, bike riding has shown a resurgence for both children and adults.  In some urban areas, biking is replacing the public transit commute, and it is nearly impossible to even find a bicycle for purchase.  In and around Morgantown, West Virginia, we have a great network of rail trails for bike riding enjoyment.

bike in morgantown west virginia

Here are some of our best tips for helping your kiddos to keep it fun by keeping it safe:

Teaching Kids Bike Safety

Do you love cycling and do you want to make it an integral part of your family’s routine?  Biking with your kids is an excellent way to get them comfortable on a bike.  However, it’s also vital to ensure that they have a strong understanding of bike safety so you’ll feel at ease when they go out biking on their own.  Here are some tips on how to teach your children bike safety so your kids are ready to take on the world, one bicycle lane at a time.

Making bike safety gear fun

As a minimum requirement, safety gear for riding a bicycle is a nice set of lights for when it’s dark.  A lot of people also opt to wear helmets and hi-visibility clothing.  Make the process of safety gear fun by offering your children various options and allowing them to choose their suit. 

Practicing off the bike

Practice hand signals with your kids at home.  It’s crucial to practice hand signals so that your child feels comfortable riding with you on busier streets.  The goal is to make hand signals second nature.  It doesn’t have to be in-depth, but occasional “pop quizzes” when you’re chilling at home will keep the signals fresh in their minds for the next bike ride.

Road Rules

Learning bike safety early helps foster a lifetime of safe bike riding.  Before your kid starts riding, make sure that you teach him/ her the rules of riding.  

Bicycle riders must know how to use hand signals.  These signals are used to let car drivers know what a bicyclist intends to do.  Here are some basic hand signals:

  • Stopping: left arm bent down at the elbow 
  • Right turn: right arm extended straight out or left arm bent up at the elbow
  • Left turn: left arm extended straight out

Before pulling into the street at an intersection, a bicycle rider should always:

  • Stop, look left, and then right. Look left again.
  • Look back and yield to the traffic coming from behind.

As a general rule, kids under ten years old should ride on the sidewalk, not on the road itself (even in the bicycle lane).  However, you can use your best judgment to ascertain whether your kid is ready to ride on the road.  Do make sure that he or she has the skills and knowledge required to keep safe to avoid a bike accident.

More bike safety rules:

  • Bicycles should always be ridden in the direction of traffic and never against it.  They should also be ridden on the right side of the road.
  • Bicycle riders should always look out for cars coming out of parking spaces, parking lots, and driveways.Bike riders must understand and follow all traffic lights, crossing signals, and street signs.
  • Young kids should always walk their bikes through intersections.

You have to make sure that your child understands basic bike safety and knows how to care for their bike.  Doing so puts them at a lower risk for bike-related injuries.  If you have younger kids, then monitor them at all times when they are riding.  Tell your older kids to check in with you if they are out on their own.

Pack water and a small first aid kit:

Also, if they are taking off for a long ride, make sure they have water bottles and a small first aid kit containing bandages.  You don’t want them to have to use socks to stop the blood should a mishap occur on the trail!


How to Teach Your Children How Avoid Being Bitten by a Dog

We recently settled a case for a client who was visiting a friend.  She reached over to pet their small dog and was horribly surprised when the little dog lunged forward and bit her on the nose.  The teeth were sharp and the bite deep, and the injury to her face required plastic surgery and left a permanent scar right in the center of her face.  We ended up settling the case for nearly $200,000.

Even though our client got a great financial result, you really don’t want your child to go through the pain, trauma, and possibly lifelong fear of a dog bite.

Here is a copy of our recent dog bite lawsuit client’s review of our firm:

What an amazing team! Jeff was extremely helpful, compassionate, and understanding to my situation, and circumstances. He was very proactive and dedicated in his representation. Excellent, and proficient communication through out the process. I would highly recommend Jeff for anyone needing representation. Thank you!

How to Teach Your Child to Avoid Getting a Dog Bite

adult black pug
Photo by Charles on Pexels.com

A dog is a great pet for any family. They are loyal, playful and they can also protect your loved ones. However, they sometimes get triggered or provoked and their natural instinct is to bite. Accidents like dog bites can be easily prevented. The key is to teach your kids how to properly interact with your dog. Here are some useful tips:

The First Meeting

The initial interaction between your kid and your new dog takes place during visits to a breeder or shelter. Yet, once the dog moves in, he needs some time to adjust to his new environment. It’s vital to talk to your children about helping your dog feel comfortable in your home. Your kids should:

Give the dog some space. An excited kid can easily make a dog feel overwhelmed before he’s comfortable with accepting attention. Allow your dog to sniff around the house to get acquainted with his new abode.

The dog should be the one to initiate interaction. If the dog’s arrival is his first meeting with your kid, tell him/ her to be still, and hold out a closed fist for your dog to sniff. If the dog responds positively, then let your kid touch him. However, if the dog seems nervous or shy, explain to your kid that the dog is still adjusting to his new home. Furthermore, tell your kid that with a little patience and love, they will become best friends in no time.

Teach your children that even a small dog can have a fierce bite!

What Not to Do

It’s also equally important to explain to your kid what not to do with any dog, new or otherwise. There are certain behaviors to avoid to prevent stress and possible injuries to both the child and dog. The following are some things to avoid:

Do not run and shout

Whether during play or out of fear, a shrieking, running kid triggers a dog to chase and bite.  

  • Do not hug/ squeeze the dog

The dog may not perceive it as an affectionate gesture. He could feel threatened, especially if the kid’s face is near his. Instead, tell your child to kiss his/ her own hand and gently pat your dog with the “kiss”. Remember that toddlers won’t know the difference between a soft pat and a strong thwack. Therefore, you must carefully supervise them.

  • Do not play rough

Some children see dogs as hobby-horses. A dog may tolerate such disrespectful behavior, but he shouldn’t have to. A child should also not wrestle, straddle, or lie on top of the dog. These certain actions can elicit a painful reaction such as biting.

  • Do not tease a dog

Kids sometimes like to see dogs react to being poked, blown at, or other forms of teasing. They must learn from the start that teasing is cruel and can be dangerous if your dog retaliates.

  • Don’t disturb a sleeping or eating dog

Food aggression in dogs should not be tolerated but kids should also learn to let dogs eat in peace. Furthermore, pestering or startling a sleeping dog can trigger an angry or fearful reaction. Tell kids to leave sleeping dogs alone.

Even though dogs of a breed can vary greatly in temperament, please don’t buy a dog for your family of a breed that is known to have a higher than average propensity for attack.

Pit Bull Bite and Attack Statistics


5 Steps to Filing an Auto Accident Claim in West Virginia

How to File an Auto Collision Claim in West Virginia

If you have been involved in a car accident in West Virginia – and suffered injuries and/or property damages – it is important that you file an auto accident claim promptly and seek compensation for your losses. You pay your monthly auto insurance premiums with the expectation that your insurance company will come through and recompense you after your car accident. However, we have seen in numerous instances that the process doesn’t quite work as smoothly for the auto accident victims.

Isn't it easy to avoid the accident?

An injured auto accident victim needs the guidance and counsel of an experienced West Virginia auto accident lawyer who will remain on his or her side, fight for their rights and help them secure the compensation they rightfully deserve. Here are the five steps to filing an auto accident claim in West Virginia.

Step 1: Reporting your West Virginia auto accident

As a driver who has been involved in a collision, it is crucial to stop immediately and remain at the scene. You should also file a police report. Provide your account of the incident to the responding police officer. If you or any of your passengers have been injured, make sure you call 911 and get medical attention right away. It is important to get a copy of the police report, which often helps establish the facts of the incident. The investigating officer will often times determine fault for the accident, which may prove very useful to your auto accident claim particularly if the other driver has been deemed clearly at fault for causing the collision.

Step 2: Collect as much information as possible from the accident scene

Evidence forms the basis of a strong auto accident claim. Much of these pieces of evidence are collected soon after the accident. Among the details that must be gathered at the scene of the crash include:

• Details for other parties involved in the crash (driver’s license number, auto insurance details, vehicle license plate numbers, contact information, etc.)
• Contact information for eyewitnesses, anyone who may have seen what occurred and can corroborate your account of the incident.
• Photographs and/or video of the accident scene, which should include such details as your injuries, your passengers’ injuries, damage to the vehicles, the position of the vehicles, traffic and roadway conditions, any debris that is strewn on the roadway, skid marks on the roadway, etc.
• If possible, also write down notes and draw diagrams of what you see at the accident scene because you are likely to forget most details and your memory may become fuzzy as time goes by.

If you are unable to gather this information at the scene because you are injured and have to go to the emergency room or hospital, ask if a friend or family member can help you get this crucial information for you.

Step 3: Call your insurance company right away.

This is a critical step if you would like your insurance company to reimburse you for your losses quickly. Contact your insurance company from the accident scene or as soon as you get home and are in a safe location. Your insurance company will ask for all the basic details including the time, location and circumstances of the crash. Write it all down accurately so you are able to provide the details with ease. When you talk to the insurance company, never admit fault or make any guesses as to what occurred. Stick to the facts and to what you know. Your insurance company will assign an adjustor to your case and let you know where you can take your vehicle to be repaired. They will also provide you with a claim number, which will serve as your case number when you want to follow up.

Step 4: Save all your receipts and invoices

Auto accident victims may have to deal with a number of medical expenses such as emergency transportation, hospitalization, surgeries and cost of medication and medical equipment. It is important that you are diligent about saving each and every doctor’s report and invoice because these documents serve as evidence of the injuries you suffered and the treatment you received for them. Also, document the number of days of work you missed and the wages you lost as a result of the accident and the injuries. Include other items here such as whether you had to hire a housekeeper, gardener, nanny or other services because of your injuries. You should be reimbursed for all these and other expenses you incurred as a result of your accident and injury.

Step 5: Contact an experienced West Virginia auto accident attorney

If you were injured and had to take time off work to recover from your injuries, it is imperative that you have a car accident lawyer on your side who is not only a skilled negotiator but can also represent you in a jury trial, if it becomes necessary. In such instances, you would be well advised to seek the services of an experienced West Virginia auto accident lawyer.

You may be entitled to damages including medical expenses, lost income, hospitalization, rehabilitation and pain, and suffering. A knowledgeable West Virginia accident attorney will be able to evaluate your claim, determine what it is worth and help you receive fair and full compensation for all your losses. Please call The Robinette Legal Group PLLC to find out how we can help you.

New Mediation Center In Morgantown, West Virginia

Morgantown Mediation Center
Morgantown Mediation Center

Mediation Center Opening August 2018


The Morgantown Mediation Center, an elegant solution for all mediation and small conference needs in North Central West Virginia, will be available starting in August 2018. Located in the Ridgeview Business Park, the center is convenient to I-68 and I-79. Parking is free and fully accessible. Three conference rooms are available in the Mediation center, and up to six separate rooms can be booked for your next legal mediation or settlement conference.

Attorney Jeff Robinette is available as a mediator for personal injury, professional and medical malpractice, and contract issues.   Based on availability, Mr. Robinette would be pleased to serve as your mediator, and of course you are always free to choose your personal favorite for mediating your legal settlement proceeding at the Morgantown Mediation Center.

Book your next mediation at the Morgantown Mediation Center.


(304) 216-7108

Battling Depression after an Accident

A car accident is a traumatic event, and for some, life is suddenly drastically different in one moment.  There is a broad spectrum of events that could contribute from financial hardship to life-altering injury, to the passing of a friend or family member.  All these sudden issues are difficult and overwhelming at first, but as time passes, it usually gets gradually easier.  For some, however, depression can develop, and the passing of time does not decrease the difficulty.  This is a condition that, like an injury, needs to be attended and not ignored.

Depression Often Results After A Car Accident

Allow Others to Help

Depression is a difficult period of life in which your mind and emotions are greatly affected.  You should not try to fight the battle on your own.  You need responsible friends and family members that you can trust to help and support you.  View depression as an illness rather than a deficiency.  Communicate your thoughts and feelings to your trusted friends and family, and let them help you through the difficult times.  Since your emotions are affected, they may be able to better identify problems and know if you need to seek a doctor’s care.

Face Reality

This can make you feel better in some ways and worse in others, but it is important for recovery.  No matter the source of your depression, it is probably a circumstance that might never be ideal again.  While this can be upsetting, bring this up in your mind and talk out your feelings to yourself and trusted friends and family.  You may even need to find a trustworthy counselor, like a pastor, pastor’s wife, school counselor, or other professional.  Be honest about your feelings.  In doing this, you will have to face the source of your depression, but if you are truly facing reality, you will see that there is still a lot of good in life, and in time, there is still a lot of good that you can do.

Take Care of Yourself

With depression, it is easy to take poor care of yourself, but be sure you eat plenty of healthy foods, rest, have good hygiene, and take your medicines on time.  Also, these steps contribute to staying in a daily routine.  Depression makes it difficult to be motivated, but a routine helps you to keep moving, which is a crucial step to battling depression.

Get Moving

Many people who battle depression feel constantly fatigued.  They don’t want to get up and do anything because it does not feel like it would be worth the effort.  The best action to fight this fatigue is to get up and get moving.  Simple exercise, like walking, can help to reduce feelings of fatigue after a short time.  Once you get started, you may feel like you cannot do it, but keep going and the feeling will gradually subside.  A couple ways to make walking even more beneficial is to walk with a friend and to walk outside if the weather is nice.

Pick Up a Hobby

Do you have something you enjoy doing, like crocheting, cooking, gardening, or writing?  If you do, take some time to do these activities.  If you don’t have a hobby yet, find one.  Think of something that interests you, and pursue it.  This type of activity will usually keep your hands and mind busy, and after a while, you have a beautiful completed work to show for it.  If you are stuck when trying to think of a hobby, there is a huge list on Wikipedia to help you get started (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_hobbies).

Help Others

This is very difficult to begin while battling depression, but getting out and helping others is a great way to find fulfillment.  This might be another area where another trusted friend or family member could help.  You and this trusted person could go together and find a place to volunteer.  This accomplishes so many things that greatly help with depression symptoms.  You are a valuable creation whether you find ways to help others or not, but volunteering your time and talents can help you to see just how valuable you are and how helpful you can be to someone else.

Have a Good Attitude

This advice goes completely against the grain of depression symptoms, but making an effort to have a good attitude can help recovery from depression.  Remember that depression is an illness and it needs to be treated like an illness.  With physical illnesses, it is very important to believe that you can recover.  Depression is no different.  Believe that recovery is very possible and that brighter days are coming soon.

Be Patient

While having a good attitude and positive outlook on recovery is important, realize that complete recovery from depression will not happen in a day.  Some days will be harder than others.  This is discouraging, but it is to be expected.  Instead of just enduring those difficult days, make a plan for yourself.  Being faithful in completing your daily routine is a great place to start.  Have some other activities in mind for these especially difficult days.  Maybe you could visit an elderly person or call a friend.  Interaction with other people is important on these difficult days.  Keep reminding yourself that recovery is coming, but that it can be slow.


Depression is difficult, no matter what the source is.  There are no two cases exactly alike, so the best way to treat them will be different, but following these steps is a good place to start.  Be sure to allow support from trusted family and friends as they can be your most valuable asset in this journey, and remember that with time, recovery is very possible.


Competitive Advantage https://www.competitivedge.com/rebounding-injuries-0

DBSA http://www.dbsalliance.org/site/PageServer?pagename=education_brochures_coping_unexpected_events

Help Guide https://www.helpguide.org/articles/depression/coping-with-depression.htm

Lotsa Helping Hands http://lotsahelpinghands.com/blog/how-to-battle-depression/

Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_hobbies

Lawsuits Filed After Scaffolding Collapses

Construction workers face danger daily in the ordinary course of their workday. Even so, when a worksite has been secured by safety procedures that have been carefully implemented, builders have every reasonable expectation of returning home to their families intact.  When an ordinary workday turns disastrous and lives are forever changed, these hard-working men and women can no longer provide for their families.  After a construction accident, what remedy exists for the injured to obtain necessary medical care and for these families to build new lives?

In October, 2015, two tragic scaffold collapses in Houston, Texas have resulted in injuries, deaths, and at least one worker left in a vegetative state.  So, who was at fault, and who will provide care for these workers and their families?

Building Scaffolding
Building Construction, Scaffold Collapse

Investigations are on-going, and whether the collapses were caused by anchors at the top of the building breaking loose after these anchors were improperly secured, faulty construction or materials used in building the scaffolding, faulty concrete causing a lack of integrity in the soundness of the scaffold’s attachment to the building, or bolts not properly secured, the investigations will point to the parties or party responsible for the failure of the scaffolding to provide protection and support.

Some of these workers will suffer life-long injuries, and will most likely collect Worker’s Compensation benefits unless the companies involved have opted out of Worker’s Comp Insurance as provided by Texas law.  Many large retailers, trucking companies, health care, and food companies have already opted out, which means the employer has almost complete control over the medical and legal process after workers are injured.

Worker’s Compensation exists because employers owe a duty to workers injured on the job and their families and to pay for the workers’ medical bills and lost wages.  According to an investigation by ProPublica and NPR, the Texas alternative to Worker’s Comp usually cuts off treatment after two years and doesn’t pay compensation for most permanent disabilities and strictly limits payouts in the event of a death or catastrophic injury.

The families directly affected by these scaffolding collapses in October have retained lawyers to obtain any and all benefits due to them as a result of the workplace accident which has caused these horrific injuries.  Their construction accident attorney will investigate the cause of the accident, the extent of injuries and long-term impact on these individuals and their families, and whether or not a third party can be sued, such as the contracting company which installed the scaffold system or the manufacturer of the scaffolding.

These families have acted wisely in obtaining legal representation right away.  All states have a time limit (statute of limitations for work injuries) for injury claim lawsuits to be filed, and as time passes, evidence and witnesses can become difficult or impossible to find.

The personal injury lawyers at the Robinette Legal Group, PLLC based in Morgantown have represented many construction accident victims in West Virginia during the past twenty-five years, and are ready to help you if you have been hurt or are suffering after the death of a loved one.  We have successfully handled a wide variety of claims ranging from slip and fall injuries to wrongful deaths from coal mine explosions and power plant accidents.  If you were injured in West Virginia, protect your legal rights by calling us today for a free case evaluation:  304-594-1800.


What is Vehicular Manslaughter?

In general, vehicular homicide, also called negligent homicide, involves a person’s death that is the result of a driver’s negligent operation of a motor vehicle, or resulting from operating a vehicle while committing some unlawful act that may not necessarily amount to a felony.  The charges are compounded if the negligent driver was drunk, DWI, or under the influence of drugs at the time of the collision.

The victim of a vehicular homicide wrongful death can either be a pedestrian, another motorist, or a cyclist, or the victim can be the passenger in the car, SUV, boat, truck, bus, or motorcycle.

In West Virginia, when the wrongful death of any person happens within one year as a  result of injuries received by an individual who is in reckless disregard of the safety of others, the person who caused the collision may be guilty of negligent homicide.

In WV, this crime may be punished by imprisonment for up to one year and/or by a fine of $100.00 to $1,000.00 and that driver may lose his or her license if convicted of negligent homicide.

The term “vehicular homicide” has been discussed lately as Caitlyn (Bruce) Jenner faces charges stemming from a deadly four-car accident in which Jenner was involved.  One woman was killed in the wreck and others injured.

The police investigation into the deadly four-car accident involving Jenner is finished and the results could lead to a misdemeanor manslaughter charge.  The laws pertaining to vehicular homicide have the legal effect of calling a vehicle which is being recklessly driven a potentially deadly or dangerous weapon.

Jenner was driving a black Cadillac SUV that was the third vehicle in a multiple rear-end collision.  Jenner’s SUV hit a car from behind, sending it into oncoming traffic where it was hit by another SUV.  That driver died at the scene.

Even though Jenner was traveling under the posted speed limit, the investigation determined that Jenner was going at an unsafe speed for the conditions at the time of the collision.

The DC Caller recently featured an editorial that contemplates the question that is on the minds of some:  if Jenner is criminally charged and found guilty, does he/she face time in a male or female prison? Of course, this will never happen, as Jenner will hire the best defense attorney available.  That’s an interesting question that will have to be decided by the courts, but nevertheless, male or female, that issue would not affect the insurance issues related to the personal injury and wrongful death claims resulting from that collision.

As far as compensation for a family who has suffered such a tragic loss due to the negligence of another motorist, insurance may not only be limited to policy limits but also punitive damages resulting in greater compensation may be pursued if the negligence was due to DUI or DWI.

Morgantown Wrongful Death Attorney

If your family has suffered the loss of a loved one, provider, or child, just as the offending driver must retain a criminal lawyer for the protection of his or her legal rights, it is imperative that the suffering from that driver’s actions retain an attorney to represent their best interests.  The insurance companies are just that, companies most concerned with their bottom line.

To secure your financial future after such a tragic loss, contact a Morgantown personal injury attorney for a free consultation today.  304-594-1800 to speak directly with a National Board Certified Trial Attorney for his opinion of your case based on twenty-five years experience with insurance companies and collision claims.

You May Also Want to Check Out These Articles:

Other articles you will find helpful:

Should I use Facebook or other Social Media if Considering an Injury Claim?

If you wait, it may be too late.

It is Your Responsibility to Protect Your Legal Rights after an Accident.

Why is the Insurance Company Offering so Little for my Claim?

CNN, “Caitlyn Jenner could face misdemeanor manslaughter charge in car crash,” By Steve Almasy and Paul Vercammen, August 20, 2015.

Two Major Crashes on I-68 in Two Days ~ Please Drive Carefully

Multi-car Accidents on I-68

When the days are short and the temperature drops below freezing, driving hazards are increased exponentially.  Snow, ice, and foggy conditions make driving treacherous, often causing vehicle wrecks and injuries.  When winter driving is made even more dangerous by debris on the road, the results can be fatal.

In December, a young New Jersey man was killed and several others injured in a chain-reaction accident on Friday, December 19, 2014 on interstate 68 in Preston County near the Monongalia County line close to the Coopers Rock exit. While it was originally reported that six other vehicles were involved, later reports indicated that seven vehicles were involved in the collisions.  The crash occurred around 9:30 p.m. and closed both east and westbound lanes of the interstate for several hours, creating a several mile-long traffic backup.

I-68 crash.jpg

The next day, on Saturday December 20th at about 6:30 p.m., a series of tragic collisions shut down I-68 again at mile marker 29. On I-68 Eastbound, both lanes were closed from Hazelton Exit to Friendsville Exit in Garrett County, MD, and the closure was expected to last for 3-4 hours.  Two people died, one a Morgantown man, following the chain of wrecks on Interstate 68 in Garrett County near the West Virginia state line.  The initial wreck was the cause of the death of the first accident victim, and the police reported that while traffic was stopped in the eastbound lanes to allow a helicopter to land at the scene, there was a chain reaction accident that claimed another life.

Our hearts and prayers go out for the crash victims, families, and friends who have been directly affected by these tragic accidents. Grief and recovery were not in their plans; the holiday season will never be the same for these families.

Drivers need to take into account that a different weather exists up on those elevated mountain passes and take precautions accordingly.  The unexpected is more likely to occur, so heightened vigilance and attention to the road is required during these winter months.

For more information from Robinette Legal Group, PLLC about these collisions or multi-car collisions in general, please click here to visit our website.


WVMetronews, “Chain-reaction crash on I-68 claims one life” by Jeff Jenkins, December 20, 2014.

Topix, “Chain Reaction on I-68 claims one life, backs up traffic,” December 20, 2014.

WV Lawsuits Claiming Exposure to Dangerous Chemicals in Coal Waste

American Electric Power has been named as a defendant in a host of lawsuits claiming exposure to dangerous chemicals in coal waste.

Those injured claim they were exposed to dangerous chemicals in coal waste – fly ash, flue gas desulfurization material, bottom ash and boiler slag – which has caused numerous illnesses and several deaths.

The plaintiffs are divided into four categories – 39 working direct claim plaintiffs, 11 non-working direct claim plaintiffs, nine loss of spousal consortium plaintiffs and 18 loss of parental consortium plaintiffs. Of the 50 direct claim plaintiffs, six are deceased.

The complaints focus on AEP’s Gavin Landfill site in North Cheshire, Ohio, which is just across the Ohio River from Mason County. The Gavin Landfill – adjacent to AEP’s Gavin Power plant – is used primarily for collecting, shoveling, hauling, dumping, spreading and transporting the 2.6 million cubic yards of coal combustion waste byproducts produced at the plant each year.

“Coal waste contains a multitude of contaminants that are dangerous to human health, and individuals can be exposed through contact on skin, inhalation and ingestion,” the attorneys state. “These toxins have been shown to be directly related to incidences of cancer, respiratory disease, heart disease, chromosomal abnormalities and birth defects, among others.”

The complaints alleged the plaintiffs were assured on numerous occasions that such coal waste was safe and non-hazardous, and that there should be no increased concern about health effects.

“Repeatedly, individuals were not provided with protective equipment, such as overalls, gloves or respirators when working in and around coal waste,” the attorneys state. “These working men and women, already exposed to the contaminants at the job site, then, in turn, carried the coal waste home to their families on their clothes and shoes, thus even exposing family members to the deadly toxins.”

In the complaint, the plaintiffs claim they asked Workman, a supervisor who lives in Mason County, about the dangers of working with the coal ash.

Workman responded “by sticking his finger into the coal waste and then placing his fly-ash covered finger into his own mouth, then misrepresented to the workers that coal waste was ‘safe enough to eat.”

Source: West Virginia Record, “AEP named in 77 exposure lawsuits,” Chris Dickerson, September 3, 2014.