Why Do I Need a Charleston, WV Motorcycle Accident Attorney?

If you’ve been riding a motorcycle for any length of time, you not only understand why people enjoy it, you also see the dangers in motorcycle riding. Most riders are careful and respectful while riding, and wear protective gear despite the perception that riders do so dangerously.

Why Do I Need a Charleston, WV Motorcycle Accident Attorney?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that while 20% of car accidents result in injuries or a fatality, 80% of motorcycle accidents have them. One estimate puts accidents with motorcycles at 11% annually. Car accident fatality rates are decreasing, but motorcycle rates are increasing. With more motorcycles on the road than ever before, your chances of an accident markedly increase.

Causes of Motorcycle Accidents

Some of the causes of accidents include:

·         Drivers who are:

  • Speeding
  • Changing lanes incorrectly
  • Turning without looking first
  • Texting while driving
  • Running through red lights
  • Smoking, eating and/or drinking while driving
  • Engaging in illegal activities behind the wheel
  • Generally not paying attention (“didn’t see him”)

·         Potholes

·         Road debris and other hazards

·         Defective roads

Any one of these risks can turn your next ride into your last one for a while.

A Motorcycle Accident Attorney Will Defend Your Rights

There’s a general presumption—both by the car-driving public and by insurance companies—that motorcycle riders are at fault for their accidents. Some drivers will tell you that motorcyclists drive “dangerous.” However, statistics tell a different story. While some motorcyclists are at fault, the majority of accidents involving motorcycles are due to automobile driver negligence.

Because motorcycles are smaller and more agile, they aren’t always as obvious to a driver—especially one not paying attention to their blind spots, or abruptly change lanes without looking. Even if you’re riding safely and following the law, you’re more vulnerable to bad driver habits and severe injuries in a crash situation.

Even a new bike can have problems. Although we believe our bike is safe, there are occasions where design flaws, substandard materials or parts or workmanship can cause an accident.

Additionally, road construction, strewn debris and other obstacles that don’t affect automobiles can be highly dangerous to a motorcycle. Was a road incorrectly repaired, or even neglected?

All these things can contribute to a motorcycle accident. Finding out exactly what went wrong can be half the battle. If it indeed wasn’t your fault, how will you prove it?

Beware of Insurance Companies

Even if you have some of the best motorcycle insurance available, understand that your insurance company wants to settle your claim quickly. They’re not concerned for your welfare. If you settle with them quickly, you will probably not have enough money to recover, or repair your bike. An investigation may not find in your favor (remember that bias against motorcyclists) and you could end up with less than you need, or even nothing.

Insurance companies act quickly to minimize payouts, conquer evidence and find ways to deny claims. With a two-year window of time to file (called the “statute of limitations”), your insurer may try to drag the case out so that your time runs out.  Having an attorney that can work for you to deal with insurers will help protect your rights, your interests, and get the compensation you deserve.

Charleston’s Motorcycle Accident Attorneys

We hope you’re never involved in a motorcycle accident. It’s usually a lot worse—and more expensive—than a car accident. We understand the difference, and the intricacies of these cases. With experience handling motorcycle accidents, we’ll fight for your compensation. We can take care of insurance companies, the courts, and the rest of your case so you can heal.

The Love Law Firm is ready to help you through a motorcycle accident. Call us today at 304-344-5683, or use our online contact form to schedule your appointment with one of our attorneys. We’ll discuss your case with you, explain your options and what to expect in an accident settlement. Our contingency fee arrangement means that if we don’t win your case, you won’t owe us a fee.

5 Things to Know Before Calling a Charleston, WV Car Accident Lawyer

After a car accident, you’re dealing with a number of different things. Car repairs. Medical appointments. Missed work. Insurance claims. Lots of paperwork and forms. All while you’re trying to heal yourself and get back on your feet.

Insurance companies don’t care what you need—they want your case settled and off their books quickly. Give in, and you’ll lose out on compensation you need to heal.

5 things to know before you call a Charleston, WV car accident lawyer

You may be thinking it’s time to find a lawyer to help you through the difficult process of the aftermath of a car accident. Before you pick up the phone, here are a few things you should know.

·         Have all the accident information available—to get started, you’ll need the relevant information from your car accident: the time, date, the location, the other parties involved, their insurance company and any injuries sustained. You should also have:

  • Related medical bills
  • Information on injuries, including pictures
  • Police report
  • Photographs of the accident scene (if you’re able; most cell phones now have full camera functionality)
  • Names and contact info for any witnesses
  • Road hazards that could have contributed to the accident
  • How much work and/or wages you’ve missed due to the accident
  • Your auto insurance policy
  • Any possible automotive defects that could have contributed to your accident
  • Any other evidence you may have that’s relevant

Assembling this information before you call and hire an attorney will give him or her a good start on your case.

·         Be aware of the time constraints—West Virginia allows two years to file your claim for most cases. Known as the “statute of limitations,” if you wait until the end of the two years to get started, you may run out of time. The first ninety days after an accident are crucial for gathering important evidence and building your case. Hiring an attorney soon after your accident can help preserve important evidence as well.

·         Comparative Fault—West Virginia is one of the states that uses “comparative fault” when dealing with accidents. This means that if you’re found to be partly responsible for your car accident, your settlement could be reduced. For instance, if you were texting while you were driving, but weren’t a primary cause of the accident, you could be assigned 25% of the fault, reducing your settlement by 25%. If your settlement is $10,000, you’ll lose $2,500, bringing your settlement down to $7,500.

·         Be very cautious when talking to and dealing with insurance companies—again, insurance companies do not have your best interests in mind. Use extreme caution in what you say to an insurance company any time they call. Your call is most likely recorded, and saying the wrong thing that can be construed as admitting fault. An adjuster will work hard to use anything you say to dismiss your claim. Don’t sign anything without fully understanding what you’d be signing—you could be signing away your rights to compensation! Insurance companies have teams of lawyers working for them and against you—so it makes sense for you to be able to defend yourself. Finding the right car accident attorney at the beginning can save you from making mistakes like these.

·         Don’t pick your attorney from a TV ad—you’ve probably seen a number of ads on TV for attorneys begging you to “call today!” Sure, they talk a good game—but what about when it comes to your case? Many of the firms that advertise in heavy rotation are simply “settlement firms,” and rely heavily on bringing in new cases and getting them settled quickly. These firms may not get you the best settlement, and may even leave money on the table.

Talk To More Than One

You may not want to hire the first attorney you talk to. If you’re not sure, you can “interview” car accident attorneys before you hire one. You’ll want to find the right one, and one you can work with, so an interview works two ways. Word-of-mouth is an excellent way to find leads. But without meeting with them to discuss your case, you won’t know if you’re getting the right attorney for you.

If you’re speaking with an attorney who doesn’t adequately answer your questions, or you just don’t feel like it’s a good “fit,” don’t be afraid to keep looking. Review their websites, and find out what kind of experience they have with car accidents.

Most personal injury attorneys offer a free consultation, and will discuss your case with you with no obligation. After you’ve taken care of yourself and seen a doctor, the next person to see may be a lawyer—especially if you’ve been injured. Don’t wait.

Charleston’s Car Accident Attorney

The days after a car accident are filled with anxiety, confusion and a lot of quick decision making. Don’t risk making a wrong decision for your life and your future.

The Love Law Firm is ready to help. Call us today at 304-344-5683, or use our online contact form to schedule your appointment with one of our attorneys. We’ll discuss your case with you, explain your options and what to expect in an accident settlement. Our contingency fee arrangement means that if we don’t win your case, you won’t owe us a fee.

Charleston Premises Liability 101: What Property Owners Should Know

If you spend any time with managers or owners of businesses who do business with the public, there’s one phrase you’re likely to hear at least once, in one form or another: “I just don’t want a lawsuit.”

As a property owner, manager or responsible employee, you’re probably aware that keeping your home or business safe for your employees, family, as well as guests and customers, is extremely important. But it’s more than just that.

Charleston Premises Liability 101: What Property Owners Should Know

What Is Premises Liability?

It’s the area of personal injury law that covers accidents and injuries that happen on someone else’s property, usually (but not always) a business. As a property owner or manager, you have a “duty of care” to provide a safe place for anyone who enters. Once you are made aware of a danger, it’s your duty to either repair it or place warning signs around to prevent anyone from unknowingly walking over it and becoming injured.

An injured plaintiff is required to prove that the owner knew, or should have known, that the hazard existed, and failed to do anything about it. Anything from slippery floors to bad walkways to dark halls can be a hazard that causes injury.

If you have workers on the property, you are also responsible for keeping safe conditions for these workers. West Virginia recognizes two groups of people, “trespassers” and “non-trespassers,” meaning that a premises faces additional exposure to a lawsuit should anyone become injured.

Injuries

Premises liability injuries can include:

  • Slip & Fall injuries (including water leaks and snow & ice incidents)
  • Defective conditions due to inadequate maintenance (such as broken sidewalks)
  • Elevator, stair and escalator accidents
  • Toxic fumes and chemicals
  • Fires
  • Swimming pool accidents
  • Amusement park ride accidents
  • Workplace injuries
  • Insufficient premises security that leads to assault or other injuries
  • Dog bites

Open And Obvious

For many years, West Virginia had a clause called “open and obvious.” That is, someone injured by something that was obvious to everyone else could not hold a property owner/manager liable. The property owner still has a duty to warn visitors about a dangerous condition.

But in 2013, the state Supreme Court abolished “open and obvious,” with Hersch v. E-T Enterprises, Ltd. et al.  The plaintiff in the case was a shopper who fell on a staircase without a handrail, a safety violation. Because this hazard was obvious to anyone using the staircase, the plaintiff was barred from filing suit. The majority of the court disagreed, because despite the missing handrail being “obvious,” it still didn’t preclude the owner or manager from remedying the condition.

The state legislature reversed this in 2015 with Senate Bill 13, and Governor Tomblin signed it into law. The Code of West Virginia §55-7-27 reinstates “open and obvious,” and reads in part:

(a) A possessor of real property, including an owner, lessee or other lawful occupant, owes no duty of care to protect others against dangers that are open, obvious, reasonably apparent or as well known to the person injured as they are to the owner or occupant, and shall not be held liable for civil damages for any injuries sustained as a result of such dangers.

As a property owner/manager, you are still liable for a danger that you are aware of that isn’t obvious to a guest or visitor, as well as a condition that is clear to anyone who passes near it. But a party who ignores a danger may also be barred from suing or have any settlement reduced due to comparative negligence.

Statute of Limitations

West Virginia gives plaintiffs two years to file a claim. After that period, with rare exception, most lawsuits will be thrown out.

Premises Liability Defense?

The Love Law Firm is Charleston, West Virginia’s personal injury law firm with extensive experience handling premises liability cases. Call us today at 304-344-5683 and schedule your free consultation. There’s no charge for the first visit, and our contingency fee arrangement means you won’t pay unless we win your case and recover money for you.

So You Had A Mining Accident? You Have A Legal Recourse In Charleston, WV

If you work in coal mining in West Virginia, you’re one of over 52,000 people who work in the industry. Even more, employees are indirectly affected by coal mining. It’s one of America’s leading sources of energy, produced in 28 of West Virginia’s counties. A prominent West Virginia industry, coal mining provides the livelihood for a large number of families. Coal is also one of the safest and most abundant sources of energy at a lower cost than other forms.

So You Had A Mining Accident? You Have A Legal Recourse In Charleston, WV

Working underground is particularly dangerous, and the men and women who work in the mines put their lives on the line every day to make a living. Unfortunately, information from the US Department of Labor’s Mine Safety & Health Administration indicates that West Virginia leads the US in coal mining fatalities. (Kentucky is second.)

The Federal Mine Safety and Health Act (Mine Act) requires the U.S. Department of Labor’s Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) to conduct yearly inspections to ensure that the mines are all safe working environments for everyone.  The West Virginia’s Office of Miners’ Health, Safety and Training also oversees inspections for more than 616 mines in the state, and more than 1,700 contracting companies that work in them. When there’s an accident, these are the people whose job it is to figure out what exactly went wrong, and how to prevent it from happening again.

Accidents Happen

Many employees go to work every day and return home safely, but some are injured during the course of a workday. The injuries from coal mining accidents can be more serious than other occupational injuries because of the nature of the work. Equipment failures, insufficient lighting, poor air quality, as well as accidents and injury from a lack of safety equipment and bad environmental conditions like air quality can all contribute to a workplace accident in a coal mine.

These accidents can have devastating effects on the workers as well as their families. Lost wages, medical bills, and other continuing expenses may not all be paid by the company’s insurance. That’s when the real pain starts.

What You Can Do

If you were hurt on the job, you can file a claim for Worker’s Compensation to cover your medical bills and part of your lost wages until you’re ready to go back to work. You’ll need to talk with your HR department about filing the claim once you’re out of the hospital and able to go home.

Unfortunately, some companies put an employee’s safety behind other priorities, allowing an accident to happen. This negligence may include avoiding or denying a Worker’s Compensation claim or having an army of corporate attorneys ready to defeat a claim before it’s even filed. You may be offered a settlement that’s way below what you’ll need to cover your medical bills, rehabilitation, lost wages and other expenses.

If you’re having any trouble getting help with a coal mining injury claim, the next step is to contact an attorney who has experience with these kinds of claims.

Coal Mining Accident Representation

Sifting through contracts, accident reports, and other related documents is difficult and time-consuming. When you’re healing from an accident, you should concentrate on healing, and let someone who understands how to resolve an accident in a mine.

Chad Love has 20 years’ experience working with personal injury victims, representing miners and victims of mining accidents.  The Love Law Firm is Charleston, West Virginia’s personal injury law firm with extensive experience handling mining accident cases. Call us today at 304-344-5683 and schedule your free consultation. There’s no charge for the first visit, and our contingency fee arrangement means you won’t pay unless we win your case and recover money for you.

Charleston Premises Liability 101: What Visitors Should Know

When you visit someone’s house, a place of business, or a public venue, you don’t think about the possibility of slipping and falling. But in many places in Charleston every year, it happens—someone trips on stairs, on a broken sidewalk, on something slippery in a grocery store or falls over a trip hazard in a nightclub. Do you know what to do if you’re the next slip and fall victim?

Charleston Premises Liability 101: What Visitors Should Know

Premises Liability

The area of law that governs slip and fall cases is called “premises liability.” That is, the legal liability that the owner, manager or employee of the business on the premises bears to keep a place safe for guests and/or members of the public.

This means if you’ve suffered an injury or other damages because a property owner or other responsible individual should have either taken care of a dangerous condition but didn’t, and you were injured, you may be able to recover damages.

Get Medical Care Immediately

If you’re injured, you should see a doctor right away, even if you don’t think it’s serious. Some injuries aren’t immediately apparent, and an emergency room physician can give a solid diagnosis. If you don’t see a doctor immediately, your claim of an injury may be dismissed or reduced.

There are a number of different types of ways you could become injured in a premises liability accident:

  • Slippery floors can cause dangerous slip & fall accidents
  • Dangerous conditions at a construction site or workplace
  • Hazards in buildings, such as uneven walkways or stairs without safety railings
  • Lack of security resulting in dangers to personal safety

And so many others.

You Also Have A Responsibility For Your Own Safety

Even if a dangerous condition exists, you as a visitor have a duty to pay attention to any warning signs and abide by them. If you’re in an area where you shouldn’t be and get injured (such as an area marked “employees only”), you won’t be able to recover compensation. This is also true if you were trespassing on private property.

West Virginia also has a clause commonly called “open and obvious.”  (Code of West Virginia §55-7-27) That is, if you ignore a danger that everyone else wouldn’t, the property owner won’t be held liable. The law reads:

(a) A possessor of real property, including an owner, lessee or other lawful occupant, owes no duty of care to protect others against dangers that are open, obvious, reasonably apparent or as well known to the person injured as they are to the owner or occupant, and shall not be held liable for civil damages for any injuries sustained as a result of such dangers.

Additionally, West Virginia law also uses “comparative fault.” This means that if you bear any of the responsibility for your accident, your settlement could be reduced by the amount of responsibility you’re assigned.

You Have Two Years To File

West Virginia allows you to file a claim for two years after the date of your accident. Don’t wait too long, or you won’t be able to file. If you’ve been waiting to file, don’t—call us today.

After a serious injury due to someone else’s negligence, you need help getting back on your feet. Medical expenses lost wages, and other expenses are part of what you need to get there. Chad Love has been helping people in Charleston for over 20 years, and he’s ready to help you.

The Love Law Firm is Charleston, West Virginia’s personal injury law firm with extensive experience handling slip & fall premises liability cases. Call us today at 304-344-5683 and schedule your free consultation. There’s no charge for the first visit, and our contingency fee arrangement means you won’t pay unless we win your case and recover money for you.

What Is Nursing Home Abuse And What Legal Recourses Do I Have In Charleston, WV?

Nursing home abuse is one of the most under-reported crimes in the US and can happen anywhere, at any time. While some of the more serious cases are publicized, many crimes go unreported to either the police or in the media. Victims usually can’t fight back or defend themselves, and requests for help may be ignored completely. But in Charleston, you do have some recourse if you discover it.

What Is Nursing Home Abuse And What Legal Recourses Do I Have In Charleston, WV?

Most abuses are:

  • Physical abuse
  • Emotional/verbal abuse
  • Sexual abuse
  • Financial exploitation

Any abuse should be reported to the facility administrator, the State of West Virginia, and possibly law enforcement.

Legal Protection

Nursing home residents are protected by both federal and state laws. The Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987 is the federal law establishing a list of an individual’s rights as well as protections for nursing home residents against abuse. (An abridged description of the law is available here.)

West Virginia’s Adult Protective Services provides important information in the event you need help reporting nursing home abuse.

Much like domestic abuse victims, many nursing home abuse victims are afraid to report anything for fear of retribution when everyone is gone for the day. As a visitor, you can get up and leave, but a resident lives there full time, and can’t always help themselves. Residents with cognitive issues like dementia or Alzheimer’s may not realize they’ve been the target of abuse, or may not clearly remember details enough to explain it to you or to law enforcement.

Indications of Abuse In A Nursing Home

Changes in an individual’s living arrangement will nearly always cause some upheaval and confusion. Over time, most people settle in and get used to their new environment. But if you are seeing some of these indicators in your loved one, it might be time to do some investigation.

  • Damaged clothing, glasses or frames
  • Inability to speak around others, including employees
  • Family member never left alone, always in the presence of a facility employee
  • Suddenly uninterested in speaking with friends and relatives
  • Depression, anxiety and/or sleeplessness without a clear cause
  • Abrupt changes in appetite or mood
  • Broken bones, skin lacerations or other sudden unexplained injuries
  • Rope burns or other indications of restraint
  • Welts, bruises, black eyes or other obvious injuries in various stages of healing
  • Resident report of being hit, slapped or otherwise abused

Any of these should be reported immediately to Adult Protective Services.

Financial Abuse

Even if a nursing home resident isn’t showing any of the signs of physical abuse, financial abuse is also a possibility by both employees and family members. Signs to look for include:

  • Sudden changes in wills, powers of attorney and other important documents
  • New names on signature cards, bank accounts or other financial documents
  • Unexplained changes in banking, i.e., large withdrawals or transfers by a non-family member
  • Forged signatures
  • Missing property
  • Overdraft fees and insufficient funds in bank accounts
  • New contracts, loans or mortgages
  • Unnecessary services
  • Relatives who were uninvolved appearing to lay claim to the elder’s property or monies
  • Any other new, unusual or questionable legal and/or financial arrangements

The West Virginia Department of Health & Human Services contains a wealth of information with more on Adult Protective Services. A PDF file with a more complete list of signs of abuse and neglect is available here.

Filing A Complaint of Abuse

If you have evidence or have personally witnessed mistreatment of someone in a nursing facility in Charleston, WV, file a complaint with the state immediately. Call West Virginia’s 24/7 Health & Human Resources hotline at 800-352-6513. Take pictures and document all evidence, including injuries. Health & Human Resources Centralized Intake offers additional information on their website, and what data to have on hand when you call.

Anyone can file a complaint of abuse or neglect, but some individuals are mandated to file a report under WV Code §49-6A-2, including:

  • Childcare/foster care workers
  • Clergy members, “religious healers,” including Christian Science practitioners
  • EMTs
  • Medical, dental or mental health providers
  • Law enforcement
  • Social workers

These individuals are required to file a complaint within 48 hours as part of the Adult Protective Process. A complete list of mandated reporters is available on their website. Any individual making a report of abuse is immune from civil or criminal liability.

One More Option: Hire A Charleston, WV Nursing Home Attorney

There is a two-year window of time to file a lawsuit on behalf of your loved one. If you believe your loved one has been abused, neglected or in any way mistreated by a nursing home employee, and you can’t seem to get any answers, don’t try to manage the situation yourself. Contact The Love Law Firm today at (304) 344-5683 to schedule your free consultation with a Charleston, WV nursing home attorney. We’re ready to be an advocate for the Charleston vulnerable elderly.

Charleston Accident Attorney

The Kanawha Valley encompassing the capital city of Charleston is one of the most scenic cities in the US, situated in the Appalachian Mountains. With a population of just under 50,000, it’s a decidedly un-crowded city with one of the lowest crime rates in the US.

Charleston Accident Attorney

The state is home to several thriving industries, including:

·         Chemical manufacturing: providing more than 120,000 jobs, there are 140 chemical manufacturing companies, one of the largest areas in the world for the industry.

·         Biotechnology: including pharmaceutical companies, chemical companies, and agricultural feedstock

·         Energy: especially coal mining. The state produces about one-tenth of the nation’s coal and is a leading top interstate electricity exporter in the US. The state also has over 50 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in the Marcellus Shale rock formation.

·         Aerospace: one of the fastest growing sectors of the economy, for two reasons: one, the large group of experienced workers, and two, the abundance of primary and fabricated metal products the industry needs.

·         Automotive: companies like Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Hino Motors, Gestamp, NGK Spark Plugs and Diamond Electric are located in West Virginia. The National Research Center for Alternative Fuels, Engines, and Emissions is also located here and does research on things like fuel economy, emissions, engines, and cars. West Virginia University’s National Alternative Fuels Training Center also does research on alternative fuels and advancements for the auto industry.

Metal and lumber production are also big West Virginia industries, as well as crops and livestock. One of the first industries in Charleston was salt mining when the West Virginia Salt Brines were found beside the Kanawha River in 1806.  Charleston’s economy began to prosper and was the leading producer of salt in the world. Coal mining then became one of the state’s predominant industries.

Tourism is also a busy West Virginia industry. There are numerous attractions and historic sites, as well as art and culture. From shopping at a Farmer’s Market to hunting, fishing, and skiing, West Virginia has something for nearly everyone.

Transportation

With so much to do, there’s also the matter of getting around. Of course, you can drive, but what if you don’t?  If you’re looking to fly somewhere, Charleston has one major flight hub, Yeager Airport.  You can take Amtrak if you want to travel by rail. The Kanawha Valley Regional Transit Authority covers Charleston’s public transportation needs. And as of 2016, you can now call Uber for a car ride.

West Virginia Celebrities

Did you know that West Virginia is home to a number of well-known famous people?

·         Don Knotts, actor

·         Chuck Yeager, Air Force General, and test pilot

·         Mary Lou Retton, Olympic gymnast

·         Peter Marshall, TV Host

·         Jon McBride, NASA astronaut

Charleston’s Accident Attorney

An accident of any kind can happen anytime, anywhere. Once the initial shock is over, and you’ve moved into recovery mode, there’s a lot to deal with. Don’t try to handle everything yourself. A personal injury case requires an experienced attorney to guide you through the process and make sure you’re treated fairly and get the compensation you need.

The Love Law Firm is ready to help. Call us today at 304-344-5683, or use our online contact form to schedule your appointment with one of our attorneys. We’ll discuss your case with you, explain your options and what to expect in an accident settlement. Our contingency fee arrangement means that if we don’t win your case, you won’t owe us a fee.

Charleston Nursing Home Attorney

“Nursing home” are two words no one ever wants to hear. But in some cases, a nursing home is the best option for an aging parent (or another relative) that can’t live safely at home anymore. Whether it’s a chronic illness or an aging issue like dementia or Parkinson’s, a long-term care facility may be the best option.

Charleston Nursing Home Attorney

But once you’re faced with that decision, the next question is, “where?” How do you find the ideal nursing home to care for and protect someone?

Researching Long-Term Care

Finding and researching options is easier than it used to be. Lists like this one from US News & World Report give you a place to start. Caring.com also offers a list of nursing home facilities, some with ratings.

A Place For Mom’s website offers a search tool to help you connect with different facilities.

Choosing the Right Nursing Home

It’s more than watching an ad on TV, reading the brochures or looking at a home’s website. You need to know what really happens inside a nursing facility before you bring your loved one there and drive away.

The first place to start is checking federal, state and local information on any nursing home you’re considering.

Visiting the facilities you’re considering before admitting your loved one goes a long way in making sure it’s the safe, comforting place you hope it is. What’s the food like? If it’s unpleasant, you’ll be told that they’re “not eating.” The AARP offers ten essential questions to ask before choosing one, and this Wall Street Journal article offers additional resources and information. This US News & World Report article offers additional questions you should ask when researching nursing homes.

A Place For Mom offers this advice:

To conduct a complete investigation, seniors and their families should:

  • Tour any listed location to confirm the accuracy of the community description
  • Confirm that the community offers services that are required for the senior’s specific needs and budget
  • ·Check additional licensing and state audit information.

Diligence is important even in the highest-rated facilities. Lapses in care and other mistakes may go unreported.

Memory Care

There’s a specific genre of skilled nursing home care that’s specifically for residents with dementia, Alzheimer’s or other cognitive degeneration. Known as “memory care,” the staff is trained to work with people with cognition issues. Memory care units can be an entire facility or can be a specific wing or dormitory of an assisted living facility with dedicated 24-hour nursing care. The design and layout are created to offer a comfortable, safe environment with minimized wandering.

This doesn’t mean that residents should be restricted to their rooms—quite the opposite. Residents of memory care will still need the same kind of activity as other residents, they’ll just need more supervision to keep them safe.

Charleston’s Nursing Home Attorney

Putting your trust in someone to care for your loved one is always a difficult decision. Keeping your loved one safe, healthy and happy during a difficult time should be your primary goal. If you find that your loved one isn’t being properly cared for, or is having problems you can’t seem to resolve, don’t try to manage the situation yourself. Contact The Love Law Firm today at (304) 344-5683 to schedule your free consultation with a Charleston nursing home attorney. (You can also email us or use our convenient contact form.) We’re ready to be an advocate for our vulnerable elderly.

I Slipped And Fell While At Work. Can I Sue In Charleston, WV?

A slip and fall accident can leave you sore and embarrassed, or you can be badly injured. But what do you do if it happens at work in Charleston, West Virginia?

I Slipped And Fell While At Work. Can I Sue In Charleston, WV?

Premises Liability

Most slip and fall cases come under the legal heading called “premises liability,” and are considered personal injury cases. Companies have a duty of care to ensure that people are able to come and go safely. Generally, a slip and fall case anywhere is caused by someone’s negligence and characterized by:

·         The owner, manager, or other employee created the hazardous condition (wet floors, damaged carpet, etc.)

·         The hazardous condition was known to management, the owner, or others in charge of the facility, and should have been taken care of by them or an employee to prevent anyone from being injured, but did nothing to correct it.

·         There was willful negligence in dealing with the dangerous condition that caused your accident.

Comparative Negligence

West Virginia’s comparative negligence means that you could be held partially responsible for your accident if you were in any way careless. For instance, if you were in an area where you were not authorized to be, not paying attention to where you were going, or bypassed signs warning you away from a hazardous area, you may be assigned a percentage of fault.

For instance, if you were not paying attention at the time of the accident, you may be assigned 25% of the fault, with your company bearing the other 75% of your accident fault. That means if you were to receive a settlement of $50,000, your settlement would be reduced by 25%, leaving you with a settlement of $37,500.

Statute of Limitations

West Virginia Code section 55-2-12  allows a two-year period from the date of a slip-and-fall accident to file your claim, and a suit if necessary. If your suit isn’t filed by that time, your case will be dismissed.

You will also have to decide whether or not it would be in your best interest to sue your employer for personal injury.

Should You File Worker’s Compensation Instead?

Workers Comp generally covers job-related injuries that occurred in the regular course of employment. Even if you’re on the premises, you may still be covered by Worker’s Compensation—depending on what you were doing. If you’re eligible and chose to use it, you won’t have to prove negligence, only that it was work-related.

A lot of it will depend on the facts of your case:

•              Were you working, on your way into or out of work? (Parking lot, locker room, cafeteria, etc.)

•              Were you on the premises for a work-related reason but not actually working (i.e., mandatory training)?

•              Were you clocked out but still at the facility without a valid reason (i.e., socializing after hours?)

These will be determining factors into whether you’ll utilize Worker’s Compensation or have the opportunity to file a claim and/or lawsuit.

Injured? Call Us

The Love Law Firm is Charleston, West Virginia’s leading personal injury law firm with extensive experience handling slips & falls and premises liability cases. Call us today at 304-344-5683 and schedule your free consultation. Our contingency fee arrangement means you won’t pay unless we win your case.

What does a Charleston, WV Car Accident Lawyer Cost? Can I Really Afford One?

If you’ve been in a car accident, you’re probably reading this wondering how to get a lawyer in West Virginia to represent you. And more importantly, what does it cost?

What does a Charleston, WV Car Accident Lawyer Cost? Can I Really Afford One?

It’s difficult to put an exact dollar amount on the question since every case is different. One case may net a huge settlement, while another case that looks similar may lose. Everything is in the details of the case.

Lawyers may employ a few different types of fee schedules. Before you agree to be represented by one, ask which one you’ll be agreeing to before you sign anything. A car accident is bad enough—you don’t need any more surprises! Make sure you understand how your lawyer will be paid at the outset of your case.

Hourly

This is where you literally pay your lawyer (and/or the law office staff) for each hour they work on your car accident case. Known as “billable hours,” it’s the actual time spent working on your case. You will generally receive a statement, invoice or some other type of documentation indicating how much work has been done in your case.

If you agree to an hourly fee arrangement, you’ll also need to ask if you will be responsible for paying these invoices every month. Many lawyers do require it, but again, you must specifically ask.

Flat Fee

If you’ve ever asked for an estimate on a home improvement project, or to have work done on your car, you’re familiar with this arrangement. You’ll be charged a specific amount of money to handle your case. Be aware that there may be additional charges such as court costs, filing fees, and costs to recover documentation from hospitals, doctor’s offices, and other places.

Are you going to be paying the fee upfront, and get billed for the extra charges? Will there be any additional fees taken out of your settlement? What happens if you lose your case?

Ask about these things, and what else might be required before you sign. If you agree to a flat fee arrangement, make sure you know what’s involved, and what you’ll be responsible for.

Contingency Fee Arrangement

Many lawyers who handle personal injury cases utilize this arrangement. The lawyer’s fee is a percentage on what you receive as a settlement, contingent upon winning the case. If the case is lost, you generally won’t owe a fee. Lawyers who take these types of arrangements will be choosy about which cases they pick, and they don’t generally take a case they don’t think they can win.

Modified Contingency Arrangement

This arrangement may be partly hourly or flat fee with part of the fees being contingent. Each attorney has his or her own way of doing it, so again, be sure to ask what happens if you settle, if you win, if you have to go to court, and if the case is lost.

Before You Sign

An agreement should have these elements:

·         Retainer—if you’re required to pay a deposit or a monthly fee for their services, this should be spelled out.

·         Hourly rate—rates you’ll be charged for any work done on your case, and by whom. It should also include when the invoice is due, and other associated terms.

·         Contingency fee—if your attorney uses this arrangement, everything will be detailed here.

·         Lawsuit related costs and fees—these are the out-of-pocket court fees and other associated charges that your lawyer will have to pay to work on your case. You may be required to pay these charges as they happen, or the lawyer may be reimbursed when your case settles. If you lose, you may be required to reimburse the lawyer for these charges.

·         Responsibilities—this defines who is responsible for what, (including you), which attorney and/or staff member will be working on your case, and what happens if your case requires an appeal.

Always Ask

If there is something you don’t understand, ask your attorney or their representative to make sure you know what to expect, and what’s expected of you. If an attorney proposes something that’s unclear, or that you’re not comfortable with, you’re free to decline, as long as you haven’t signed anything.

Need An Accident Lawyer? We’re Ready To Help

Do you need a car accident lawyer, but aren’t sure what to expect? Call The Love Law Firm today at (304) 344-5683 and schedule your appointment with one of our personal injury attorneys. We’ll discuss your case with you, explain your options and what to expect in a car accident injury settlement. We can offer you a free consultation, and a contingency fee arrangement to make it easier for you to afford a car accident lawyer. There’s no fee if we don’t win your case.