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Personal Injury Law Blog Jim Leach

What to Do After a Construction Accident and Injury

March 31st, 2016

What To Do After A Construction Accident & Injury | CharlestonThe construction industry causes more injuries and fatalities each year than most other career paths. The most common construction deaths deal with being hit or caught between objects, electrocution and falling. Construction accidents don’t always involve workers; pedestrians and those who work or live near construction sites are also likely to get hurt if the site has not been properly secured. If you’ve been injured or lost a loved one due to a construction accident in Charleston, your next steps are the most vital to your case.

1. Seek Medical Care

Regardless of how minor your pain-level might be, go to the hospital immediately. A small injury could become life-threatening without medical attention. These records will be needed to file your case once you’re in a condition to do so.

2. Gather All Information

Collect all of your medical records, take photos of your injuries and where they occurred, make note of any witnesses, and write down any and all details you can remember. There are several legal options available to you including worker’s compensation. The more information you have at your disposal the easier your case could be.

3. Call An Experienced Attorney

Before you sign anything or speak with anyone, call our Charleston accident attorney Jim Leach. He can guide you through the process and help you fight for the compensation you deserve. You could be entitled to receive damages for your medical care, lost wages and changing quality of life.

If you or a loved one have been injured in a construction accident, call attorney Jim Leach in West Virginia today at (304) 865-8530 for a FREE phone consultation. Jim Leach Attorney at Law serves clients in Charleston, Parkersburg, Morgantown, Huntington and Wheeling, West Virginia.

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How to Avoid St. Patrick’s Day Car Accidents

March 14th, 2016

St. Patrick's Day is a countrywide celebration full of parades and green beer. Our car accident lawyer in Morgantown wants to remind you to stay safe.St. Patrick’s Day is often filled with green beer and good friends. It’s also one holiday where drunk driving accidents increase. Our car accident attorney in Morgantown wants you to stay safe this St. Patrick’s Day by following these three tips:

1) Don’t Drink and Drive

The best way to avoid a car accident injury is to stay away from driving after enjoying some of that green beer. On average, St. Patrick’s Day drunk drivers are two times over the legal limit when they are pulled over. This makes the highway a dangerous place to be. Have several backup plans to get home if you plan to drink excessively at the bar or a friend’s house.

2) Take a Cab

If you and your fellow celebrators have had a few shots or drinks, consider taking a cab or one of the public transit options in Morgantown. Rideshare programs like Uber and Lyft aren’t available in West Virginia but Morgantown has several cab options, such as Yellow Cab and Motown Taxi. The Irish pub you’re celebrating at might have a shuttle for patrons to use as well. St. Patrick’s Day is a busy holiday for alternative transportation so have several phone numbers prepared to call.

3) Use the Buddy System

After a few drinks your cognitive thinking is impaired. Have a system in place so you and your friends don’t wander off. It’s important to be aware of your surroundings as a pedestrian. Pedestrian accidents can happen at any time. Looking out for each other could save you and your friends from adding to the St. Patrick’s Day car accident statistics.

Impaired driving kills up to 30 people every day in the United States. These accidents are not always fatal though. Personal injuries from auto accidents involving drunk drivers are also a big worry. Whether you have a sober friend drive you or you take a cab, remember that the other vehicles on the road might have intoxicated drivers.

If you were injured as a result of drunk driving or have suffered any form of a personal injury, call Attorney Jim Leach today at (304) 865-8530. Our personal injury lawyer serves clients in Parkersburg, Charleston and Morgantown, West Virginia.

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Honda Recalls Over 2 Million Vehicles with Defective Takata Airbags

March 7th, 2016

Honda Recalls over 2 Million Vehicles for Defective Takata AirbagsThe automotive world is abuzz regarding Honda’s massive recall of millions of United States vehicles due to Takata airbag failure. Which vehicles are defective, and what should you do if you own one of these vehicles? This information from a prominent Morgantown defective product lawyer will help.

What’s Wrong with Takata Airbags?

The airbag issue is a serious one; defective inflator and propellant devices may improperly deploy during a crash, potentially injuring occupants with fragments of metal. The supplier, Japanese manufacturer Takata, announced the deadly error in April of 2013, which affects 34 million American vehicles and perhaps another seven million globally. Takata has admitted that it isn’t sure which vehicle makes and models use the defective inflators, or why the inflators were defective at all. Initially, Takata reported that mishandled and improperly stored propellant chemicals were to blame for the metal airbag inflators bursting open with excessive pressure. In July, the company blamed humid weather, which spurred additional recalls.This prompted many automakers to issue their own recalls, with the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) forcing additional recalls in high-humidity regions.

Toyota has agreed to expand the recall across several more brands, and began replacing defective passenger-side inflators on October 25, 2015. In some instances, the unavailability of parts has prompted dealers to disable the airbags altogether, while also affixing “Do Not Sit Here” messages to the vehicle’s dashboard, in an effort to protect passenger safety. Have you been affected by a faulty airbag? Speak to a Morgantown defective product lawyer to learn about your rights.

Is Your Vehicle Safe?

No deaths or related injuries have yet been reported. However, a September report from the New York Times uncovered as many as 139 injuries reported across all automakers, including two deaths and 30 injuries occurring in Honda vehicles. The Times alleges that Honda and Takata knew about the defect since 2004 but failed to notify the NHTSA, even when recalls began in earnest in 2008.

Despite Takata’s insistence on the unknown cause, the company has stated that bad welding, rust and even a dropped piece of chewing gum may be at fault. Reuters documents reveal that Takata’s Mexican plant allowed a defect rate six to eight times higher than acceptable limits as recently as 2002.

A vast number of updates have occurred in this case, with the most recent being a Feb. 23, 2016 update, in which ten car makers comprising the Independent Testing Coalition hired Orbital ATK to conduct its own tests of suspect Takata airbag inflators, concluding the inflators were vulnerable to rupture due to “…the combination of three factors—the use of ammonium nitrate, the construction of Takata’s inflator assembly, and the exposure to heat and humidity.” These results are consistent with other internal testing results. On March 2, 2016, Toyota recalled another 198,000 U.S. vehicles potentially affected.

This recall is but one example of what can happen when consumers are exposed to defective products. Manufacturers are required to ensure all of their products are safe when used appropriately. If you or someone you love was injured by a Takata airbag or other defective product, our Morgantown defective product lawyer can help you pursue compensation. Please call Jim Leach 1 (877) 526-5461. We proudly serve clients throughout West Virginia.

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Texting While Biking A Growing Danger

March 2nd, 2016

Texting while Driving a Growing Danger | Parkersburg, WVThere are several powerful public service announcements about the growing number of deaths and injuries resulting from distracted driving, but is texting while biking also a big concern? Texting causes cyclists and drivers to miss vital warning signs such as construction signs, changing road conditions, honking, and yelling.

Auto accidents are more likely to happen when cyclists are sporadically weaving and changing speed. Texting can make you fail to notice when a car door is opening and cause you to accidentally veer into traffic. Cyclists who switch from sidewalks to streets can easily run into pedestrians, and cause vehicles to overcorrect and hit bystanders, cyclists or other vehicles. West Virginia has anti-texting laws which prohibit phone use while driving, but biking and texting can get you into trouble too.

Both biking and driving require acute awareness, but cyclists must balance while constantly looking for potholes and miscellaneous debris. If you’re attempting to type a text during this process, you can cause dangerous situations to arise. Texting and biking can easily lead to serious personal injury to yourself and others.

Highly populated areas with heavy traffic make putting your phone away more crucial. There is already a lot of strife between drivers and cyclists. Cyclists have a tendency to ride through stop signs and red lights, while also switching from street to sidewalk. This causes drivers to worry about inevitable auto accidents. Don’t add to the worry by texting while you bike to school or work.

In recent years, biking has become an increasingly popular mode of transportation leading cities to develop bike lanes on main streets. This eco-friendly movement saves you money while giving you consistent exercise, but it comes with responsibility. Keep yourself and others on the road safe by stowing your phone in your bag.

If you’ve been injured in a bike accident or auto accident in West Virginia call our accident lawyer Jim Leach today at (304) 865-8530 for a free personal injury consultation. Attorney Jim Leach represents clients in Parkersburg, Charleston, Morgantown, and throughout West Virginia.

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Tips for Choosing an Injury Lawyer

March 1st, 2016

Tips for Choosing an Injury Lawyer | Morgantown, West VirginiaIf you decide to file a claim against someone you believe has caused your physical injury, you will need help from a personal injury lawyer. In Morgantown, injury lawyer Jim Leach offers West Virginia residents superior personal injury law representation.

Personal injury attorneys differ from other attorneys because of their specialized trial and negotiation experience, in-depth knowledge of negligence laws, and solid understanding of medical diagnoses and processes relevant to personal injury.

But how can you know which Morgantown injury lawyer will best serve your needs? After all, your lawsuit must be filed within a specified time period, before the statute of limitations expires, so it is important to begin your search in earnest as soon as you can.

These tips will help you assess any personal injury attorney:

  • What is the attorney’s area of emphasis? Just as physicians specialize in various areas of medicine, lawyers also specialize, so be sure to choose a Morgantown injury lawyer with expertise in your particular type of case.
  • Does the attorney enjoy a solid reputation in your community?
  • For how many years has the attorney been in practice?
  • What is the attorney’s disciplinary record? Any complaints filed? The state bar website for your locale is one place you can find this information.
  • Is your attorney willing and able to go to trial on your behalf, if necessary?
  • Examine your attorney’s record of wins, especially for your specific type of injury. It should be fairly substantial.
  • Do you feel comfortable communicating all relevant case information with this attorney? Communication is key.
  • Have a look at the attorney’s website, and run a Google search on the attorney’s name.

Most importantly, do not be afraid to ask questions of others about the attorney, and of the attorney directly. Experienced, knowledgeable attorneys are more than happy to answer your questions about their practice, their record, and other relevant issues. Remember that simply sitting down for a face-to-face consultation with a lawyer does not mean you will hire that lawyer. Meet with as many personal injury attorneys as you feel necessary until you find the best fit.

Finally, be sure to understand how your chosen attorney’s fee structure works. Some attorneys charge hourly; some on a contingency, meaning the lawyer takes no money upfront, but earns his or her fee once your case has been won. The typical contingency fee is about one-third of the winnings.

Do you have a case? Morgantown injury lawyer Jim Leach offers private consultation, during which he will listen to your story to determine the validity of your personal injury claim.

Why not contact his offices today? Call (304) 865-8530 for your free consultation.

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700,000 Mercedes-Benz Vehicles Recalled Due to Defective Takata Airbags

February 25th, 2016

Mercedes-Benz Vehicles Recalled For Defective Airbags | ParkersburgThe Takata airbag defect blamed for at least 10 deaths is behind yet another recall. This time, Daimler AG is recalling 840,000 vehicles including over 700,000 Mercedes Benzes. The defective airbags can deploy with too much force spraying metal shrapnel throughout the passenger compartment of the vehicle. More than 30 million vehicles in the U.S. have been recalled due to defective Takata airbags, so far. If you believe that your injuries were caused by a defective airbag, please talk to our Parkersburg defective product lawyer right away.

Takata Airbags

Airbags exist for one reason – to help keep you safe. Any time someone is seriously injured or killed in an auto accident it is a tragedy. When a device meant to minimize injuries actually causes injuries and deaths, it is outrageous.

In addition to the defective inflators that can explode and shoot out shrapnel, some Takata airbags have a defect that causes them to deploy spontaneously, when no accident has occurred. This spontaneous deployment can cause an accident and when combined with the inflator defect it can be deadly even if it doesn’t cause a collision with another vehicle.

There have been several reports that Takata knew about the defective airbags in the early 2000’s but hid the information rather than issuing a recall that could have prevented injuries and saved lives.

If you have been injured by a defective airbag or in an accident caused by a defective airbag, you may be entitled to substantial compensation for your injuries, but your time to act is limited. Do not wait until it is too late. Please call Parkersburg defective product lawyer Jim Leach at (304) 865-8530 or contact us online today to schedule your free consultation.

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Who is Liable if I’ve been Injured on Ice or Snow?

February 22nd, 2016

It’s easy to fall on the sidewalk or stairs when they haven’t been properly cleared of snow and ice. You must be able to provide proof of negligence before determining who is liable. Make sure to photograph the scene immediately and get treatment for your resulting injuries. When you have reasonable proof of liability, you then have to file a claim against the right person or agency. The best person to handle your claim is our slip and fall injury lawyer. Attorney Jim Leach will be able to help you discern which parties are liable.

Your Landlord

Your landlord could be liable for your slip and fall accident. Read over your lease before seeking legal advice. Some leases specify that you are responsible for clearing the stairs or sidewalk outside your residence.

Slip and Fall Injury Lawyer | West VirginiaThe Property Owner, or Contractor

If your injury took place on the private property of an individual or business, they are most likely liable for the incident. Some businesses or homeowners opt to hire a contractor to clear snow and ice for them. In this case, the contractor will be liable for damages as long as you have proof of negligence.

Government Property

Slip and fall injuries are more difficult to file against governmental properties. There are administrative waters to wade through before you can receive compensation for your injuries. Several factions of the government have immunity from liability cases like these. If you were injured on government property it’s vital to take photos immediately, and speak with all witnesses nearby.

If you’ve been injured on ice or snow, call Jim Leach, Attorney at Law today at (304) 865-8530. We provide expert legal advice to clients in West Virginia, including Parkersburg, Morgantown, Wheeling, Huntington, and Charleston, WV and Belpre, Ohio.

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Determining Liability in a Personal Injury Case

January 29th, 2016

Determining liability is a key element of any legal claim. The point of filing a lawsuit is to seek compensation from the individuals liable for your injury. You cannot file a claim if there is no liable party.

Before filing a claim, you must determine who is at fault for the injuries you have sustained. Our experienced Morgantown lawyers can assist you with this process, since the laws concerning negligence and liability can be very complex.

One of the first questions we will ask you is whether another individual’s negligence or carelessness caused your personal injury, or did another party’s failure to fulfill their duty cause your injury? If the answer is yes, then we can determine if a personal injury claim can move forward.

In some cases, such as a car accident, it may be easy to determine liability. However, some cases, such as defective product claims, may be more difficult. The manufacturer or the person who sold you the product could be liable, depending on the circumstances.

Furthermore, it isn’t uncommon to find that more than one person is responsible for your injuries. For example, in a medical malpractice case a doctor and the hospital could both be found liable depending on the circumstances. Our skilled lawyers can help you determine who is liable and assist you in the next step of filing your claim.

If you or a loved one was injured due to the negligent actions of someone else, please contact  Jim Leach, LC by calling (304) 865-8530 to schedule your initial consultation. We represent clients in West Virginia and Ohio, including Parkersburg, Charleston, and Morgantown.

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Uninsured or Underinsured Drivers and Car Accidents

January 20th, 2016

Despite laws mandating auto insurance, many drivers choose to risk driving without adequate coverage.

If you were hurt or have experienced the death of a family member in an auto accident caused by an underinsured or uninsured driver, recovering the financial compensation you need to cope with injuries can be especially difficult. The Charleston auto accident lawyers at Jim Leach Attorneys at Law have extensive experience helping accident victims pursue the monetary peace of mind they need to cope with medical expenses and other damages.

In West Virginia, motorists are required to carry at least $20,000 in uninsured motorist coverage. Many insurance providers also offer elective underinsured motorist coverage.

However, depending on your injuries, even this additional coverage may not be adequate for your needs. This is why it is important to work with an experienced car accident attorney if you’re involved in a collision with an uninsured or underinsured driver.

Our experienced Charleston attorneys can evaluate your unique circumstances, answer your car accident questions, advise you on your legal options, and help you pursue fair compensation through every avenue available.

If you were hurt or a family member was killed in an auto accident caused by a careless driver, please contact Jim Leach, LC by calling (304) 865-8530 today!

We proudly serve clients throughout Charleston, Parkersburg and Morgantown, West Virginia.

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Winter Weather Driving Tips

December 22nd, 2015

With winter officially upon us, that means winter weather as well. While there are plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy this winter, that also means heading out and driving in winter conditions..

With sleet, snow and ice, winter weather can make your driving experience worrisome, but that doesn’t mean you need to sacrifice going out just because of road conditions. The following winter weather driving tips can help you get to your destination safely this season:

  • Put on your winter tires.Feeling unsafe in your car when bad weather hits is not only anxiety inducing, but it can lead to panicked driving. It’s important that you put on your winter tires during these wet months to help you keep traction during wet and slick conditions.
  • Slow down.Sometimes the simplest methods are the most effective. When you’re out on the road, it is advised that you reduce your speed by 50 percent. However, be aware of just how slow you are going because you could get stuck if you lose momentum.
  • Know how to handle a skid. Regardless of how experienced you may be, there may come a time when you find yourself sliding on an icy road. When you start to feel your vehicle enter a skid, first and foremost, don’t panic! Remove your foot off the gas and do not slam on your brakes as it will make it worse. Tapping the brakes lightly will assist in regaining traction and slowing down. In order to prevent the car from going into a spin, lightly turn the wheel into the swerve.
  • Keep in touch. When traveling on winter roads, or even long distances, you should always alert others of your plans. Let loved ones know when you leave so that they expect your arrival. That way if something happens, they will be in the know if you don’t arrive. For longer trips, provide periodic updates during your trip.
  • Pack a winter weather kit.In some instances winter weather can leave you stranded. Keep a winter weather kit in the back of your car for these kinds of emergencies. Your kit should include blankets, protein bars, water, a phone charger, a flashlight, a tow rope, cat litter (for traction).

Being prepared for any weather conditions can help ensure you reach your destination safely.

If you’ve been involved in a car accident in West Virginia due to another’s negligence, contact the Parkersburg car accident attorneys at Jim Leach, LC by calling (304) 865-8530 today!

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Your understanding of the information on this web page about personal injury law does not constitute a formal legal relationship with the personal injury lawyers at Jim Leach Attorneys at Law, PLLC. Please do not assume this content to be formal legal advise. If you would like to know if you have a valid personal injury claim, please contact a West Virginia personal injury lawyer today for a complimentary consultation. Serving the Charleston, Huntington, Morgantown, Parkersburg, and Wheeling, West Virginia and Athens and Belpre, Ohio.

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