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Charleston Personal Injury Law Blog

Attorneys at Farmer Cline & Campbell receive recognition

The law firm of Farmer Cline & Campbell PLLC is proud to announce the recent achievements of attorneys Robert A. Campbell, Stephen P. Farmer and Matthew Nelson. Because of their high level of skill in representing their clients, they have been recognized by the legal community for being among the top attorneys in the state of West Virginia.

Robert A. Campbell was named to the National Trial Lawyers: Top 100 Trial Lawyers. This is an invitation-only organization, and its membership is reserved for those lawyers who are judged to be among the top 100 attorneys in their states. Stephen P. Farmer and Robert A. Campbell were also both selected to the West Virginia 2017 Super Lawyers for Personal Injury General: Plaintiff. Matthew H. Nelson was selected to the West Virginia 2017 Super Lawyers for Employment Litigation: Plaintiff. This honor is awarded to less than 2.5 percent of the attorneys who are practicing in the state.

What goes wrong in the mines, and what you can do

Mining has been described as the backbone of West Virginia’s economy, but we know miners pay a terrible price in injuries, disease, and deaths.

The most common injuries occurring in the mines affect a person’s lungs. Lung diseases include pneumoconiosis, which we know as coal dust or. Other serious breathing problems include silicosis, tuberculosis, bronchitis, and lung cancer.

Tests show the safety benefits of side underride guards

Tests conducted by a nonprofit safety organization indicate that lives could be saved in West Virginia and around the country if semi-tractor trailer operators were required to install side-mounted underride guards on their vehicles. Lawmakers are considering adopting regulations that would mandate the installation of rear-mounted underride guards on large trucks, but the IIHS test results indicate that side-mounted guards offer the same kind of safety benefits.

IIHS testers propelled midsized sedans into the sides of two 53-foot van trailers at 35 mph. One of the trailers was equipped with side-mounted underride guards, and the other was fitted with a glass fiber skirt that is designed to improve aerodynamics and fuel efficiency but provides passenger vehicle occupants with little in the way of protection in a crash. The tests mark the first time that the safety benefits of side-mounted underride guards have been evaluated according to the IIHS.

2 dead in 2-car collision

On May 9, it was reported that a two-vehicle accident that occurred on a West Virginia road resulted in the deaths of two people. The crash took place at about 12:30 p.m. on W.Va. 152 at German Ridge Road.

According to authorities, a vehicle that was traveling in the northbound lane crossed the center line into the southbound lane. It collided with an SUV. The collision caused both vehicles to catch fire. They came to a stop against a hillside with both facing south. The female driver of the SUV was able to leave her vehicle unassisted though she did suffer injuries. Emergency rescue crews had to resort to the Jaws of Life to get into the vehicle that caused the accident, but both occupants died. Police have not released the names or information of those who were involved.

Injury and fatality statistics for motorcyclists

West Virginia motorcycle riders might be more at risk of a traffic fatality than in previous years. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2015, the number of people who died in crashes involving a motorcycle rose more than 8 percent from the previous year. However, the total number of motorcyclists injured was down in 2015 by 4.3 percent.

More than one-quarter of motorcyclists involved in fatal accidents had alcohol levels above the legal limit, and 33 percent were speeding. More than one-quarter also lacked a valid license.

Saliva test may identify concussions with longer-term symptoms

If a concussion test that uses saliva to measure the severity of a concussion reaches the market, it might be easier to identify West Virginia children and adolescents who may have lingering symptoms. At present, there is not a test available that identifies those who will suffer from fatigue, nausea and headaches for one to four months although up to 25 percent of children with concussions do. However, researchers at Penn State have developed a saliva test that predicted with 90 percent accuracy which children would have these symptoms over a longer period of time.

When the brain suffers a concussion, as part of its healing process, it releases genetic material known as microRNAs. Researchers identified microRNAs that would help them estimate how long children might suffer symptoms and identified one that was associated with children's problems with problem solving and memory following a concussion. These microRNAs turned up in the saliva of children.

Woman charged with DUI after crash

A 39-year-old woman turned herself in to authorities and was arraigned on May 8 in Cabell County, West Virginia. The woman faces multiple drunk driving charges after authorities say that she caused an accident on April 7 that resulted in the death of a 70-year-old. The crash occurred on the westbound portion of Interstate 64 near mile marker 4.

An investigation determined that the woman was the driver of the car believed to have caused the accident that involved three passenger vehicles and two tractor-trailers. A passenger in the car told authorities that they had been using drugs, but that person had not been charged. Both the woman and her passenger were given naloxone, and authorities say that the driver had multiple injection sites on both of her arms.

FMCSA considers autonomous truck regulation

Autonomous trucks may soon be a common sight on the roads of West Virginia, but government agencies and industry groups have yet to decide how they should be regulated and how current rules should be modified to accommodate them. These issues were discussed during a session hosted by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance on April 24, and a number of trade and road safety advocacy organizations made their feelings known to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration representatives in attendance.

Hours of service regulations were a subject of fierce debate during the session, and a number of speakers called for these rules to be relaxed. They pointed out that autonomous commercial trucks provide drivers with more opportunities to rest, and they said that easing hours of service rules would encourage investment and lead to potentially life-saving technology being developed more quickly. However, not all research backs up these arguments. A study conducted earlier in 2017 suggests that operating an autonomous vehicle could be even more tiring than traditional driving because of passive fatigue.

Woman injured in a Kroger market

West Virginia residents who have suffered injuries while inside retail establishments might sympathize with a woman who filed a lawsuit against Kroger after she suffered injuries while inside one of its stores. The complaint was filed on April 12 and alleged that the defendant failed to keep the premises in reasonably safe condition.

The woman claimed that she was in the Barboursville Kroger when she tripped. She fell on a shelf bracket that was on the floor, resulting in an injury. She also claimed that she suffered mental anguish and accrued medical expenses associated with the injury. As as a result, she was seeking damages in the excess of the jurisdictional limits of the court in addition to court costs and interest. She was requesting trial by jury.

Nursing home residents at risk for facial injuries after falls

When West Virginia families admit their elderly loved ones into nursing homes, they expect the staff and facilities to keep the residents safe and free from injuries. However, a study found that traumatic facial injuries are common among nursing home residents due to falls.

Researchers found that there were 109,795 nursing home residents over the age of 60 who needed emergency care for fall injuries that resulted in facial trauma over a five-year period. While lacerations and soft-tissue injuries were the most common, 12 percent of the cases involved fractures to the nose and eye sockets. The injuries were most commonly caused by contact with fixed furniture located throughout the nursing home facility and from getting into and out of bed.

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