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Charleston WV Personal Injury Law Blog

Anti-texting laws may not decrease car accident numbers

West Virginia readers know that texting while driving and other forms of distracted driving can lead to an increase in car accident numbers. Distracted driving places the driver, passengers and every other motorist at risk for a car accident. The increase in texting-related accidents has led many states to pass legislature prohibiting and punishing distracted driving of all kinds.

A university and RAND Corporation studied the texting laws and car accident statistics to determine if these laws have actually had a positive impact on the number of accidents related to phone use. According to the study, the cellphone ban did not cause a change in the car accident number before or after the law was enacted in one particular state. Other states have similar bans and statistics, suggesting that changes to laws may not be the best way to prevent distracted-driving accidents.

Potential drunk driving car accident under investigation

A serious car accident that was potentially related to drunk driving is under investigation by West Virginia law enforcement. This particular motor vehicle collision left two people injured, requiring treatment at local hospitals. The car accident involved only one vehicle and occurred along Hinkle Lake Road in the Bridgeport area.

The truck was traveling along Hinkle Lake Road when the driver reportedly veered off the road and hit an embankment. The impact of the collision was severe enough to inflict serious injuries on the passenger. A medical helicopter had to transport the passenger to Ruby Memorial Hospital for medical treatment, but the extent and nature of the injuries was not specified.

Casino faces wrongful death claim after man's suicide

A woman filed a wrongful death claim against a West Virginia casino and a company that leases slot machines after her husband died. She claims that the casino is responsible for her husband's decision to commit suicide as a result of his gambling addiction. The wrongful death claim is seeking financial compensation for various types of negligence and emotional distress.

The deceased man, according to the wife, became addicted to gambling using the slot machines at the West Virginia casino. He then proceeded, supposedly because of his emotional and mental duress, to take money from his employer to feed his gambling habit. According to the lawsuit, he also spent all of the family's savings and got fired from his job. The wife states that the family was unaware of his gambling problem.

Widow files wrongful death claim against lumber company

A West Virginia widow has filed a wrongful death claim against a lumber company that she feels is responsible for the death of her husband. The lawsuit names Allegheny Wood Products Inc. as the liable party, stating that the deceased was killed while delivering lumber. The man was employed by the lumber company when his truck was involved in a fatal accident, leading to this wrongful death claim.

Before the accident, the deceased was driving a loaded truck for a delivery from the lumber company's facility in Randolph County. The man collided with another truck, the impact forcing the wood from the trailer to come into to the cab. This resulted in severe and fatal injuries. It is not clearly indicated what caused the truck collision or which driver was at fault.

New safety standards should prevent more fatal accidents

Workers on cell towers face an unreasonably high risk for fatal accidents. Because of the high amount of fatal accidents and safety hazards, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued new safety standards in hopes of preventing similar incidents. One West Virginia contractor has recently been cited for violations, such as employees climbing towers without safety equipment.

In 2014, there were nine deaths associated with cell phone towers across the nation. Some of the measures listed to promote safety include proper use of climbing equipment and systems to stop falls. Other hazards commonly encountered in this job field include electrical shock, falls, weather, towers falling, lack of or failure to use safety equipment and other risks. The mandate issued by OSHA addresses these potentially dangerous risks.

Contentious wrongful death claim could go to federal court

The family of a deceased Precision Pipeline LLC employee filed a wrongful death claim against the company, claiming that negligence played a role in the death of their loved one. The West Virginia company wants the wrongful death claim to be heard in federal court and is pressing to have it moved. The lawsuit claims that the man was working a job that was unsafe.

The man was killed after he was struck by a pipe as he was laying the pipe in a specified trench. He was operating a large piece of machinery to lift the pipe when it hit the operator's cab, inflicting fatal injuries. Those who filed the lawsuit claim that the pipe was on the wrong side of the trench, placing the man at an unnecessary risk.

Truck accident brings lawsuit against construction company

A West Virginia company is facing a civil suit after one of its vehicles was reportedly involved in a truck accident. General Pipeline Construction, a company that constructs pipelines, was named as the defendant in the suit. The man who filed the suit claims that the truck accident left him with injuries and other damages.

The plaintiff filed the suit because allegedly, the company driver caused the accident by driving over the center line of the road. At the time of the accident, he was on a portion of the road known as "Three Mile Road" in Logan Country, West Virginia. The plaintiff's vehicle was struck by the company's vehicle and consequently, the victim suffered physical injuries.

Senator has questions over car wrecks caused by defects

West Virginia Senator Jay Rockefeller has pressed General Motors (GM) about the vehicle issues that have caused deadly car wrecks across the country. Speaking on behalf of two residents of the state, the Senator had questions for the automaker regarding a particular accident that claimed the life of their son. GM is currently facing legal trouble and pressure from lawmakers after a series of car wrecks and recalls related to an auto default in many of their vehicles.

The man in this case was driving a particular GM model vehicle, a Cobalt, when his car lost power. This was a common defect in this particular model of car, and in addition to this issue, his airbag did not immediately deploy as designed. There is a compensation fund designated for victims of GM car accidents, such as those caused by ignition failure. However, strict wording may prevent certain victims from obtaining deserved compensation.

Fatal accident in mine leads to settlement for family members

When a fatal accident happens at work, relatives left behind should be eligible for benefits through workers' compensation offered by employers. However, two wives were recently awarded by a financial settlement from a lawsuit related to a fire in a West Virginia mine. Workers' compensation would typically be granted for a fatal accident at work; however, the particular circumstances of this accident make this case unique.

The fire took place in 2006, stemming a lawsuit filed against the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) on behalf of the two widows. After a legal battle, the MSHA agreed to pay the families one million dollars and to offer a course to prevent similar future fires. This lawsuit was based on the claim that the MSHA did not properly regulate the particular mine, resulting in unsafe conditions and the fatal fire.

Woman suffers brain injury, loses her job, says 2 are related

A West Virginia woman has recently filed a lawsuit after she suffered a brain injury and was subsequently fired from her job. While the brain injury did not occur because of a work-related incident, the lawsuit claims she faced discrimination from her employer and co-workers because of her injury and difficulties related to the accident. Any type of discriminatory action against an injured or disabled person is always unacceptable in the workplace.

Specifically, the woman claims that she faced sex discrimination, harassment, emotional duress and a retaliatory firing from her former employer. She was originally injured in a car accident in which she suffered a diagnosed brain injury. After returning to work after her recovery, she claims that she was told she would be working as an hourly employee instead of a salaried employee. The West Virginia woman was also reportedly told that her work quality had declined significantly.

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