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West Virginia Personal Injury Law Blog

We can handle the harder truck accident cases

Although many truck accidents in West Virginia have the propensity to be devastating to the driver of a passenger vehicle, not all such accidents in the Morgantown area may be obviously the truck driver's or trucking company's fault.

While it is true that there are flagrant cases of a truck driver's being careless or even reckless on the road, not every truck accident will end in even a ticket being issued to the driver. Moreover, it is a rare day indeed when a truck driver or trucking company will actually come out and admit fault for an accident.

How do I prevent an auto accident due to hydroplaning?

With the winter approaching, West Virginia residents may be worried about driving over snowy and icy roads, and for good reason. After all, the slick conditions caused by snow and ice can cause serious car accidents that can leave a Monongalia County resident permanently disabled or even dead.

However, many West Virginians may not think about the fact that any significant rainfall can also make the roads of this state extremely dangerous. For instance, on any wet road, hydroplaning is possible. Hydroplaning occurs when a vehicle loses contact with the road and begins to travel atop standing water. The vehicle becomes very difficult if not impossible to control, leaving the driver and those driving nearby vehicles exposed to a serious accident.

Negligent truck maintenance can lead to tragedy

As this blog has previously discussed, semi truck accidents can be devastating for a West Virginia family. Because semi trucks are large vehicles, they tend to inflict a lot of damage whenever they strike a private passenger car, meaning that serious and debilitating injuries or a real possibility in truck accidents.

While these types of accidents can be caused by the negligence of the truck driver, negligent truck maintenance can also contribute to a serious accident. For example, if a trucking company does not ensure that its vehicles' brakes are checked regularly, a truck driver may find herself experiencing a brake failure and be unable to prevent an accident.

What is the difference between a birth injury and birth defect?

No couple in West Virginia wants to be told that their child has either a birth injury or a birth defect. Although some such conditions are relatively minor and easily cured, others are debilitating and could leave an infant unable to function without special care for the rest of his or her life.

However, whether a condition is a birth injury or a birth defect can make a huge difference as to whether a Morgantown, West Virginia, doctor or hospital is liable for medical malpractice because of the condition. A birth defect usually arises before the child is born and even before a mother gets pregnant.

Experienced representation for West Virginia birth injury victims

When a Morgantown resident puts her own and life and the life of her child in the hands of an obstetrician, she is expecting that this doctor will do his or her best to protect both her life and health and the life and health of her baby. While sometimes bad things happen even when a doctor and his or her medical team give the best possible medical care, at other times, a West Virginia family may find itself having to deal with a child who will be disabled for life because a doctor failed to meet the accepted standard of medical care and thereby caused serious birth injuries.

In a perfect world, a doctor would quickly admit that he or she fell short of the standard of care and will do whatever is necessary to make things right. This is rarely the case in the real world, and doctors and their insurance companies will often work to avoid having to admit fault or pay compensation to a family whose child suffered a birth injury because of the doctor's negligence.

Pesticide maker settles up with feds after deadly accident

A major manufacturer of pesticides that has operations in several states will pay a total of $5.6 million following a fatal workplace accident in West Virginia that left two people dead. The settlement will dispose of allegations that the manufacturer's acts and omissions at the West Virginia plant constituted violations of federal regulations aimed to prevent explosions and other serious chemical accidents.

In addition to paying a fine, the firm also had to promise to spend a substantial amount to improve its safety measures in all of its plants, both in West Virginia and in other parts of the country. The company will also have to improve its disaster response plan and take steps to protect a nearby river from contamination.

Clues that show driver fatigue caused an accident

Many tragic West Virginia car accidents happen because a driver was simply too tired to be on the road and wound up falling asleep behind the wheel. While it's bad enough when that driver simply runs off the road, it's even worse when a fatigued driver hits another person's vehicle.

Unfortunately, following a serious car accident, a negligent driver will rarely come out and admit that they dozed off right before the accident. So, an injured person or a grieving family, as the case may be, will have to look carefully at the facts and circumstances for hints that show that the other driver was dangerously fatigued.

Auto accidents: West Virginia has room for improvement

The most recent statistics complied by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration suggest that West Virginia has a ways to go with respect to roadway safety. In many categories, the number of fatal West Virginia car accidents far outpaced the national average.

It appears from the statistics that carelessness on West Virginia's rural roads are of particular concern. In 2013, 241 people died on the country roads or open highways, as opposed to 91 people dying on one of West Virginia's city streets. It also seemed that speeding and not using seatbelts was a persistent problem that led to serious auto accidents.

We can help families of those who are killed at work

Last week's post mentioned that often, the families of those who are killed in a workplace accident in West Virginia might be able to file suit for wrongful death, as not all fatal injuries at a workplace necessarily involve an employee. Sometimes, a guest or a customer can die in an accident while in a factory, construction site or some other work environment.

Perhaps a more common occurrence is when an independent contractor is at a work site doing some sort of specialized task. Independent contractors, although not employees of a company, often face the exact same dangers as do a company's full-time workers. However, the families of independent contractors who die on the job may not be eligible for workers' compensation benefits.

Two WV mines cited for violations after fatal accidents

West Virginia authorities have issued citations against two mines after wrapping up official investigations into deaths in two separate workplace accidents at two separate facilities.

In the first case, a man died after the truck he was driving flipped as he drove it down a path into the lower part of a surface mine. The maintenance of the truck was apparently the mining company's responsibility, and officials cited the company for not keeping the truck's brakes in good repair. The company did not immediately dispute the conclusion but said it would have to compare the investigation report with its own internal findings.