MLG Cases of Interest

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47 YEAR OLD MAN WALKING ALONG ROAD HIT BY DRUNK DRIVER

Our client was walking 10-15 feet off the road with a friend when he was struck by a drunk driver.  The intoxicated individual had been drinking at a local bar just before his truck struck our client, causing him to be thrown approximately 50 ft. and to suffer serious brain damage

VEHICLE T-BONED BY WOMAN RUNNING STOP SIGN

Our client was traveling on Route 57 when the truck he was traveling in was t-boned by a woman that failed to stop at a stop sign.  Our client’s injuries include severe head injuries, including having his head de-gloved (yes, that means he was scalped) as a result of his head being drug against the pavement, injuries to his jaw and mouth area, deep cuts to left arm, left ear detachment, temporary hearing loss, continued vertigo, and extensive wound care including surgery 6 months later to undergo more debris and glass removal from his scalp.

INCAPACITATED YOUNG MAN SUFFERS 2ND DEGREE BURNS DUE TO BEING LEFT IN SCALDING WATER

Our client with severe cerebral palsy (non-verbal, without the ability to use his arms or legs) was being taken care of by an in-home caregiver.  He was being assisted with a shower and severely burned when he was not able to summon for help due to his disability.  Our client was transported to West Penn Burn Center for skin debridement and grafting.

FAQ: If the Other Party Does Not Receive a Ticket, Can I Still Receive Compensation For My Injuries?

IF I’M INJURED IN A CAR ACCIDENT BUT THE POLICE OFFICER DOESN’T ISSUE A TICKET TO THE OTHER DIVER, CAN I STILL BE COMPENSATED FOR MY INJURIES?

                   Yes, you can.  A police officer does not have to issue a ticket in order for you to be able to pursue a personal injury claim against the other driver.  The key to recovering compensation is showing that the other driver was at fault for the accident, and most police officers assign fault for a collision even if they don’t write a ticket.

WARNING: DON’T LET THIS HAPPEN TO YOU

It is so unfortunate that we often hear from people who have been injured in a car wreck in which the other driver was driving without any insurance – a bad enough situation on its own.  But a bad situation can quickly turn into a disaster if the person who was injured was not carrying enough uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage (UM/UIM).

Medical bills from serious injuries can easily run hundreds of thousands of dollars, leaving you in financial ruin and unable to cover the costs of your injuries.

The best way to protect yourself is by buying higher levels of UM/UIM coverage.  UM/UIM coverage is very inexpensive (in some cases, $1 million of coverage can cost you less than an additional $50 per year for your premium), plus it will cover you in the event that the person who causes the accident doesn’t have auto insurance or has less than you do.

In West Virginia, it is critical to consider both UM and UIM coverages.  While UM coverage is mandatory, UIM coverage is not.  This leads many folks, especially in the current state of our economy, to refuse UIM coverage – a huge mistake.

UM/UIM insurance can pay for your injuries, medical bills, lost wages and any pain and suffering damages you are entitled to as well as provide coverage for future medical bills.  If you are unsure if you have adequate insurance coverage of have questions about UM/UIM coverage, please contact our office.

                   

7 Ways to Steer Clear of an Accident

As personal injury attorneys who handle a number of serious accident claims during the course of any given year, we see firsthand the terrible toll that wrecks have on our community.  According to the State of West Virginia, over 24,000 people per year are killed or injured on West Virginia highways. This means that, on average, one person is killed every day and someone is injured every 20 minutes.

While no one can completely eliminate risk when they get behind the wheel, there are certain things that drivers can do to help reduce their risk of being involved in a serious accident.

Here are 7 great tips for being safer on the road:

  1. Avoid driving at night.  Not only is it harder to see at night, but there also are other dangers such as more drunk drivers on the road.
  2. Scan ahead.  Sure, it makes sense to keep an eye on the vehicle that is directly in front of you, but if you can scan the road ahead of that vehicle as well, you may be able to avoid a problem if it develops.
  3. Watch out for damaged vehicles.  Check out the condition of cars around you.  A car with lots of body damage could be an indicator of a possible inattentive driver.
  4. Keep your hands at the 9 and 3 o’clock positions of the steering wheel.  This allows for maximum control of the vehicle.
  5. Stay out of the far left lane.  Most highway accidents occur in the “fast lane,” plus you have fewer options to avoid a wreck if one occurs while you’re in the left lane.
  6. Watch your blind spots.  While it’s important to use your side mirrors, don’t rely solely on them.  Turn your head to look into the lane next to you when changing lanes.
  7. Don’t drive distracted.  Eating, talking/texting on a cell phone, applying makeup, reading, checking your GPS, having four or more people in a car, etc., can all be distractions that can cause an accident.

Hydroplaning, Was it Caused by a Road Defect?

It all happens in seconds, one second you are in control of your vehicle just driving down the road and the next you are losing control. You are slipping ans sliddign on the road and your tries and not gripping the pavement. Before you know what happned you careen into the guardrail or even off the road.  Or, worse yet, you crash into another vehicle.

Hydroplaning, which happens when your tires are separated from the road surface by a layer of water, can be caused by excessive speed or poor tire tread; however, in many cases, it is caused by something completely out of the driver’s control – road defects.

Common road defects that can lead to hydroplaning include:

  • Improperly designed roadways.
  • Lack of appropriate warning signs.
  • Insufficient cross slope (the slope from the middle of the road to the side of the road which helps prevent pooling of water).
  • Poor road maintenance.

If you suffer a hydroplaning accident that you feel was caused by a road defect it is important for you to contact a personal injury attorney who has the experience to guide you through a possible claim.

A Deadly Mix of Distractions on the Road- Texting While Driving

TEXTING WHILE DRIVING

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, distracted driving can be broken down into three main types of distraction — visual (in which you take your eyes off the road), manual (in which you take your hands off the wheel), and cognitive (in which you take your mind off what you are doing).

 While any type of distraction while you are driving can be dangerous, what makes driving while texting especially problematic is that it involves all three main types of distractions.

 Statistics show that around 20 percent of all crashes involve some type of distraction, and in 2008, nearly 6,000 people were killed in collisions involving a distracted driver.

And even though many states have banned or are considering bans on texting while driving, it is up to drivers themselves to use common sense. When you’re behind the wheel, put the phone down entirely, or if you absolutely have to send a text, pull over to a safe area on the side of the road or into a parking lot.

 Currently in West Virginia, drivers younger than 18 that hold either a learner’s permit or an intermediate license are banned from cell phone use of any kind while operating a motor vehicle.  There is a bill being considered for the next legislative session that will ban texting while driving in the State of West Virginia for anyone driving a motor vehicle.

If you or a family member has been victim in an accident caused by a distracted driver, you should contact an experienced personal injury attorney

The Best Way to Lose Your Accident Case

It doesn’t matter how good your case is, if you lie to your lawyer or the insurance company about past injuries and accidents, the jury is going to make sure you lose.

Remember, the insurance companies have access to vast databases about your life, including past lawsuits, claims, and injuries.  Also, with the popularity of social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, there is even more information out there about you that they can use.

As always, honesty is the best policy.  Tell your lawyer all about past claims and injuries, so that he or she can deal with the issues.  The worst thing is for your lawyer to be the last one to know!