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Charleston WV Personal Injury Law Blog

An overridden emergency button claims a Charleston miner's death

West Virginia's Miner Health, Safety and Training Office (MHSTO) has recently completed their months' long investigation into a deadly mining accident that happened back in Charleston in June. Investigators have determined that it's likely that one of the equipment's emergency stop buttons might have been overridden, resulting in the 32-year-old Artie man's death.

The coal worker was reportedly utilizing a small automated vehicle to move about the Gateway Eagle Mine while working alone on the day of his accident. The mine is owned by the Charleston-based Rockwell Mining.

What makes for a dangerous highway?

As you make your way down the highway in the state of West Virginia, you know that trouble could be waiting around the corner.

In addition to other vehicles, you need to concern yourself with the conditions of the road. If you aren't thinking about this, you could find yourself in trouble at some point.

Get help proving disparate treatment and impact

What exactly does it mean to be the victim of disparate treatment or to suffer disparate impact in the workplace?The short answer may be that one is clearly intentional while the other is not.

Disparate treatment means that employees are singled out for different treatment based on specific criteria related to their race, religion, ethnic origin or other characteristic.

Autopsy: Former football star had advanced brain disease

Most of our readers know something of the disturbing and tragic story of former National Football League player Aaron Hernandez. The one-time New England Patriot was serving a life sentence for murder when he committed suicide in prison earlier this year. He was just 27.

Now, perhaps not surprisingly, an autopsy revealed that the former tight end was in the advanced stages of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) when he died. According to the head of Boston University's CTE Center, the former NFL star was in the third out of four stages of the disease.

What are the warning signs of bad nursing home care?

If your loved one is receiving care in a nursing home or similar facility, it's important that you keep an eye on his or her well-being.

There are many warning signs of bad nursing home care, including but not limited to the following:

  • Physical or emotional changes, such as if the person has lost some type of function or is no longer interested in taking part in activities.
  • Bruises or scrapes. While not always the case, this could be a sign of a fall or a staff member who is being overly aggressive.
  • Unanswered questions. Is your loved one avoiding questions? If so, there's always a chance he or she is doing so because they don't want to bring a problem to light.
  • If your loved one is telling you they don't want a particular person to care for them. If this happens, dig around to find out exactly why they feel this way.
  • Dehydration. It's important for nursing home patients to stay hydrated. If symptoms of dehydration set in, you need to learn more about the cause.

How can you determine the severity of a traumatic brain injury?

If you're involved in any kind of auto accident, there's a good risk that you'll end up hitting your head. Whether you bump it on the seat in front of you or an airbag explodes into you face, it's possible to end up with a traumatic brain injury (TBI) even after a fairly low-impact accident.

How do paramedics determine how serious the TBI is following the accident?

What are the dangers of fall driving in West Virginia?

If you live in the state of West Virginia, you know that the fall months are absolutely beautiful. You should also know that this time of the year brings about some unique challenges on the roadways throughout the state.

Here are some of the many dangers of fall driving in West Virginia:

  • When the weather begins to cool, deer will make their way out of the woods and onto the roads. You need to watch for these creatures at all times.
  • Back to school traffic. Now that school is back in session you can expect more vehicles to be on the road, especially during the morning and afternoon hours.
  • Rain and strong wind. Heavy rain has a way of hitting the state during the fall months. The same holds true for strong wind.
  • Fog. Cool mornings can lead to heavy fog, which makes it a challenge to see the road in front of you. It also makes it more difficult for other drivers to see your vehicle.
  • Leaves. Wet leaves on the road can lead to slippery conditions.

Former jockey fired by West Virginia Racing Commission

When a state has "at-will" employment, it means that an employer can fire an employee without giving a reason, as long as a person isn't fired for an illegal reason. West Virginia is one of those states.

One recent dismissal is getting a good deal of media attention. Larry Dupuy, a Charles Town Racing Hall of Fame inductee, was suddenly fired this month by the West Virginia Racing Commission from his steward job. The action occurred during a brief emergency meeting of the commission held via a conference call.

Employers are still firing women for being pregnant

Nearly four decades ago, the U.S. Congress passed a law called the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) that was intended to prevent employers from firing a woman because she was pregnant. The PDA mandates that employers adhere to the same type of temporary physical restrictions for pregnant women that they would for any other employee who required temporary restrictions due to a physical condition. These accommodations often involve assigning workers to "light duty," including a restriction on how much weight they're required to lift.

As recently as 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in a case against United Parcel Service, Inc., that a pregnant employee is entitled to these accommodations unless the employer's case is "sufficiently strong" for not making them. Cost and inconvenience, the court determined, were not sufficient reasons.

Hunting's hidden danger: Tree stand injuries

When you hear the phrase "hunting accident," what's the first thing you think about?

If you're like most people, it's probably someone getting shot after being mistaken for a deer -- not someone falling from a tree stand or having a tree stand that's worn out just give way under their feet.

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