how to avoid truck accidents - Bailey Javins & Carter

How to Avoid Truck Accidents

As an automobile driver in West Virginia, sharing the highways and byways with trucks is something we all do every day. But cars and trucks are built differently. There are different acceleration speeds, braking systems and distances, fields of vision, blind spots, and vehicle weights. These all add up to different driving experiences for car drivers and truck drivers.

Studies have shown that half of all truck-involved accidents are caused by passenger vehicle drivers. And because semi-trucks are larger and heavier than cars, these accidents can be a lot more dangerous and deadly than typical car accidents, causing extensive car and property damage.

If you’re a West Virginia driver, then you should look at the following ways at how you can stay safe on the highways.

  1. Stay out of a truck’s blind spots. Due to the higher center of gravity that a truck driver has, he will have larger blind spots than an automobile. When passing a truck, you should do it on the truck driver’s side because his passenger’s (right-hand) side is the worst blind spot. Other blind spots include being behind a truck and driving in an adjacent lane behind the truck cab’s doors. How you can check to see if you’re in the blind spot is if you can see the truck driver in his mirrors. If he can’t be seen, then you’re in his blind spot.
  2. Keep a safe following distance. Remember that following behind a truck is a blind spot, so do not tailgate. Due to their size and weight, 16-wheelers have longer stopping distances than cars, so give the truck ahead plenty of room (two times the room you would give a passenger car) so that the driver can stop if there are poor or hazardous road conditions. If a truck has to suddenly stop, you may not notice until it’s too late, causing a disastrous accident.
  3. If you’re driving in front of a truck, do not abruptly slow down or hit the brakes. Again, this has to do with the longer braking distance that a truck has. A truck needs enough time to slow down. If you do need to brake, make sure that the truck is not close behind you because it will most likely cause a rear-end collision instead of choose to veer into the next lane causing further damage.
  4. Anticipate wide turns from trucks. Trucks have to take up a lot of space to make any turns. If a truck is turning a certain direction, then a driver should pass on that side. Also tailgating or following too closely can cause an accident during a turn due to being in a truck’s blind spot.
  5. Let the truck change into your lane or pass. Move over when you see a truck coming up behind you. For lane changes, you can slow down slightly and then flash your high-beam lights twice to let the driver know that it’s OK to pass.
  6. If you get into an accident, make sure your vehicle is on the shoulder.This is important not only for other oncoming cars but for trucks as well. An accident can occur with a stopped car and a truck driver who momentarily got distracted or indisposed. Make sure your car is as far over as possible to decrease the chance of an accident.
  7. Use common sense.These 16-wheelers are larger than you, so you should give them the right of way. Do not try to gun for position with a truck because that is a losing battle.

Have you or a loved one been injured while in a truck accident? You should reach out to an experienced West Virginia personal injury attorney from our firm for exceptional handling of your case. The compassionate and skilled truck accident attorneys at Bailey Javins & Carter understand the challenges you’re facing. We have more than 40 years of experience getting compensation for victims of West Virginia truck accidents. We know how to handle insurance companies and to fight for the compensations and damages that you deserve. Contact our office at (304) 345-0346.

car accident

The Economic Impact of Severe Injuries Suffered in a Car Accident in West Virginia

If you’ve ever been involved in a car accident, and you were not at fault, then you know how disruptive it can be. Depending on the severity of the accident, you could be facing a lot of challenges: a car that needs to be repaired or was totaled, a mountain of medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other kinds of losses. It can be overwhelming to face all those things by yourself, wondering how you’ll be able to overcome your losses and injuries.

You may think that your car insurance will cover everything, but then the reality slowly starts to sink in—that your insurance company most likely is not going to cover all the costs of your losses and damages. When you face those challenges and roadblocks, that’s the time to talk to a car accident attorney, who can help you to assess all your out-of-pocket expenses, and then work to help you get the compensation you deserve.

Common Injuries Suffered in Car Accidents in in Charleston, WV

Sometimes, your automobile accident only causes some minor scrapes, and recovery time is very short, or none at all. Unfortunately, it’s far too often that a car wreck causes significant injuries that have a long-lasting impact—even permanently. Some of the kinds of injuries you can sustain in a car accident are:

  • Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
  • Burn injuries
  • Back and neck injuries
  • Amputations
  • Lacerations
  • Bruising
  • Muscle sprains and strains
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Psychological damage
  • Broken bones

Most all of these injuries will likely require some sort of medical treatment, such as treatment for broken bones. Depending on the severity of the injury, recovery can even mean changing one’s lifestyle permanently (e.g., an amputation or a spinal cord injury). When you’re facing such daunting changes, it helps to have an attorney who specializes in car accidents to help pursue compensation to cover current and future medical costs.

The Cost of a Car Accident in West Virginia

So how much does a car accident cost overall? It really depends on several factors including:

  • The severity of the crash
  • Sustained car and property damages
  • Car and property value
  • Location of the accident
  • The number of injured parties
  • The severity of injuries sustained

Even though cars have become safer over the years, which means the severity of injuries are decreasing, the costs of injuries are increasing. In 2013, according to ISO, an analytics company, the national average claims for bodily claims was over $15,000, while property damage claims were over $3,000.

For more serious injuries, calculating the costs can be a more complex situation. For example, TBI can become a permanent condition, where the accident victim does not fully recover. If he or she was working before the accident and will now never return to work, one has to calculate what future earnings were lost. Additionally, a car accident victim who sustains a TBI will require some medical care, such as medical exams, for the rest of his or her life. So those additional medical costs have to be calculated.

Finally, there is pain and suffering as well as the psychological toll an accident can add to a car wreck victim. For psychological injuries, it could lead to emotional distress, depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). These could all be short-term or long-term conditions and could severely impact the quality of life of an accident victim, costing you more.

Have you or a loved one been injured while in a car accident? You should reach out to an experienced West Virginia personal injury attorney from our firm for exceptional handling of your case. The compassionate and skilled car accident attorneys at Bailey Javins & Carter understand the challenges you will be facing in the days, weeks, and months ahead. We have more than 40 years of experience getting compensation for victims of West Virginia car accidents. We know how to handle insurance companies and to fight for the compensations and damages that you deserve for a car wreck that was caused by a negligent driver. Contact our office at (304) 345-0346.

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.