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Wheeling Personal Injury Law Blog

Taking on the big guys

At Gellner Law Offices, we understand that our clients come to us in a state of stress. More often than not, informal methods have failed in their pursuit of justice. They often see us as their last chance to obtain the compensation they deserve against seemingly insurmountable odds. We are proud to represent our clients in their contests against even the largest opponents.

The first step we take is usually an in-depth analysis of the details of our potential client's case. Often, people come to us with conflicts involving powerful hospitals, petroleum companies, large manufacturers or even their own employers. These incidents could eventually take form as a number of different types of cases, including the following:

Fracking brings a worrisome increase in truck traffic and crashes

Trucks are a common sight on West Virginia roads, especially semi tractor-trailers. However, with the advent of fracking activities, there has been an increase in oil tankers and other large trucks related to the industry.

More truck traffic translates to more accidents that can result in severe injury or death.

What are the safety hazards of oil and gas extraction?

Extracting gas or oil is a dangerous business in West Virginia, but it also is a necessary one. Those who work in this field face daily hazards that could cost them their lives but they do so to help everyone else get the energy sources they need. If you choose to work in this industry, it is a good idea to familiarize yourself with the risks.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration outlines various categories of hazards that are commonly seen in the gas and oil industry. The first are explosions and fires, which are obvious due to the highly combustible nature of oil and gas. These hazards can happen when a spark ignites a fume and can occur in an instant.

How are damages awarded in a wrongful death case?

Losing someone you love to the negligence of someone else is a horrible situation. While accidents happen all the time, you do have the right to file a wrongful death case in this situation. It is important, though, to understand your rights in West Virginia when filing this type of case.

The first thing to know, according to the West Virginia Legislature, is that you can only file a wrongful death claim if you are financially dependent upon your loved one. You also must file the claim within two years of the death of your loved one or you lose your right to sue.

Why patients should receive informed consent

Medical patients should understand the possible risks that come with any treatment for their illness, condition or injury. A failure on the part of a West Virginia physician to relay this information can result in a patient agreeing to a treatment that can result in harm or injury.

According to the American Medical Association, informed consent is essential for a patient to make the best decision for his or her care.

Product malfunction to blame for injuries to several consumers

When consumers are in search of a product that meets some kind of need, they usually look through reviews from other customers to get an idea of how the product functions, whether or not it is effective and how its cost and design compares with other competing products. When they make the choice to buy that product in West Virginia, they often rely on it to operate the way it was advertised to. Unfortunately, sometimes products are flawed or something went awry during the design process which opens the door to malfunctions and risks for the user. 

In a recent case that has made national headlines, Nutribullet is being sued by people who claim the product is defective and regularly malfunctions. In all, 14 customers have reported their stories so far and claim that their Nutribullet machine blew up during use. The unexpected malfunction has resulted in numerous cuts and burns. Despite the company's claims that victims' injuries are not the product's fault, test videos have surfaced that also show the blender blowing up after differing amounts of time. 

The basics of a wrongful death lawsuit in West Virginia

When an individual suffers an injury due to another party's negligent or wrongful actions, that person can file what’s known as a personal injury lawsuit to recover for the losses stemming from the injury. 

But what happens when the individual dies because of the wrongful acts of another? In the state of West Virginia, the law allows for a wrongful death lawsuit.

How can you overcome PTSD following a car accident?

If you have been involved in a car accident in West Virginia, you may have already dealt with some of the consequences that have resulted from the crash including injuries, damaged property and even legal repercussions if you were at fault. However, another problem you may encounter is PTSD and emotional trauma that is related to your accident. 

PTSD can come in a variety of forms including bad dreams, anxiety, depression and even inability to focus. Fortunately, there are things you can do to prevent negative thoughts from debilitating you and limiting your ability to do things effectively throughout your day. According to kidshealth.org, some of the things you can do include the following:

  • Get back into a routine as soon as possible. Consistency can help you to stay focused and provide structure as you work towards emotional healing.
  • Do not be afraid to talk about what happened. Discussing the details of the accident with people who are willing to listen may help you to cope and overcome negative thoughts. 
  • Consider asking for professional help. Therapists and psychologists can provide support and guidance as you process your emotions in a healthy and effective way.

Reviewing manufacturer incident reporting requirements

Wheeling residents may often hear news about products being recalled by manufacturers. While most correctly assume that such actions are only undertaken due to problems with the products being recalled, few may actually know what prompts recalls, and what sort of liability issues manufacturers may face during the process. 

One common misconception people often have is that recalls are initiated by regulatory agencies. While these entities do regulate and broadcast recalls, it is most often the manufacturer that issues a product recall. A manufacturer, however, is required to report the issues that may prompt a recall. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, manufacturers must report the following types of information: 

  • Discovery of a defective product that could pose a substantial risk of injury to consumers
  • Discovery of a product element that presents an unreasonable risk for serious injury or death
  • When a product is proven to be in violation of consumer safety rules and regulations
  • Incidents when a small child chokes in any element of a product and subsequently dies, suffers serious injury, loses conciousnous or requires treatment

What causes common injuries in the oil and gas industry?

Working in the oil and gas industry can be very dangerous in West Virginia. As a worker, you should be aware of the common injuries that occur and why. This can help you to be more aware and avoid potential injuries yourself. According to E&E News, most accidents in the oil and gas industry occur due to worker error or not following safety protocols. 

With an increase in safety standards and regulations, along with better adherence to such standards and protocols, the number of severe accidents and injuries in this field can be reduced. What is most alarming about this industry, though, is that the injury rate is low, but the fatality rate is high. The thought is this may be due to supervisors not reporting minor injuries like they do severe injuries. It is much easier to continue working when someone has gotten a bump, scratch or bruise than it is when someone has to be rushed to the hospital with a life-threatening injury. Plus, it is easier for regulations in the industry to manage tracking of severe injuries that require hospitalization, medical care and qualify for workers' compensation.

Schedule An Appointment Today

We invite you to schedule an appointment with Greg today to talk more about your injury or incident, what you can potentially recover and why we are the uniquely suited to help you. Call 304-242-2900 today. You can also send a confidential email.

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