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.
MORGANTOWN WV – A two-vehicle accident happened around 9:30 Saturday evening near the entrance to Suburban Plaza, sending five to Ruby Memorial Hospital.
The two vehicles involved were a Ford Explorer and a Jeep Liberty. There were five people in the Jeep and two people in the Ford. Three people from the Jeep and both people in the Ford Explorer were transported to Ruby Memorial. Police say none of their injuries seemed life-threatening.
The two westbound lanes and the center turning lane on Chestnut Ridge Road were closed for about two hours while officers from the Morgantown Police Department were investigating the accident.
Chestnut Ridge Road, especially in front of Suburban Lanes and Wings Ole’, remains the third most dangerous road in Morgantown, with thirty-four accidents last year.
Morgantown Car Accident Attorneys
If you or your loved one has been injured, it is important to act quickly to protect your claim in order to gain the compensation needed to help you move forward with your recovery and your life. Mr. Robinette has handled hundreds of cases involving serious injury and wrongful death and can provide the insight you need right now.
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.
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
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:
Almost crashing, with frequent “close calls”
Finding dents and scrapes on the car, on fences, mailboxes, garage doors, curbs, etc.
Getting lost, especially in familiar locations
Having trouble seeing or following traffic signals, road signs, and pavement markings
Responding more slowly to unexpected situations, or having trouble moving their foot from the gas to the brake pedal; confusing the two pedals
Misjudging gaps in traffic at intersections and on highway entrance and exit ramps
Experiencing road rage or causing other drivers to honk or complain
Easily becoming distracted or having difficulty concentrating while driving
Having a hard time turning around to check the rear view while backing up or changing lanes
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!
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.
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
In a frenzied effort to ratchet up end-of-year profits, major retailers will offer their best sales of the year on Black Friday. Although the Morgantown, WV area and adjacent regions of Marion, Preston, and Taylor Counties are not heavily populated areas as compared to Pittsburgh, the mixture of customer expectations and limited quantities produce the same risks of injuries that we hear about in larger cities. Many customers will drive with little sleep, even in bad road conditions to get a good position at the door.
Try to minimize possibilities of confrontation by showing courtesy to other shoppers and don’t be perceived as a line-cutter – it will cause resentment and possibly an altercation. If you happen to be the lucky shopper who gets the last item at an incredible price, either cover (if possible) with other items in your cart or try to avoid that area of the store where others will be looking for the same item.
Even in the midst of all the crowds, excitement, and confusion, retailers have an obligation to create and maintain a safe shopping environment for their employees and customers and have a duty to maintain safe parking lots, sidewalks, stairs, and railings that are clear of water, ice, and obstacles to prevent personal injury.
Parking lots are part of a business owner’s property. Therefore, the owner of the retail store or other business property has a legal obligation to maintain the lot or ramp, including sidewalks and stairwells in a condition that is determined safe for public use. This includes ensuring the lot is properly marked and lighted and the traffic flow has been designed with the public’s safety in mind. If you have been injured in a parking lot accident, either while driving, riding a bike or walking, you may be entitled to seek damages for the cost of medical treatment, lost earnings and pain and suffering resulting from your injuries.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued a guide to employers for preventing injuries during the holiday shopping season or at any other time when large crowds gather. The OSHA guide includes provisions for pre-planning strategies, practicing, and assigning specific workers to implement security, safety, and emergency responses. The National Retail Federation issued similar warnings and guidelines to retailers that include emergency response directives and having employees practice crowd control safety measures sometime before Black Friday.
Other sound advice includes while shopping, make some trips to the car to put your gifts in the trunk. Lock them up and you can come back and finish your shopping and not have to carry everything around. After one or two bags, it gets a little cumbersome and strains your back and could affect your balance if the parking lot is even a little slick.
Even though we’re not in a major metropolitan area, there will always be an undesirable element lurking about — at the grocery store, a shopping center, a shopping mall — they’re looking for an opportunity. So, don’t turn your back on anything. As a consumer, you don’t want to provide thieves that opportunity. Always keep things locked up in the trunk, keep your cell phone close, don’t hang your handbag on the top of a stroller or over the back of your chair in a restaurant or food court. Use good common sense, even at 5:00 a.m. in the morning.
When a place of business does not provide a safe workplace and shopping environment and an employee or customer suffers an accident, injury, retail stores and malls are responsible for medical bills, lost wages and continuing disability, pain, suffering, and inconvenience caused by their carelessness.
If you have been seriously injured while shopping due to someone else’s negligence, call a Morgantown, WV Personal Injury Lawyer — visit our website today or call us today at 304-594-1800 to get the answers you need.
Your insurance company has an obligation to fairly consider your interests and compensate you according to the loss you have suffered within the limits of your insurance policy. If the insurance company considers its own best interest, and you suffer losses as a result, you have a right to sue your own insurance company for bad faith.
Personal Property Insurance Bad Faith:
If you have suffered significant damage by fire, flood, ice, or wind to your home or place of business, your insurance company may only offer a fraction of the amount of money it will take to repair the damage (learn more about home insurance affiliate program firms service in this case). Insurance companies are motivated to pay as little as possible, so you will need a lawyer if you wish to recover the full value of your loss.
In order to prove bad faith, your attorney will have to prove that your insurance company acted unreasonably in the adjustment of your claim. This will be a complex process of litigation, and for optimum results it is essential that you hire an attorney with many years of experience in working directly with insurance companies.
Motor Vehicle Accident Insurance Bad Faith:
Likewise, if you have been in a car, truck, or motorcycle accident and are suffering from a personal injury and your insurance company has acted unreasonably or unfairly in settling your claim, you may be a victim of insurance bad faith.