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.

Whiplash Not Just From Motor Vehicle Wrecks

Most people have heard the term “whiplash” and almost automatically associate it with a neck injury suffered in a vehicle wreck, which makes sense given that whiplash-type injuries often occur in rear-end collisions.  The sudden impact causes a victim’s necks to extend and flex in an unnatural whipping motion causing damage to the muscles and other connective tissues in the cervical area.

But what many people don’t know is that whiplash is often caused by much less extreme impacts, and can include:

  • Winter-related accidents such as slipping on ice or falling while skiing or snowboarding.
  • Injuries in contact sports such as basketball, football or hockey.
  • Any assault that involves head trauma.
  • Child abuse, including shaken baby syndrome.
  • Repetitive stress injuries resulting from a poorly designed non-ergonomic work area.
  • Accidents in stores or restaurants that result from unattended spills on the floor or other unsafe conditions.

Whiplash is a serious injury and can result in long term medical implications if it is not diagnosed and properly treated.  If you believe that you have whiplash, the key is to promptly seek medical treatment.  Be aware of the symptoms of whiplash, which can include:

  • Neck, shoulder and upper back pain
  • Headache
  • Dizziness and/or blurred vision
  • Tingling in your extremities, particularly arms and hands
  • Unexplained fatigue or difficulties concentrating

If you have a whiplash injury and you believe it is due to another person’s negligent actions, please contact a personal injury attorney to discuss your potential claim.

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.

FAQ: Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist Insurance Coverage

IS IT A GOOD IDEA TO CARRY THE MINIMUM AMOUNT OF UNINSURED (UM) OR UNDERINSURED (UIM) MOTORIST INSURANCE COVERAGE?

                   Carrying the minimum amount of UM or UIM can be a serious mistake.  For a variety of reasons, many drivers today are getting behind the wheel without any or with minimal auto liability insurance.  If one of these uninsured or underinsured drivers causes an accident that injures you or your family, the financial consequences can be devastating, especially considering that even a short hospital stay can cost tens of thousands of dollars.  Plus, both UM and UIM coverage are very inexpensive and cover your family even when they are not in your own automobile.

In West Virginia, you are required to carry UM coverage of at least $20,000 per person and $40,000 per occurrence, but you are not required to carry UIM coverage. Regardless, for the above reasons, you should carry higher levels of this very important coverage.  If you have questions about your current policy or what coverage levels you may need to protect your family, contact our office.

Not All Accidents Are Created Equal

Have you ever found yourself driving on the interstate, when all of a sudden a tractor-trailer is closing in on you at frightening speeds? Or even found yourself stuck between two tractor trailers hoping they know you are there?

The fear is justified.  U.S. Federal Highway Administration statistics show that in 2008, nearly 75 percent of the 4,229 fatalities resulting from truck crashes were drivers or passengers in cars that were involved in a collision with a truck. With the average weight of a Honda Accord around 3,300 pounds and a loaded freight carrier or big rig that can weigh in at 70,000 pounds or more, the results of a big truck crash can be catastrophic. 

Most people don’t know that trucking companies often have separate insurance policies representing the tractor, trailer, and the driver.  Since most trucks are owned by large corporations, you are not only fighting them, but potentially several insurance companies as well.  These companies are not looking out for you; they are focused on their own best interests.

If you or someone close to you has been involved in a truck accident, it’s important to contact an attorney with truck accident experience.  An experienced truck accident attorney will:

  • Talk to specialists who know about truck accidents and who might be able to give you information to support your case.
  • Understand your case and be able to fight the insurance companies for a fair settlement for the damages you incurred.
  • Know the law as it applies to this case.  This includes federal and local laws and regulations that apply to insurance and trucking industries.
  • Ensure that the evidence in your case is secured and available to you to support your claim. 

In short, an experienced truck accident attorney will fight for you, help you recover fair and full damages, and get your life back on track.