Legal Insight: Night-time Truck Accidents

Truck Accident, night
Morgantown WV Night Truck Accidents: WV Truck Accident Law | Morgantown Truck Accident Lawyer Explains

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Night Truck Accidents, WV, I-79 and I-68

By Attorney Jeffery L. Robinette, Personal Injury and Legal Malpractice Representation

The federal department of transportation guidelines for commercial motor vehicles provide explicit directives and warnings regarding the safe operation of tractor trailers.    An empty  tractor trailer can stop quicker and respond faster to emergencies on the road than a fully loaded one.

Night driving dictates even more safety precautions because a tractor trailer operator can only respond to emergency situations he observes — if his speed exceeds the illuminated area of his headlights, then the driver will not be able to safely respond to an emergency situation until it is too late which may cause a fatal truck accident similar to the many devastating collisions we hear about on I-79 and I-68 near Morgantown.

During daytime driving, the visibility may be a quarter mile ahead, so a driver can see and anticipate how to respond to an emergency situation in time to avoid a collision.   At night, the illumination may only give a driver 200 feet of visibility, but his speed at 70 miles per hour may require every bit of that distance to stop his truck, depending on his load weight and road conditions.   If the driver is exceeding the posted speed limit at night, he won’t be able to see problem areas ahead in time to stop safely — hence, his stopping distance will exceed the illumination distance of his head lights.

It is quite obvious which tractor trailers are loaded on an uphill grade, but on level ground and certainly going downhill, heavily loaded trucks are especially vulnerable to collisions because they have little ability to slow down if there is an emergency situation ahead of them.

While there are many exceptional truck drivers who take great care to keep the public safe, there are others that exceed safe speeds, tailgate passenger vehicles, and fail to keep their trucks mechanically safe for operation.

Wrongful Death Investigations of Fatal Truck Accidents

In investigating fatal truck accident cases, it is imperative to pursue facts that point to truck driver fatigue or other types of negligence. Driver logs must be examined, hotel receipts, GPS devices, black box evidence, dash cam videos, and other sources of evidence that paint a picture of the circumstances leading to the accident.

This thorough approach gives the best possible chance of obtaining favorable results for an injured person or a family after filing a wrongful death claim after a fatal collision.

These big-rig truck accidents are the result of the volatile combination of speed and weight, causing a situation which is too often much more devastating than any other type of vehicle collision.

The most common causes of commercial truck accidents include:

Questions?  Contact Us Today & Learn How We Can Help.

Sources:

Comprehensive Q&A about Truck Accidents

WBOY News:  One Dead After Multi-vehicle Accident on I-79

One Killed and One Injured by a Truck while changing a Tire on I-79

Collision CareA man was recently killed while changing a tire on the northbound shoulder of Interstate 79 near the Star City exit.  This man was struck and killed by a tractor-trailer, and was found already deceased when the investigating trooper arrived on the scene.  A passenger was also struck by the passing truck, but suffered minor injuries. The driver of the tractor-trailer was not physically injured by the impact, but surely is suffering as well.

Tire Changing Safety

If you get a flat tire and have no other choice but to change it yourself, it is essential that you do everything you can to make yourself visible to other drivers. Some drivers drive too close to the shoulder and may not see you in time to stop when they are traveling between 70 and 80 miles per hour.

• Turn on your hazard lights (emergency blinkers).
• If possible, keep rolling until you get to a straight stretch of highway so that you are not hidden to other drivers by a curve in the road.
• Pull off as far away from the highway as possible to keep yourself off the roadway as you are working to change the tire safely.

As fellow drivers, we have a continual responsibility to look out for others in distress. This fact makes it essential that we do everything possible to ensure that we are not distracted by anything while driving.

If You Were Injured in a Truck Accident

When you are suddenly involved in an auto collision causing you serious injuries, you will likely have plenty of questions about how the insurance claims process and court system work. In essence, you want to be informed so that you can be fairly compensated for your injuries.

You need to understand your legal rights to ensure that you are compensated fairly for the injuries you received due to someone else’s negligence. The Robinette Legal Group has made available Collision Care, a Guide for WV Accident Victims, free of charge for West Virginians and those injured in WV.

Collision Care will answer your important questions about how to enforce your legal rights against the persons responsible for causing your injuries; how to navigate through the complexities of the insurance claim process and legal court system; and how to avoid being taken advantage of by insurance adjusters and their team of defense lawyers who are determined to minimize your recovery for your auto injury claim.

Robinette Legal Group, PLLC — Morgantown Truck Accident Attorneys

If you or your loved one has been injured due to negligence or willful violation of safety regulations on the road, 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 Robinette Legal Group, PLLC website:  http://www.robinettelaw.com

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Ambulance EMT Killed in Collision With a Truck on I-79

Collision care photoAn ambulance and a flatbed semi-truck collided on Interstate 79 south near Weston Tuesday morning and closed the highway for almost two hours on Tuesday, January 15, 2013.

Jan-Care Ambulance Services confirmed Tuesday morning that a Jan-Care EMT died following the accident on Interstate 79 in Lewis County.

A Jan-Care ambulance was returning to the station from an EMS transport when it collided with a flatbed semi-truck Tuesday morning, according to the Director of Operations at Jan-Care Ambulance Services.

Lewis County sheriff’s deputy said Jan-Care EMT, a passenger in the ambulance, was injured in the accident and later died as a result as his injuries at Stonewall Jackson Memorial Hospital.  The ambulance’s driver was treated and released.  No patient was on-board the ambulance at the time of the accident.

A spokeman of Jan-Care reflected that “It is a real tragedy when something like this happens to someone who has devoted so much time and effort to helping others.”

The Lewis County Sheriff’s Department said the driver and passenger of the semi-truck involved in the fatal crash were not injured.

The collision happened south of the Weston exit at mile marker 97.5. Lewis County Sheriff’s Department and the Weston Fire Department were called to the scene.  Drivers on I-79 south of Weston were stuck for an hour and a half until crews opened the shoulder to allow them to pass through.

The cause of the accident is unknown.

The Lewis County Sheriff’s Department and State Police are investigating the accident.Collision Care

Submitted by the Robinette Legal Group, PLLC, West Virginia Injury Lawyers. Free books 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. We are glad to answer your questions.

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Source:  WBOY News, by reporter Stacy Moniot, 01/15/2013:  http://www.wboy.com/story/20589835/update-emt-dead-following-i-79-accident-in-lewis-county

Common Back and Spine Injuries After an Accident

Does your back hurt after a car or work accident in West Virginia (WV)?

If your spine has been injured, you know the pain can be excruciating, debilitating, and unending.  Back and spine injuries are some of the most common injuries that permanently alter our clients’ lives after a car wreck or workplace accident.   The insurance companies will attempt to minimize the amount of compensation you receive for your back injury, especially if you have a prior history of back pain that has been aggravated and made considerably worse by this traumatic event.  Our office frequently receives calls concerning spinal injuries, especially to the lower vertebrae, and the Robinette Legal Group has consistently obtained excellent results for our seriously injured clients.

Spinal cord injuries include:

  • Herniated discs: Fluid in the discs between any vertebrae ruptures, causing partial arm paralysis and pain
  • Fractured vertebrae: Can happen anywhere along the spinal column. Individual vertebrae break or disconnect, leading to possible paralysis below the fracture.
  • Cervical injuries: Injuries to the spine near the neck usually result in full or partial paralysis. A broken neck is a type of cervical injury.
  • Thoracic injuries: Mid-back area of the spine. Often results in paralysis or partial immobility of arms and legs.
  • Lumbar and sacral injuries: Lower spine injuries often result in mobility problems or paralysis of hips, as well as effects on the urinary tract and digestive tract.

A spinal cord injury doesn’t always mean paralysis. Many spine injuries suffered in accidents go undetected as hairline fractures on the vertebrae. There may be only minor symptoms, which may go away over time, leaving the victim to believe that no serious injury occurred.

In time, however, even a minor spinal cord injury can progress to a serious problem, requiring surgery and years of medical treatment. At their worst, a spinal cord injury can progress to paralysis and organ damage.

Get the Help You Need From Experienced Professionals

If you or a loved one has been in an accident and is noticing back pain or other nerve damage, make sure a medical specialist considers the possibility of a spinal cord injury. The West Virginia spinal cord injury lawyers of the Robinette Legal Group have extensive experience representing clients involved in spinal cord injury claims.

Jeff Robinette is a former insurance defense attorney who now exclusively represents plaintiffs injured by someone else’s negligence.  I use my courtroom experience and knowledge of the insurance litigation system to provide vigorous, effective representation for people who need to recover full and fair money damages for serious injuries that forever change our clients’ work and daily lives.

Free Books for WV Accident Victims:

Spinal cord injuries don’t go away on their own. If you have been injured, you may face a lifetime of medical treatment and financial loss. Our firm will fight hard to help you recover the full and fair money damages you are entitled to.

To learn more about what actions you should take — and must avoid — after an accident, order a FREE copy of our latest book Righting the Wrong:  West Virginia Serious Injury Guide.  You can obtain this book by contacting us through our website http://www.robinettelaw.com or by calling us at 304-594-1800 today.

We welcome your call and would be glad to answer your questions concerning your serious back or spinal injury.

Texting While Driving Four Times More Dangerous Than Drunk Driving

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

Total Drivers

 

Distracted Drivers

 

Drivers With Cell Phone*

(% of Distracted Drivers)

 

Total 

45,230

 

5,084 (11%)

 

1,006 (20%)

 

Drivers by Age Group

 

Under 20 

3,967

 

619 (16%)

 

138 (22%)

 

20-29 

10,719

 

1,378 (13%)

 

293 (21%)

 

30-39 

7,633

 

832 (11%)

 

196 (24%)

 

40-49 

7,930

 

811 (10%)

 

161 (20%)

 

50-59 

6,559

 

631 (10%)

 

124 (20%)

 

60-69 

3,968

 

367 (9%)

 

56 (15%)

 

70+ 

3,778

 

408 (11%)

 

37 (9%)

 

Drivers by Vehicle Type

 

Passenger Car 

18,279

 

2,044 (11%)

 

386 (19%)

 

Light Truck 

17,822

 

2,117 (12%)

 

475 (22%)

 

Motorcycle 

4,593

 

562 (12%)

 

63 (11%)

 

Large Truck 

3,187

 

257 (8%)

 

75 (29%)

 

Bus 

221

 

14 (6%)

 

3 (21%)

 

 

 

Common Shoulder Injuries after an Accident

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 impact of an accident can result in several different types shoulder injuries.

Human Shoulder PainThe 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.

What you don’t know can hurt you. Click here to receive the information you need before signing away your rights to compensation: 7 Facts You Need to Know about WV Injury Claims.

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.
  • Fractured bone
  • Bruises
  • Strains and sprains
  • Frozen shoulder

Common symptoms of shoulder injury

  • Painfully tender, stiff shoulder that hurts more at night and may interrupt sleeping
  • Tingling, numbness, weakness, or swelling in shoulder
  • Shoulder pain in a specific spot that may worsen with exertion
  • Difficulty moving arm in any direction without pain
  • Sudden, intense pain in shoulder area
  • Pale, blue or otherwise discolored shoulder area

click here for free report buttonWhat 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 an 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.
  • Physical therapy
  • Surgery

Frozen Shoulder

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.

Collision Care Ebook adIt 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 the Robinette Legal Group, PLLC, West Virginia Workplace Injury/Wrongful Death Lawyers. Call us today: 304-216-6695 or 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.

Visit our website or call today for more information: 1-304-594-1800 or after hours, 1-304-216-6695.

What is First Party Insurance Bad Faith?

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.

If you need help with your insurance claim, contact us at www.robinettelaw.com or 1-304-594-1800.