What should you do immediately after a hunting accident? Bailey Javins & Carter

What Should I Do Immediately after a Hunting Accident?

Hunting season is coming up, and this means millions of West Virginians will soon be out braving the elements to pursue all types of game. We hunt to bond with family and friends, to enjoy the great outdoors, and to (hopefully) bag some game to bring home and cook up. And when we go out, we hope and expect that everyone will follow the proper safety procedures, so we can all get home safely.

Most of the time, we all make it back from our hunting trips unscathed. However, there is always a chance of something going wrong and someone being injured in a hunting accident. This can happen for a number of reasons, some of the most common include:

  • Misfire/Shooting Accidents: Accidental shootings where one hunter fires the gun in the wrong direction or fires the gun without meaning to and hits another hunter is the one most people think of when they hear the word “hunting accident”. These types of accidents can occur because of miscommunication between the hunters, carelessness or recklessness (sometimes related to alcohol), stray bullets from other hunting parties, and weapon defects/malfunctions.
  • Slips and Falls: Hunters frequently have to cover some rough terrain and often in adverse weather conditions. This alone increases the likelihood of slips, trips, and falls. Sometimes there are additional hazards, however, such as broken-down fences and other types of debris that may be covered by brush and difficult to see. Broken-down and/or poorly maintained tree stands is another major hazard that hunters need to be careful of (more on this later). Property owners have a responsibility to take reasonable measures to warn hunters of any potential dangers on their land.
  • Tree Stand Accidents: Those who do not hunt may be surprised to learn that tree stand accidents are the leading cause of hunting accident injuries and fatalities in the U.S. and Canada. Back in 2015, the Mayo Clinic reported on a study done by the International Hunter Education Association (IHEA) which found that 300-500 hunters are killed and approximately 6,000 hunters are permanently injured in tree stand accidents annually. The study went on to say the one out of every three hunters who use a tree stand will experience a fall at some point during their hunting career.

What to Do Immediately After a Hunting Accident

If you have followed all the appropriate safety rules and procedures but still end up in an accident, there are some things you should do right away to make sure you and anyone else that may be hurt is properly treated and that your rights are protected:

Seek Medical Attention Immediately

The first priority after a hunting accident is to make sure everyone is okay. With some types of accidents (such as when a tree stand collapses) several people could be injured. Call 911 right away so a medical team can be quickly dispatched to your location. If you are in a remote area, it might take a while for medical help to arrive, so make the call as soon as you are able.

Take Multiple Photos of the Incident

Assuming you are physically able, take as many photos of the accident scene as possible. The more photo documentation you have, the better you will be able to remember what happened later on. And if legal action ever becomes necessary, photos are among the best forms of evidence to help show exactly how the accident occurred.

Write a Report of What Happened

If you have access to a pencil/pen and piece of paper, write down in as much detail as you are able what happened. It is best to document the incident as soon as possible after it occurs, so the events are fresh in your mind. If you do not have a writing utensil handy, you should be able to use the voice recorder on your smartphone.

Speak to Witnesses about the Incident

If anyone in your hunting party saw what happened, talk to them right away and record their statements. Again, it is best to get the statements of witnesses while everything is fresh in their minds.

Speak to a Skilled Personal Injury Lawyer

If you were seriously injured or a loved one was killed in a hunting accident, it would be in your best interests to contact an experienced accident injury attorney, so you fully understand your rights and options. Depending on the specific circumstances, another party may very well be responsible for your injuries. Possible at-fault parties may include another hunter, the landowner, the weapon manufacturer, or another third-party.

At Bailey, Javins, and Carter, we know that hunting is deeply embedded in our West Virginia culture, and we fully support and embrace it. However, when someone is injured or killed because of someone else’s negligence, we work hard to ensure that they receive just compensation. We have successfully represented countless accident injury victims over the years, including many who have suffered serious injury or fatality in a hunting accident.

Limousine Accidents - Who is responsible? - Bailey Javins & Carter

Who is Responsible for Accidents in Limousines?

Earlier this month, 20 people were killed in upstate New York when a limousine barreled through a T-intersection and crashed into an unoccupied vehicle. The crash killed all 18 occupants of the limousine (including the driver) and two nearby pedestrians, making it the worst tragedy in the United States in nearly a decade. The crash is still under investigation, but according to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, the limousine had failed an inspection last month and never should have been on the road in the first place. In addition, the driver did not have the required commercial license endorsement to be driving the vehicle.

The recent tragedy in New York has helped shine the spotlight on a high-end means of travel that is assumed by most people to be safe. Many choose to travel by limousine for special occasions such as proms, weddings, concerts, and parties. In the case of the upstate New York crash, the passengers were in route to a birthday celebration at a local brewery. Knowing that alcohol was going to be involved, they did what they thought was the responsible thing and hired a limo to drive them, so they could all make it home safe. Sadly, the limo service provider failed miserably to live up to their obligations.

Who is Responsible in a Limousine Accident?

With Halloween parties happening later this month and the holiday season rapidly approaching, many West Virginians are making plans for celebrations with family and close friends. But with what just happened in New York, many are wondering if renting a limousine for these occasions is such a good idea. Most limo excursions do end safely. That said, it is important to perform your due diligence and check out the limo service before you hire them. Make sure they have the proper licensing and have a good record with the Better Business Bureau and other consumer organizations.

Some people also wonder who is responsible if they should happen to get into an accident as a passenger in a limousine. As the recent case shows, there is not always a definitive answer to that question. According to NBC News, it is still not clear if the crash was the driver’s fault, or if it was caused by a vehicle malfunction. In a typical case, the accident could be the fault of the driver, the limousine company, the vehicle (or vehicle part) designer, manufacturer, supplier, or distributor, or a combination of factors.

The driver could be at-fault if he/she was:

  • Speeding or driving recklessly;
  • Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs;
  • Driving while drowsy;
  • Driving while distracted (e.g., texting while driving).

The limousine company could be at fault if they:

  • Did not have the proper licensing to operate a limo service;
  • Deployed vehicles that are not properly maintained and are unsafe to be on the road;
  • Pressured drivers to work unreasonably long hours;
  • Overloaded the vehicle with too many passengers;
  • Hired drivers that were unqualified or did not have the proper licensing.

The vehicle designer, manufacturer, or other parties in the supply chain could be at fault if a faulty or defective product proves to be responsible for the limousine accident. Finally, the driver of another vehicle could be at-fault if their negligence or reckless actions on the road were the cause of the accident.

What to Do if you are Involved in a Limousine Accident

If you are involved in a limousine crash, there are some steps that should be taken right away to ensure that you and other passengers are protected:

  • Seek Medical Attention: The first priority is to make sure everyone who may have been injured (including yourself) is treated for their injuries. Call 911 right away to bring an ambulance to the scene. It is important to keep in mind that some injuries (such as whiplash and internal bleeding) are not always discovered right away. Even if you think you are okay, have a medical professional check you out just to be sure.
  • Document what Happened: Gather as much information as you can at the accident scene while everything is fresh in your mind. Take detailed notes of the incident and how it occurred. Take multiple photographs of the scene from various angles. And obtain the contact information of those nearby that may have witnessed the crash.
  • Obtain Strong Legal Representation: Limousine accident cases can be quite complicated. With multiple potential at-fault parties, it is not always clear which legal avenue is best to pursue. For this reason, it is very important to speak with a seasoned personal injury attorney who understands the complexities of these types of cases.

The experienced injury attorneys at Bailey, Javins, and Carter have over four decades of experience representing victims of all types of auto accidents in West Virginia. We have in-depth knowledge of this area of the law, and a successful track record obtaining full compensation for our clients and holding responsible parties fully accountable. Contact our office today to schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys.

Recovering after an accident - Bailey Javins & Carter

5 Ways to Speed up Your Recovery after a Car Accident

Being involved in an auto accident can be an unsettling experience. The accident can cause ongoing physical pain that is not always easy to detect. In fact, sometimes you may not notice the pain until you start doing certain activities. Over time, however, the extent of your injuries becomes more evident.

Recovering from a car accident is a process that takes time and patience. That said, there are some steps you can take immediately after the accident to speed up the recovery time:

  1. Seek a Thorough Medical Examination Immediately

As mentioned earlier, injuries sustained after a car accident are not always readily apparent. In fact, some conditions (such as internal injuries and traumatic brain injuries) can be even more severe than injuries that are more obvious (such as cuts and bruises). For this and many other reasons, it is very important not to obtain a comprehensive exam right away and not put it off because everything “seems okay”. The sooner you are checked out by a qualified medical professional, the sooner you will know exactly what injuries you have. This will allow you to begin the appropriate treatment and get on the path to recovery.

  1. Do Everything the Doctor Recommends

Once you have been fully checked out and have received a proper diagnosis, be sure to follow all the advice and treatment the doctor prescribes. It may be frustrating to be told you need to take a certain amount of time off from work to rest when you feel like you can go back to work right away. You may also feel like it is unnecessary to visit various specialists and have follow-up tests to confirm or rule out certain conditions. Put your feelings aside and follow your doctor’s advice. Though doctors are not always 100% correct, they are professionals with medical wisdom backed by years or decades of experience and expertise, and if you follow their recommendations, chances are you will recover far more quickly from your injuries.

  1. Follow Through on all Necessary Rehabilitation

Along these same lines, be sure to follow through on any rehabilitation your doctor deems necessary. This is an area where a lot of people struggle. Many injuries require physical therapy as part of the recovery plan. We all know how time-consuming it is to go in for therapy 3 or 4 times a week. On top of that, they usually ask you to do a series of exercises on your own. It is very important to do your exercises and follow any other advice your therapist gives. This is the point at which you are regaining your ability to use certain areas of your body that were injured, and by doing your exercises, you can help ensure that the necessary rehabilitation time is minimized.

  1. Visit a Mental Health Professional

Car accidents can be traumatic, and many victims suffer emotional distress in addition to physical injuries. Some common signs of emotional/psychological distress after an auto accident include depression, anxiety, insomnia, memory loss, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Experiencing these symptoms after an incident such as a car accident is fairly common and not something to be ashamed of. But if you fail to seek treatment for them, they are not likely to go away on their own. In fact, if emotional distress is left untreated, it can make the physical symptoms worse. By consulting with a mental health professional soon after the accident, you can have any resulting psychological issues treated right away so their affects can be mitigated.

  1. Retain Experienced Legal Counsel

The physical, emotional, and financial burdens are more than enough for anyone to deal with after being injured in a car accident. When you are going through all this, the last thing you should have to be worried about is the legal process. If your injuries resulted from the negligence or reckless actions of another party, you have the right to compensation. That said, it is not always easy to recover the damages you are entitled to, especially if you try to pursue the claim on your own. By working with a seasoned personal injury attorney, you can ensure that your claim will be properly valued and that every available legal avenue will be pursued in order to recover full compensation.

At Bailey, Javins, and Carter, we have several decades of experience representing victims who have been injured in an auto accident. We have been at the forefront of personal injury law, and over the years, we have successfully handled some of the most complex cases against even the most well-funded adversaries. Our attorneys are knowledgeable and compassionate, and we have the skills, resources, and dedication to provide the strong legal representation you need and deserve.