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

 

How Long Will it Take to Receive a Settlement for My Injury Case?

West Virginia Attorney Explains:  How Long will it Take to Settle my Case?

WV Personal Injury Attorney and Legal Malpractice Specialist:

A common question I receive from clients is, “How long will it take for me to get a settlement?” The short answer is, if your injuries are minor, it can take just a few months to get your case settled.  However, if your injuries are severe your injuries and may require extended medical treatment, the longer it will take to settle your injury claim.

Insurance companies particularly require proof of your claim. We have to obtain medical records, employment records, expert reports, and those have to be synthesized and sent to the insurance company with the demand package and that process can take many months even for minor injury claims to resolve.

On the other hand, if your injuries are more serious or even life-threatening, they can take much longer: a year or two is not uncommon.

If you settle your case too early, even a minor injury case, and you find out that you should not have settled it because there were other parts of your injury that you didn’t know about, then you are foreclosed forever from pursuing any additional amounts of recovery because you settled early.

So, it’s best to be patient with the process in order to allow you to work with your attorney to make sure that all of your injuries are well established and documented.  Then, when the claim is sent into the insurance company, the full value of your claim will be considered by the insurance company.

So, always seek good legal advice as to when you should settle your case. Don’t take that decision upon yourself.

“Every good personal injury attorney wants his or her cases to move along towards resolution as expeditiously as possible but, every case is different and you never want to ‘sell a case short’ on value just for the sake of wrapping it up.” Steven M. Sweat, nationally recognized injury attorney.

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What if I already Settled My Case?  Can I get out of it?

For some of you, if you have already settled your case, the information in this post will only reinforce why you may feel so bad right now as you face all the problems that the insurance adjuster did not tell you about . The amount of money sounded good at first, but now that things have not worked out well for you, you have serious second thoughts about settling your case on your own . Let’s take a look at what can be done to address some of your concerns .

The first question you probably are wondering is whether you can get out of the settlement. The answer is, possibly, but only if the settlement was agreed to within 20 days after the auto collision.

West Virginia law allows you to void this settlement, but you must do so within 180 days from the date of the auto collision . If you reached a settlement more than 20 days after the collision, then the settlement is binding and enforceable unless you can prove that the insurance company defrauded you in some manner.

If you have questions about personal injury claims in West Virginia, don’t hesitate to call our office for a free case review:  304.594.1800 or after hours, 304.216.6695.

Visit our website for more answers to commonly asked questions about motor vehicle accident claims, insurance disputes, professional malpractice, and other personal injury claims.

Morgantown, West Virginia Personal Injury Attorney

Jeff Robinette, Morgantown WV Personal Injury Lawyer, Auto Collision Attorney

Author Jeff Robinette, Morgantown WV Personal Injury Attorney, has been designated as a Super Lawyer, National Board Certified Trial Attorney, member of the Multi-million Dollar Advocates Forum, and was recently selected as a Litigator Awards recipient, designating Mr. Robinette as a Top 1% attorney for personal injury and medical malpractice claims in West Virginia.

 

Related Posts:

West Virginia Car Accident Lawyer

Why You Should See a Doctor after a Vehicle Accident.

What To Do After a Car Accident?

Injured In A Car Accident In West Virginia? Know Your Legal Rights!

 

OSHA Finds Management Failure led to Death at Blacksville No. 2 Mine

coal miner died, hat and glovesApril 11, 2013 update:  William E. Mock, 61, died in September at the Blacksville No. 2 coal mine in Monongalia County near Morgantown, WV.  Federal inspectors find death was in part due to a failure of management to ensure safety of its employees.

Mock, a general inside laborer, was fatally injured when an 11-foot by 5-foot piece of mine roof fell onto him on Sept. 13, 2012. Mock and another employee, Doug Ice Jr., were removing a piece of the permanent roof supports when the accident occurred. The Mine Safety and Health Administration’s fatal accident report concluded that failure to install additional support before the primary support was removed caused the accident.

The roof fell with just 30 minutes remaining in Mock’s shift.

“The plank was cut approximately half-way when they determined it was taking weight from the mine roof. Mock stopped cutting the board,” the report states. “A portion of a roof bolt supporting the board was exposed due to sloughing of roof material. Mock and Ice decided to cut the roof bolt with a track bonder. To avoid being exposed to a flash from the bonder, Ice turned his back. When the bolt was burned through, there was a loud ‘pop,’ causing Ice to duck. When Ice turned back around, he saw Mock covered with a rock from the lower chest down.”

Ice attempted to remove the rock but was unable to do so, according to the report.

“When assistance arrived at the accident site, Mock was checked for vital signs, but none were detected,” the report states. ” … The Mon County EMS Service transported Mock to the Waynesburg Hospital, where he was pronounced dead upon arrival.”

CONSOL could not provide proof to MSHA that either Mock or Ice had received task training for removal of permanent roof support.

MSHA’s report says management failed to assure that persons removing the roof were located in a safe position, failed to examine the roof conditions prior to removal and failed to provide task training instructing the miners in appropriate procedures for removing the roof supports.

“Management personnel were not present when the accident occurred,” the report states. “No member of mine management was with Mock and Ice during the entire shift, including the removal of the load bearing support.”

In its root cause analysis of the accident, MSHA determined that the “most basic causes of the accident” would have been correctable through “reasonable management controls.” The report says CONSOL has since taken corrective actions to ensure policies and safety instructions related to the causes of the incident.

CONSOL received eight citations in relation to the investigation of the fatality.

Source:  http://www.statejournal.com/story/21943312/managements-failure-noted-in-consol-miners-death, by Taylor Kuykendall, April 11, 2013.

Original Post:  A CONSOL Miner, William Edward Mock died on Thursday, September 13, 2012 after being seriously injured when he was struck by a large rock during a workplace accident along the track haulage at the Blacksville No. 2 mine.  According to the Dominion Post, the accident is under investigation and CONSOL is looking into what happened.  

While the mine has a portal in West Virginia west of Blacksville, the bulk of the coal being mined is in Pennsylvania. The site of the accident will determine which state mine safety agency is involved.

CONSOL said it will provide updates on the accident as information becomes available and will work closely with federal and state mining officials to determine the cause of the incident.

West Virginia coal miners are among the hardest working professionals in America. Despite strong MSHA regulations, coal mining continues to be one of the most dangerous occupations in the world. Every year, miners are injured or killed because the coal operators continue to circumvent or violate safety laws for the protection of the miners.

If your loved one has been injured or killed while working in or near a coal mine in West Virginia, you are entitled to certain workers’ compensation benefits and other recoveries from the coal company for “deliberate intention” violations set forth in West Virginia law, Section 23-4-2. Moreover, you may also be entitled to seek a recovery for money damages from any third parties – like equipment manufacturers and subcontractors – that contributed to or caused your injuries.

Free Consultation · Contingency Fees · Don’t Lose Your Workers’ Comp Benefits

The Robinette Legal Group is recognized as one of the region’s most successful coal mining injury litigation firms. Our attorneys understand the regulations and we know how to look beneath the coal dust to find the true cause of the accident and the full extent of your injuries and financial damages that result. We work independently as your attorney or with your workers’ compensation lawyer to seek the full and fair compensation from the insurance company that is liable for damages. 

Submitted by the Robinette Legal Group, PLLC, West Virginia Injury Lawyers. Free books and downloads for WV accident victims — Call us today: 304-216-6695 or 304-594-1800 for your free copy of Righting the Wrong: WV Serious Injury Guide; Collision Care: WV Auto Injury Guide; or Beside Still Waters: WV Fatal Injury Guide for Families.

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Drowsy Driving Prevention Week November 3-10, 2013

In an effort to reduce the number of fatigue-related crashes and to save lives, the National Sleep Foundation has declared November 3-10, 2013 to be Drowsy Driving Prevention Week®.  Most of us realize how dangerous driving under the influence or texting while driving is, but driving while drowsy can be equally dangerous. Sleepiness can cause slower reaction times, blurred vision, lapses in judgment, and delays in processing information.

FedEx Truck Accident in West Virginia

In October, 2012 near Morgantown, WV a FedEx truck was traveling north in the southbound lanes shortly before 1 a.m. when the driver tried to make a U-turn to correct his direction. FedEx Truck Crash on I-79 The FedEx driver caused a truck accident when he struck a tractor-trailer which then crossed the median into the northbound lanes and crashed through a guardrail on the east edge of the road.  A passenger car traveling ahead of the tractor-trailer ran off the west edge of I-79 south, coming to rest against a guardrail.  Amazingly, no one was killed or seriously injured.  Three people were taken to the hospital, treated, and released.  The FedEx driver was from North Dakota and the semi-truck driver was from Arizona.

Early Morning Collision in Huntington WV:

More recently,  The Huntington Police Department is investigating a crash involving two tractor-trailer trucks which shut down all westbound lanes of Interstate 64 in Huntington.  Dispatchers received word of the crash at about 4:30 a.m. Thursday, October 17, 2013.

The crash involved a box truck owned by the U.S. Mail and a tanker truck carrying an unspecified substance. Dispatchers said the box truck overturned due to the crash’s impact and was leaking fuel from its tanks. One of the trucks also hit a bridge and knocked off a chunk of its concrete wall.
The accident happened at the 9.5-mile marker, located just east of the 5th Street Road exit in Huntington. Officials were diverting westbound traffic off the Hal Greer and 29th Street exits.
Thankfully, there were no reported injuries, and unlike a May 2013 accident on I-64 in Kentucky involving a mail truck which caught fire as a result of a fuel leak, the contents of this US Postal Service truck was not destroyed and was transferred to another truck by Postal Service crews.

 

All of these truck drivers illustrate the type of drivers that are most at risk for driving error due to drowsiness.  Before we launch into the fall and winter holidays, we need to consider the potential impact of driving while exhausted could have on our own safety, our families, and other drivers sharing the road with us.

Specific At-Risk Groups for Drowsy Driving

  • Young people-especially males under age 26
  • Shift workers and people with long work hours-working the night shift increases your risk by nearly 6 times; rotating-shift workers and people working more than 60 hours a week need to be particularly careful
  • Commercial drivers-especially long-haul drivers – at least 15% of all heavy truck crashes involve fatigue
  • People with undiagnosed or untreated disorders-people with untreated obstructive sleep apnea have been shown to have up to a seven times increased risk of falling asleep at the wheel
  • Business travelers-who spend many hours driving or may be jet lagged

Fast Facts about Driving while Fatigued:

  • 100,000 crashes each year are caused by fatigued drivers
  • 55% of drowsy driving crashes are caused by drivers less than 25 years old
  • Being awake for 18 hours is equal to a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08%, which is legally drunk and leaves you at equal risk for a crash
  • In 2010, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety released a study that shows that fatigue is a factor in one in six deadly crashes; one in eight crashes resulting in hospitalization, and one in fourteen crashes in which a vehicle was towed.
  • The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that drowsy driving results in 1,550 deaths, 76,000 injuries, and more than 100,000 accidents every year.

Tips for avoiding becoming a drowsy driver statistic:

  • Get a good night’s sleep (seven to nine hours) before you begin your trip.
  • Plan breaks into your driving schedule; don’t be so rushed to arrive at your destination that you can’t stop for rest.
  • Stop every 100 miles or two hours for a walk, run, snack, or drink.
  • Bring a buddy who can share the driving.
  • If you think you could fall asleep, pull over and take a 15-20 minute nap.
  • Avoid driving at times you would normally be asleep.
  • Avoid alcohol and medicines that cause drowsiness.
  • Caffeine can increase alertness for several hours, but you will still need adequate rest if you want to prevent fatigue related errors.

Warning Signs that it is time to pull over:

  • Difficulty focusing, frequent blinking, heavy eyelids.
  • Trouble keeping your head up.
  • Drifting onto rumble strips, swerving in your lane.
  • Inability to clearly remember the last few miles driven.
  • Missed exits or traffic signs.
  • Repeated yawning.
  • Feeling restless or irritable.

Posted by the Robinette Legal Group, PLLC in Morgantown, WV.  You may not have been able to avoid the collision that caused your injuries, but you can avoid the unnecessary pitfalls of dealing with the insurance adjusters who are motivated and trained to devalue your claim, if not destroy it altogether.

Call our office today for free books for WV accident victims: Collision Care: West Virginia Auto Collision Guide, and Righting the Wrong, West Virginia Serious Injury Guide. 

304-594-1800 

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Strategies for Concerned Parents: Bullying in Schools

What can you do as a parent? 

Few things are are heart-wrenching as knowing that your child may be a victim of bullying and feeling like your school is not doing enough to counter the problem.

The following are a few tips for parents — knowing how to best respond:

Do not try to fight violence with violence. Taking matters into your own hands could lead to more severe problems for you and your child.

Where bullying exisits, the most important thing is documentation.  Document who, what, where, when.  Try to get the testimony of other people who witnessed the conflicts.  Often when two or more people confront the bully directly, for instance a school administrator or teacher and witnesses, it can make a difference.  When one person speaks up with courage, often others will step forward.

  • If your child is sexually harassed or bullied, it is best to take action right away.
  • Certainly if there is a physical contact of any kind call the police. This includes shoving, hitting, slapping, tripping, punching and so forth.
  • Talk to the teachers and the school principal immediately and as soon as you find out the facts. It is important to document the times places or witnesses carefully so you can give detailed information to the school; if there are injuries take photographs.
  • If you do not get results within a couple of days, write the school district and demand an immediate response to the problem.
  • If there is violence, the police should be called and the school should be notified immediately.
  • Once you have resolved the particular bullying situation you are concerned about, consider lobbying for and supporting laws to punish school bullies in your state.
  • Many public school districts have adopted a “Zero Tolerance Policy” against bullying of any kind. Schools have a duty to provide safe premises and maintain reasonable supervision and discipline in the interest of all students.

October 25-26 Conference on Bullying —  Waterfront Place, Morgantown, WV — The Schools Care:

The West Virginia Regional Conference on Bullying,hosted by the School Safety Advocacy Council and co-hosted by RESA 7, will be held Oct. 25-26, at Waterfront Place Hotel.
The conference will feature national speakers, including Curtis Lavarello, the nation’s leading authority on school safety and schoolbased policing; Lt. Sean Burke, former chairman of the School Safety Technical Working Group for the U.S. Department of Justice; Vanessa Snow, general counsel for the School Safety Advocacy Council; Lt. Tim Enos, Sarasota County (Fla.) Sheriff ’s Office; and Dr. Dawn LeBlanc, a nationally recognized expert and presenter in the area of school violence offender recognition.

Maureen Underwood, a clinical social worker and certified group psychotherapist, will speak on suicide, grief, trauma and crisis resolution for children and families.
More than 250 people have registered to take part.

Info: Jeovanna Lacaria, RESA 7, 304-624-6554 ext. 222 .

Tips provided by Robinette Legal Group, PLLC:   Morgantown, WV Catastrophic Personal Injury and Wrongful Death Attorneys.  We generally do not take bullying cases, but as parents we care about kids and their families.   http://www.robinettelaw.com

 

Ten Warning Signs for Senior Drivers

Should Grandma and Grandpa Still Be Driving?

For those of us who find ourselves in the “sandwich” generation , we are concerned about our teenage and young adult drivers.  At the same time, we also worry about the safety of our aging parents on our curvy and sometimes slippery West Virginia roads.  Statistics tell us that fatality rates for drivers begin to climb after age 65. From ages 75 to 84, the rate of about three deaths per 100 million miles driven is equal to the death rate of teenage drivers.  Even more concerning, for drivers 85 and older, the fatality rate skyrockets to nearly four times higher than that for teens.  If you are in that difficult position of caring for an aging parent or grandparent, the following are some signs to be looking for in evaluating your loved one’s driving safety, especially if prescription pain medicines or the onset of dementia are issues.

Ten Signs That it is Time to Stop or Limit Driving:

  1. Almost crashing, with frequent “close calls”
  2. Finding dents and scrapes on the car, on fences, mailboxes, garage doors, curbs, etc.
  3. Getting lost, especially in familiar locations
  4. Having trouble seeing or following traffic signals, road signs, and pavement markings
  5. Responding more slowly to unexpected situations, or having trouble moving their foot from the gas to the brake pedal; confusing the two pedals
  6. Misjudging gaps in traffic at intersections and on highway entrance and exit ramps
  7. Experiencing road rage or causing other drivers to honk or complain
  8. Easily becoming distracted or having difficulty concentrating while driving
  9. Having a hard time turning around to check the rear view while backing up or changing lanes
  10. Receiving multiple traffic tickets or “warnings” from law enforcement officers

Even if we know or suspect any of the above indicators to be true, do we really want to be the ones to tell an aging parent that it is time to give up the keys?  As people advance in age, it seems that they are losing more than they are gaining, and giving up independence and mobility is going to be a hard blow.  “Having a professional involved can keep family relationships intact,” said Pam Bartle, a driver rehab specialist at Marianjoy Rehabilitation Hospital in Wheaton, Ill.  It’s a hard choice for people. They can’t imagine how they’ll manage without driving.   Getting a doctor or occupational therapist involved can shift the hard choice to a neutral professional, rather than a close family member.

Insights from a Driver Safety Professional

Glenard Munson, a corporate trainer, business owner, driver safety trainer with 30 years’ experience, and award-winning author and speaker on driver safety issues shares his insights:

“One PART of the solution (I am a senior who teaches driving, both novice and remedial) is for physicians and LEO’s to enforce their own regulations requiring reporting of irregular driving.  Families also have a moral obligation to report ANY family member, irrespective of age, for erroneous/irresponsible driving.

Once reported, most states REQUIRE a minimum of a written test to re-evaluate the driver in question, and/or a drive test to subjectively, (no drive test is completely OBJECTIVE), evaluate the driver’s skillset. I take many seniors and or medically-tagged drivers out for lessons, and I find that, over my 20 years+ of experience, that roughly 2/3rds of those tagged by the DMV/LEO/Doctor were correctly evaluated.

It is hard for me to tell anyone that they will need to give up their driving privilege, but an independent desire to drive does NOT outweigh the safety and security of the public at large.”

Simple Tests for Doctors to Use in Evaluating Older Drivers:

Today, the American Medical Association recommends that doctors administer a few simple tests in advising older drivers.

  • Walk 10 feet down the hallway, turn around and come back. Taking longer than nine seconds is linked to driving problems.
  • On a page with the letters A to L and the numbers 1 to 13 randomly arranged, see how quickly and accurately you draw a line from 1 to A, then to 2, then to B and so on. This so-called trail-making test measures memory, spatial processing and other brain skills, and doing poorly has been linked to at-fault crashes.
  •  Check if people can turn their necks far enough to change lanes, and have the strength to slam on brakes.

Dr. Gary Kennedy, geriatric psychiatry chief at New York’s Montefiore Medical Center, often adds another question: Are his patients allowed to drive their grandchildren?  ‘‘If the answer to that is no, that’s telling me the people who know the patient best have made a decision that they’re not safe,’’ Kennedy said.

Restrictions can Prolong Driving Independence

Rather than prematurely taking away the privilege of driving from a person who may still have the ability to safely drive for several more years, individually assigned restrictions may be the answer to prolonging an aging person’s independence for as long as possible.  Restrictions similar to those assigned to teenage drivers may include no driving on high-speed roads, driving outside a certain area, or driving at night.  These restrictions would increase safety for those with visual impairments, prescription medication dependence, and impaired physical mobility.

The best situation, of course, is when the older driver independently comes to the conclusion that they need to limit or quit driving, but in cases involving dementia, Alzheimer’s, and plain stubbornness, a consensus of caring adults may be needed to persuade that older driver that “the time has come.”  A great rule of thumb is to “let everything you do be done with love.”  That principle should especially apply to those older folks to whom we need to show the most honor and respect, while at the same time, looking out for their personal safety and the safety of other drivers on the road.  Remember, they had the same concerns about you when you were young!

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Sources:

The Dominion Post, “Families Key, but Docs have a Big Role in Driving Decisions,” AP: Lauran Neergaard, Associated Press writer Carla K. Johnson in Chicago contributed to this report,Washington, September 27, 2012.

Website:  AARP: “10 Signs that it’s Time to Limit or Stop Driving,” http://www.aarp.org/home-garden/transportation/info-05-2010/Warning_Signs_Stopping.html, January 2010.

CONSOL Miner is Killed Near Morgantown, WV

A CONSOL Miner died on Thursday, September 13, 2012 after being seriously injured when he was struck by a large rock during a workplace accident along the track haulage at the Blacksville No. 2 mine.  According to the Dominion Post, the accident is under investigation and CONSOL is looking into what happened.

While the mine has a portal in West Virginia west of Blacksville, the bulk of the coal being mined is in Pennsylvania. The site of the accident will determine which state mine safety agency is involved.

CONSOL said it will provide updates on the accident as information becomes available and will work closely with federal and state mining officials to determine the cause of the incident.

West Virginia coal miners are among the hardest working professionals in America. Despite strong MSHA regulations, coal mining continues to be one of the most dangerous occupations in the world. Every year, miners are injured or killed because the coal operators continue to circumvent or violate safety laws for the protection of the miners.

If your loved one has been injured or killed while working in or near a coal mine in West Virginia, you are entitled to certain workers’ compensation benefits and other recoveries from the coal company for “deliberate intention” violations set forth in West Virginia law, Section 23-4-2. Moreover, you may also be entitled to seek a recovery for money damages from any third parties – like equipment manufacturers and subcontractors – that contributed to or caused your injuries.

Free Consultation · Contingency Fees · Don’t Lose Your Workers’ Comp Benefits

The Robinette Legal Group is recognized as one of the region’s most successful coal mining injury litigation firms. Our attorneys understand the regulations and we know how to look beneath the coal dust to find the true cause of the accident and the full extent of your injuries and financial damages that result. We work independently as your attorney or with your workers’ compensation lawyer to seek the full and fair compensation from the insurance company that is liable for damages.  Call us today at 304-594-1800 or 304-216-6695.

Explosion at Harrison County Gas Well Drilling Site

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MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) — A spark from a natural gas drilling operation in north-central West Virginia ignited methane gas several hundred feet underground early Friday, sending up a fireball and triggering a blaze that officials said burned for about an hour on the floor of the rig.

Three workers were injured, two seriously enough to be airlifted to a hospital after the fire at the Antero Resources site near Sycamore in Harrison County. The fire was quickly extinguished and the well pad was in a rural area, so it posed no danger to the public.

Two victims were flown to Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown.  A third was transported by ambulance.

Their conditions weren’t immediately available, but state Department of Environmental Protection spokesman said one had returned to the job site by 9 a.m.

Workers were in the early stages of drilling a Marcellus shale gas well. The drill was about 400 feet deep when they began to withdraw it, creating a spark that ignited the methane. That created more of a fireball than an explosion, he said.

The accident happened at the Cottrill No. 3 well on Antero’s Southern pad, and the crew doing the work was with Hall Drilling LLC of Ellenboro.

Neither Hall Drilling nor Colorado-based Antero immediately returned messages Friday.

Antero voluntarily shut down the operation, and a DEP investigation is under way.

Legal Insight You Need for Your Gas Well Injury Claim

West Virginia workers have had a long-standing tradition of persevering and working hard in spite of dangerous and exhausting conditions.  As the oil and gas drilling industry grows, an increasing number of workers are experiencing accidents resulting in serious permanent injuries and wrongful death.

In most cases, a worker who is injured on the job will be able to receive some benefits from a Worker’s Compensation claim.  In West Virginia, if employer is found to have intentionally placed their employee in harm’s way, resulting in serious injury or death, that employee may qualify to file a claim against the employer’s insurance company.

Many injured workers think that their financial damages for medical bills and lost earnings are limited to West Virginia workers’ compensation benefits.

Workers’ compensation laws say that you cannot hold your employer accountable for damages above the amount of benefits paid by the workers’ comp insurance unless you can prove the employer acted with “deliberate intent,” as provided in W. Va. Code 23-4-2.

In many workplace injury and wrongful death cases, however, there may also be a third party who can be held liable for negligence. The third party can include the manufacturer of a piece of defective industrial equipment, the property owner or a subcontractor working on the same job site.

If you or your loved one has been injured due to negligence or willful violation of safety regulations in the workplace, 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 or visit our website for more information.

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.

Source:  Pipeline, ” Three Hurt in WV Gas Line Explosion,” http://shale.sites.post-gazette.com/index.php/news/archives/24751-three-hurt-in-wva-gas-well-explosion, August 17, 2012

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West Virginia Car Crash? Don’t self-diagnose injuries – get a doctor’s opinion.

If you have been involved in a serious car crash, it is important that you follow the advice of the EMS personnel and get immediate medical attention, even if you aren’t certain you have been injured.

After an accident, many auto accident victims make the mistake of trying to minimize the ordeal they have just experienced.  The attention a car accident generates can be embarrassing as well as traumatic.  Many people just want to go to the comfort of home as quickly as possible rather than continuing this major interruption to their life by spending four hours or more at an emergency room.

If you were involved in a car accident and initially refused medical evaluation and treatment, you may be surprised by symptoms showing up later.  Adrenaline can mask physical symptoms in the minutes following an accident, and some injuries such as back pain and head trauma don’t reveal themselves until hours or days later.

A thorough medical evaluation can diagnose and treat internal injuries that could save your life, and early treatment could improve your chance of a full recovery.  Having a doctor’s evaluation of the car accident’s impact on your overall health will also assist you in knowing whether you need to file an insurance claim for damages, future treatment, and lost wages.

Even if you refused medical treatment immediately after your car accident, and you discover injuries days or weeks after the crash, you could still have a personal injury case.  Please contact Morgantown car accident lawyers at the Robinette Legal Group to learn more.

Drowsy Driving Prevention Week November 12-18, 2012

In an effort to reduce the number of fatigue-related crashes and to save lives, the National Sleep Foundation is declaring November 12-18, 2012 to be Drowsy Driving Prevention Week®.  Most of us realize how dangerous driving under the influence or texting while driving is, but driving while drowsy can be equally dangerous. Sleepiness can cause slower reaction times, blurred vision, lapses in judgment, and delays in processing information.

FedEx Truck Accident in West Virginia

In October, 2012 near Morgantown, WV a FedEx truck was traveling north in the southbound lanes shortly before 1 a.m. when the driver tried to make a U-turn to correct his direction.  The FedEx driver caused a truck accident when he struck a tractor-trailer which then crossed the median into the northbound lanes and crashed through a guardrail on the east edge of the road.  A passenger car traveling ahead of the tractor-trailer ran off the west edge of I-79 south, coming to rest against a guardrail.  Amazingly, no one was killed or seriously injured.  Three people were taken to the hospital, treated, and released.  The FedEx driver was from North Dakota and the semi-truck driver was from Arizona.

At least two of these drivers illustrate the types of drivers that are most at risk for driving error due to drowsiness.  Before we launch into the fall and winter holidays, we need to consider the potential impact of driving while exhausted could have on our own safety, our families, and other drivers sharing the road with us.

Specific At-Risk Groups for Drowsy Driving

  • Young people-especially males under age 26
  • Shift workers and people with long work hours-working the night shift increases your risk by nearly 6 times; rotating-shift workers and people working more than 60 hours a week need to be particularly careful
  • Commercial drivers-especially long-haul drivers – at least 15% of all heavy truck crashes involve fatigue
  • People with undiagnosed or untreated disorders-people with untreated obstructive sleep apnea have been shown to have up to a seven times increased risk of falling asleep at the wheel
  • Business travelers-who spend many hours driving or may be jet lagged

Fast Facts about Driving while Fatigued:

  • 100,000 crashes each year are caused by fatigued drivers
  • 55% of drowsy driving crashes are caused by drivers less than 25 years old
  • Being awake for 18 hours is equal to a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08%, which is legally drunk and leaves you at equal risk for a crash
  • In 2010, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety released a study that shows that fatigue is a factor in one in six deadly crashes; one in eight crashes resulting in hospitalization, and one in fourteen crashes in which a vehicle was towed.
  • The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that drowsy driving results in 1,550 deaths, 76,000 injuries, and more than 100,000 accidents every year.

Tips for avoiding becoming a drowsy driver statistic:

  • Get a good night’s sleep (seven to nine hours) before you begin your trip.
  • Plan breaks into your driving schedule; don’t be so rushed to arrive at your destination that you can’t stop for rest.
  • Stop every 100 miles or two hours for a walk, run, snack, or drink.
  • Bring a buddy who can share the driving.
  • If you think you could fall asleep, pull over and take a 15-20 minute nap.
  • Avoid driving at times you would normally be asleep.
  • Avoid alcohol and medicines that cause drowsiness.
  • Caffeine can increase alertness for several hours, but you will still need adequate rest if you want to prevent fatigue related errors.

Warning Signs that it is time to pull over:

  • Difficulty focusing, frequent blinking, heavy eyelids.
  • Trouble keeping your head up.
  • Drifting onto rumble strips, swerving in your lane.
  • Inability to clearly remember the last few miles driven.
  • Missed exits or traffic signs.
  • Repeated yawning.
  • Feeling restless or irritable.

Robinette Legal Group, PLLC in Morgantown, WV.  You may not have been able to avoid the collision that caused your injuries, but you can avoid the unnecessary pitfalls of dealing with the insurance adjusters who are motivated and trained to devalue your claim, if not destroy it altogether.

Call our office today for free books for WV accident victims: Collision Care: West Virginia Auto Collision Guide, and Righting the Wrong, West Virginia Serious Injury Guide. 

304-594-1800