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Charleston WV Personal Injury Law Blog

The most common causes of deadly distracted driving

While there has been a large amount of attention paid to texting and driving and cell phone use while driving, there are in fact a number of circumstances that lead to fatal accidents which fall under the broad umbrella of being caused by "distracted driving". While it may be hard to believe, cell phone usage is only the second leading cause of deadly distracted driving accidents, being blamed for 14 percent of them. While this is not to say that campaigns against texting and driving are therefore unimportant, it may lead one to wonder what other things or circumstances cause people to take their minds and even eyes off of the road.

The number one cause of fatal distracted driving accidents is simply not paying attention, drifting off, daydreaming and the like. In fact, daydreaming was blamed for 61 percent of fatal accidents, more than four times the number of deadly accidents attributed to cell phones.

Common causes of accidents at retail stores

Although residents of Charleston, West Virginia, probably do not want to think about it, there are a lot of ways they can get hurt whenever stepping into a retail store or mall, even for just a few minutes to return something or to pick up a quick item. For instance, if a store's floor is wet, uneven or poorly kept, then it is quite easy for a guest to trip or lose footing and fall. Even a badly working escalator or a corridor which does not have adequate lighting can cause slip-and-fall accidents. Likewise, slips and falls can happen in a parking lot, if the lot or surrounding sidewalks are not re-paved frequently or, after winter weather, are not cleared of the ice and snow.

Objects in a store are also prone to falling. Retailers often stack items high above the heads of their customers. If they do not take care when doing so, a heavy piece of merchandise or even a display may suddenly fall on an unsuspecting customer, seriously injuring their heads or necks.

Major Kanawha County accident leaves five people dead

A tragic fatal accident in Kanawha County, which attracted the attention of the national news media, killed five people, including two volunteer firefighters who were responding to the scene of the accident in order to give aid.

The accident involved two separate collisions. In the first collision, a driver, who was 77-years-old and from out of state, was heading in the wrong direction on I-77 for unknown reasons. She hit a vehicle carrying a couple, ages 49 and 47, who were also not from West Virginia. The couple's vehicle was hit head-on, and the force pushed the couple into a box truck that was parked on the side of the road since it was having mechanical trouble. The driver of the box truck survived, suffering what police described as minor injuries.

Not treating a spine injury correctly can cause paralysis

One cause of a spinal cord injury that some may people may overlook is a situation in which a medical professional does not treat a back or neck injury properly. In these sorts of cases, what might start as a broken back or neck that is treatable can turn in to a case of permanent paralysis due to a spinal cord injury. The latter condition can spell a lifetime of medical care and rehabilitation for a victim and his or her family.

One thing that medical professionals must attend to at the outset is the proper stabilization and moving of a patient who may have an injury in the vicinity of the spinal cord. Basically, if an injury to the spine is even a remote possibility, doctors and other professionals must only move a patient after their spine is properly stabilized. Failing to do so could mean that a broken bone pushes on the spinal cord and damages it, which can cause paralysis or, if the cord is already damaged, more extensive medical problems.

Even without paralysis, a spine injury is a serious affair

Although most spinal cord injuries end in paralysis, a handful of victims will be able to literally walk away from a spinal cord injury, especially if the injury affected the lowest portion of the spine. In a sense, these people are lucky to be able to walk at all. However, the fact that a West Virginia resident is not paralyzed does not mean that the injury is not serious. Even the luckiest of victims will still have to deal with ongoing symptoms of their injury, which can cause a lot of disruption in their lives.

For instance, someone who is not paralyzed can still experience incontinence and the loss of sexual function. Moreover, a victim may also experience problems with their nervous system, which could include oversensitivity or under-sensitivity to heat, cold or touch. A person can also experience a consistent pain or tingling sensation in the lower parts of their bodies.

Woman involved in pedestrian accident charged

To follow up on a previous post, the driver of a vehicle who caused a fatal accident that left a West Virginia University student dead has now been charged with the crime of negligent homicide. The driver is a 20-year-old from out-of-state, and she was reported as in-custody and awaiting her initial hearing.

The basis of the criminal charge is that the woman ignored a red light and therefore hit a 21-year-old college student who was attempting to cross the street. The college student later died as a result of the woman's actions.

Holding doctors accountable after tragic patient deaths

While it is always sad when a patient in the Charleston, West Virginia, area winds up dying despite being under a doctor's care, it is especially difficult when a family learns that the patient's death could have been prevented had the doctor been more careful or, to put it another way, followed the appropriate standard of medical care.

Although last week's post discussed how a doctor's misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis can lead to a patient's untimely death, there are in fact many ways in which a doctor, when he or she is not careful, can hasten or even cause a patient's death.

Misdiagnosis can be grounds for wrongful death case

While a fatal incident of medical malpractice can of course happen in dramatic fashion on the operating table, a doctor's seemingly innocuous mistake or delay in diagnosing a West Virginia patient can also prove to be deadly.

After all, misdiagnosing a patient in all cases causes some waste of valuable time and resources. Many times, a patient's condition is such that a delayed diagnosis or misdiagnosis can mean the difference between a patient dying and having a full recovery. Moreover, in some situations a misdiagnosis can mean a patient receives treatments that could serve only to make a patient's condition worse.

Another pedestrian accident around WVU; student critically hurt

A student at West Virginia University who was crossing the street in daylight was in critical condition after a pickup truck hit her. According to reports, the student was in a marked crosswalk at the time of the accident.

This most recent incident comes on the heels of a fatal accident earlier in February. In that accident, another student, also in a crosswalk, was struck by a motorist who has yet to be identified. The woman eventually died from her injuries after being taken to the hospital.

We represent victims of accidents

When someone even goes to another person's home or goes shopping even at the grocery store, they are to some extent taking a chance. The reality is that in the Charleston, West Virginia, area, that are many homes and businesses that have hidden and obvious dangers.

Sometimes, this is inevitable given the nature of the property, but at other times, the dangers arise because the property owner is simply not taking care of the property as he or she should.

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