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Charleston WV Personal Injury Law Blog

One killed in trucking company lot accident

One person is dead after a rather strange pedestrian accident in the lot of a trucking company in West Virginia. While police are still investigating the accident, they have said that at least at this point, no criminal activity is suspected.

The man who died was known to frequent the business premises of the company, but he did not work at the company. According to authorities, he was on the premises when a dump truck struck him, although authorities were not certain of the exact cause of the accident.

Distracted truck driving against federal trucking regulations

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), which regulates truckers in West Virginia and nationwide, recognizes that a truck driver who takes his or her eyes off the road even for a few seconds constitutes a major hazard to other motorists. Specifically, the FMCSA's research suggested that a trucker who takes his or her eyes of the road ahead for the four or five seconds to check a text or make a quick call on their cell phone will travel the length of a football field effectively blind, since they do not have their eyes on the road.

It's certainly not a pretty picture to think of a truck heading blindly down a major highway for 100 yards, especially when one considers the damage a large truck can do if it hits the smaller vehicles around it. Needless to say, these sorts of truck accidents can easily cause serious injuries.

We can help victims pursue recovery for spinal cord injury costs

A previous post on this blog discussed how even the most minor type of spinal cord injury, which is still in reality still a devastating and lifelong thing a West Virginia victim will have to deal with, can cost $350,000 to treat, and that is during the first year after the injury. This same person will likely spend $42,000 each subsequent year on the originally and will, over his or her life, spend over a $1 million on recovery.

These numbers go up markedly if a person's injury is more extensive, as is the case of a person who winds up paralyzed above the waist. While many of these costs might get picked up by insurance, many of them do not, which means a victim of a spinal cord injury in West Virginia is left not only with a debilitating medical condition but also with a pile of debt.

The duty of care owed by West Virginia landowners

For decades, West Virginia followed the traditional rule that how much care a landowner, like a business or a homeowner, owed someone who came on to their property depended heavily on how they came to be on the property.

There were three distinctions: a landowner had only a minimal obligation to protect someone who was trespassing, or on the land without permission, meaning the landowner only had to do what they could to prevent injuries to people the landowner actually invited on to the land.

Paralysis is the end result of most spinal cord injuries

Although a very few West Virginians who suffer from spinal cord injuries amazingly escape any long-term symptoms, a majority of victims will have to deal with some sort of paralysis which, despite many technological advances, is still a permanent condition.

According to statistics, almost half of all spinal cord injury victims, over 45 percent, will have some sort of tetraplegia, which is also called quadriplegia. This means that the victim will not be able to move his or her body at all below the waist, and will also have paralysis to some extent above the waist as well.

What is wrongful death?

Wrongful death law is the area of the law that protects family members of victims wrongfully killed in an accident. Wrongful death injuries are the worst type of harm that can be suffered by victims in a car accident or other type of accident. Surviving family members may be left with unexpected financial challenges as they struggle to deal with the emotional challenges they face following the unexpected loss of a loved one.

A wrongful death claim for damages can be brought for the benefit of surviving family members. Surviving family members of lost loved ones may be able to recover compensation for funeral and medical expenses, loss of support and services, lost prospect of inheritance and other damages depending on the circumstances. Damages that may be available are specific to the circumstances and the characteristics of the victims.

Understanding the personal injury claims process

Because of the importance of personal injury protections when victims have been injured by a negligent driver in a car or other type of accident, it is helpful for injured victims to understand the claims process and how it works. Car, truck and motorcycle accidents can result in serious injuries and victims may be left wondering what to do about medical expenses, lost wages and the emotional toll of a car accident.

The personal injury claims process varies depending on the situation and unique circumstances of the individual involved but there are some steps in the process that it can be useful for injured victims to be familiar with. It is important to initially investigate the accident which can include a police report and witness statements so the police should always be called and as much witness information as possible should be collected following the accident. It is also important to ensure the victim receives the medical care and treatment they need and keeps careful records of the treatment they receive and treatment costs they incur.

The dangers of slip and fall accidents in snow and ice

With the winter season fast approaching, the risk of slip and fall accidents on snow and ice increases. Victims of slip and fall accidents on icy sidewalks and in other circumstances have legal remedies to consider to help them recover from the harm they have suffered in a slip and fall accident. Property owners and property managers are required to make a reasonable effort to reduce the risk of injury for guests, employees and patrons or must warn of the dangerous condition.

Businesses that accept visitors, such as apartment complexes, office complexes, manufacturing facilities, supermarkets and shopping centers, may be liable to injured victims when they have suffered a slip and fall accident on their property. Property owners and managers who do not have a snow and ice removal plan, or do not implement a snow and ice removal plan, may face liability in a personal injury claim for damages.

Distracted driving rules and basics in West Virginia

Distracted driving is an increasing concern on roadways throughout the country. As a result, West Virginia bans all handheld cell phone use for drivers. West Virginia also prohibits all drivers from texting and driving and has special rules for novice drivers as well. Using a handheld cell phone while driving is a primary offense in West Virginia that drivers can be pulled over and cited for.

Likewise, West Virginia has a texting while driving ban and texting while driving is a primary offense. A primary offense is an offense that a police officer can pull a driver over for and ticket them for without them committing any other infraction such as speeding. Drivers in West Virginia can be cited for holding a cell phone while driving or texting while driving alone. Drivers in West Virginia are permitted to talk on a cell phone while driving if their use is hands free.

What are the costs of spinal cord injuries?

For victims and families of spinal cord injuries, facing potentially innumerable changes to their lives, the costs of spinal cord injuries may worry them and they may wonder what they are. The costs of a spinal cord injury depends on the nature of the injury and the age of the victim. There are several categories of spinal cord injuries that make up the majority of spinal cord injuries.

Less than one percent of victims experience complete neurological recovery by the time they leave the hospital so concerns such as disability, long-term care and the life-long impact of a spinal cord injury are legitimate concerns for victims. The overall costs of a spinal cord injury vary based on the level of neurological impairment, the victim's education level and employment prior to the injury.

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