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Morgantown Auto Accident Injury Law Blog

Large truck accidents can be devastating

Drivers in West Virginia are probably used to seeing 18-wheelers speeding along the interstate, and most might not give these massive vehicles another thought. Unfortunately, just because they are common does not mean they are safe. The injuries associated with large truck accidents are severe, and many victims live with lifelong symptoms or do not survive at all.

When fully loaded, commercial trucks often weigh as much as 25 times more than a typical passenger vehicle. When a large truck collides with it a small vehicle, it is easy to see how the sheer weight of the truck can cause severe damage. The contents of a truck at the time of an accident can also influence how severe the outcome is. For example, a truck that is carrying flammable or toxic substances can cause serious damage.

How can wrongful death claims help families?

Unexpectedly losing a loved one in a car accident is a devastating experience that no one in West Virginia should have to go through. Unfortunately, the prevalence of negligent drivers on the road means that virtually anyone could be at risk for having to deal with this. If you lost a loved one, here are a few things to know about wrongful death claims.

While you may have already known that victims of car accidents can seek compensation through personal injury lawsuits, you might have never heard of wrongful death claims. These suits allow surviving family members to seek compensation on behalf of the victim killed in a car wreck (or other forms of negligence). While money cannot bring back your family member, just compensation can make dealing with the aftermath of a fatal wreck easier for you.

Report: pickup trucks show room for safety improvement

Science and technology have led to many life-saving innovations, including in automobiles. The NHTSA says that new vehicles are safer than ever, which is great news for consumers. Driver-assisting technologies such as cameras and warning indicators are becoming more common, improving the overall structural integrity of our vehicles and increasing the safety of newer vehicles.

However, just because vehicles have become safer doesn’t mean that we’ve attained total vehicle safety. Consumer Reports released a report regarding the safety of pickup trucks as passenger vehicles. It seems that while they’re generally safe vehicles, these trucks need continued improvement in passenger safety.

Alleged drunk driver accused of multi-vehicle wreck

For parents, there may be few things more terrifying than learning that a child was involved in an accident. This was the reality for at least one set of West Virginia parents after an alleged drunk driver struck a school bus. While only one student was on the bus at the time of the accident, injuries related to drunk driving accidents can be severe and may even take several days for symptoms to fully emerge.

According to police, the driver of a pickup truck was under the influence of alcohol when he rear-ended another vehicle. The force of the collision caused that car to hit another vehicle, which then struck the bus from behind. He initially fled the scene of the accident, but stopped at a car rental store nearby. Police found him hiding in the restroom at the store.

Fatal accidents common in West Virginia

Feeling unsafe while driving can be an extremely unsettling experience. From dealing with speeding tractor-trailers on the interstate to watching out for distracted drivers glued to their smartphones, driving can certainly be dangerous. Unfortunately, driving in West Virginia might be more dangerous -- and deadly -- than most people think. West Virginia is ranked high on the list of states with the most fatal accidents.

The financial website 247wallst recently conducted a study on road safety and accident fatalities. Researchers used data from both the National Safety Council and the Population Estimates program, which was circulated by the U.S. Census Bureau. They discovered that on average there are 12 fatalities per every 100,000 people in the country.

After my collision, what damages can I be compensated for?

Car accident victims usually have to deal with far more than just physical injuries. The emotional toll of being involved in a serious collision can be debilitating, and economic damages only compound the difficult nature of the recovery process. For those in West Virginia who want to seek compensation for their damages but are unsure of what that includes, here are a few economic damages that might apply.

Being disfigured in an accident can be especially traumatic. Disfigurement can include a wide range of physical deformities, including scarring and other permanent changes to a victim's personal appearance. Victims can sometimes receive compensation for disfigurement, while in other situations this is covered by compensation for mental anguish.

Bill pushes steeper penalties for reckless driving car accidents

Being injured or losing a loved one in a motor vehicle accident can be extremely traumatic. A new bill seeks to increase penalties for reckless drivers who cause these types of car accidents. The bill has yet to be approved and is currently on its third round of reading in West Virginia's House of Delegates, but if made into law it could have a significant impact on victims and their families.

The purpose of House Bill 3134 is to increase the criminal penalties for reckless driving that results in either serious bodily injury or death. Currently, a driver convicted of reckless driving that resulted in death could spend up to a year behind bars and have to pay between $100 and $1,000 in fines. The bill proposes that a conviction for this charge result in anywhere from three to 15 years of prison time and fines between $1,000 and $3,000.

West Virginia wrestles with pedestrian accidents

The number of accidents involving pedestrians in the United States and in West Virginia – both fatal and non-fatal – has jumped in the past 10 years.

According to the National Transportation Safety Board, in the U.S. there were 70,286 non-fatal pedestrian injuries while there were 85,312 such injuries in 2016. In 2007, there were 4,699 fatalities among pedestrians while in 2016, there were 5,987.

Driver charged for fleeing scene of fatal accident

The driver who allegedly caused a fatal hit-and-run accident in Jan. 2019 was recently arrested and charged in the incident. The man had apparently left the state of West Virginia and was located across state lines before being brought to face the criminal allegations. As the investigation into the accident and the driver's alleged negligence continue, the victim's family might consider pursuing a wrongful death claim for the fatal accident.

On Jan. 21, police responded to reports of a hit-and-run accident involving a 60-year-old man. The victim had apparently pulled over to the side of the road and then exited his vehicle in order to tighten some straps on a trailer he was towing. As he stood alongside the road, he was allegedly struck and killed by a 45-year-old man. Witnesses told police that the driver briefly stopped before fleeing the scene.

Who is responsible for my car accident injuries?

Car accidents are often traumatizing events that cause long-lasting physical and emotional damages. For West Virginia victims, recovering compensation from negligent drivers is often key to their recoveries, but are these the only responsible parties? In some situations, a person who was not even in the vehicle at the time of a car accident can still be held responsible.

It is not necessarily uncommon for some drivers to lend their vehicles to loved ones and friends. If the person who borrowed the car causes an accident while driving it, that individual is often considered to be the only one at fault. However, by loaning their vehicle, the owner can also be held responsible through vicarious liability. This is possible through negligent entrustment or simply called owner's liability.

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