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Charleston WV Personal Injury Law Blog

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.

Options for those affected by a distracted driving car accident

A car accident can happen for many reasons, including reasons that are no fault of the driver. For example, a person could be injured in an auto incident that was related to a drunk or otherwise impaired driver. However, a car accident caused by distracted driving may seem more complicated simply because it could be more difficult to prove that a cell phone or other distraction contributed to the collision.

West Virginia drivers are not unaware of the fact that distracted driving is largely related to the rise in the use of cell phones behind the wheel. Texting while driving is one of the most commonly recognized hazards that affect all motorists. However, texting is not the only thing that could pose a danger to others. The Department of Transportation has stated that drivers who are using navigational apps could also be as distracted as a driver who is texting.

GM car accident victims may receive millions of dollars from fund

GM has announced that they have set aside a fund for victims of any car accident caused by the faulty ignition issues that have plagued the automaker. This fund will compensate victims who were injured in a defect-related car accident or families of those who were killed. Depending on circumstances, some victims could receive several million dollars.

This fund is for victims across the nation, including those in West Virginia. Should victims accept compensation from this fund, they are thereby relinquishing their right to pursue a lawsuit against GM. If a victim or the family of a victim refuses compensation from the fund, they would still have the option of pursing legal action against the company. It it important to understand the best option for each individual case.

West Virginia man suffers brain injury in boating accident

A West Virginia man suffered a brain injury during an unfortunate boating accident. He is currently in critical condition, suffering from brain swelling. He suffered a brain injury when the boat on which he was a passenger hit a barge that was parked at the time. The young man who was driving the boat also suffered injuries that required medical attention.

Boat accidents can have serious consequences, just the same as any other type of motor vehicle accident. Boat accidents are sometimes caused by a lack of vigilant driving and knowledge of boating laws. It is not immediately known what caused this particular accident, but it serves as an example to those who may be behind the wheel of a boat.

Elder abuse and neglect at the center of nursing home case

A West Virginia nursing home will have to pay over $30 million after a judge found the home guilty of elder abuse and neglect. The nursing home was found guilty of failing to provide adequate staffing needed to care for their elderly patients. Apparently, there was enough evidence presented to prove that the actions of the nursing home constituted elder abuse and neglect.

The lawsuit was filed by a family on behalf of an elderly woman who lived at the home for a few weeks. According to the lawsuit, the nursing home failed to feed her or provide basic care during that time. The original ruling passed by a West Virginia court awarded the family $90 million dollars. After additional deliberation, the West Virginia Supreme Court reduced that amount to just over $30 million.

Police say West Virginia car accident due to distracted driving

A recent car accident in West Virgina resulted in four people seeking medical attention from a hospital. It is believed that the car accident was caused by distracted driving. There were multiple vehicles involved in the accident, and several of them sustained significant damage from the impact.

The unfortunate chain of events occurred when the alleged distracted driver crossed the center line on the road. The vehicle struck a truck that was hauling another vehicle on a trailer. The trailer became detached from the truck and crashed in the opposite lane. Also, a pedestrian was injured when the accident involved an unoccupied vehicle and struck the person. The pedestrian was airlifted by emergency personnel because of the serious nature of the injuries.

Preventing workplace accidents by implementing new technology

Most West Virginia residents know how dangerous the mining industry can be, as it has one of the highest percentages of workplace accidents, injuries and deaths. Tragically, many of the workplace accidents that do occur are related to the "human element," meaning that a large number could have been prevented. There is hope that by implementing new technology and strategies, miners may be able to enjoy an improved safety standard at work.

While the state of West Virginia has not seen a large-scale mining tragedy (an accident that claims many lives) recently, a horrible mining accident in another country serves as a sober reminder that there is still room for improvement in mining safety. This particular accident, an explosion and fire, claimed the lives of 301 miners. However, the president of an electronics company claims that the technology already exists needed to improve the safety in mines. This includes technology to track air flow, improve communication while in the mine and cameras to avoid collision between large equipment.

First mining-related fatal accident for the calendar year

West Virginia marked the first mining-related fatal accident of 2014 with the death of a young miner in Tucker County. The fatal accident was apparently caused by user error, but this tragic case emphasizes how safety should always be a priority in this dangerous industry. The man was killed after he was pinned between two pieces of heavy machinery.

The Mine Health and Safety Administration (MHSA) has looked into the accident and determined that it was caused by the miner's failure to properly secure equipment. The young man was taken to a hospital for medical treatment, but passed away from the gravity of his injuries. Tragically, it seems that this accident could have been prevented by exercising caution and proper safety measures.

West Virginia nurses accused of failing to provide medication

When the time comes to decide how to care for aging family members, those who love them want only the best. Sometimes, that means entrusting medical professionals in a nursing home with the day-to-day supervision of an older person who may not be able to care for themselves. Unfortunately, there are times when those responsible may harm the older person, either directly or by not providing for their needs. A recent case here in West Virginia is an example of the latter, as two nurses stand accused of failing to provide medication to patients.

The two women at the center of this story allegedly stole pain medication from patients. Authorities report that they were taking the medication themselves and that this occurred multiple times. The investigation was sparked when a patient of one of the accused nurses experienced an overdose. The nursing home realized that its medication inventory was not accurate and requested police assistance to determine the cause.

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