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Cell Tower Accidents in West Virginia

There are many jobs throughout the United States that are considered dangerous or hazardous to one's health. One of these dangerous jobs include employment as a cell tower worker. Cell towers sites contain antenna and other electronic communication equipment placed to create a network. They serve the function of providing signal strength that allows reception for cellular phone devices.

Despite the known dangers, many individuals risk their lives for the sake of communication, entertainment, or accessibility purposes. One cell tower accident can result in many fatalities. If you or your loved one has been injured in a cell tower accident, call Colombo Law for an initial consultation today.

Common Causes of Cell Tower Accidents

There are hundreds of thousands of cell towers located throughout the United States. These towers must be serviced for maintenance and repair. Although companies have a duty to ensure the safety of cell tower climbers, they often engage in negligent acts for a variety of reasons, both intentional and unintentional, which lead to severe injury or death.

Defective Products

OSHA reports that some of the main hazards encountered are linked to defects such as electrical problems and equipment failure. Unfortunately, products are not always inspected properly prior to use which have been known to cause fatalities when ropes break while at significant heights.

Lack of Proper Training

As was previously noted, falls remain one of the top causes of fatalities amongst cell tower climbers. Climbers should obtain proper training and certification before accessing sites. Time restraints and growing need for cell tower climbers are contributing factors to the lack of proper training.

Failure to Follow Safety Regulations

On job sites, supervisors often disregard safety precautions such as allowing too many climbers to work on a site or working in inclement weather. These acts of disregard create increased hazards to cell tower workers.

Wrongful Death Claims

If you have lost a loved one due to a cell tower accident, the estate may have claim for wrongful death against responsible parties. The personal representative must be the individual who files the wrongful death claim as that is the only party with standing in West Virginia.You will need to speak with an experienced attorney as determining who is at fault is challenging in cell tower accidents. For more information, contact Colombo Law.

Speak With an Experienced Attorney

Any type of workplace accident has a devastating impact on the family. The attorneys at Colombo Law realize that most families are only one or two paychecks away for financial disaster. We want to meet with you and assist in rebuilding your life. We serve clients throughout the state of West Virginia including Morgantown, Fairmont, Clarksburg, Bridgeport, Kingwood, Grafton, Weston, Philippi, Buckhannon, Elkins, and Parkersburg. For an initial consultation, call Colombo Law today.

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Boating Under the Influence in West Virginia

This week, a Morgantown man pled guilty to the offense of Boating Under the Influence of drugs and alcohol and receive nine months of house arrest at sentencing. The man who is the subject of the news article lost control of his boat after falling from behind the wheel. Reports indicate that speed, alcohol, and other drugs played a part in the accident. Fortunately, the article does not indicate that anyone was injured.

Operation of a motorized watercraft is a privilege the same as it is to operate a motor vehicle. Many West Virginians take their motorized watercraft out each weekend to enjoy the fresh air and sun on many of the state's waterways. However, operating a motorized watercraft, such as a boat or jet ski, after consuming drugs or alcohol is extremely dangerous to the health and safety of all individuals in the watercraft or the water. Boating accidents have been known to cause serious bodily injury or death in the state of West Virginia and throughout the United States. If you or your loved one has been involved in a boating accident which resulted in physical injury or other damages, contact Colombo Law today for a no-risk initial consultation.

West Virginia Law on Consuming Alcohol and Boating

The West Virginia Legislature prohibits any individual from operating a motorized watercraft in the following circumstances:

  • While under the influence of alcohol (this is known as general impairment);
  • While under the influence of a controlled substance;
  • While under the influence of any other drug;
  • While under the influence of a combination of alcohol, a controlled substance, or another drug; or
  • While having a blood alcohol content of .08 or more by body weight;

Operating a motorized watercraft while under the influence can result in criminal penalties. However if you have been injured in an accident or incident as a result of another individual's intoxication, you should consider civil remedies.

Personal Injury Claim After Boating Accident or Incident

When an accident or incident occurs due to another individual's reckless behavior that individual should be held liable for any damages sustained. While the criminal system does achieve justice in most instances, criminal penalties that the offender suffers does not put you back in the position that you were in prior to the accident or incident. You deserve monetary relief for your injuries. The attorneys at Colombo Law are willing to assist you with any personal injury claim to help you obtain fair compensation for your damages. We will work tirelessly to determine all individuals at fault, maximizing your probability of success.

Contact Experienced Personal Injury Law Attorneys

Colombo Law is a personal injury firm with experienced lawyers. Our firm handles cases in and around Morgantown, Fairmont, Clarksburg, Bridgeport, Kingwood, Grafton, Weston, Philipi, Buckhannon, Elkins, and Parkersburg, as well as Monongalia, Marion, Harrison, Preston, Taylor, and Lewis counties. For an initial consultation, contact our office today.

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Top Personal Injury Questions

Personal injuries are unfortunate incidents that many individuals suffer each day. What is often more unfortunate is the confusion that results after an injury. Those who are injured are unsure of the best course of action. The attorneys at Colombo Law have held many client consultations and have answered a broad range of questions during each consultation. The following is a list of some common questions asked during personal injury meetings.

How Much Will My Case Cost?

Personal injury cases are often taken on a contingency basis. This is a standard practice for many personal injury law firms, including Colombo Law. In practice, a contingency fee is a fee obtained in the event of a favorable outcome, usually a percentage of the amount of recovery. If you do not win your case, the attorney will not recover any fees. Contingency fees vary. Typically, a contingency fee is one percentage if it does not require a trial. A higher percentage is obtained if the case goes to trial.

How Long Does a Personal Injury Action Take to be Resolved?

After an injury, victims of accidents or incidents want to get back into their daily routines. Telephone calls with lawyers, court appointments, and other meetings interrupt their daily life activities. Because of this, prospective clients rightfully want to know how quickly their case will conclude.

Unfortunately, there is no definitive time frame in which a case concludes. The length of time a case takes will depend on whether a settlement is reached or whether the case proceeds to trial. Settlement is the quickest way to bring a case to its conclusion. However, settlement is not always the best option. The attorneys at Colombo Law ensure that our clients are informed every step of the way as we find that uncertainty is often the triggering issue.

Why Do I Need a Lawyer?

Personal injury clients often believe that their cases are straightforward and the event itself provides a clear representation of what occurred. However, even the most simple case can become complex when up against a law firm that represents a supermarket, insured party, or other corporate entity. In addition, having the knowledge of an experienced attorney at Colombo Law ensures that you have the best probability of success and obtain the maximum relief possible. Without an attorney, settlement offers are often much less. Regardless of your intention, you should speak with an experienced attorney to ensure that any compensation offered is adequate for your injuries.

What Can I Do to Make My Case Stronger?

Many injured parties do not keep adequate records. Keeping adequate records will ensure that you have all of the documentation to prove your claim. In addition, you should schedule and keep any necessary doctor's appointments to be certain that you do not contribute to your injury by neglecting the treatment and rehabilitative schedule. Finally, you should speak with an attorney as soon as possible to ensure that you are preserving your claim. If you fail to file a claim on time, you may lose the right to bring an action. Contact Colombo Law today for more information.

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The Facts About Seat Belt Submarining

Accidents occur each day in the United States. These accidents result in thousands of fatalities on a day to day basis. Many fatalities are linked to the lack of seat belt usage and ejection from a motor vehicle after an accident. There have been many seatbelt campaigns related to seat belt safety such as the “click or ticket” campaign as well as legislation for enforcement of the laws related to seat belt safety. There are however some instances in which fatalities linked to ejection that occur despite wearing a seat belt. If you or someone you know has been injured in a motor vehicle accident, contact an experienced attorney at Colombo Law.

Seat Belt Submarining Explained

During a collision, seat belt submarining occurs when an individual slides under the lap restraint portion of a seat belt. There are a variety of circumstances that may cause seat belt submarining. For instance, many times it is the result of a sudden and significant loss of momentum in the vehicle which causes a driver or their passenger to slide down. It also results from ineffective seat cushion design which slides out from under the passenger, creating a space that makes it more likely to have seat belt submarining. Seat belt submarining is a dangerous encounter and exposes the individual to significant injury.

Injuries Linked to Seat Belt Submarining

There are many injuries associated with seat belt submarining. Some common injuries associated with this event include internal bleeding, abdominal injuries, pelvic injuries and fractures to the lower leg and spine. It is important to understand that these injuries can occur in low-speed collisions. In some high speed collisions individuals have been ejected from the motor vehicle. Fatalities linked to seat belt submarining have resulted in both high and low speed collisions. It is important to seek prompt medical attention if involved in this type of accident as any delay in treatment may cause a fatality.

Preventing Submarining

Manufacturers are aware of the risk of injuries due to seat belt submarining and have taken precautions to ensure the safety of drivers and other passengers. There have been changes to the design function of the seat cushions in motor vehicles to prevent passenger sliding during sudden stops. Manufacturers have also made adjustments to the height of the seat belt buckle to prevent the lap restraint from being too high.

Individuals entering a motor vehicle can also take certain steps to prevent seat belt submarining. Upon entering a vehicle, each passenger should ensure that the lap restraint fits securely. Any significant space in the lap restraint creates the ideal environment for submarining to occur. In addition, children who are below the state’s recommended height must be in a booster seat as submarining is more common for small children.

If you or your loved one has been involved in a motor vehicle accident and have suffered injuries as a result, contact Colombo Law today for a no-risk consultation.

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Travis Mohler included in Columbus CEO's annual list of Top Lawyers in Columbus

Attorney Travis Mohler has been included in Columbus CEO’s 2016 list of Top Lawyers in Columbus for personal injury law. According to Columbus CEO, the list includes Top Lawyers from Central Ohio. Furthermore, lawyers are named to the Top Lawyer’s list from AVVO, which uses a distinct method to rate attorneys on a scale. 
Colombo Law would like to offer our sincere congratulations to Travis Mohler for being named to the list of Top Lawyers. 

To access the Columbus CEO article on Top Lawyers, which provided the information for the above post, please CLICK HERE.

The Importance of Discovery in Personal Injury Claims

Tort law is a diverse area of practice that includes a broad range of injuries and often falls into the general category of negligence claims. There are thousands of personal injury claims filed within the United States on an annual basis. However, of the many cases that are filed in court, there are hundreds of other claims that are settled before a court filing occurs. Regardless of the type of claim, there are some common practices that occur in every personal injury claim. One such common practice includes discovery. The attorneys at Colombo Law are experienced personal injury attorneys who have effectively represented clients during every stage of a case. Colombo Law is your personal injury law firm for effective representation.

Overview of Discovery

Discovery is a process in which parties to a lawsuit obtain evidence in a case. Generally, any evidence that relates to a case is discoverable evidence and can be requested by either party. However, there are some exceptions to the general rule. Discovery can be requested through an informal or formal process. This will depend on the particular stage of proceedings. If Court proceedings have not been filed, discovery is an informal request for information, often requested in the course of negotiating a settlement offer. Formal discovery is often requested after a case has been initiated. The formal discovery process is much more strict in terms of ensuring compliance with time restraints and the need for the discovery.

Types of Discovery

One important step in the trial process is discovery. There are three basic types of formal discovery: written interrogatories, production of documents, and depositions.

  • Written interrogatories: Written interrogatories are a series of questions printed on documentation and sent to the opposing party for answer. Written interrogatories are intended to address a variety of issues ranging from those that are broad in nature to very specific questions intended to obtain information on a particular date and time. Written interrogatories are typically prepared by the client, reviewed by counsel, and verified before returning to the requesting party.
  • Requests for Production of Documents: This is a principle in which opposing parties requests documentation through the discovery process. The documentation requested may or may not be favorable. These requests are also broad in nature as requests in a motor vehicle accident may be much more general in nature (such as photographs of an accident) when compared to documents requested in a medical malpractice claim.
  • Depositions: Depositions are statements provided outside of a courtroom setting in an effort for counsel to gather information regarding an event. This type of discovery is valuable in that it gives the parties an understanding of what will be said in court while binding the individual to their statements.

Contact Colombo Law Today

Colombo Law is a personal injury law firm serving clients throughout West Virginia including Morgantown, Fairmont, Clarksburg, Bridgeport, Kingwood, Grafton, Weston, Philippi, Buckhannon, Elkins, and Parkersburg. If you or your loved one has suffered a personal injury, contact Colombo Law to schedule an initial consultation today.

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Attorney Dino Colombo Featured in NCWV Life Article

For almost three decades, Dino Colombo has served his clients as an attorney in his home state of West Virginia. In a recent NCWV Life article, Dino Colombo talked about his main motivation behind his decision to practice law. He stated that he “really just wanted to help people at the end of the day.” This is why he works countless hours to properly advocate for his clients to ensure that they are taken care of during trying situations. His passion for serving the North Central West Virginia community has led to the attorneys at Colombo Law helping numerous people transcend beyond their or their loved ones accidents or injuries. 

For the full NCWV Life article about Attorney Dino Colombo CLICK HERE.

Epidural Administration and the Dangers Associated with Negligence

An epidural is a spinal injection that effectively stops pain in a regional area of the body. Hundreds of thousands of epidurals are administered each year, many in hospitals throughout the state of West Virginia. The most common reason for the administration of epidurals is childbirth. However, epidurals have also been given to individuals who experience serious back pain and pain after a surgical procedure. While administering an epidural is a common practice, it takes a highly trained professional to ensure that the procedure is successful. Otherwise, the procedure could cause serious injuries. If you or your loved one has been injured from negligence related to the administration of an epidural, contact Colombo Law today.

Proper Administration 

The Medical Mission Institute indicates that there are four key techniques that should be used to best ensure proper administration of an epidural, which are as follows:

  • Preparation: The first technique discussed is preparing the patient for administration by informing the patient what will occur and the risks associated with providing an epidural for pain relief.
  • Position: The second step is to identify the most effective position for administering the epidural. There are a few different options that the doctor should have assessed prior to administration.
  • Projection: Projection is identifying the placement of the epidural need in anticipation of administration. Proper projection is essential to best ensure the epidural is administered without any mishaps.
  • Puncture: After all of the above steps are completed, the epidural is administered.

 Dangers of Improper Procedure

 When epidurals are not administered properly, some known side effects and injuries often follow. Some common injuries include:

  • Numbness or a constant tingle: If an epidural is improperly administered, there is often a feeling of numbness in the legs or feet that persist far longer than it should. This is usually a sign of nerve damage. If you or your loved one is experiencing feelings of numbness in the hours, days, or weeks following an epidural injection, you should seek medical attention to identify whether nerve damage is the true cause of the pain.
  • Epidural Abscess: An epidural abscess is particular type of infection that develops near the spinal cord and other major nerves. During this time, there is a collection of pus that causes swelling in the area. It is critical that doctors identify this type of infection as prolonged identification leads to permanent nerve damage, sometimes causing loss of a bodily function.

Contact an Experienced Attorney

 While epidurals are a common procedure there are many instances of negligence. If you have been injured by a incorrect epidural, you deserve compensation. For assistance in obtaining the relief you deserve, contact Colombo Law today. Our attorneys are skilled personal injury lawyers who provide quality legal representation. We serve clients throughout the state of West Virginia including Morgantown, Fairmont, Clarksburg, Bridgeport, Kingwood, Grafton, Weston, Philippi, Buckhannon, Elkins, and Parkersburg.

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Slip and Fall Accidents in the State of West Virginia

On a daily basis many individuals slip or fall in the privacy of their home or while out in public. Slip, trip, and fall accidents are the result of many different circumstances, some of which are no fault of anyone involved. However, there are some instances in which a business owner's negligent behavior causes individuals to slip and fall while on the business premises. In these instances, the business owner should be held responsible. If you or your loved one has been injured in a slip or fall accident due to another's negligence, contact Colombo Law today to determine your rights.

If you have suffered a slip and fall on the premises of a business, you may be entitled to monetary relief. It is important to understand that the slip and fall need not occur in one particular place. Common areas for slip and falls include:

  • Parking lots
  • Inside a store premises
  • Restrooms
  • Surrounding pool areas
  • Hallways
  • Stairwells

The location of the fall however is important to determine liability. For instance, the owner of an outlet mall may be responsible for a slip and fall in a parking lot. However, if the accident occurs inside a specific store liability may shift from the owner of the outlet mall to the owner of the store location.

Causes of Slip and Falls

Some common causes of negligence actions result from injuries related to:

  • Spills and Substances: Claims related to spills and substances are most frequently seen in grocery stores and department stores. Business owners have an obligation to ensure that their store premises are safe for customers. This requires the owners to ensure that there are no liquids or other substances on the property that may create a hazard.
  • Lack of maintenance or upkeep: Failing to properly maintain a premises creates a significant hazard both inside and outside of the premises. In parking lots, potholes and weather related accidents can cause individuals to slip trip or fall and sustain significant injury. Failing to properly maintain the property could result in an owner's liability.

After an Accident Gather Evidence and Preserve Your Claim

In personal injury actions, the burden of proving negligence is on the Plaintiff (the person bringing the lawsuit). Therefore it is important to gather any evidence that can be helpful in the event that a lawsuit is necessary. After an accident be sure to obtain copies of any incidents reports filed. Also, take pictures and notes of the type of substance that caused you to slip and fall. Any notes should describe whether the substance is sticky, slick, or gritty.

Finally, you want to be sure you preserve your claim. In West Virginia, there is a two year statute of limitation on personal injury actions. After an accident many individuals express feelings of being overwhelmed as there are many increased obligations including adding doctor's visits and other appointments to preexisting work and familial obligations. Although the increased obligations make it easy to fail to tend to other responsibilities, you want to be sure to contact an experienced attorney at Colombo Law who can assist you in your legal action before your claim expires.

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Dog Bites in West Virginia

There are millions of pets that reside in homes across the country. While pet ownership is a major responsibility, many are glad to care for the pets they own as these animals become part of the family. Dogs are no exception. Often known as “man's best friend,” dogs offer companionship, loyalty, and affection to the owner and everyone else in its presence. However, there are instances in which dogs create dangerous situations.

Each year, there are thousands of individuals bitten by dogs. This is the result of a multitude of factors including the lack of training by owner, fear or anxiety of the dog, or because the dog feels the need to protect someone or something. If you or someone you know have been bitten by a dog, you deserve compensation. Call Colombo Law today to speak with an experienced attorney.

Types of Liability for Dog Bites

  • Strict Liability: The West Virginia Code governs liability of owners for dog bites. The Code Section provides that any owner who allows a dog to run at large will be liable for any damages that results to a person or property if caused while the dog was at large. The statute creates strict liability to the owner in these circumstances. Although the statutes specifically limits strict liability to instances in which a dog is “at large,” the statute does not identify the criteria that meets the definition. At Colombo Law, our attorneys look at the facts and circumstances surrounding the dog bite to determine whether strict liability will apply. If strict liability does not apply, our attorneys will also advise whether any other actions may be initiated based on the facts and circumstances of your case.
  • Common Law Negligence: Generally, if a dog was not roaming at large, strict liability will not apply and a Plaintiff will be required to prove that the owner acted negligently. However, West Virginia will also impose strict liability if an owner had prior knowledge of a dog's violent tendencies. In addition, if a dog has bitten another person in the past, strict liability will be imposed.

Compensation for Your Injury

After a dog bite, damages may be made to cover property damage, lost work, or significant medical expense. Under strict liability, compensation is recoverable for any damages sustained as a result of the dog roaming at large.

In many cases, a homeowner's insurance policy will cover incidents related to dog bites. Prior to accepting any settlement from a dog owner's insurance company, speak with an experienced attorney as you may be waiving your rights to future compensation.

Contact Colombo Law for Representation After a Dog Bite

If you or your loved one has been attacked by a dog, promptly seek medical attention to ensure you receive proper care and treatment. After obtaining medical treatment, contact Colombo Law to get answers to any of your questions regarding liability, compensation, and representation. At the end of your consultation you will have information you need to determine whether to file a claim.

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