Articles from our Morgantown Personal Injury Law Office about Safety Issues, Insurance Law, Auto Accidents, Personal Injury Claims, and Other Legal Issues in West Virginia. Questions? Call 304-594-1800 or after hours, 304-216-6695 today.
Driving is the most dangerous activity we engage in daily. You know this, so you wear your seatbelt, don’t speed, and never drive drunk or text while driving. You check for side effects of your medications and get enough sleep before driving so that you won’t be impaired by drowsiness. What about the other guy? How can you manage the risks from other road users? Here are five tips to help you stay safe.
1. Pay close attention to your surroundings to spot driving behaviors that can signal trouble. A driver who suddenly slows down, appears to be wandering, or is weaving may be impaired by any one of the above factors.
2. Drop back, get out of the way, and call the police after pulling over if you suspect a serious problem.
3. Watch also for speeding, tailgating, rolling past stop signs, hard breaking, cutting off other vehicles, and failure to yield the right of way.
4. If someone cuts you off, resist the urge to “teach him a lesson.” Just let it go. Avoid honking, making eye contact, or gesturing in such a way that the situation might become escalated. Never let an aggressive driver add to your own risk.
5. Use turn signals to communicate your intentions to other drivers, make gradual lane changes, and keep a safe distance between vehicles. Keep yourself fully engaged in the task of driving – you have everything to gain and nothing to lose.
Tips based on an article by Wayne Northey, President, AAA of West Virginia
A Blacksville, WV man was killed in a collision with a coal truck in Monongalia County when his pickup truck crossed the center line on the Mason Dixon bridge. West Virginia Highway 7 was closed for several hours as emergency crews responded to the truck accident. The driver of the coal truck, who was hauling coal from the Blacksville No. 2 mine to Longview Power Plant, is in good physical condition. The cause of the fatal driving error is not yet known.
A bill that would outlaw texting and using a hand-held cell phone while driving was passed unanimously by the West Virginia Senate Judiciary Committee. Texting while driving would now be a primary offense. Using a hand-held cell phone would still be a secondary offense. A person who texts while driving is twenty-three times more likely to be involved in an accident.
The West Virginia Trucking Association also supports the bill. Truckers are already prohibited from texting or talking on hand-held phones while driving.
Texting while driving is a dangerous epidemic on America’s roadways. In 2009 alone, nearly 5,500 people were killed and 450,000 more were injured in distracted driving crashes.
The Senate bill sets the fines at $50 for the first offense; $100 for the second offense, and $200 for each subsequent offense. Drivers would be penalized three points for a third texting offense.
Governor Tomblin supports the bill. The bill will now go to the full Senate, and a similar version is being considered in the House.
Drivers Involved in Fatal Crashes by Age and Vehicle Type, 2009
Was your shoulder hurt in an accident in West Virginia (WV)?
Many people suffer from shoulder pain either immediately or shortly after a car wreck, motorcycle, or bike accident, slip and fall, or after having been hurt in a work accident. The severe trauma to the shoulder joint caused the by impact of an accident can result in several different types of shoulder injuries.
The shoulder is a ball-and-socket joint with three main bones: the upper arm bone (humerus), collarbone and shoulder blade (scapula). These bones are held together by muscles, tendons, and ligaments. The shoulder joint has the greatest range of motion of any joint in the body. Because of this mobility, the shoulder is more likely to be injured, especially the acromioclavicular (AC) joint, which lays over the top of the shoulder.
Common shoulder injuries you may experience after an accident
Rotator cuff tear: the most common shoulder injury after an accident is a stretching, tear, or rip in the tendons and ligaments in the shoulder joint. The shoulder has three separate joints, and any of these joints can be separated, causing extreme pain and loss of movement.
Strains and sprains
Common symptoms of a shoulder injury
Painfully tender, a stiff shoulder that hurts more at night and may interrupt sleeping
Tingling, numbness, weakness, or swelling in the shoulder
Shoulder pain in a specific spot that may worsen with exertion
Difficulty moving the arm in any direction without pain
Sudden, intense pain in the shoulder area
Pale, blue or otherwise discolored shoulder area
What type of treatment will I need for a shoulder injury?
If you suspect a broken bone or tear resulting from your accident, seek medical care immediately. Do not move the shoulder; stabilize its position.
Shoulder injuries can be accurately diagnosed by an orthopedic doctor through tests such as x-rays, CAT scans, MRIs, and clinical evaluation.
The remedy may be as simple as the use of a sling to immobilize your arm and rest your shoulder to promote healing and reduce pain.
Elevation, compression, and ice may also aid healing.
A torn muscle or ligament or tendon may require prompt surgery, so early diagnosis is essential for maximizing your recovery.
Pain can be coming from somewhere else in your body (referred shoulder pain), so accurate, as well as early, diagnosis is essential.
A frozen shoulder usually begins when injury or overuse causes pain that, in turn, limits the shoulder’s range of motion. Common conditions that cause pain in the shoulder are bursitis or a tear in the rotator cuff.
If you don’t move your shoulder much at all for many weeks, the tissue surrounding the shoulder joint thickens and shrinks. It loses its ability to stretch. When you try to move it even a little, it hurts. So to avoid the pain, you move the shoulder even less. As a result, the joint capsule stiffens even further. It’s a vicious cycle.
A frozen shoulder can take months to develop. The cornerstone of treatment is physical therapy. At first, you’ll concentrate on exercises that stretch the joint capsule. Then you’ll move on to strengthening exercises.
Full recovery can take several months or even longer. If you don’t improve steadily, go back to your doctor or consult a shoulder expert. In rare cases, a frozen shoulder that doesn’t respond to the treatments I’ve discussed may require surgery.
It wasn’t my fault — how am I going to pay for treatment?
If a combination of home treatment and physical therapy does not help your shoulder injury, shoulder surgery may be required. Surgery is not only expensive, but will require recovery time away from your workplace, limitations on your daily activities, and time and money spent on physical therapy and doctor’s visits. If your shoulder has been injured due to someone else’s carelessness or negligence, please contact our office for a free consultation to determine the best course for obtaining the financial resources needed to pay for your treatment and lost wages.
Submitted by theRobinette Legal Group, PLLC, West Virginia Workplace Injury/Wrongful Death Lawyers. Call us today: 304-594-1800 for your free copy of Righting the Wrong: WV Serious Injury Guide or Collision Care: WV Auto Collision Injury Guide. These books will answer your questions concerning negotiations with the insurance companies.