Bam! What to do after a car accident - Part 2

            This blog post is the second in a series of what to do if you have been in a motor vehicle accident. 

            In the last post we talked about obtaining the proper medical treatment and obtaining witness information if you have been in a car wreck in West Virginia.  This post focuses on what to do in the days after an accident.  First, if you did not take our advice in the first post and you are hurting, seek medical advice immediately.  It is not uncommon to think you are fine on the day of a car wreck and then wake up the next day and barely be able to move your neck or back.  Unless your family doctor can get you in quickly, the best advice is to go to the emergency room.  We do not recommend going to a "doc-in-the box" such as those often found in strip malls because they will probably not have the imaging equipment such as CT scans or MRI's to properly diagnose injuries that frequently occur in motor vehicle accidents.  It is important to remember that if the emergency room doctor advises you to seek follow-up treatment then you need to heed this advice.  If you do not, the insurance company will certainly use it against you.

            In the days after your car accident you will also be receiving calls from insurance companies.  There are two entities that will likely call, your own insurance company and the person that caused the accident's insurance company.  You have a duty to comply with your own insurance company.  If they ask you for a recorded statement you must give it to them.  You do not have a duty to comply with the person's insurance company that caused the accident.  No matter how nice they may be, their job is to pay you as little as possible for your claim.  Do not discuss how the accident occurred with them and do not give them a recorded statement.  If they insist, tell them to look at the accident report prepared by the police.           

Bam! What do do after a car accident - Part 1

This blog post will be the first in a series of what to do if you have been in a motor vehicle accident.

            Perhaps the most frequent question I receive about car accidents is what to do when one happens.  Obviously, the most important thing is your health and wellbeing.  If you have been seriously injured, do not move, do not get out of your car, and wait for emergency services to arrive.  If you are banged up but don't feel too bad, you still need to be careful.  Oftentimes, your body produces so much adrenaline after an accident that you may be more injured than you know but can't yet feel it.  In our macho culture, many people also get hurt in car accidents but refuse medical treatment because they don't want to be a bother or want to seem tough.  Client's say this time and time again.  If you are hurt, or might be hurt, make sure you let them emergency medical technicians give you a thorough examination.  If the EMT tells you that you need to go to the hospital in an ambulance, listen to them.  That is what they are trained to do. 

            If you have been checked out and do not need to go to the hospital, you should get the names and contact information of any eyewitnesses to the car accident.  You may assume that the police officer writing the report will do so and in many cases you will be wrong.  The nice gentlemen that brought you water and lives in the red house three houses down from where your accident occurred may not live there by the time your case is being litigated.  The occupants in the car that caused your accident may also have a different story and blame you.  That's why it is always important to obtain the contact information from anyone that witnessed the events.          

Introducing Weston | Robertson

Welcome to the Weston | Robertson law blog.  In this blog we will keep our clients and fans updated on what the firm is doing.  We will also provide education, safety tips and newsworthy information pertaining to what we do.  As always, if you have any feedback or need further information, please contact the firm.

Weston | Robertson, as an entity, was officially formed at the begining of 2017 when Connor Robertson was made a full equity partner in what was formerly known as the Weston Law Office.  Connor's tireless work on behalf of his clients over the past five year certainly earned him this honor.  Rich Weston is proud to have added Connor's name to the door and looks forward to providing continued excellence in service to our clients.

Looking back, 2016 was a banner year for the firm.  At the beginning of the year the firm settled a complex case against Norfolk Southern Railroad where our client suffered a debilitating on-the-job shoulder injury which resulted in him being unable to work as a conductor in the future.  As good paying jobs are far and few between these days, our client courageously tried to go back to work but he simply could not do the duties of his job going forward.  The case settled shortly before trial after the firm had worked the case hard and was ready and able to go to trial.

After this banner settlement, the firm turned its attention to a criminal matter.  A young man who was one of the rising star riverboat captains in our state was accused of sexual assault.  His career and livelihood were on the line as the trial began at the Cabell County Courthouse in Huntington, West Virginia.  Connor took the lead in this case with Rich providing support for certain witnesses.  After the lengthy trial, it did not take the jury long to render a not guilty verdict and the client was able to resume his career and go home to his family.

Several large car wreck settlements were also reached during the year.  In one, a veteran was driving his prized Monte Carlo when he was struck by a drunk driver.  Although his injuries did not appear to be severe at the time of the accident, it soon became clear that the client had suffered cognitive deficits as the result of a "mild" traumatic brain injury.  As the client was also getting older, the crux of the case was to prove that client's cognitive impairments were a result of the car wreck trauma and not other factors such as age.  After hiring the proper experts and proving the brain injury was the result of the drunk driver's negligence, the case settled for full policy limits without even having to file suit.               

Weston | Robertson's civil rights practice also continued to flourish.  Numerous settlements were reached against against rogue police officers and jail guards for violating the Fourth Amendment's ban on excessive force.  Due to our commitment to civil justice, Rich Weston took a civil rights case pro bono.  After a jury trial in federal court, the jury found that four officers had violated the inmate's constitutional rights to be free from excessive force and awarded punitive damages for their egregious conduct.  While Weston | Robertson recognizes the value of the vast majority of first responders and their sacrifices, we are often thanked by other first responders for weeding out the select bad apples that can give the hardworking ones a bad name. 

During 2016 the firm also filed suit for a man seriously injured while loading steel beams onto a tractor trailer.  While one man loaded the beams with a forklift, in violation of several OSHA codes, our client was standing on the ground attempting to help.  Without warning, the forklift jerked back causing a large steel beam to fall and crush our client's foot.  Unfortunately, the crush injury was so severe that our client had to have his leg amputated below the knee.  The case is currently being litigated in federal court. 

Weston | Robertson ended the year winning the highest profile criminal trial in Cabell County since the infamous McGinnis case almost thirty years ago.  Our client was charged with First Degree Murder after shooting a man that attempted to gain entry into his house late at night.  Because the man did not gain entry to the home, and was shot outside, the State contended he committed premeditated murder.  Although our client was a law-abiding gun owner under the Second Amendment, the State made sure to inform the jury about his  large gun collection.   Rich and Connor prepared tirelessly to display the shooting occurred in self-defense.  After a nearly two-week trial, the jury only took an evening to render a not guilty verdict on all proposed counts of First Degree Murder, Second Degree Murder, Voluntary Manslaughter and Involuntary Manslaughter.  This was a great victory for the Second Amendment and law-abiding citizens that are forced to defend themselves.  Thankfully the client got to home to be with the family he was forced to defend.  See news coverage here:  http://www.herald-dispatch.com/news/lemaster-found-not-guilty-of-murder/article_365b2590-4ef1-5c96-b66e-fe7dc2e1fd00.html