How Long Does it Take to Get a Car Accident Settlement in West Virginia?

After the police report has been filed, your car has been fixed (or at least estimated), and you’re starting to heal from your injuries, you may be wondering how long it might be before you actually receive a settlement from a car accident. West Virginia has a process for car accident cases to go through before you actually “get a big check.” There are a lot of variables involved with a car accident settlement, and getting a fast settlement may leave money on the table that you may need later.

getting a car accident settlement

Quick settlements aren’t always a good idea. If you’re being pressured by an insurance company to settle your car accident case, it’s time to ask for help from a qualified personal injury attorney who knows how to handle accident cases in West Virginia. Even if you have an attorney you’ve worked with on other matters, it’s best to find someone who works exclusively with personal injury cases.

West Virginia Statute of Limitations

West Virginia has a two-year window of time, called the “statute of limitations,” for claims and lawsuits to be filed. That window begins the day of the accident. Most people aren’t able to file a suit the day of the accident, so you should find a personal injury attorney to assist you as soon as you’re able to.

In West Virginia, the party at fault is required to reimburse the injured party for all accident related expenses. If you have been assigned partial fault, this may affect your settlement, depending on how much you were at fault. If your fault is less than 50%, you can be awarded a settlement.

Your claim with the other party’s insurance company may be all you need to file if your case is minor and you’re able to handle it yourself. Insurance companies want to settle quickly and get your case out of the way. They also may drag out talking to you so that you’re unable to file during the statute of limitations. But if your case involves debilitating injuries, the death of a passenger, or other devastating disruptions, filing suit may be your only option. Don’t speak to an insurance adjustor, sign anything or give any kinds of consent before talking to a personal injury attorney about your case!

You should also not discuss your case details with friends or on social media. Much like a divorce case, these things can be used against you in court, and can potentially impact settlement.

Each car accident case is different, and so is each settlement. When considering an offer, there are a number of costs that have to be added into the final figure. They include:

  • Car repair/replacement costs
  • Other property damages
  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wages/work time
  • Pain and suffering
  • Other related expenses

For instance—if your car was totaled, will you be able to replace it? If you’ve suffered severe injuries in the accident, will you be able to return to work one day, or are you permanently disabled? Will you need additional medical treatment, physical therapy or other medical-related expenses later? An experienced personal injury attorney working for you can help you decide on a suitable settlement.

In addition to compensatory damages, you may be eligible to recover punitive, or “punishment” damages, if the other party was in some way willfully malicious or negligent.

So to answer this question: it depends. On so many things, since every case is different. There isn’t a timetable that can tell you how long it will be before you’ll receive a settlement. A personal injury attorney who is experienced in these kinds of cases will be better able to give you an idea.

How much will an attorney cost? Many personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee basis—that is, there is only a fee if they successfully win your case and you’re awarded a settlement. We offer free consultations, contact our law firm today and book for an appointment at (304) 344 5683.

The Car Accident Wasn’t My Fault! Do I Still Need a Lawyer?

A car accident is one of the scariest things to live through. Even if you’re not injured and your car wasn’t a total loss, there are still police reports, insurance claims, doctor visits and lost work time to deal with the aftermath. Maybe you’ve talked to a few friends who’ve “been there, done that.” They’re full of all kinds of advice, some of it is conflicting.  It’s confusing to know which way to turn. Even if you aren’t at fault, it might be best to get a lawyer. Here’s why:

you should always get a lawyer, regardless of fault

You’ve probably read the police report and discovered that car accident was not your fault. Great! But do you still need an lawyer?

The answer is probably, “Yes.

But If You’re Not At Fault, Why Do You Need A Lawyer?

If you were at fault, hiring a lawyer would be to defend you and try to get any charges reduced or eliminated, and possibly keep you out of jail, depending on the circumstances. But if you’re not at fault, who’s looking out for your best interests? Nobody—and that’s why you may need a lawyer in West Virginia to make sure your rights are protected, and you get any settlement or compensation you’re entitled to receive. Contacting The Love Law Firm to talk about your accident and your rights is a good place to start.

Beware Of Time Limits

From the date of the accident, West Virginia has a two-year window to file an accident-related lawsuit (known as the “statute of limitations.”) As the injured party, you’ll be required to prove that the other party was at fault (“burden of proof.”)  Pay attention to this deadline, even if your case may settle out of court. You don’t want to lose your rights if the  settlement negotiations fail. If you don’t file by the two-year deadline, your case will probably be dismissed.

The statute of limitations only applies to court filings. Insurance companies may have a shorter window of time for you to file accident claims, like 180 days or one year from the date of the accident. Each company has its own schedule of deadlines. Filing insurance claims immediately gives you time to work on denials, and file additional suits if necessary. Find out and keep track of these deadlines so you don’t miss them. A lawyer can also help if your accident-related claims are denied.

Who’s Fault Was It, Really?

West Virginia recently implemented “comparative fault,” for situations where both side share fault in an accident. This can reduce the amount of your settlement. Known as “modified comparative negligence,” this means that you can recover damages if your injuries amount to more than injuries of the other parties, even if you were found to have contributed to the accident.

But if, at the time of the accident, you were involved in or fleeing from committing a felony, the other party won’t be held liable for any damages, even if he or she was at fault.

In West Virginia, you may be awarded compensation as:

  • Car repair expenses
  • Related medical expenses
  • Lost wages/earnings
  • Pain & suffering
  • Punitive damages

Auto Insurance Requirements in West Virginia

West Virginia requires that anyone who drives in the state have insurance with these minimums:

  • $25,000 for accident-related property damage
  • $25,000 for one accident with one injury
  • $50,000 for one accident with two or more injuries

Call Love Law Firm Today

If you’re involved in an accident with a big truck in West Virginia, you’ll definitely need a lawyer to represent you. The Love Law Firm can definitely help you. While comparative fault still applies, a lawyer is your best ally to help protect your rights, represent you in court and ensure your compensation is fair and covers your loss.

We hope you’re never involved in a car accident. But if you are, call us today at (304) 344 5683 and talk to one of our West Virginia lawyers who can help you through the aftermath of a car accident.

5 Car Accident Claim FAQs and Answers in Charleston WV

When injured in a car accident, and especially if the car accident was caused by the negligence and/or wrongdoing of another individual, you may want to seek compensation for the financial damages you incurred after the accident. Including medical bills and rehabilitation, lost income, and, in cases of serious injury, diminished future earning capacity, the costs of an injury can be astronomical. As such, after taking care of yourself, one of the first things you should do is consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer in Charleston WV.

5 Car Accident Claim FAQs and Answers in Charleston WV

By calling the Love Law Firm in Charleston WV, we will immediately get to work on your case. Through extensive investigation and evidence discovery, attorney Charles Love will aggressively, yet compassionately, litigate your right to compensation for the damages caused by the liable party(s). To get started on your case, call our law firm today at (304) 344-5683 for a free consultation.

Exceptions to Car Accident Laws in West Virginia

Before going through these common FAQs, it’s essential to remember that there are exceptions to pretty much every car accident law in West Virginia. This means that, if you were injured in a car accident in Charleston due to someone else’s negligence, you need to speak with an experienced car accident attorney to understand the nuances of your case and whether or not you have a claim that’ll hold up in West Virginia civil courts.

1. I was just in a car accident. What should I do?

If you were just in an accident, the first thing you need to do is call emergency services, including both the police and the EMS, if you feel it’s necessary. Don’t wait to get help for your injuries; immediately seek medical care. This is especially true if you experienced whiplash or anything that could potentially be a head injury.

In fact, according to West Virginia law, if you are involved in any type of vehicle accident (car accident, truck accident, semi accident, etc) that involved personal injury or property damage exceeding $500, you are required to contact the police. By getting the police involved, you are also protecting your rights and ensuring that the facts of the accident get documented.

Additionally, and only if it is possible and safe to do so, try and exchange drivers’ licenses, registrations, and insurance information with the other driver(s). To fortify your case, it can help to get statements and contact information from witnesses.

2. Do I have a personal injury case?

In West Virginia, a personal injury claim is based on many different factors, and because every car accident and personal injury claim is unique, we cannot set out specific guidelines that say whether or not you have a case. To better understand the viability of your case, your best option is to speak directly with attorney Charles Love over a free consultation.

3. What is negligence in a car accident case?

As a legal term, negligence refers to when someone fails to exercise care and doesn’t act reasonably under the circumstances. Generally, a person acting in this manner needlessly endangers other individuals. If someone gets injured, then the person acting negligent may be liable for the injured party’s injuries. In a car accident, negligence can range from distracted driving to speeding to DUI.

It is important to note, however, that negligence or wrongdoing is not always necessary in a car accident claim. For example, if the brakes failed while you were driving, the liable party for the accident and your injuries may be the brake manufacturers.

4. What are the other types of personal injury claims in car accident cases?

Negligence and wrongdoing aren’t the only personal injury claims available. Instead, you can also file a car accident claim based on strict liability. This area of tort law has been growing and it is considered important by the American Bar Association. Under West Virginia laws, strict liability means that other individuals can be liable for your injuries, such as designers, sellers, distributors, and manufacturers. Remember, these individuals are liable only if their defective products caused your injuries.

5. How much is my car accident claim worth?

When filing a personal injury claim over the injuries you incurred in a car accident, the courts, insurance adjusters, attorneys, and other individuals take many factors into consideration. Often, the other party’s insurance company may try to settle quickly, and although it may seem advantageous to close the case and get your money, this isn’t recommended. In fact, the other party’s settlement offer will most likely be lower than what you deserve.

Make sure that all medical costs and other financial damages are covered by your personal injury claim, both for now and the future. Your car accident claim should cover the following, but not limited to:

  • Medical bills
  • Lost wages and benefits
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Lost earning capacity
  • Loss of consortium
  • Property Damage

Contact the Love Law Firm in Charleston WV Today!

If you have any questions regarding your specific case, or you would like to know more information about personal injury and car accident claims, call one of the leading car accident attorneys in Charleston WV by contacting the Love Law Firm at (304) 344-5683. Free consultations are available.

Tips From a Charleston WV Car Accident Attorney – What to Do After an Accident

Being in an accident can be a terrifying experience, but after you or your loved one receives the necessary medical attention, dealing with the injuries can be confusing, stressful, and extremely frustrating, especially when the injuries were caused by another individual. By filing a car accident lawsuit with an experienced Charleston WV car accident attorney, you can file a lawsuit to litigate for the full compensation for the damages incurred, such as medical expenses, therapy, loss of income, pain and suffering, and more.

Tips for What to Do After an Accident | Charleston WV Accident Attorney

When filing a personal injury lawsuit to seek compensation for your injuries after the accident, the first step is to contact Charleston WV injury attorney Charles Love. With years of experience successfully helping individuals win their cases, we are confident that we can help you too. For a free consultation with our Charleston WV law firm, call us today at (304) 344-5683.

Summary for Motor Vehicle Accident Emergencies

Before you even think about calling a personal injury lawyer, it’s essential to follow West Virginia law and recommendations about what to do immediately after an accident. This information is taken from the WV Driver Licensing Handbook.

  • If feasible (no major injuries, car still running) pull to the side of the road.
  • Turn off the ignitions of all involved vehicles.
  • Place flashers or flares to notify oncoming traffic of the accident.
  • Call 911 and local law enforcement, and provide basic first aid while you wait. Remember, you should never move a victim unless it’s absolutely necessary.
  • Exchange names, addresses, license plate numbers, driver’s license numbers, and motor vehicle registration information with each party.
  • If you just happen to be driving the same path, don’t stop unless you can help.

Once you know that everyone is okay, you can make sure that you have enough information for filing a claim with the insurance company or with the West Virginia courts. Memories tend to fade as time passes, so having everything documented will be important.

How to Report Your West Virginia Car Accident

Reporting the car accident is also highly essential. In some cases, however, you are required by law to report an accident with the local police department, sheriff, or state police within 5 days if the following apply:

  • The accident caused injury or death.
  • The accident resulted in properly damage exceeding $500.

If you fail to report an accident to the West Virginia police, you may have your license suspended. In the event that another driver offers to pay for damages and asks you not to report an accident, you are still required to file the report if there was injury, death, or property damage exceeding $500.

From a legal and personal injury lawsuit perspective, reporting your accident is also very important for your claim. By filing a report with the police, you have the facts of the accident and the police’s report documented, which you can then use as evidence in your case. A car accident insurance claim without a police report will be incomplete and it may increase the risk of a claim denial or a low settlement offer.

Speaking to Witnesses of the Car Accident

In addition to getting a police report and contacting the insurance company, you can also question witnesses to add critical evidence to your insurance claim or legal action. Getting a statement from witnesses can help you establish the details of the accident and who was at fault. Furthermore, a witness can provide details from a different point of view, possibly viewing critical details that you may have missed.

Some questions to ask the witness can include:

  • Where were you standing?
  • How long have you been on the scene?
  • Did you notice the accident before, during, or after the actual collision?
  • Did you have a clear view of the accident, or was your view obstructed at any point?
  • What did you see? Can you describe the incident in detail?

Depending on the unique circumstances of the accident, you may need to ask the witness additional questions. Nevertheless, it’s important to get the most out of your conversation by writing and documenting everything.

Call the Top Car Accident Attorney Charleston WV

Knowing what to do after an accident can be incredibly difficult, especially when there is injury involved. However, you should always be careful who you speak with as giving some information can be damaging to your claim. Instead, make sure to consult with your attorney before speaking with the other party’s insurance provider. At the Love Law Firm, we’ve helped many individuals right here in Charleston WV with their car accident claims. Don’t just take the minimal settlement, and get the compensation and justice you deserve with Charleston WV car accident attorney Charles Love. Free consultations are available, so call today at (304) 344-5683.

Who Can Make A Personal Injury Claim in Charleston, WV?

Were you (or someone you love) recently injured in an accident? If you’ve made it to our West Virginia personal injury blog, then it’s likely. Also, you’re probably wondering whether your injury and the circumstances of the accident make you eligible for filing a personal injury lawsuit. Well, there is technically no “eligibility” for a personal injury claim in Charleston, WV. Instead, if another individual was acting negligent or committing some wrongdoing, which led to the accident and your injuries, then you may be able to file a personal injury claim.

Who Can Make A Personal Injury Claim in Charleston, WV? | The Love Law Firm

At the Love Law Firm, attorney Charles M. Love is one of the leading personal injury and nursing home lawyers in Charleston, West Virginia, and over the years, we’ve worked with many clients who were injured due to a wide array of circumstances. From speeding and negligent drivers to nursing home staff who abused you or your loved one, don’t let this accident ruin your life and get compensation by calling your local Charleston WV personal injury and car accident lawyer.

For a free consultation to see if you can make a personal injury claim, call our downtown Charleston law office today at (304) 344-5683.

The Statute of Limitations for West Virginia Personal Injury Claims

Before understanding whether or not you have a case, it’s always important to consider the West Virginia “statute of limitations,” which is a legal term referring to the time limit you have to file a personal injury claim. In some cases, the statute of limitations starts when you become aware (or should have become aware) of the injury.

In West Virginia, the statute of limitations for various accidents includes:

  • Negligent based cases, such as car accidents, premises liability, tort or lemon law claims, etc — 2 years
  • Assault or Battery — 2 years
  • Defamation — 1 year
  • Strict Liability — 2 years
  • Products Liability — 2 years
  • Wrongful Death — 2 years

If you have not filed your personal injury lawsuit within the time period, then your case may be “time-barred” and you’ll be unable to recover damages from the court system.

Who is Liable in Your Personal Injury Claim?

Although the statute of limitations is an important consideration for your claim, some of the fundamental factors in a successful personal injury claim include identifying the liable individual(s) and proving that individual’s negligence and/or fault. In general, this means showing the courts that:

  • The accident was caused by another, specific person(s)
  • The at-fault individual was acting negligent or committing a wrongdoing
  • The at-fault individual’s negligence led to the accident
  • Your injuries are a result of the accident and the other party’s negligence

Negligence is just one factor when seeking compensation for the injuries you sustained, as West Virginia also uses a legal doctrine known as comparative fault. This essentially means that the amount you are able to recover is dependent on your own level of negligence as well. For example, if you are speeding through an intersection and another vehicle runs a red light and hits you, then the court may find that speeding made you 20 percent at fault while running a red light made the other party 80 percent at fault. By seeking $10,000 through a lawsuit, for instance, the maximum you would be able to recover would be $8,000 (a reduction of the total lawsuit by your contribution of fault).

Filing a Lawsuit in West Virginia

Whether injured in a car accident caused by someone else’s carelessness or harmed by a negligent staff at a Charleston WV nursing home, a personal injury lawsuit can help you recover medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. By filing a complaint in the county where you were injured or where the incident took place, you can start the personal injury process. The individual accused in the complaint (the at-fault individual) has 30 days to file a response. One of the next stages, as the lawsuit moves through the court, is the “discovery” phase. This phase includes requests for medical records, documentation, and witness lists.

Personal injury lawsuits rarely go to trial and the vast majority are settled out of court, but it’s always essential to have an experienced and knowledgeable Charleston WV personal injury attorney who can guide you through this process, maximize the evidence showing fault, and vigorously litigate or negotiate on your behalf.

If you feel that you have a case and have questions, call the Love Law Firm today for a confidential and FREE consultation. You can reach us at (304) 344-5683, email or by filling out our online form by clicking here.

Who Pays For Injuries in a West Virginia Car Accident?

In a perfect world, getting payment for your injuries after a car accident would be simple: someone else crashes into your vehicle and pays for the accident and your injuries. Indeed, West Virginia insurance laws don’t function like this, and knowing who actually pays for your injuries in a car accident can be quite complicated.

Charleston WV Car Accident Insurance & Liability | Love Law Firm

In this post, we’ll discuss some of the specifics of West Virginia insurance and personal injury law, helping you understand these complicated (and very important) issues. Whether in Charleston WV or the surrounding areas, contact Charleston WV personal injury attorney Charles M. Love today if you were injured in an accident. With years of experience helping people just like you, attorney Charles Love will fight for a full and fair financial recovery of damages incurred in the accident.

For a free consultation with the Love Law Firm in Charleston WV, call our downtown office at (304) 344-5683.

West Virginia Car Insurance Requirements

Because the average person cannot shell out tens of thousands of dollars to pay for your medical expenses and vehicle damage after a car accident, every driver in West Virginia is required to have car insurance. As a result, all drivers must have the minimum amount of insurance, which includes:

  • Bodily Injury Liability — $20,000 per person or $40,000 per accident for accident-related injuries
  • Property Damage Liability — $10,000 per accident
  • Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury — $20,000 per person or $40,000 per accident for accident-related injuries
  • Uninsured Motorist Property Damage — $10,000 per accident
  • Underinsured Motorist Bodily Injury — $20,000 per person or $40,000 per accident for accident-related injuries

The West Virginia Comparative Fault System

West Virginia follows a legal doctrine known as comparative fault, which essentially means that both parties are assigned a percentage of fault for an accident. For example, if you driving and eating a hamburger (having only one hand on the wheel) and a drunk driver runs a stop sign, the West Virginia courts may see the accident as 90-percent fault for the other driver and 10-percent fault for yourself. This allocation of fault affects the total settlement amount that you are able to receive. This means that, if you are assigned 10-percent fault for the accident, a settlement of $10,000 would be reduced by your percentage of fault (10%), putting the maximum recovery at $9,000.

After an accident, after you have been examined by a medical professional, and after speaking with your insurance company and ensuring that a police report is filed, the insurance companies will review the evidence and assign fault. This is usually not ideal because many insurance adjusters fail to provide a full and fair compensation for damages now and in the future. Generally, you have three options for recovering damages, including:

  • File a “first-party” claim with your own insurance company
  • File a “third-party” claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company
  • File a lawsuit against the at-fault driver

An attorney will be a critical factor in every stage of the recovery process, and it’s important to call an experienced car accident lawyer after you have been examined by a doctor.

First and Third Party Accident Claims in West Virginia

Knowing the best option for recovering damages after a car accident can be stressful and frustrating, as negotiating with insurance adjusters and ensuring a full and fair settlement can be fairly complex, especially when it seems that neither insurance company has your interests at heart.

A first-party accident claim is the most common way that people deal with an accident. With this option, you’ll file a claim with your insurance company and they’ll start working on getting you a settlement, which includes working with the at-fault driver’s insurance provider. A third-party accident claim, on the other hand, is often a better option when the total damages exceed your own policy limits. For a third-party claim in West Virginia, you’ll need to send a letter to the at-fault driver’s insurance company; an attorney can also send this letter on your behalf.

When either side can’t agree on how much your settlement should be worth, or if the insurance companies try to deny your claim, sometimes the best option is to file a lawsuit in West Virginia civil courts. With the help of your personal injury attorney who’s experienced in car accident claims, you’ll need to present strong evidence to the courts, which can include eyewitness testimony and the police’s official car accident report.

Call Charleston WV Car Accident Attorney Charles Love

So, you have a few options for recovering damages after a car accident. Until your case is resolved, however, there are also other ways to pay for your medical bills. For instance, your auto insurance may have a limited amount of coverage, known as Medical Pay coverage in West Virginia. Other options include:

  • Medical coverage through your employer or a private plan
  • Medicaid or Medicare
  • Some doctors will provide care in exchange for a lien on your personal injury award or settlement

If you feel that you have a case and have questions, call the Love Law Firm today for a confidential and FREE consultation. You can reach us at (304) 344-5683, email or by filling out our online form by clicking here.

Top 5 Reasons for Filing an Employment Discrimination Lawsuit in Charleston WV

If you strongly suspect that you’re being discriminated against because of your race, national origin, color, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender, religion, pregnancy status, or other protected classes under Title VII and the West Virginia Human Rights Act, then deciding whether or not to file an employment discrimination lawsuit can be an incredibly difficult decision to make.

However, it’s also a very important decision, because when your rights are being violated, filing a discrimination lawsuit may be one of the best solutions available.

5 Reasons for an Employment Discrimination Lawsuit | Charleston WV

At the Love Law Firm in Charleston WV, founding attorney Charles M. Love has extensive experience representing individuals in employment discrimination cases. We will carefully listen to your case, conduct diligent investigations building evidence and contacting witnesses, and aggressively, yet professionally, represent your interests in West Virginia courts.

Although it is true that not every employee should pursue litigation, you may have a valid claim that requires the experience of a prominent attorney. To speak with attorney Love, call the Love Law Firm today at (304) 344 5683.

In the meantime, continue reading below to discover the top 5 reasons for filing an employment discrimination lawsuit in Charleston WV.

1. Unwelcome Sexual Advances

Unwelcome sexual advances constitute the most common type of workplace harassment and employment discrimination. Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, a sex discrimination claim can include unwelcome sexual advances from a co-worker, supervisor, or manager. With the help of a competent lawyer experienced in sexual discrimination and harassment cases, you can file the charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Following the initial claim, the EEOC will investigate the case, and if you have a valid claim, the EEOC will issue a notice of right to sue.

Quid pro quo sexual harassment and hostile work environment claims typically have a certain set of requirements that must be met; employees must prove that the sexual advances were unwelcome or nonconsensual. Depending on the unique circumstances of the claim, the employee must also show that sex (or other sexual activities) was either an implicit or explicit condition of employment, or that the unwanted sexual harassment created a hostile work environment that prevented the employee from performing his/her duties.

2. The Employer is Repeatedly Avoiding Promotions or Pay Raises

Not getting that promotion or pay raise is certainly not enough to constitute a discrimination lawsuit. Unfortunately, some individuals misinterpret a lost promotion or pay raise as discrimination, and as an employer rights protection, the employee needs to prove that the missed promotion or pay rise was based on the employee’s protected class.

Nevertheless, promotions and compensation are two employment areas expressly covered in Title VII, and when protected individuals are discriminated against in these two areas, the victim may have a lawsuit. To prove to the courts that discrimination influenced the employer’s decision, the employee should show that he/she was qualified, suffered adverse treatment, and that the employer continued to promote or compensate others after having failed to do so with the aggrieved employee.

3. You’re Over 40 and You Were Fired

Age discrimination is a very common type of discrimination that occurs in Charleston WV workplaces. This is mostly due to an aging population coupled with the “idea” that older workers are a nuisance for employers. As such, employers may fire, demote, or transfer older workers when the younger employees are seen as “more valuable” or “capable.”

As you can guess, age discrimination is a violation of both Title VII and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA). An employer cannot make employment-related decisions based on the individual’s age, and the employer cannot force an employee over 40 to retire or resign simply because of age.

4. Your Employer is Retaliating Against You for Speaking Out

Reporting an instance of discrimination is definitely brave. This is because some employers may retaliate against an employee for filing a discrimination claim, whether with the HR department or an outside organization, such as the EEOC. Unfortunately, many cases of employment discrimination go unreported because the employee fears retaliation. However, it is critical to remember that both federal and West Virginia laws protect employees from an employer’s retaliatory acts when related to charges of discrimination.

5. The Workplace Has Become Toxic and Hostile

Instead of making an adverse employment decision based on the employee’s protected status, some employers (or workplace environments) will harass an employee, making the employee’s working life difficult while also making it difficult for the employee to do his/her job. A hostile work environment occurs when the discrimination is so severe and pervasive it interferes with the performance of job duties.

According to federal and state laws, employers have an explicit duty to respond to situations of discrimination and harassment, and if the employer doesn’t take reasonable measures to end the workplace harassment, then courts can hold that employer responsible.

Start Your Employment Discrimination Lawsuit in Charleston WV

Charleston WV employment law attorney Charles Love understands the “mountain” you’ll have to climb when filing a claim based on discrimination in the workplace, and for this reason, we’ll stand alongside you every step of the legal process. We offer experience-based legal counsel and aggressive, yet professional, representation with the goal of holding the responsible individual(s) accountable. For a free, no-obligation consultation with attorney Love, call our Charleston WV law firm today at (304) 344 5683.

Racial Discrimination in the Workplace in Charleston WV

Even though it’s 2017, it would be extremely naive to say that racial discrimination in the workplace doesn’t exist. Right here in Charleston, WV, which isn’t one of the most racially diverse places to begin with, racial discrimination has occurred and still occurs to this day.

In addition to racial discrimination being illegal under both federal and state law, it can have a dramatically adverse effect on the Charleston WV community, its businesses, and the general socio-economic life in this city.

Workplace Racial Discrimination Attorney Charleston WV | Love Law

At the Love Law Firm, we are firm advocates for equality in the workplace, and with Charleston WV employment law and discrimination attorney Charles Love at the helm of our law firm, we have the in-court experience and legal resources necessary to help victims of racial discrimination bring a comprehensive lawsuit to West Virginia courts.

If you or a loved one was discriminated against in any aspect of the workplace, from hiring/firing to benefits and opportunities, call Charleston WV racial discrimination attorney Charles Love at (304) 344-5683.

Federal Anti-Discrimination Laws

Racial discrimination in the workplace is illegal in the United States, and there are some very specific laws detailing what constitutes racial discrimination. The main federal laws addressing racial discrimination in the workplace are included under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. According to Title VII, employers in West Virginia cannot:

  • Fail or refuse to hire an individual based on his/her race
  • Fire or discipline an employee based on his/her race
  • Pay an employee less or provide fewer benefits based on his/her race
  • Fail to provide benefits, promotions, or other opportunities to an employee based on his/her race
  • Improperly classify or segregate employees or applicants based on race

Title VII covers all private employers, state and local governments, and educational institutions that employ 15 or more individuals. The federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) enforces anti-discrimination laws.

West Virginia Anti-Discrimination Laws

In addition to the federal anti-discrimination laws, the State of West Virginia doesn’t sit on the sidelines when it comes to tackling racial discrimination in the workplace. For instance, the West Virginia Human Rights Act makes it illegal for an employer to discriminate on the basis of race.

This West Virginia law applies to all private employers that employ 12 or more individuals. The West Virginia Human Rights Commission enforces this law, and when filing a racial discrimination complaint, the closest office is right here in Charleston:

1321 Plaza East, Suite 108A
Charleston, WV 25301
Phone: (304) 558-2616
Toll-free: (888) 676-5546
Fax: (304) 558-0085

Examples of Racial Discrimination in the Workplace

Even if you understand the laws, it is still helpful to understand what racial discrimination might look like, as it can be both painfully obvious and incredibly subtle. In general, however, discrimination can take several different forms, including direct discrimination, indirect discrimination, racial harassment, and retaliation.

  • Direct discrimination — Usually, direct discrimination occurs when the employer explicitly makes a discriminatory comment.
    • For instance, a person of Asian ethnicity applies to work as a receptionist at a Charleston WV car dealership. The location of the business is in a predominately white area, and when the Asian applicant applies for the job, he/she is told, “You wouldn’t fit in here.” A white person with similar skills and experience is hired instead.
  • Indirect discrimination — This can occur when a rule or policy set by an employer places people from certain racial backgrounds at a substantial disadvantage.
    • For instance, a Mexican national living in the US applies for a job where the qualifications include a native English speaker. The Mexican national is bilingual and meets all the qualifications, but after an interview, he/she is rejected as a non-native English speaker.
  • Racial harassment — This includes overtly insulting remarks or behavior, as well as unwanted conduct related to the employee’s race, especially when it violates their dignity or creates an offensive environment.

When making a complaint about racial discrimination, it’s also important to remember that employer retaliation is also against the law.

Exceptions to Anti-Discrimination Laws

It is important to note that both the federal and the state racial discrimination laws have their inherent limitations. For instance, an isolated event might not render an employer liable for discrimination. Additionally, in very specific circumstances, discrimination in favor of a particular racial group may be permitted as a special measure, such as hiring only Syrians to help out with a project involving Syrian refugees.

It is also lawful for an employer to hire only people of a certain race if it is necessary to maintain authenticity or credibility in dramatic, artistic, entertainment, photographic or modeling performance or similar work.

Stop Discrimination By Calling Attorney Love

One of the best ways to stop discrimination in Charleston WV workplaces is to hold the responsible individuals accountable for their actions. By calling the Love Law Firm regarding racial discrimination in the workplace, attorney Charles Love will carefully listen to your case, build evidence and contact witnesses, and represent your interests along every step of the way.

For a free consultation with attorney Love, call the Love Law Firm in Charleston WV today at (304) 344-5683.

Workplace Racial Discrimination Attorney Charleston WV | Love Law

Elderly Physical Abuse Signs in Charleston WV Nursing Homes

As one of the leading elderly physical abuse attorneys in West Virginia nursing homes, we at the Love Law Firm are, nonetheless, devastated when we come across a client who has been physically abused or a family member of an elder being physically abused in his/her nursing home.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, elderly physical abuse is a form of maltreatment subject to liability and compensation for victims and their families. Additionally, physical abuse can affect victims of any age and may be repetitive or a singular incident.

Elderly Physical Abuse Signs | Charleston WV Nursing Home Attorney

Some harrowing facts about nursing home abuse include:

  • One out of three residents report that they have been abused
  • 95% of residents report that they have seen other residents abused
  • Abused senior citizens have a 300% higher risk of death

Due to the nature of nursing homes and assisted living facilities, elderly physical abuse can be difficult to identify. However, by understanding elderly physical abuse in nursing homes, and the warning signs to look out for, you and nursing home attorney Charles M. Love can fight in West Virginia courts to hold the responsible individual(s) accountable.

For a free consultation with Charleston WV attorney Charles M. Love, call the Love Law Firm today at (304) 344-5683.

Types of Elderly Physical Abuse

Elder abuse can come in many forms, and unlike financial or even emotional abuse, physical elder abuse almost always includes visible signs of abuse and/or physical harassment. Some types of elderly physical abuse can include, but are not limited to:

  • Active abuse — Easiest to observe. Some examples include pushing, slapping, punching, kicking, and pinching. By its very nature, active abuse is intentional and meant to cause injury or pain.
  • Misuse of restraints — Misusing restraints is against federal nursing home laws, but despite this, it still occurs. In cases of abuse, the dangerous use of restraints for discipline or convenience can cause injuries to the victim’s wrists and legs as well as serious injuries to the rest of the body.
  • Physical neglect — This type of abuse might not be intentional, but it is often caused by a lack of staff or resources. Some examples include not providing the necessary food, clothing, and sanitary environment that a patient needs to survive and maintain their dignity.

In nursing home settings, the most common abusers in these cases include the nursing home caregivers, visiting family members, and other residents. Nursing home caregivers may commit abuse out of frustration, but, for the most part, the abuse is due to understaffing, a lack of resources, or a lack of sufficient staff training.

On the other hand, it’s essential to remember that family members and other patients can (and have!) cause abuse. Some studies have shown that 20% of nursing home residents suffer abuse by their fellow residents.

Warning Signs of Elderly Physical Abuse

Elderly physical abuse is hard to hide, and in nursing home settings, whether the abuse was caused by caregivers, family, or other patients, it is not uncommon to find several witnesses who can testify about the abuse and identify perpetrators. Nevertheless, if you have the slightest suspicion that elderly physical abuse is occurring, then you should keep watch for the following warning signs:

  • Medical staff refuses to leave patient alone with family
  • Unexplained injuries and recurring injuries
  • Physical signs of restraint such as bruises and abrasions
  • Malnutrition, dehydration, and sudden weight loss

If you’re a family member, for example, and you see some of these warning signs, you should immediately talk with the staff. However, remember that you do have a range of options, and if you feel that your loved one is in danger, pull them out and contact the authorities ASAP.

Call Charleston WV Nursing Home Attorney Charles Love

Speaking out against elderly physical abuse in West Virginia nursing homes can help all elders and their families across the state, as lawsuits and successful cases can help deter future instances of abuse. As nursing home negligence lawyers in Charleston WV, we’re prepared to take on your case, fully investigate the allegations, and represent your case in West Virginia courts.

For a free consultation with attorney Charles M. Love, call the Love Law Firm today at (304) 344-5683.

Common Causes of Nursing Home Abuse in Charleston WV

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) September 2016 fact sheet, around 1 in 10 older people experience some form of nursing home abuse every month. Whether physical, emotional, sexual, or financial, the abuse can come as an isolated incident or a repeated act, or abuse can come from a lack of appropriate action (neglect) that results in an elder’s injuries or death.

At the Love Law Firm, Charleston WV nursing home abuse attorney Charles M. Love seeks to reduce abuse in West Virginia nursing homes by providing victims and their families with expert legal counsel as well as comprehensive, aggressive, professional, and compassionate representation.

Causes of Nursing Home Abuse | Charleston WV Attorney Charles Love

Elder abuse is a public health problem, but it is severely underreported. In fact, it is estimated that only 1 in 24 cases of elder nursing home abuse are reported. The abusive acts in a nursing home can include physically restraining patients, depriving them of dignity and choice over daily affairs, intentionally providing insufficient care, over- and under-medicating and withholding medication from patients; and emotional neglect and abuse.

The causes of nursing home abuse are generally well-documented and can help prevent future instances of abuse, although it’s essential to remember that some cases of nursing home abuse can arise spontaneously and without pretext.

Causes of Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect

Elder abuse is a complex sociological and cultural problem. However, continued research on the causes of nursing home abuse and neglect can be even more important than research on prevalence, as studying the causes of nursing home abuse can indicate clues for prevention.

In general, the most common perpetrators of nursing home abuse include the staff and caregivers, the victim’s own family members, and other residents. With regards to abuse carried out by nursing home staff, there are some widely accepted factors, including:

  • Stressful working situations
  • Staffing shortages
  • Staff burnout (staffing shortages combined with mandatory overtime)
  • Combination of resident aggression and poor staff training

Staff shortages and insufficient training are regarded as the most potent factors that have a high risk for leading to abuse.

Preventing Abuse By Looking for Risk Factors for Elders Living in Nursing Homes

There are many different types of risk factors and that could increase the possibility of abuse and neglect, and instead of identifying elder abuse (after the cause), it can be important to be diligent and pay attention to the nursing home facility and staff. Remember, a shared-living situation where the elders are dependent on the caregivers is considered a risk factor on its own. However, you shouldn’t be concerned unless you witness or suspect some of the following circumstances:

  • Social isolation and a lack of social support
  • Depictions of the elderly as frail, weak, and dependent
  • Low standards of health care and welfare services
  • Poorly trained, remunerated, and overworked staff
  • Deficient care facilities and physical environments
  • Nursing home policies that benefit the interests of the staff as opposed to the residents

Identifying Elder Abuse & Neglect

Elder abuse can be difficult for families to accept. Nobody wants to think that abuse might be happening in their loved one’s nursing home, or that the caregivers they trusted are doing something unthinkable. Nevertheless, it’s important to always be aware of certain risk factors so that you can better identify and resolve instances of elder abuse and neglect.

To start, it’s best to consider the main categories of abuse and neglect, including:

  • Physical elder abuse — Look for bruises, unexplained injuries, or a refusal to seek medical help for injuries. Also, look for marks on the wrists and ankles that could indicate that the elder is being restrained and, after approaching staff with your concerns, dismissive reactions.
  • Emotional elder abuse — Some signs could include an elder who is unresponsive to questions, fearful or suspicious, unwilling to go to social outings, and who experiences sudden unexplained changes in behavior.
  • Financial elder abuse — Some signs could include large withdrawals, unusual ATM activity, sudden increases in credit card debt, or forged checks.
  • Sexual elder abuse — Signs of sexual elder abuse can look like a combination of physical and emotional elder abuse. Other signs can include STDs, difficulties sitting or walking, emerging PTSD symptoms, and inappropriate or unusual sexual behavior.

Causes of Nursing Home Abuse | Charleston WV Attorney Charles LoveIt is always essential to include neglect into the above-mentioned categories. Elder neglect manifests in several ways, and, in general, seniors being neglect often have poor hygiene and eating habits. Victims also may show a loss of weight, sunken eyes, pressure sores, and dirty clothes.

Call Charleston WV Nursing Home Attorney Charles M. Love

Unfortunately, as we’ve seen as Charleston WV nursing home abuse attorneys, there are no “black and white” situations. In other words, a nursing home may seem perfect, but that doesn’t change the fact that abuse and neglect could still occur.

If you suspect abuse or neglect, it’s essential to report it as soon as possible. At the Love Law Firm, we will carefully and empathetically work with you to build a strong case with the goal of holding the responsible individuals accountable for their nefarious or negligent actions. If you would like to speak with Charleston WV nursing home abuse attorney Charles Love, call the Love Law Firm today at (304) 344 5683.