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.

Car Accident Lawsuit With a Commercial Driver in Charleston WV

Far too often are commercial trucks, such as semis or 18-wheelers, creating dangerous conditions for other drivers in West Virginia, often near the Charleston WV area. Unfortunately, truck accidents are almost always catastrophic, resulting in serious injury or death.

Car Accident Lawsuit With a Commercial Driver in Charleston WV

Although it may seem similar to a car accident from a legal point-of-view, car accident lawsuits with commercial drivers can be very different. Whether the truck was a general shipping truck, a logging truck, a frack water truck, a mining truck, or another vehicle, you may have a case if the truck driver (or the trucking company) was negligent in driving or maintenance.

If you or a loved one was injured or killed in an accident with a commercial driver, call Charleston WV truck accident attorney Charles Love at (304) 344-5683. Free consultations are available.

Common Causes of Truck Accidents

There are four main interstates running through West Virgina (I-79, I-77, I-81, and I-68) as well as countless rural roads and highways. Although many of the larger trucks stick to the interstates, you may still find them on the rural highways and other roads. Add winter weather and curving, mountainous roads and you also have ripe conditions for accidents.

Nevertheless, it’s essential to remember that truck accidents can occur without any grounds for a lawsuit. At the same time, the driver (or other liable person) might be completely at fault. Some of the common causes of truck accidents (where negligence was involved that could lead to a lawsuit) include, but are not limited to:

  • Driver distractions, such as using a smartphone, eating or drinking, or using another distraction.
  • Speeding
  • Badly maintained brakes that led to brake failure
  • Tire failure
  • Driver fatigue, where the driver is working more hours than allowed by regulations
  • Improperly trained or incompetent driver
  • Overloaded cargo
  • Drunk or drugged driving
  • Failure to signal
  • Sudden stopping
  • Aggressive driving
  • Careless driving

Issues Unique To Large Trucks

Commercial truck drivers are required to have the proper license and adhere to local, state, and federal regulations. One such regulation is regular inspections and proper maintenance. Furthermore, all truckers in West Virginia must also comply with mandated rest breaks, avoid reckless or careless driving, and the truck cannot be overloaded. Furthermore, to cut costs and increase profits, some trucking companies pressure drivers to meet deadlines and, in some cases, speed.

Who is Liable in a Truck Accident in West Virginia

If you were in an accident with a commercial truck, one of the first questions that injured victims must ask is, “Who is responsible, or at fault for the accident?” The answer can be complicated, and it can depend on many circumstances leading up to the accident. For instance, some of the liable individuals can include:

  • The company that hired an irresponsible truck driver, such as one who has a history of accidents and/or bad driving
  • The truck manufacturer or parts maker that included defective tires or brakes, faulty straps, broken hydraulics, etc
  • The negligent truck driver

Every case is different and the process is complicated and can vary widely. In some cases, neither the truck company, the truck manufacturer, or the driver might be at fault for the accident (imagine another car that swerved, causing the truck to run into your car).

How a Charleston WV Car Accident Attorney Can Help

Every commercial truck accident case is different, and it’s always essential to contact an experienced car accident attorney to determine whether you have a case. Furthermore, an attorney can (and often will) devote extensive resources to disclose the truth, such as investigating the accident scene, obtaining police reports, and speaking with witnesses. We will also thoroughly review the facts of the case and safeguard evidence.

In your car accident claim, you and your attorney may seek compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost income and property damage, lost future earnings, and so on.

Contact the Love Law Firm for Your Case Today!

If you or a loved one was in an accident with a truck of any size or weight class, make sure to call the Love Law Firm in Charleston WV. Consultations are always available, so call today at (304) 344-5683.

Misdiagnosis: The Most Common Types of Medical Malpractice in WV

When doctors in West Virginia are treating patients, they are expected to follow standard treatment protocols while maintaining a thorough standard of care. Deviations from these standards, especially when applied negligently, can pose numerous risks for patients and could make a medical professional liable.

Misdiagnosis: The Most Common Types of Medical Malpractice in WV

With regards to medical malpractice lawsuits, the most common types of medical malpractice cases in West Virginia include misdiagnosis, diagnostic errors, and delayed diagnosis. In some of these cases, otherwise healthy individuals are forced to suffer serious consequences that could have been prevented.

For this reason, if you or a loved one was injured due to misdiagnosis or medical malpractice, make sure to get the legal help you need by contacting Charleston WV personal injury attorney Charles M. Love today.

Understanding Misdiagnosis as Medical Malpractice

Doctors and medical professionals in West Virginia and elsewhere enjoy a wide range of protections against lawsuits, and if a medical professional’s diagnosis is wrong, but he/she still followed standard procedures (that another, reasonable medical professional would have done), then you might not have a medical malpractice case. Remember, the following elements need to be present in any medical malpractice case:

  • A doctor-patient relationship existed
  • The doctor must have been negligent in connection with your diagnosis or treatment
  • The doctor caused you harm in a way that a competent doctor, under the same circumstances, would not have
  • The doctor’s negligence caused the injury

According to the National Practitioner Data Bank, diagnostic errors were the most common cause for a lawsuit and were also the most dangerous to the patient’s health. Errors in diagnosis were also most likely to result in death when compared to other types of malpractice.

What Constitutes a Misdiagnosis

The Doctors Company, a medical malpractice insurance company, conducted a study looking at 1,180 medical malpractice claims. In this study, the researchers found that more than half of all of the misdiagnosis claims stated that the medical professionals conducted inadequate assessments, delayed diagnostic tests, or failed to test properly.

Additionally, many misdiagnosis claims showed that the liable medical professionals did not conduct adequate physicals or medical histories, failed to consider clinical information, and failed to address abnormal discoveries.

A misdiagnosis can be devastating to your health, as it could leave an illness to go untreated for a number of years, doing substantial damage to your body and your health. At the same time, if your doctor starts treating you for a disease that you don’t have, you could experience the negative effects of that misguided treatment.

How Medical Misdiagnosis Can Occur

Many victims of malpractice are not certain, at first, whether or not the doctor did something wrong. Nonetheless, there are many types of diagnostic errors that can lead to a medical misdiagnosis claim, including, but not limited to:

  • Botched lab tests (contamination, testing the wrong sample, reporting the wrong results)
  • Misread test results (CT scans, X-rays, PET scans, MRIs, and blood tests)
  • Failure to order a testing follow-up
  • Misidentified symptoms

Misdiagnosis: The Most Common Types of Medical Malpractice in WV

Commonly Misdiagnosed Illnesses

Although misdiagnosis can occur with virtually any illness, there are some illnesses that are particularly susceptible to a medical malpractice lawsuit. This is mostly because the medical standards for diagnosing these illnesses are fairly clear. Also, the misdiagnosis of these illnesses can present very serious health issues to the patient. As such, these commonly misdiagnosed illnesses often include:

  • Stroke and heart attack
  • Pulmonary embolism
  • Pneumonia
  • Aspergillosis
  • Cancer
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Pregnancy-related complications

How to File a Medical Misdiagnosis Claim

If you or a loved one was injured (or killed) due to a negligent medical misdiagnosis claim, then you may have a lawsuit. However, it’s essential to speak with a skilled and experienced personal injury attorney first. Remember, these claims can be highly convoluted, and you may be litigating against the hospital’s (or another type of medical facility) own team of lawyers. In any case, if you were injured due to medical misdiagnosis, then you may be rightfully owed compensation for both the economic and non-economic losses that result.

Contact the Personal Injury Attorneys at Love Law

Medical misdiagnosis is a very serious issue, and it’s important to act quickly and resolve the misdiagnosis as soon as possible by contacting Charleston WV personal injury attorney Charles M. Love. With extensive experience in medical malpractice claims, we at the Love Law Firm will carefully listen to your claim, file the lawsuit, and vigorously litigate for your rightfully owed compensation.

For your free consultation with attorney Charles Love, call our Charleston WV law office today at (304) 344-5683.

Why Falls are the Most Common Cause of Senior Injuries & Death

According to several sources, such as the National Council on Aging (NCOA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), falls are the leading cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries for older Americans. A devastating fall can seriously threaten a senior’s safety independence while accumulating large costs and medical expenses, among others.

Why Falls are a Common Cause of Senior Injuries & Death | WV Attorney

Although falls can be a common occurrence among the elderly, there is an alarming amount of falls that could have otherwise been avoided in nursing homes. As such, when neglect or substandard conditions in a nursing home lead to an elderly’s fall and injuries, you may have a case against the nursing home. The first step is to call Charleston WV nursing home neglect attorney Charles M. Love at the Love Law Firm. We offer free consultations, and so by giving us a call, we can review the accident and the injury and determine if you have a case.

Call today at (304) 344-5683 to speak with attorney Charles Love today. In the meantime, you can learn more about falls in nursing homes below.

Facts About Falls in Nursing Homes

Whether due to a lack of strength, common conditions associated with old age, and other reasons, about one-fourth of Americans aged 65+ falls each year. Every 19 minutes, an older adult dies from a fall, while every 11 seconds, an older adult is treated in an emergency room for a fall (Source: CDC)

Taking these facts in mind, it’s important to remember that a fall could have been avoidable in certain, specific circumstances. In a nursing home, the largest single cause of preventable injury in nursing homes is due to a fall. To better understand this issue in nursing homes, we’ve included a few other facts:

  • Falls that lead to death, sometimes wrongful deaths, include approximately 1,800 nursing home residents every year.
  • A typical, 100-bed nursing home reports at least 100 to 200 falls a year.
  • Adults 65 and older are four times more likely to die of fall-related injuries if they live in a nursing home (as opposed to their own homes or their family’s homes.
  • About 10 to 20 percent of nursing home falls result in serious injuries.
  • According to the CDC, about 16 to 27 percent of nursing home falls result from environmental hazards.

It’s important to remember that these statistics are not indicators that your loved one’s fall was definitely the result of nursing home neglect. Typically, some elders in nursing homes are, on average, in poorer health than senior citizens who live in their own homes or with a loved one. This means that nursing home residents may be more prone to falling and serious injury (including death).

When a Fall Constitutes Nursing Home Neglect

Nursing home neglect is still a serious issue in West Virginia. In some cases where you or a loved one fell and was injured in a nursing home, the nursing home’s maintenance (or lack of!) and supervision, among other factors, may have produced the conditions that led to the fall and injury. For instance, federal and West Virginia law require nursing homes to complete fall risk assessments

For instance, federal and West Virginia law require nursing homes to complete fall risk assessments for every resident, which evaluates a patient’s risk for falling in order to correct problems and prevent falling. In addition to the fall risk assessment, nursing homes should implement action plans and fall prevention strategies. The resident’s care plan should include:

  • Loss of strength and balance
  • Mobility limitations
  • Medications that can cause dizziness, drowsiness, or poor reaction time
  • Dementia
  • Impaired vision

Not every fall is preventable, and not every fall is grounds for a viable personal injury lawsuit. However, a fall constitutes nursing home neglect when the care facility or one of its employees acted negligently, or failed to take standard steps to prevent a fall, then the nursing home may have been liable for the incident.

Do You Have a Case?

If any of the following occurred in the nursing home setting, and injured occurred due to a fall, then you may have a lawsuit:

  • The nursing home failed to develop adequate care plans based on an individual’s health and needs
  • The nursing home failed to regularly assess and adapt an individual’s care plan
  • The nursing home failed to provide care according to the resident’s care plan
  • The nursing home used improper care techniques
  • The nursing home hired unqualified employees
  • The nursing home failed to provide insufficient training
  • The nursing home was understaffed
  • A nursing home employee failed to follow facility protocol
  • The nursing home failed to maintain or remedy hazards, such as wet floors, inadequate lighting, and defective flooring

Why Falls are a Common Cause of Senior Injuries & Death | WV Attorney

Call the Love Law Firm Today

If you or a loved one fell in a nursing home and was injured, one of the first things that you should do (aside from caring for your loved one and making sure he/she gets the necessary medical care) is to contact a Charleston WV nursing home abuse and neglect attorney. At the Love Law Firm, we’ll carefully and compassionately listen to your case to determine if you have a possible lawsuit. By filing a lawsuit, we’ll vigorously litigate for your rightful compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, and more.

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

Signs of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect in Charleston WV

Nursing home abuse and neglect is a serious issue in West Virginia, and every so often, when opening the newspaper, you’ll come across stories of abuse and neglect right here in Charleston WV. As a nursing home abuse lawyer in Charleston WV, we at the Love Law Firm have witnessed the serious injury that some nursing home staff or others can inflict on the elderly, and we have extensive resources and vigorous litigation experience to give cases of abuse and neglect the legal standing that they need.

Signs of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect in Charleston WV | Love Law Firm

If you or a loved one has been abused or neglected in a nursing home, call Charleston WV nursing home attorney Charles Love today at (304) 344-5683. In the meantime, you can learn about the signs of nursing home abuse and neglect below.

Understanding Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect in West Virginia

Protecting the elderly from abuse is a constant endeavor that requires aggressive legal representation for victims, and by winning one case here in West Virginia, we are taking a stand against abuse and, hopefully, deterring it from happening again. According to the National Center on Elder Abuse, more than 20 percent of the US population will be older than 65 by 2020. As such, right here in Charleston, WV, it’s more crucial than ever to be vigilant about signs and symptoms of abuse.

Abuse and neglect can come in many forms, including (and you’ll find additional information on our website) physical abuse, emotional abuse, financial abuse, and sexual abuse. Additionally, abuse and neglect can just as easily come from nursing home staff as it can from residents.

Common Signs of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect

Over 3.2 million Americans live in nursing homes or other long-term care facilities. Additionally, up to 1 in 6 nursing home residents may be the victim of abuse or neglect every year. Government and police intervention can, unfortunately, be quite limited in these cases, and so many cases of abuse and neglect rely on family members, friends, staff, or the elderly themselves. As such, it’s important to know signs of abuse and what you can do about it.

Signs of Physical Abuse and Neglect

The most commonly documented physical effects of elder abuse can include:

  • Welts
  • Wounds and injuries, such as bruises, lacerations, dental problems, head injuries, broken bones, and pressure sores
  • Persistent physical pain and soreness
  • Nutrition and hydration issues
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Increased susceptibility to new illnesses
  • Exacerbation of pre-existing health conditions
  • Increased risks of premature death

Signs of Emotional Abuse

Some of the most common signs of emotional elderly abuse in nursing homes include:

  • Depression and withdrawal
  • Excessive fear and anxiety
  • Feelings of hopelessness or helplessness
  • Agitation and frustration
  • Inability to make decisions
  • Loss of interests and enthusiasm
  • Low self-esteem
  • Passivity and non-communicative behavior
  • Changes in behavior or personality

Signs of Sexual Abuse

Some of the most common signs of sexual elderly abuse in nursing homes include:

  • Unexplained STDs and infections
  • Bruises and injuries in genital areas, thighs, and breasts
  • Unexplained vaginal bleeding
  • Torn or stained clothing, sometimes covered in blood
  • Increased difficulties in walking or sitting
  • Depression and withdrawal
  • Anxiety or excessive fear around a caregiver
  • Agitation and abrupt changes in mood

Signs of Financial Abuse

Financial abuse can be difficult to spot, as it sometimes doesn’t produce any visible signs that a family or friend can see. Furthermore, elders with Alzheimers, dementia, and other mental disorders may be unaware that financial abuse is occurring. Nevertheless, some signs of financial abuse can include:

  • Significant withdrawals from accounts
  • Sudden changes in an elder’s financial condition
  • Missing items or cash
  • Suspicious changes in a will, power of attorney, titles, and policies
  • Additions of names added to a senior’s signature card
  • Unpaid bills or lack of medical care, although the elder has the ability to pay for these services
  • Financial activity that the elder couldn’t have done
  • Unnecessary goods, services, or subscriptions

In addition to these signs of financial abuse, another form of financial abuse, known as healthcare fraud and abuse, can produce the following signs:

  • Duplicate billings for the same medical service or device
  • Evidence of overmedication or undermedication
  • Evidence of inadequate care even though bills were paid in full
  • Problems with the care facility, such as poorly trained, poorly paid, or insufficient staff. Other problems can include crowding and inadequate responses to questions about care

Signs of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect in Charleston WV | Love Law Firm

Call the Love Law Firm for Legal Representation

At the first signs of nursing home abuse and neglect, you should report your concerns to an experienced attorney. Additionally, you can (and should!) report to the Adult Protective Services (APS) and/or the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program. If you believe there is an emergency, contact your local law enforcement agency. Moving forward, your attorney, such as nursing home attorney Charles Love, will play an important role in protecting the rights of you or your loved one. Through vigorous litigation in West Virginia courts, we will fight for your right to compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, and more.

Call the Love Law Firm today in Charleston WV, and we will closely and compassionately listen to your concerns. We are committed to seeking a positive outcome. For a free, no-obligation consultation with the Love Law Firm, call us today at (304) 344-5683.

Arbitration Clauses, Nursing Homes and West Virginia Long-Term Care

As early as the 1990s, nursing homes and other long-term care facilities have been writing arbitration clauses into their legal agreements. Patients and their families have felt compelled to give up their right to a legal dispute over the facility conditions, even when those conditions led to the death of a resident. Simply put, if your loved one was abused or neglected and you wanted to hire a Charleston nursing home attorney such as The Love Law Firm, to seek restitution, you were unable.

Arbitration Clauses & Nursing Home Abuse | Charleston WV Attorney

What is an Arbitration Clause?

These clauses are written into the agreements signed upon the admittance of an elder into a care facility, and state that all disputes must be resolved through an arbitration process, rather than through the court system. This may seem like a reasonable concept to write into a contract; after all, no company wants to become entangled in a big, expensive lawsuit over whether or not their facilities met the pristine standards of certain individuals. But when patients are being neglected, or care is being poorly administered, these clauses can tie the hands of justice. Nevertheless, according to the Federal Arbitration Act, an arbitration clause, once signed, “shall be valid, irrevocable, and enforceable, save upon such grounds…for the revocation of any contract.”(9 U.S.C. § 2)

Are Arbitration Clauses Legal?

Long-term care residents, their families, and those holding power of attorney, have long sought to dispute these arbitration clauses, given that they are unconscionable, or unreasonably excessive. However, in multiple court cases occurring in Ohio and Kansas, the courts upheld that these arbitration clauses were not unconscionable, further preventing any action against the care facilities. However, there is good news – new regulations added in 2015 stated that a long-term care facility cannot enter into a pre-dispute agreement with a resident or their legal representative. Additionally, these facilities may not require the signing of a binding arbitration agreement in order to be admitted.

Finally, on September 28, 2016, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services issued a new regulation, known as “the Final Rule”, that completely bans the use of binding pre-dispute arbitration agreements by long-term care facilities. After November 28, 2016, nursing homes are not allowed to even request the signing of a pre-dispute arbitration agreement. This new “Final Rule” is currently in dispute in the Supreme Court, scheduled to be discussed further February 22, 2017.

So, is Arbitration Dead?

Even assuming this legislation passes, however, nursing homes and long-term care facilities are not left entirely defenseless. Post-dispute arbitration agreements are still permissible. This allows negotiations to occur, but in a setting that does not favor either party. Additionally, agreements signed before November 28, 2016 are grandfathered into the program uncontested, allowing prior agreements to stand. This means that disgruntled individuals cannot use the Final Rule to bring suit against the care facility.

Hire A Nursing Home Abuse Attorney Before You Sign

The bottom line in this issue is that nursing homes and long-term care facilities are careful to word their contracts in ways that will benefit themselves during a dispute. Before you sign anything – especially if the word “arbitration” appears in your contract – have an experienced nursing home attorney, such as Chad Love of The Love Law Firm, review your contract to make sure it is legal and in your best interest. And don’t allow yourself to be told by any care facility that signing an arbitration clause is required for admission, because this is simply not true.

For more information, give us a call at The Love Law Firm at (304) 344 5683.

Do I Have a West Virginia Slip-and-Fall Case?

Slip and fall accidents, also known as premises liability claims, are a common type of injury lawsuit. These types of suits are caused by any number of accidents, from slipping on a wet floor to tripping over a poorly-placed drop cord, and such accidents can be handled in a number of different ways. As with most other types of suits, it is important to have the proper legal representation afforded by a well-respected Charleston slip and fall accident attorney, such as Chad Love at the Love Law Firm.

Charleston, WV Slip and Fall Injuries Attorney

What is Considered a “Slip and Fall” Case?

In West Virginia, a slip and fall injury suit is decided based on negligence and personal injury laws. These laws have several requirements. First, the owner or tenant of the building must have known about the hazard, and have been able to take more steps to prevent injury. This includes drop cords being left unsecured or standing water left unmarked. Secondly, you must have been careful while walking on a dangerous surface. For example, if you were walking on ice, you must have not been trying to slide across it or intentionally slip. Third, you must have been injured in the slip and fall accident. This includes any range of injuries from a sprained wrist or ankle to broken bones and concussions. Finally, any injuries caused by the accident must have cost you money.

Types of Slip and Fall Cases

There are two primary classifications of slip and fall cases. A Commercial Property Claim is filed when a slip and fall accident occurs on a commercial property, such as a restaurant, retail store, or other places of business. A Residential Property Claim is filed if you are injured on a rented property, where the landlord may be responsible for your injury. With either of these claims, you have up to two years to file a claim, but the sooner you file, the better off you are, since your slip and fall attorney can be sure to thoroughly discuss your case with you and file all paperwork before the deadline.

What If I am Partly to Blame?

If you are partly to blame for your slip and fall accident, you can still start your case. Often, the property owners in slip and fall cases will argue that you are partially responsible. These accusations may include claims that you were in an abnormal location of the property, you were distracted at the time of the accident, or you failed to notice clear signs of the danger, such as safety cones. Even if you are deemed partly responsible, you may still be able to receive some awarded funds for damages under the West Virginia “comparative negligence” laws. As long as you are found less than 50% responsible for the accident, you will still be awarded damages.

Seek Professional Legal Counsel Quickly

It is imperative that you find a legal representative as soon as you can after a slip and fall accident. Only a West Virginia slip and fall attorney, such as Chad Love at The Love Law Firm, is able to accurately assess the situation, recover evidence, and assess whether or not to pursue a lawsuit. Bear in mind that although two years seems like a lot of time in which to file a claim, it is not a lot of time in which to find a qualified attorney, have him or her thoroughly assess your situation, and submit all necessary paperwork while you’re also possibly going through difficult financial or medical situations resulting from your injuries.

Chad Love of the Love Law Firm has a long record of success in defending slip and fall clients and can help you get the restitution you deserve. Call us today at (304) 344-5683.