Another coal miner killed in West Virginia Mines - Bailey Javins & Carter

A Terrible Tragedy in a Raleigh County Mine

A tragic mining accident in Raleigh County has left one worker fatally injured. According to the West Virginia Office of Miners’ Health, Safety and Training, the coal miner was found dead in a stockpile Monday afternoon.

James Ray Adkins, 48, of Colcord, was reported missing at the Marfork Coal Company’s Horse Creek Eagle Deep Mine near Clear Creek Monday morning. His body was found a few hours later in a raw coal stockpile at the Marfork Processing Plant near Pettus, authorities said. Marfork Coal is a subsidiary of Alpha Natural Resources.

Adkins was a belt man and fire boss at the mine.

The death of Mr. Adkins marks the 14th mining related death in the nation this year including seven in West Virginia.

Mining is an extremely dangerous job and it is up to everyone involved to remain vigilant in their approach to mine safety in order to keep our miners safe. It is left up to the mining company to implement and carry out safety measures. This includes training workers, making sure all machines are functioning properly, the environment is safe and structurally sound and that safety gear is being used. Mistakes can be made, but in many cases the company may be at fault for failing to develop and implement the necessary safety precautions needed to keep their workers safe. When looking to cut corners and costs, the mining company may fail to be as thorough as they should. When the mining company’s negligence leads to the death of a miner, their family needs to protect their rights and seek compensation for damages. The death of a loved one can be devastating and mining companies should be held liable to pay damages. Do you have a loved one that has been killed while carrying out the functions of their position? Turn to a West Virginia personal injury attorney from our firm for exceptional handling of your case. The compassionate and skilled mining accident attorneys at Bailey Javins & Carter speak the language of the mining industry.  We have more than 40 years of experience getting compensation for victims of West Virginia coal mine accidents. We know the dangers involved in working in a coal mine and that safety measures should never be sidestepped. Contact our office at (304) 345-0346.

 

accident witness

How Important Are Witnesses in an Auto Accident?

While car accidents only take a second to occur, the effects of crashes can last for years, and even a lifetime when injuries sustained are severe. As such, it is very important that a person who is involved in a car accident initiate the claims process to recover compensation for their damages.

accident witnessBecause West Virginia maintains a traditional tort liability system, those who are involved in car crashes must prove the fault of the other party in order to recover damages. While there are a number of evidence types that can be useful in establishing fault, witnesses are one of the most valuable.

The Importance of Witnesses in an Auto Accident

One of the first questions that a police officer or an insurance adjuster will ask following a car accident or processing a claim is: Were there any witnesses? This is because the testimony of a witness can be used to reconstruct the accident and create a picture of what happened. What’s more, because the testimonies of the two drivers, and any passengers, involved often differs based on personal biases, the statements of a witness or multiple witnesses can clear up discrepancies and offer more accuracy regarding what really happened.

What Makes a Good Witness?

While witnesses are a critical part of the claims process, particularly when there are disputes or discrepancies over what happened, not all witnesses are created equal. To be sure, some witnesses are much more credible than others. If you are involved in a car accident in West Virginia, you should prioritize finding credible witnesses who can provide an insurance adjuster with their version of events. Things that affect the credibility and value of a witness include:

  • Activity the witnesses was performing at the time of collision. Believe it or not, another driver may not be the bestwitness for your claim, unless the other driver was a safe enough distance away from the accident and therefore was not focused on avoiding it, which could have been distracting or created a bias. Someone who was a safe distance from the accident, such as a pedestrian on the other side of the street, and who had the ability to watch the entire accident unfold is ideal.
  • Witnesses’ relationship to you or the other driver. Sure, the passenger in the backseat of your car at the time that your accident unfolded may be the ideal witnesses because they saw everything, and can provide a truthful play-by-play of what happened. However, to an insurance adjuster, someone who knows you may be biasing their story to protect you, and therefore isn’t the best
  • Witnesses’ physical and mental health. A witnesses that is in good physical and mental health, particularly as these pertain to vision, hearing, and psychological stability, is more ideal. In fact, the testimony of a person who has very poor vision, or who has a history of hallucination or other psychological complications may not be relied upon.
  • Other personality traits and personal history. Unfortunately, the testimonies of certain people with certain backgrounds may be given less weight than the testimonies of others. For example, the testimony of a convicted felon may not be as highly valued as the testimony of a school teacher.

Finding Witnesses to Testify after Your Car Accident

If you are physically able to, looking for witnesses directly following your accident (while still at the scene and waiting for police to arrive) is ideal. You should ask these witnesses for their names, contact information, and for a brief description of what they saw and ask them to stick around to provide a statement to police when they arrive. If you are injured and unable to do this, hopefully, witnesses will stick around regardless and provide statements to police.

When you hire an experienced West Virginia car accident lawyer, part of the lawyer’s job is to track down witnesses and get a statement of what they saw. When you hire our law firm, we prioritize the collection of all types of evidence important to your case, and know how to find important witnesses who may be able to support your claim.

Contact Our Law Offices for Your Free Consultation Today

There is no doubt that witnesses are important when pursuing a car accident claim. However, some witnesses are better than others. What’s more, there are some cases when there are no witnesses to a car accident, and yet the claimant can still recover their full damages amount based on other types of available evidence.

If you’ve been in a crash, learn more about how to gather evidence and how our attorneys can help. Contact our talented West Virginia car accident law firm today or simply call us at (304) 345-0346
for a free consultation.

 

 

 

motorcycle accident west virginia

West Virginia Motorcycle Accidents Caused by Poor Road Conditions

There are a number of things that can cause a motorcycle accident, beginning with rider negligence. In addition to the errors of riders, the negligence or recklessness of other drivers, like speeding, driving while impaired, failing to yield, and driving aggressively are all top causes of crashes, too.

motorcycle accident west virginiaOne of the less common causes of motorcycle accidents, however, is a road that is in poor condition. That being said, poor road conditions cause motorcycle accidents often enough that a discussion about types of poor road conditions and liability for such conditions is in order. If you have been involved in a motorcycle accident caused by poor road conditions in West Virginia, be sure to schedule a free consultation with our experienced motorcycle accident attorneys at the law firm of Bailey, Javins, & Carter L.C. as soon as possible.

Types of Poor Road Conditions

Poor road conditions can cause a motorcyclist to lose control of their bike. This may happen as a result of trying to avoid a poor road condition and swerving or turning too quickly, trying to stop suddenly and skidding out, or coming in contact with an uneven or slippery surface. In some cases, a motorcyclist may even run into an object or debris on the road.

Types or poor road conditions that are most common include, but are not limited to:

  • Potholes;
  • Uneven roadways;
  • Loose gravel;
  • Animals on the road;
  • Car accident debris;
  • Trees or other objects on the road;
  • Broken roads;
  • Snow and ice;
  • Drop-offs;
  • Lack of traffic signs or traffic signs covered by overgrowth of plants; and
  • Construction zones.

Accidents that occur because of poor road conditions may be single vehicle, meaning that only the motorcyclist is involved in the crash, or multiple vehicle, meaning that a collision between the motorcyclist and one more vehicles occurs that would not have occurred but for the poor road condition(s).

Who Is Liable for an Accident Caused by Poor Road Conditions?

In order to recover compensation for an accident caused by poor road conditions, it is critical to open a thorough investigation into the accident and determine fault and liability.

In most cases, city or state governments are responsible for performing regular road maintenance and ensuring that roads are kept in a reasonably safe condition. That being said, an accident that is caused by poor road conditions in not always the fault of a municipality/government entity. To be sure, a party can only be held liable when:

  • It was responsible for regular road maintenance; and
  • It failed to perform reasonable road maintenance; or
  • A dangerous condition existed on the road (i.e. a pothole) and the party was aware of the existence of a dangerous condition; and
  • It failed to correct the dangerous condition within a reasonable amount of time; and
  • This was the proximate cause of the motorcycle accident and subsequent injuries.

In other words, if a municipal government is responsible for ensuring that signs on road are maintained, potholes are repaired, and roads are otherwise kept in good condition and it knows that a section of road has an area that is cracked and has potholes and the municipality fails to correct this hazard, and the hazard leads to a motorcycle crash, the municipality could be held liable. On the other hand, if the motorcycle crash was caused by debris in the road (such as the carcass of a deceased animal) that the municipality could not have known about, then the city likely cannot be held liable.

Filing a Claim Against the Government in West Virginia

West Virginia Code Section 29-12A-4 confirms that political subdivisions have a duty to keep public roads in good condition, and that when a political subdivision’s “negligent failure” to maintain roads in good condition leads to injury, death, or loss to persons or property, the subdivision can be held liable as such. In order to bring forth a claim for damages against a political subdivision, an injured party must first file a notice of claim with the office of the Attorney General. The notice of claim must be filed at least 30 days before an official claim is filed, as found in Code Section 55-17-3.

Remember that all other personal injury laws apply, including the requirement to prove duty of care, negligence and breach of duty of care, causation, and damages.

Work with an Experienced West Virginia Motorcycle Accident Attorney

Motorcycle accidents have the potential to change your life, leaving you with serious injuries that affect you for years to come. One way to help you move forward with your life is to recover the full amount of damages that you deserve. At the law offices of Bailey, Javins, & Carter L.C., our experienced personal injury attorneys in West Virginia can help you to understand liability when poor road conditions were the cause of your accident, and how to file a claim to maximize your compensation amount. To learn more, contact us today for a free consultation or simply call us at (304) 345-0346.

Mazda 6 Safety Recall - Bailey Javins & Carter

Mazda Recalls 58,000 Vehicles Nearly Two Years After Learning of a Problem

Mazda is recalling about 58,000 of its 2015-16 Mazda6 models because a short circuit could cause the air bags to be deactivated and power-assisted steering to be lost, according to a report the automaker filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). As reported by Forbes, Mazda said the problem is “weld spatter” on the front passenger seat, which can rub against a wiring harness and cause the short circuit. That would mean that the air bags may not deploy in a crash and that there could be an unexpected loss of power steering.

The action comes about 21 months after Mazda first learned of a problem. It got that report on Dec. 1, 2015. But rather than pursue a recall, the automaker said it decided to monitor the problem, concluding that “the safety risk was low … because customers can still control the vehicle.” In addition, warning lights would tell the driver that the airbags would not deploy in a crash. In July, however, the NHTSA met with Mazda officials “to discuss the failure mechanism and the circumstances of the failure modes.”

Two months later, the automaker decided on what it described as a “voluntary” recall. However, under federal regulations, once an automaker is aware of a safety problem, it must, within five business days, inform federal officials of its plan for a recall.

The vehicles were assembled between Nov. 3, 2014, and Dec. 9, 2015. Mazda said no other model uses the seat frame found in the Mazda6.

Any issues with safety mechanisms, such as airbags, could result in catastrophic injuries. Also, a potential failure in the steering system of a motor vehicle could result in a violent collision, leading to serious injuries or even death.

Contact an Experienced Auto Product Liability Law Firm

If you have lost a loved one to a vehicle defect, you may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit seeking compensation as well. In such cases, it would be in the best interest of injured victims or families who have lost loved ones to contact an experienced auto defect lawyer who will help them hold the negligent automaker accountable and secure maximum compensation for their losses. Contact our skilled auto defect legal team at (800) 497-0234 or contact us online.

Chrysler Pacifica Recall could result in injury - Bailey Javins & Carter

Fiat Chrysler Recalls 50,000 Pacificas for Seat Belt Issue

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) announced it is recalling 50,000 Pacifica minivans in the U.S. and Canada following a company-issued report that said fast driving could cause a second-row seat belt to unbuckle. As reported by Fox Business, the recall applies to certain 2017-18 Pacifica minivans with the eight-passenger seating option. The recall affects roughly 48,000 vehicles in the U.S. and 1,900 vehicles in Canada. The recall is scheduled to begin Oct. 20.

The second-row center seat belt can inadvertently cause the left outside seat belt to unlatch in cases in which the vehicle undergoes “extreme handling maneuvers,” FCA said in a statement Wednesday. This happens when the buckle’s release button comes in contact with an adjacent buckle. If you Pacifica is involved in an accident, the seatbelt could unlatch, leaving the passenger in the left outside seat completely unprotected. This could result in a very serious injury to all passengers.

Issues and Recalls with Automobiles

The recall comes on the heels of a worldwide recall announced by the automaker on Tuesday that affects 494,000 Ram pickups. The water pump could overheat and potentially cause a fire.

Problems with seatbelts can be extremely dangerous. They have the potential to create situations where passengers can suffer very serious injuries where otherwise they would been restrained and in a position of safety. The issue was originally discovered during a test conducted by FCA’s interior restraints engineering department and reported on May 12, documents say. The company advises customers to refrain from using the second-row center seat belt if other second-row seats are occupied.

Contact an Experienced Auto Product Liability Law Firm

If you have lost a loved one to a vehicle defect, you may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit seeking compensation for your loss. In such cases, it would be in the best interest of injured victims or families who have lost loved ones to contact an experienced auto defect lawyer who will help them hold the negligent automaker accountable and secure maximum compensation for their losses. Contact the skilled auto defect legal team at Bailey Javins & Carter at (800) 497-0234 or contact us online.