Live Chat
Have a case? Call Colombo Law.

Circumstances That Impact a Personal Injury Award

Many individuals who suffer from injuries as a result of an accident can find themselves overwhelmed with emotional and financial problems. These victims have no access or limited access to funds due to the loss of employment and are experiencing trying times as they try to juggle whether to rest or push through the pain to meet their daily obligations. At Colombo Law, our attorneys believe injured parties deserve the greatest possible compensation for their injuries. However, there are many factors that may have an impact on the amount of compensation an injured party receives as well as the ability to successfully prove a claim. The following is a list of circumstances that may have an impact on your claim:

Extent of the Injury

The extent of an injury is one of the most important factors in determining the amount of compensation. A serious injury will have a greater probability of recovery as well as a higher settlement offer and/or jury award. This is inevitable because cases in which there is a serious bodily injury will require longer recovery periods, increasing the claim for lost wages, medical expenses, loss of consortium, and pain and suffering. These additional losses have an effect on any personal injury claim. To obtain an estimated amount of recovery, contact Colombo Law today.

Contribution to Your Injury

The state of West Virginia is a modified comparative negligence state. If it is determined that you have contributed to your injury (caused some of your own damages) your award will be reduced to the extent in which you caused your own injury. In addition, if your injury is more than 50% caused by your own fault, your personal injury claim may be barred. This is why it is so important to seek medical care after an injury and follow the advice as instructed by your care provider.

Experienced Representation

Having the knowledge and representation of an experienced attorney is essential for you to maximize your claim for relief. This could mean thousands in additional recovery. The benefits of a firm that practices personal injury law are as follows:

  • Experienced personal injury lawyers know the typical amount of recovery for many injuries. They can better advise you of when a settlement offer should be accepted, given the facts and circumstances of your case.
  • Experienced personal injury lawyers know the right questions to ask that will allow them to gather all of the relevant facts.
  • Experienced personal injury lawyers know that personalized representation is necessary in every case as injuries may be similar between cases but the experiences in every personal injury case are different, requiring specialized attention.

Colombo Law is a personal injury law firm located in Morgantown, West Virginia. Since opening, our firm has helped thousands of personal injury victims recover the maximum amount of compensation possible for their injuries. Our satisfaction comes from successfully representing clients allowing them to rebuild their lives and obtain financial security for the future of their families that will help generations to come. To be a part of a team that thrive on results driven success, contact Colombo Law today.

Photo Copyright: gajus / 123RF Stock Photo

Nerve Damage Associated With Auto Accidents

The nervous system is a complex system of nerves that connect the brain, spinal cord, and sensory organs to other bodily organs. The nervous system controls both voluntary and involuntary movements as well as the ability for the body to communicate among its parts. While some auto accidents result in minor injuries, other auto accidents can result in serious bodily injury including nerve damage. If you or your loved one has been involved in a motor vehicle accident and sustained bodily injury, contact Colombo Law today for information on your right to compensation.

Symptoms of Nerve Damage

Some forms of nerve damage can be detected immediately after an accident. However, that is not the case for other damage. Some common symptoms of nerve damage may include:

  • Numbness
  • Weakness or pain in muscles
  • Uncontrolled movements such as twitching
  • Increased sensitivity in a specific area
  • Constipation
  • Pain in a localized area

If you have been involved in a motor vehicle accident, it is important to seek medical attention immediately after an accident. Obtaining prompt medical treatment is the best way to ensure that any injuries stemming from an auto accident is identified and treated. A delay in medical treatment could have a devastating effect and lead to paralysis.

Extensive Medical Treatment

When nerve damage is the result of an automobile accident, medical treatment is required. The medical treatment is often extensive, especially in those instances in which there is partial or full paralysis of arms, legs, fingers, and toes. This requires time away from work, family, and other obligations. For many individuals, this medical treatment causes a great strain on the family due to reduced income and increased pain. If you have been in an accident and experienced nerve damage, contact Colombo Law. We will review your claim to determine whether you have a right to compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and any other losses you incurred.

If you have been injured in an automobile accident you need the assistance of an attorney. Regardless of the stage your claim is in, you should speak with an experienced attorney to determine whether you are getting the most compensation for your injury. Our personal injury lawyers have been known to ensure that our clients obtain a fair compensation whether the case settles or goes to trial.

Contact a Personal Injury Attorney Today

If an airbag deployment has caused injury to you or your loved ones, contact Colombo Law today. Our attorneys are ready to gather the facts and circumstances of your case and assist you in bringing a personal injury claim against the wrongdoer for negligence. To start on your path to a more secure financial future contact Colombo Law today. We assist clients in and around Morgantown, Fairmont, Clarksburg, Bridgeport, Kingwood, Grafton, Weston, Philippi, Buckhannon, Elkins, Parkersburg, as well as Monongalia County, Marion County, Harrison County, Preston County, Taylor County, and Lewis County.

Photo Copyright: pressmaster / 123RF Stock Photo

How Posting on Social Media Can Harm Your Personal Injury Case

If you are an avid social media user, you have likely heard of the phrase “it didn’t happen if it was not posted on [insert social media site here].” The reality is we as a society are living in the age of technology. These technological advancements have brought us many advantages and disadvantages. In the legal profession, social media sites have created a unique set of challenges when providing representation to clients. The attorneys at Colombo Law want to warn social media users about the dangers of having an active case and posting on social media.

Attorney-Client Confidentiality

Discussions between a client and his or her legal counsel are protected by attorney-client privilege. What this means is that in the majority of instances, attorneys cannot be required to disclose information relating to discussions between an attorney and his or her clients. Posting details regarding legal information obtained or discussed with your attorney on social media will likely destroy the attorney-client privilege, as statements posted online are no longer confidential. Losing the attorney-client privilege in a case could be detrimental to your claim.

Providing Evidence to Parties

In personal injury cases, the cornerstone of every action is proving damages. Without damages, your personal injury action will fail. Many insurance companies, attorneys, and opposing parties use social media as a way to determine if the injured party has exaggerated his or her description of the injuries. Information posted to your social media page is discoverable, if there is reason to believe your page can prove or disprove a claim. If the information on your social media site tends to show your condition in a way other than what is conveyed in court, it may be used against you to challenge your credibility. Therefore, you should avoid posting any photographic or written evidence that may show:

  • Any type of activities engaged in on a day to day basis;
  • Body parts that concern the injury asserted;
  • Personal opinions about your injury.


Non-Disclosure

In some case, parties are required to sign non-disclosure agreements that prohibit the parties from making statements about the details of a case. Many have heard about the famous case in which a Florida father settled a case of age discrimination case against his employer, totaling $80,000. In that case the parties signed a non-disclosure agreement prohibiting any statements from being made about the case. After settling the case, his daughter posted a status on her Facebook page that violated the non-disclosure agreement and resulted in the forfeiture of the entire amount of the parent’s winning.

Contact an Experienced Attorney

Any experienced attorney will warn you about the dangers of posting on social media pages while your case is active. If you or your loved one has been injured in an accident, Colombo Law can advise you of your legal rights as well as any precautions to take to ensure that you gain the maximum amount of monetary compensation. For a no-risk initial consultation, contact Colombo Law today.

Head-on Collisions in West Virginia

A motor vehicle is the most dangerous form of transportation. From 2009 to 2013, more than 113,000 lives were taken in fatal car accidents. Each year, drivers are injured in fender benders, rear end collisions, sideswipes, t-bone accidents, and head-on collisions. Accidents often have a devastating impact on the injured party and their loved ones. If you or someone you know has been involved in an accident, contact an experienced personal injury attorney for help with your personal injury legal needs.

Head-on collisions are traffic accidents in which the front ends of two motor vehicles hit each other while traveling from opposite directions. Typically, head on collisions occur while driving at high speeds. They also are more likely to occur on single-lane roads as opposed to highways. Because of this, head on collisions are often the most dangerous types of accidents. In fact, the impact of such accidents make most head-on collisions fatal.

Causes of Head-on Collisions

Safe driving practices reduce the likelihood of head-on collisions. Many head-on collisions occur due to the following circumstances:

  • Low visibility during nighttime driving;
  • Texting and driving;
  • Driving under the influence;
  • Distracted driving;

While the chance of an accident is greatly increased with any type of driving distraction, precautionary measures exist to help drivers avoid head-on collisions. This includes the installation of rumble strips in the center of two-lane rural roads as well as medians and center dividers to prevent motorists from illegally passing.

Even when individuals are fortunate enough to survive a head-on collision, they risk serious bodily injury. After head-on collisions, parties to the accident are likely to suffer from traumatic brain injuries, broken bones, or spinal injuries. During recovery, parties easily fall behind on monthly living expenses and their financial circumstances are easily complicated due to loss of work and increased out-of-pocket medical costs. Our attorneys want to help you or your loved one regain financial stability by bringing a personal injury action for your damages. These damages may include lost wages, pain and suffering, out- of-pocket medical expenses, as well as any other out-of-pocket costs caused by your accident.

Contact Colombo Law

Colombo Law is a personal injury law firm located in Morgantown, West Virginia. Since opening, our firm has helped thousands of personal injury victims recover the maximum amount of compensation possible for their injuries. Our satisfaction comes from successfully representing clients and allowing them to rebuild their lives and obtain financial security for the future of their families that will help generations to come. To be a part of a team that thrive on results driven success, contact Colombo Law today. Our attorneys are available to assist clients in Morgantown, Fairmont, Clarksburg, Bridgeport, Kingwood, Grafton, Weston, Philippi, Buckhannon, Elkins, Parkersburg, as well as Monongalia, Marion, Harrison, Preston, Taylor, and Lewis County.

Photo Copyright: rfoxfoto / 123RF Stock Photo

Potential Defendants in Products Liability Claims

After you are injured by a defective product in the state of West Virginia, you deserve compensation. Compensation received will help restore your finances from out-of-pocket medical expenses, lost wages, and the pain you experienced as a result of the incident. However, obtaining fair compensation is not a possibility without bringing a cause of action against any and all individuals responsible for your injury. Obtaining enough information to name all of the responsible defendants is not easy in any personal injury action. This is especially true in products liability claims. If you have been injured by a defective product, contact an experienced attorney at Colombo Law for assistance with your claim.

Naming Defendants in Your Case

Before placing a product on the market for sale, there are many individuals or companies that play a part in making the product for consumer use. If you want to maximize your possibility of recovery, you need an experienced products liability lawyer who can determine all the individuals responsible for making all or part of the product and whether their part of the process created the hazard that caused your injury.

Naming all of the defendants in your personal injury case matters because it has an effect on your total amount of recovery. Since West Virginia is a comparative negligence state, defendants can only be required to pay the percentage of money for which they were responsible. Therefore, only naming one of two or more potential defendants could severely limit your amount of recovery.

Any party who was in the product’s chain of distribution (had a role, no matter how big or small, in getting the product from manufacture to sale to consumer) may be responsible for your injury. Potential defendants in a products liability case are as follows:

  • Manufacturers: There may be several manufacturers for a product. Products often have many pieces that several companies provide. For instance, a microwave has all of the electrical equipment inside, glass, springs for buttons, light bulbs, and more. The company that manufactured the microwave may have received every part described above from different manufacturers. If a defect occurs within a microwave unit, every defendant who provided a part of the product can potentially be liable. For some products, a manufacturer could also include anyone who created a defect in the design of the product.
  • Wholesalers or Distributors: Wholesalers may also be responsible for your injuries. Not only are wholesalers in the chain of distribution, but they could be responsible if it is determined that there was improper storage or transportation of the goods that led to your injury.
  • Retailers: A retailer may also be held responsible for selling you a defective product. In most cases, a lawsuit is brought against anyone who made getting the product to you possible. Although a retailer may not have taken part in the product’s defect, the product was sold in their store, which is often the reason retailers are named in lawsuits.

Contact Colombo Law: Your Experienced Product Liability Lawyers

In most cases, products are designed and manufactured appropriately. Consumers then use these products every day without incident. Some examples include bicycles tables, chairs, toasters, light switches, and more. Products created for consumer use have transformed the human way of life. However, products malfunction for a variety of reasons causing severe injuries to users. Regardless of whether you were a purchaser or user of the product, our attorneys can help you obtain compensation. Colombo Law is a personal injury law firm focused on assisting victims who have suffered personal injuries in and around Morgantown, Fairmont, Clarksburg, Bridgeport, Kingwood, Grafton, Weston, Philippi, Buckhannon, Elkins, Parkersburg, as well as Monongalia County, Marion County, Harrison County, Preston County, Taylor County, and Lewis County. We look forward to assisting you with your claim.

Photo Copyright: hafakot / 123RF Stock Photo

Three Hearsay Exceptions in Personal Injury Cases

Evidence is a crucial part of any personal injury case. Regardless of whether your claim settles or goes to trial, evidence can make or break a case, and will ultimately have an impact on the amount of compensation you receive. For this reason, in particular, it is important to get in as much evidence as possible in injury trials. However, there are many cases for which evidence is not permissible due to the rule against hearsay evidence. Getting around a hearsay objection is tricky; You need the knowledge of an experienced attorney to ensure your evidence is admissible. The attorneys at Colombo Law have handled many personal injury cases and are experienced attorneys who work to find unique ways to ensure your evidence gets before a jury.

What is Hearsay Evidence?

Hearsay evidence is a statement that is made at some place other than in a courtroom. In the future, someone (other than the individual who makes the statement) attempts to introduce the statement in order to prove a fact did or did not occur. Not all out-of-court statements are hearsay. The rule against hearsay only prohibits those statements that seek to prove or disprove a material fact. If the statement seeks to show some other fact, the evidence is permissible. However, if crucial evidence is hearsay, you should look for a qualifying exception that will allow the evidence to come in.

Common Hearsay Exceptions in Personal Injury Cases

Some common personal injury hearsay exceptions include:

  • Present Sense Impressions: A present sense impression occurs when an individual makes an out of court statement either during the event or shortly after the event occurs.
  • Excited Utterance: An excited utterance is an out of court statement made during a startling event, while the person making the statement is still experiencing stress from the startling event. One example of an excited utterance is a witness who sees a particularly bad accident scream “that red car just ran the light and ran down that motorcycle.”
  • Then Existing Mental, Physical, or Emotional Condition: This hearsay exception covers statements made that explain the declarant’s then existing mental state of mind or emotional or physical condition. 

It is important to note that hearsay exceptions typically are admissible because of the trustworthiness of the statement. Since many of the statements or information conveyed occurs while or shortly after an event, hearsay exceptions are created and often considered to be trustworthy.

Contact Colombo Law Today

No attorney will disagree with the fact that evidence is crucial in any personal injury action. However, all attorneys, even those in the same area of practice, have diverse ways of handling a case, the strategies implemented, and how to bring a case to its proper conclusion. These methods are what separates Colombo Law from other law firms. Our attorneys are available to assist clients in Morgantown, Fairmont, Clarksburg, Bridgeport, Kingwood, Grafton, Weston, Philippi, Buckhannon, Elkins, Parkersburg, as well as Monongalia, Marion, Harrison, Preston, Taylor, and Lewis County.

Photo Copyright: gajus / 123RF Stock Photo

Tips to Keep You and Your Family Safe This Summer

Summertime is an exciting time to explore your community and complete many outdoor activities that allow you to enjoy the sun and spend time with your family and friends. Whether your activities include bicycling around your neighborhood, going for a swim in a community pool or lake, or taking a hike through the woods or in the back yard, you are going to want to take some precautionary measures to ensure your summer is a memorable one. Unfortunately, the risk of injury increases during the summer months due to increased outdoor and physical activity. If you or your loved one has been injured in an accident due to a negligent act of another individual, you should be sure to speak with an experienced attorney at Colombo Law today.

Bicycle Safety

Bicycling is a great physical activity and can serve as a great summertime activity. However, cyclists should be extremely careful to avoid injury. Each year many cyclists are injured in collisions with other motorists. Getting hit by a motor vehicle while on a bicycle has caused serious bodily injuries and fatalities to many individuals. Many cyclists indicate that most accidents are caused by mistakes made by drivers. However, there are some things that may help prevent an accident and save your life, such as:

  • Expect unpredictable motorist actions by giving yourself extra room;
  • Use hand signals;
  •  Avoid driving at nighttime as visibility is significantly reduced;

Water Safety

Jumping or diving in a pool, lake, or ocean is a fun filled way to beat the heat each summer. However, despite the popularity of recreational water activities, drownings are unfortunately common causing three deaths each day of the summer months. According to the CDC, you can make sure you and your loved one are safe by:

  • Watching children as they are in or around the water, as a split second is all it takes for an accident to occur;
  • Ensure that your loved one wears a properly fitted life vest each time they are on the water;
  • Read or take a course on how to properly perform CPR;

Insect Control and Safety

Insects including mosquitoes, ants, ticks, and spiders can find their way onto your kids while enjoying the most enjoyable summer activities. While some bites can be a minor annoyance, others can lead to serious illness. Be sure to keep your child safe by:

  • Ensuring your animals have the proper flea and tick preventative;
  • Applying insect repellant on you and your loved ones while outdoor;
  • Ensure the proper removal of any ticks that are on you or your loved one;

Contact an Attorney Today

When your summertime fun activity turns into a tragic injury, you need to speak with an experienced attorney to determine your rights to compensation. Colombo Law is an experienced personal injury law firm who will vigorously represent you in your personal injury action against a negligent party. For a no-risk initial consultation, contact Colombo Law today.

Photo Copyright: nadezhda1906 / 123RF Stock Photo

Auto Accidents and Airbag Injuries

Auto accidents are stressful events that people hope to never experience. Unfortunately, most individuals will experience at least one auto accident during their lifetimes. The injuries associated with an auto accident range widely depending on the type of the accident. However, in instances where the impact of from an accident is strong enough to deploy an airbag, there is an increased risk of injury not only because of the severity of the accident but because of the airbag itself. If you or your loved one has been involved in an auto accident that has led to injuries as a result of airbag deployment, contact Colombo Law today for an initial consultation.

Common Airbag Injuries

In many accidents, airbag deployments add to the trauma experienced during an auto accident. The force of the airbag alone causes many injuries. Some common injuries include:

  • Cuts, Burns, and Bruises: When an airbag inflates after an accident, many people describe the deployment as being forcefully punched or being hit in the face with a soccer ball. After the initial impact many experience lacerations to their face, especially to the nose and lips. They also experience swelling and bruising to the upper extremities, and burns. Many of the burns associated with an airbag deployment are chemical burns or those burns caused by friction from the impact.
  • Fractures: Airbags have also been known to cause fractures. Some common areas of fractures include the wrist, rib cage, or face. Many times, individuals do not immediately experience the pain associated with fractures because of the adrenaline and stress caused by the accident.
  • Concussions: Brain injuries are also common after an auto accident. The force of the airbag sometimes causes a loss of consciousness or a concussion. These types of brain injuries are often mild in nature but should be examined by a doctor, as brain injuries are known to cause memory loss or problems with thinking and speech.

In any accident in which there is an airbag deployment, you should promptly seek medical attention as there is also a chance of other less common but serious injuries including internal bleeding or internal lacerations to major bodily organs.

Preventing Airbag Injuries

In the event of an accident with enough of an impact, there is not much one can do to prevent an airbag from deploying. However, there are some small things that can be done to ensure you are minimizing your risk of injury:

  • Adjustment of Seats: Ensuring that your seat is back a minimum of 10 inches from the steering device will help to prevent airbag injuries as the airbag inflates on impact.
  • Proper Seatbelt Use: Wearing a seatbelt is key in preventing airbag injuries as a seatbelt restrains the driver or passenger from accelerating forward upon impact, restricting some of the force of the airbag.

If you have been involved in a motor vehicle collision and have suffered injuries from the accident, you need to speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer. Our attorneys deliver results in personal injury claims and are equipped to handle your claim arising from a motor vehicle accident. For an initial consultation, contact Colombo Law today.

Photo Copyright: ia64 / 123RF Stock Photo

Ways to Avoid Trucking Accidents

Trucking companies have millions of vehicles on the roadways each year, transporting goods to and from destinations across the United States. While transporting goods by trucks is  required for the nation’s commerce, trucks increase the chance of fatality in the event of an accident on the roadway. In fact, when a truck is involved in a collision it is often a multi-vehicle pile-up causing serious bodily injury or death to travelers. If you or your loved one has been involved in an accident with a truck and are in need of representation to get compensation for your injury, contact Colombo Law today for a no-risk initial consultation.

Although trucking accidents can occur in an instant and leave you victim to injuries and excruciating pain, the following is a list of some practices that can help avoid a collision with a truck:

  • Avoid Tailgating: Many tractor trailers have signage on the back of the truck indicating “IF YOU CAN’T SEE MY MIRRORS, I CAN’T SEE YOU.” Ensuring that you leave additional room behind trucks helps to avoid a rear end collision. Rear end collisions with trucks can lead to serious injury or death. In addition, trucks have a no visibility zone when driving at specific points on each side of the fleet (located at the left rear quarter and right rear quarter of the vehicle). You should ensure you pass with care and drive outside of the no visibility zone to avoid an accident.
  • Carefully Change Lanes: Trucks take much more time than the average vehicle to slow down. A fully loaded truck can weigh more than 80,000 pounds, while the average weight of a car is 3,000 pounds. Changing lanes abruptly or requiring a truck to significantly reduce speed could cause the driver to lose control of the truck and become involved in an accident. To avoid this type of accident avoid merging or changing lanes too closely in front of a truck. In addition, be sure to accelerate when you are changing lanes in front of a truck.
  • Weather Conditions: Weather conditions also limit the ability for a driver to control the truck and its load. In snow, rain, or ice, truck drivers can lose their ability to steer or properly brake. The force of the trailer that swings out as the truck jackknifes can cause a deadly accident. During bad weather conditions, it is best to stay as far away from a big rig as possible.

Contact Colombo Law Today

While it is possible to avoid some collisions, other collisions will be outside of your control. If you have been involved in any type of accident with a truck that resulted in injury, contact Colombo Law today to have one of our attorneys engage in a no-risk review of your claim.

Photo Copyright: flippo / 123RF Stock Photo

Your Right to Relief: Negligent Security in West Virginia

In many cases, individuals who are injured in an accident have rights to relief. This relief may come in many forms including monetary compensation for your injuries. However, many individuals are not aware of all of the different types of injuries that may entitle them to compensation. One particular instance in which individuals may be entitled to compensation involves negligent security of a premises. If you are injured in any type of accident in the state of West Virginia, Colombo Law firm is available to help you. No matter how big or how small your case is, our attorneys will review your claim and determine your probability of success.

What is Negligent Security?

In the state of West Virginia, property owners are required to ensure that their premises are safe by protecting customers from crimes that are reasonably foreseeable to occur on the premises. This applies to many different types of businesses including apartments complexes, condominiums, shopping centers, bars, and recreation facilities. Negligent security arises when a business owner is aware of a problem that concerns safety and he or she fails to take reasonable measures to ensure that occupants are safe from the threat. The action to remediate the situation may vary. For instance, an apartment complex might install cameras and a security system in each apartment after a string of break-ins, while a bar may increase its number of bouncers.

Examples of Negligent Security Claims

A negligent security claim may arise from many different circumstances. In fact, many businesses are susceptible to a negligent security claim. Some negligent security claims are more common than others:

  • Failure to provide adequate lighting: Failure to provide adequate lighting is a common reason for causes of actions involving negligent security. In many cases, repeat offenses such as rapes, robberies, and assaults occur in places that are not properly lit for safe travel.
  • Prevention of Criminal Activity: Many apartment communities in West Virginia and throughout the United States have experienced significant surges in criminal activity. Negligent security actions have been brought against housing community complexes when they are aware of break-ins, loitering, and other criminal activity and fail to prevent the crime while it continues to occur.
  • Inadequate or Insufficient Security: In today’s day and age, most nightclubs and bars have bouncers who are able to intervene if unsafe circumstances arise in the facility. However, many nightclubs and bars are understaffed or have inexperienced bouncers working at events. This creates liability for the premises owner for negligent security because a facility cannot adequately control situations as they occur.

Even in those instances when a property owner takes sufficient action to remedy a problem with criminal activity, there may still be an investigation to determine the reasonableness of the safety measures taken. Our attorneys will investigate the reasonableness of the action taken, which will be a factor in assessing your negligent security claim. The knowledge of an experienced attorney is key to a successful investigation and to your probability of success. The attorneys at Colombo Law are highly experienced personal injury attorneys who are happy to assist you with your negligent security claim. For a risk- free initial consultation, contact Colombo Law today.

Photo Copyright: totalpics / 123RF Stock Photo