Lawsuits Filed Against Bars Become More Common In West Virginia

West Virginia is one of the majority of states that have enacted dram shop liability laws. “Dram shop” is a reference to colonial times when alcohol-serving establishments (shops) used units of liquid measurement called drams to serve alcohol.

Dram shop laws make it possible for bar owners and alcohol servers to be held financially liable if a customer becomes obviously intoxicated on their premises and subsequently injures someone or causes property damage, typically by driving drunk.

So, if a person has several alcoholic drinks at a restaurant or bar and is visibly intoxicated, and then gets in a car and kills someone on the way home, the owner of the serving establishment can be sued for damages.

  • Many states hold commercial vendors of alcohol, such as bars, taverns and package stores responsible for injury caused by drunk patrons
  • Laws in most states require the injured person suing a commercial alcohol vendor to prove that the serving of alcohol was a “proximate cause” of the injury
  • Commercial vendors are liable for injuries caused by an intoxicated customer if they serve liquor to him after he was visibly intoxicated
  • An employer throwing an office party is liable for any bad misconduct or harassment on the part of an employee if the employee was acting within the scope of his employment and the employer failed to take reasonable preventative steps

Are you or a family member the victim of a drunk driver who went bar-hopping before driving intoxicated? Were you assaulted as a bystander by a drunk patron in a bar fight or a brawl outside a tavern? You may have a right to sue the bar under what are called “dram shop” laws.

Many states hold commercial vendors of alcohol (bars, taverns and package stores) responsible for injuries caused by drunk patrons. Different laws apply to social hosts and employers throwing office parties.

A drunk person can’t collect for injury to himself, but a third party injured by the actions of a drunk person can collect from a bar or tavern under certain circumstances. This is especially important when the drunk person has little or no insurance to cover a serious or fatal injury.

Laws in most states require the injured person suing a commercial alcohol vendor to prove that the serving of alcohol was a “proximate cause” of the injury. In other words, you must show a provable connection between your injury and the drunk person’s act of drinking at that particular bar or tavern.

Laws vary widely by state. In Nevada, commercial vendors won’t be held responsible for injuries caused by drunk patrons, probably because of the devastating impact it would have on the tourist industry. In some states, commercial vendors will only be held responsible for serving alcohol to minors.

In other states, the amount of damages that can be collected from a commercial vendor is capped at a specific amount, under the theory that the major share of blame for the injury should be placed on the drunk person.

Most states hold a commercial vendor liable where:

  • Alcohol was served to a minor
  • The vendor was reckless in serving or should have realized the extent of the patron’s intoxication
  • The vendor sold liquor without a liquor license
  • The vendor sold liquor after hours

The burden of proof is lower when a bar or tavern has served a minor, as it’s illegal.

The test for deciding whether a bar employee should have realized the extent of a patron’s intoxication is fuzzy. Courts look at the condition of the drunk person, and whether it should have been “foreseeable” to a bar employee serving him or her that the person was already “visibly intoxicated” and shouldn’t be served any more alcohol. It’s not a matter of how many drinks the person has had, but how the alcohol has affected them.

Proving Excess Intoxication

So how do you prove the person who injured you or your family member was “visibly intoxicated?” Some states have tried to clarify this vague test by requiring proof that the drunk person demonstrated “significantly uncoordinated physical action or significant physical dysfunction.” In other states, you must prove that the bar patron was so obviously intoxicated that he presented a “clear danger to himself and others.”

If you or someone you love has been injured by a drunk person whom you suspect may have been served alcohol by a commercial vendor before the injured occurred, it’s important to see a lawyer right away. Proving the obvious intoxication of a bar patron often requires eyewitness testimony of other bar patrons and employees. A lawyer can locate and interview these witnesses quickly, and get witness statements right away while they still remember accurately what happened and before they clam up.

The time limit for filing a legal action against a commercial vendor- called a “statute of limitations” – is often very short. So it’s very important to develop and file your legal action quickly in order to collect.

Employer Events

Sometimes employers will have events, such as holiday parties, after working hours for their employees. These parties will many times take place at bars or restaurants that serve alcohol. If an intoxicated employee causes property damage or commits harassment, the vendor and the employer may be found liable. The employer is liable if a court determines that the employee was acting within the scope of employment.

Employers need to take reasonable steps to prevent misconduct on the part of their employees at parties that serve alcohol. Some examples include:

  • Discourage excessive drinking by having a cash bar
  • Have strict alcohol and behavior discipline policies in place
  • Provide transportation after the party to prevent driving under the influence

Questions for Your Attorney

  • Who’s liable if an intoxicated person involved in a car accident visited multiple bars before the accident?
  • How do I track down witnesses from a bar to prove excess intoxication? Can I use waitresses that worked in the bar as witnesses to prove my case?
  • Who’s liable if an employee gives alcohol to his son at an employer event for employees and their families that’s held at a restaurant?
 If you have been injured due to someone else’s negligence, please contact our office by visiting www.robinettelaw.com or calling 304-594-1800.  We would be glad to answer your questions.

Fatal Truck Wreck on I-79


One person was killed in crash Wednesday morning on I-79, near the Pennsylvania state line.

 According to a press release: A 2008 Ford F-350 Super Duty truck belonging to Energy Contractors LLC was headed north on I-79 when the driver lost control, near the 158 milepost. The truck went into the median and flipped several times, throwing out the driver and a passenger.

 The driver was pronounced dead at the scene; the passenger sustained minor injuries.

 A Weston man was identified as the victim of Wednesday’s fatal crash on Interstate 79.

The accident was reported to MECCA 911 at 6:28 a.m. The southbound lanes of I-79 were shut down for about an hour and a half, during which the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation routed traffic from the Mount Morris exit to U.S. 19.

According to its website, Energy Contractors provides a range of services for the oil and gas industry throughout the northeastern U.S. and Appalachian basin.

If you have any questions regarding injuries from truck accidents, contact our office by calling 304-594-1800 (after hours 304-216-6695) , or email Jeff at jrobinette@labs.net.  We answer questions like yours everyday,and would be glad to give you the answers you need when navigating the insurance claim settlement process.

Common Foot Injuries From Accidents

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

Acute Foot Injuries

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

Compartment Syndromes of the Foot

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

Metatarsal Fractures; Lisfranc Injury

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

Fracture of the Heel Bone (Calcaneus)

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

Morgantown Accident Lawyers

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

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Two Pickup Truck Accident on I-79 at Star City Exit in Morgantown

Four people were taken to the hospital following a two pickup-truck wreck on Interstate 79 on Saturday, July 7, 2012.
At about 3 p.m., emergency responders were called to the wreck near the Star City exit. Monongalia County Sheriff ’s Deputy J. Wilhelm said it appeared a newer model Chevy truck lost control and struck an older model Chevy truck.

The newer model was traveling southbound, Wilhelm said. It appeared the truck might have missed the exit ramp, Deputy J. Morgan said. The truck travelled across a grassy area before colliding with the older model truck on the on-ramp. The driver of the new model truck was ejected out of the passenger window during the wreck, Morgan said. Three people, including a 2-year-old, were in the older model truck. The severity of their injuries was unknown. Deputies on scene did not release names of those involved in the crash.

In addition to the sheriff ’s department, Mon EMS, Westover Police and the Star City Volunteer Fire Department assisted. Crews closed the on-ramp while they tended to the wreck.

Four people were transported to the hospital, including the female driver of one of the vehicles, who was ejected out the passenger-side window.

Morgantown Motor Vehicle Accident Lawyers

You may not need a lawyer, but if you have been injured in a truck accident or car accident, please visit our website at http://www.robinettelaw.com to get answers to your questions or call (304)594-1800 for a free consultation.  Jeff Robinette at the Robinette Legal Group, PLLC has helped many car accident and truck accident victims receive the help needed for the best possible recovery to get you back to work and back to the life you enjoy.

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

Kingwood Car Accident
Morgantown WV car accident

Take a moment to reflect back on what happened at the instant of the collision, while your mind and body were still in the process of reacting to the traumatic event. Your initial thoughts most likely turned to immediate needs like assessing your own physical condition and, if possible, deciding whether to stay in the vehicle or get out of it. You may have called 911 to report the collision and requested emergency medical support. You may have even been able to check on the physical condition of the other persons involved in the collision. If you were coherent and realized some unsafe condition still existed, like your vehicle being in a dangerous position on the road, or you smelled gasoline, you may have felt that you needed to take additional steps to protect yourself and others from further injury.

Little consideration, if any, was probably given to how you thought others would view your immediate reactions to the collision and the actions you took immediately following the collision. All your actions or omissions (your failure to act) will have an effect on your ability to pursue your legal rights for full and fair compensation for your injuries.

West Virginia law provides that you have two years from the date of the auto collision to take legal action (i.e., file a lawsuit) against responsible individuals and companies, including insurance companies, to seek compensation for the damages (i.e., your injuries and losses) you sustained in the auto collision. If your child is injured in a collision, your child will have two years from the date of adulthood to file such claim. Waiting until your child is an adult, however, creates a significant loss of evidence you will need to prove your child’s claim. For adults, if you do not file a lawsuit within the two-year statute of limitations period, your claim will be forever time barred.

Two years may sound like a long time from now, but believe me, it is not when considering all the things that must be done to secure your legal rights against the responsible parties. Every day that you wait to seek legal counsel equates to a loss of opportunity to obtain full compensation for your injuries. In reality, it is the first 60 to 90 days following your auto collision that will make or break your case. It is within this shorter time period that necessary evidence and testimony must be secured, treatment rendered and medical opinions obtained.

If you wait until after this time period has passed, and you have not developed your claim properly, it will make the job of even a good lawyer very hard to obtain a full recovery for you. Worse yet, if you wait until close to the two-year statute of limitations period to consult with a lawyer, it is almost guaranteed that your claim will be compromised. It is somewhat like getting cancer diagnosed early — your chances of improvement are greater the earlier the diagnosis is made. So, don’t wait to get your legal claim diagnosed by a qualified lawyer.

In a typical auto injury case, the injured person is entitled to pursue compensation for their past and future pain and suffering, past and future medical bills, past and future lost wages, and their loss of enjoyment of life. If the injuries are very serious and diminish the relationship with a married spouse, loss of consortium (physical and emotional intimacy and services) damages may be awarded to the spouse for those losses they have sustained stemming from your injuries.

Finally, if the at-fault driver was intoxicated or was guilty of grossly negligent behavior, punitive damages may also be awarded in a court of law. With each category of damages, however, there are complex laws and trial court procedures that must be strictly followed in order to prove your injuries in a court of law.

If you are unrepresented, there will be no one to advise you on the law and to ensure that you have met all your legal obligations — any failure on your part to follow these strict rules will have an adverse impact on your auto injury claim. Remember, only those damages that can be proven in a court of law will be considered for compensation.

West Virginia Accident Lawyers:  We would be glad to personally answer your questions.

This information has been provided by the Robinette Legal Group, PLLC as a public service and does not in any way establish a lawyer/client relationship, but if we can be of any further assistance to you, it would be our pleasure to speak with you personally about your injury claim.  Visit us at the Robinette Legal Group, PLLC, West Virginia Injury Lawyers.

We provide free books to 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. We are glad to answer your questions.  Call 304-594-1800 today.

 

Don’t Wreck Your Personal Injury Claim

Above all, be Honest!

The number one way to ruin your otherwise legitimate claim is to lie about anything that relates to your claim. The veracity, that is the truthfulness of your story of your injury, has to be ultimately believed by a jury, and if you lie about even a seemingly insignificant thing, you may not be believed about your injury.

As a true illustration, a client lied to the police about who was driving the vehicle to shield blame from the actual driver who wasn’t supposed to be driving. Irrespective of whether my client or her friend was the driver, it should not have mattered since the collision was caused by the driver of the other vehicle who ran a stop sign. The insurance company and defense lawyer used the lie to refute my client’s injury claims, even though her injuries were legitimate, permanent, and painful. Ultimately, the jury did not fully believe the magnitude of the client’s injuries because she had lied to the police.

If you are the type of person that doesn’t like this type of confrontation, you are going to feel nervous when the insurance adjuster calls to have a chat about your injury claim.  Sure, you want to tell the truth, but you also want to receive just compensation, and the questions that are asked make you feel uncomfortable (if not intimidated).  When it comes to giving information that will be scrutinized by the insurance adjuster and defense lawyer, guessing about information is not a good idea. You will be characterized as someone who just “makes up” information to fit their financial motives, or worse, you will be considered a liar.Car in snow in ditch

While lying is an act of commission, that is what you do say knowing it is untrue; concealing information is an act of omission, which is what you didn’t say knowing it to be true. Both are wrong and both will ruin your auto injury claim. Before you decide to discuss your case with the insurance adjuster you ought to give careful consideration to the difficulties you will face without legal counsel. It is easy to get confused and say the wrong thing when the insurance adjuster is firing questions at you and you feel the sense of urgency to answer each one, hoping your responses will satisfy the insurance adjuster. Take my word for it, the insurance adjuster is laying traps for you to fall into and will allow you to hang yourself if you are not very careful.

Don’t Exaggerate or Minimize Your Injuries

If you try to play your injuries down, like a lot of people do, you will not be taken seriously. And when your injuries don’t get better, you will be accused of being a malingerer (a person who fakes their injuries). But, on the other hand, if you exaggerate at all the symptoms of your injuries at the outset, you will be labeled as a faker or money-grubber. For instance, if you are losing quality sleep because of neck pain from the auto collision, you should not say that you haven’t slept a wink for two nights. You should say you have tried to sleep, but could not get restful sleep because of the neck pain. Because your symptoms change, sometimes day to day, it is not advisable to speak with an insurance adjuster early on after your auto collision. Of course, it is best to consult an attorney before you speak with an insurance adjuster.

When you visit the emergency room or medical express clinic for your injuries you are routinely given a form that tells you what is expected of you in treating your injuries. If you are prescribed medications it is expected that you will promptly go to a pharmacy and fill the prescription and take the medicine. If you don’t, you will not be taken seriously when you tell an adjuster or jury that you had pain. Likewise, if the physician instructs you to apply hot or cold compresses to your neck and stretch every day, and you don’t, others will minimize your injuries.

Many people work in pain, even with a lot of pain. I know many persons who have worked for years with chronic, constant pain. But early on in your assessment, if you attempt to do normal things in pain, you will be viewed as normal. Pain is invisible; nobody can see your pain. What they can see is how you respond to the pain. So if your conduct resembles that of a normal person, even though you are in pain, your injury will be minimized and so will your compensation.

Don’t Give a Recorded Statement or Sign Anything without Counsel

We have all watched the news programs that tell of the latest investigations or indictments for wrongdoing. Have you noticed how many times the newscaster stated that the accused or involved party was unavailable for comment, or they have no comment? Well, there’s a good reason for this – they don’t have all the information and they know that if they say something wrong, it will be used against them. I have previously explained the hidden dangers of giving a recorded statement to an insurance adjuster. There are times when giving a recorded statement to an adjuster may be in your best interest, but only an experienced lawyer will know when to do so.

When you are injured in an auto collision, which was not your fault, you are viewed in the eyes of the law as a victim. The insurance adjuster, however, doesn’t view you as a victim, but a claimant, a money-grubber (someone who is motivated to get something they don’t deserve). The more the insurance adjusters cheat you out of your recovery, the more applause and promotions they receive. When you are told that you won’t get any recovery until you sign a medical release, you feel like you don’t have any choice in the matter. But when you sign the medical release, an entire world of your personal information is given to the individual who looks on you as a money-grubber, and your records will be used to prove it. I have seen this scenario work out hundreds of times. The motivation of the insurance company to get your records is to disprove or minimize your claim. Additionally, all your medical history will be recorded on national insurance indexes that the insurance industry uses to defeat claims. You have to ask yourself whether giving the insurance adjuster access to all your medical records is necessary and wise.

Hire a Good Lawyer

There is a common saying in the practice of law, “Don’t hire yourself to act as your own lawyer.” The reason for this is that the client lacks objectivity. Objectivity means that you can analyze the law correctly and evaluate the facts of the case in a neutral way. That way you are not overlooking a key weakness in your case. I have known many who represented themselves, and even filed their own lawsuits, but in the end finally come around to the obvious need to have a professional oversee and handle their legal matters. If you had a common cold, you would likely go to the local grocery store and buy some cold medicine. But if you had a severe laceration on the leg, you wouldn’t likely stitch your leg. Many people try to represent themselves because they think it will be like treating a common cold. By the time they realize that a professional is needed, a lot of damage to their claim has already occurred.

By now you know that handling your own auto injury claim has significant challenges, and you decide to hire an Irvine lawyer (or the one based in your city). Keep in mind, though, not every lawyer who takes personal injury cases has the necessary experience to provide excellent representation. There are plenty of average lawyers who are looking for quick answers to solve their client’s complex problems, because they don’t have the experience and knowledge to answer their own questions. Hiring an inexperienced, but well-intended lawyer, to handle your case will be no substitute for an experienced lawyer with a thorough knowledge of auto injury law, and trials and appeals. And, if you expect to collect any money from the insurance company, you had better hire a lawyer that knows insurance law, too. Without question, having no lawyer is a worse mistake than hiring an inexperienced lawyer. But since you are wisely choosing to hire a lawyer, hire a good one.

Not Deciding is a Decision regarding your Injury Claim

Last, but not least, you will sabotage your claim if you remain undecided. This often resembles “doing nothing” about your claim. The problem is that “doing nothing” is actually “doing something” after all, but not the “something” that will help your case (source: Costa Ivone, LLC). While you wait week after week, month after month, the clock is ticking on the statute of limitations on your claim, witnesses vital to your claim are not interviewed and move out of the area.  Furthermore, evidence about the collision is destroyed, the police officer can’t remember the collision anymore, the time period when you are expected to seek treatment has passed, and a whole host of other negative things happen to your claim while you are making no decisions. So, as it turns out, waiting around for things to get better on their own actually worsens the situation. Many individuals, though, have difficulty taking the first step to meet with a lawyer. You’ll be glad you did.

Robinette Legal Group, PLLC:  We’re here to help.

If we can be of any further assistance to you, it would be our pleasure to speak with you personally about your injury claim.  To learn more about car accident injuries or other injury claims, click here  or call our law office at 1-304-594-1800.

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Car Wreck on I-79: Rear End Collision of Pontiac and Large Dump Truck

On March 12, 2012, a large dump truck collided with a small, blue Pontiac on I-79 near Morgantown, WV.  The driver of the Pontiac was taken by ambulance to Ruby Memorial Hospital.  The driver of the dump truck did not seek immediate medical attention.  The cause of the accident is unknown, but compare the result of the impact in the images of the Pontiac versus the dump truck.  The extreme difference in the appearance of the two vehicles after the wreck should encourage drivers to buckle up – your car will always be the loser in a collision with a heavy-weight truck.

Images from The Dominion Post, Morgantown, WV

Robinette Legal Group, PLLC: We’re here to help.

If we can be of any further assistance to you, it would be our pleasure to speak with you personally about your injury claim. You may reach us at http://www.robinettelaw.com and http://www.robinettelaw.com/Car-Accident-Injuries/ or call our law office at 1-304-594-1800.

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WV House Passes Texting Bill

The House passed the texting and hand-held cell phone ban by a vote of 87-12.  All local delegates voted for the bill.  Some opposed to the bill stated that it was either unenforceable or just too much government interference in personal lives.  The bill makes texting and using a hand-held cellphone while driving a primary offense, carrying fines of $100, $200, and $500 for first and subsequent offenses.  Third and subsequent offences would also add three points to your driving license which could lead to a license suspension.  Statistics show that a driver who is texting is four times more likely to cause an accident than a drunk driver and has the reaction time of a seventy year old driver. 

First Energy Found to be at Fault in Death of Employee

In September of 2011, 63-year-old Rivesville man was killed in a workplace accident at the FirstEnergy Harrison Power Station near Lumberport.  The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) ruled the plant’s owner, First Energy, is at fault in the death of one of its employees.

OSHA ruled he died by getting crushed between a moving platform of a Rotary Plow Feeder and a standing guardrail. According to OSHA’s report, First Energy allowed employees to work in an environment where the equipment could cause several fatal injuries.

Officials said First Energy contested the ruling and is now pursuing a settlement with OSHA. (WBOY.com)

A bulk handling operations technician was trapped between a piece of machinery and a guardrail in the coal handling area near 12:30 p.m.  Ned Johnson had worked for FirstEnergy for twenty-five years and for the Harrison Power Station for two years.  This area was closed by the company after the accident.

Although at least three other FirstEnergy employees in Ohio and Pennsylvania have been killed on the job in the last six months, FirstEnergy’s Harrison Power Station is part of a labor department program meant to allow work sites with good safety records to avoid routine Occupational Safety and Health Administration inspections.  This program has been criticized by workplace safety advocates and congressional auditors.  The Harrison Power Station has not been inspected for more than a decade according to the U.S. Department of Labor.  The Harrison Power Plant was last inspected in July of 2000 and cited with two minor violations.

Operators of heavy construction and industrial equipment face some of the most dangerous work conditions in America. When a piece of equipment fails, bringing a machine that can weigh multiple tons or more to an emergency stop is often impossible. Operators behind the wheel or working near the equipment are at the mercy of unstoppable mass and energy.

For more information about workplace accidents  please visit us at http://www.robinettelaw.com or call 304-594-1800

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What About the Other Guy? Top Five Defensive Driving Tips

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