What Should I Do If I Suspect Abuse In A West Virginia Nursing Home?

Moving your loved one to a nursing home is never an easy decision. He or she may need daily care that you are unable to provide for them, or the care they need is beyond your capacity.

When you entrust the care of your loved one to people you don’t know, you believe they are getting the best care available. But if your loved one is having problems, are not themselves, or you think something may be wrong, it’s time to take a closer look. If you suspect abuse, call us today.

What Should I Do If I Suspect Abuse In A West Virginia Nursing Home?

West Virginia Protection For Nursing Home Residents

The state has enacted a number of laws designed to protect vulnerable people from abuse by the people they trust to care for them. West Virginia’s laws and regulations ensure an individual’s right to safety, dignity, respect, privacy, and to allow them to live comfortably in an environment that feels as much like “home” as possible.

Unfortunately, not all of the people that work in nursing homes feel the way you do about your loved one. Abuse and neglect are common in some places, and residents are unable to defend themselves against exploitation. If you suspect abuse, it’s time to take action.

Federal Law Protection

Nursing home residents are protected by state and federal law. But many are afraid to report abuse, because they fear retribution on some level. Since a resident lives there 24/7, it wouldn’t be difficult  for someone to cause harm when “nobody’s looking.” This is particularly true of residents who have Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia, who may have trouble remembering things.

The Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987 is a federal law that establishes protections for nursing home residents against abuse, as well as a list of individual rights. A condensed description of the law is available here.

West Virginia’s Adult Protective Services has additional information here.

Signs of Nursing Home Abuse

There are different types of abuses that may be inflicted on a nursing home resident, including:

  • Physical abuse
  • Verbal or Emotional Abuse
  • Sexual Abuse
  • Financial Exploitation

More Subtle Signs

Sometimes, abuse symptoms are visible: bruises, bedsores, an abrupt change in personality, and injuries from the use of restraints (which is prohibited by law without the resident’s express permission for their use.) But other, less apparent signs may include:

  • Changes in mood or appetite
  • Sleeplessness, anxiety and/or depression without warning
  • A sudden desire not to speak to family or friends
  • Resident never being left alone in the presence of family members
  • Unable to speak around others, particularly employees
  • Damaged clothing
  • Other unexplained injuries, such as broken bones or skin injuries

If your loved one has any one of these signs, contact one of our elder abuse attorneys and schedule your free consultation to discuss your case.

If You Have Proof Of Or Have Witnessed Abuse

The first thing you must do is call West Virginia’s 24/7 Health & Human Resources hotline at 800-352-6513 to file a complaint with the state. Document and take pictures of any evidence, including injuries. Health & Human Resources has more information on their website, with a list of information to have available when you call.

We Can Help

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, don’t wait! Contact The Love Law Firm today at (304) 344-5683 for a free consultation. We’ve helped thousands of West Virginians fight for their loved ones in nursing homes, and we’ll be happy to help you.

How Can I Detect Financial Abuse In A West Virginia Nursing Home?

If you’ve made the difficult decision to put a loved one in a nursing home, you’re entrusting their everything to the staff and doctors who are providing care. It’s common for patients to become friendly with staffers, and even to treat them as they would family members. But despite available protections, nursing home residents are frequent and easy targets for financial abuse, and may not even realize they are being targeted. If you believe your loved one is the victim of financial abuse in a nursing home, contact The Love Law Firm today. We may be able to help.

How Can I Detect Financial Abuse In A West Virginia Nursing Home?

Vulnerable Victims

Elder abuse is notoriously under-reported, partly by the victims, who frequently fear retribution. Research estimates that 1 in 10 Americans over the age of 60 have suffered some kind of elder abuse. Nursing home patients are already at a disadvantage because they are bedridden, and may be convalescing after surgery or a serious illness. Elderly residents may be overly trusting, or may have a degenerative neurological condition such as Alzheimer’s. These patients may not remember details, or are completely unaware that they have been victimized. Unscrupulous family members, caregivers  and nursing home employees who have day-to-day contact with the residents can target these individuals by preying upon their trusting nature and occasional forgetfulness.

If you suspect your loved one is the victim of abuse, pay attention to anything unusual, and ask questions. You can fight back against someone taking advantage of your loved one.

Watch For Unusual Activity

MarketWatch reports that about 17% of elderly people have reported being scammed, and the average victim of elder abuse loses about $120,000.  Banks are increasingly using high-tech methods to help prevent financial abuse of seniors, but it can still happen.

If you don’t see your loved one very often, it may be difficult to see that something may be wrong. (This is also true of physical and other types of abuse.) Visiting frequently, particularly by multiple family members, offers more opportunity to see something that’s “off.” Are you allowed to be alone with your loved one, or is there an overly-protective staffer lurking to overhear what’s being said? Is a distant family member suddenly visiting and friendly with your loved one? Are they suddenly being protective of their financial accounts, or don’t want to talk about money? Don’t be afraid to ask questions.

Signs of nursing home financial abuse include:

  • Alterations in wills, trusts and deeds
  • New contracts, mortgages or loans
  • New co-signers on bank accounts, with frequent withdrawals
  • Activity in previously dormant bank accounts
  • Changes of address
  • Cashing a resident’s check without permission
  • Sudden insufficient funds and/or overdraft  fees on bank accounts
  • Updated powers of attorney (to access financial accounts)
  • Missing possessions (particularly valuable ones)
  • Changes in investment accounts favoring another individual
  • Any other questionable financial and/or legal arrangements

West Virginia Protects Vulnerable Adults

Many resources are available online to help protect vulnerable elderly individuals from financial abuse. Additionally, available technologies like direct deposit and automatic bill-pay can prevent your loved one from having financial documentation in the nursing home where it can be exploited.

In 2016, the state of West Virginia added and strengthened the laws protecting elderly and vulnerable adults, with additional penalties and fines for financial abuse. House Bill #4309, introduced on 1/27/2016, and signed by the governor on 3/25/16, establishes a cause of action, adds additional penalties, and allows for attorney’s fees in financial crimes against the elderly.

We Can Help

If you believe your loved one has been financially abused in a West Virginia nursing home, we stand ready to help you defend and protect them. We can offer you a contingency fee arrangement so we can start investigating your case immediately. Don’t let another day go by where your loved one may be in trouble and need help. Call Chad at The Love Law Firm today at (304) 344 5683.

What Does “Catastrophic” Mean In West Virginia Personal Injury Law?

There are injuries, and there are injuries. Personal injury law covers a number of these, from car crashes to industrial accidents and anything else unexpected that can hurt you. But catastrophic injuries are a different and more complex class of injury altogether, frequently involving irreparable harm.

Sustained catastrophic injuries? We can help.

Catastrophic” means that your injuries are more than just broken bones or something that will eventually heal. Catastrophic injuries are ones that are  “permanent and substantial,” need extensive medical treatments and completely change your life, possibly forever. These are the types of injuries that you may never recover from, and may include:

  • Back/neck injuries
  • Blindness in one or both eyes
  • Loss of one or more limbs (amputation)
  • Spinal cord paralysis
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Paralysis
  • Burn injuries
  • Hearing loss (i.e., explosion)
  • Other serious physical impairments or occupational injury

Going forward, you may need special accommodations at home (and at work, if you can continue working.) You may not be able to work again (or at least, in your present occupation.) You may need round-the-clock medical care, at least for a while, and help with day-to-day tasks that you used to do on your own.

Long Recovery Or A Lifetime of Care

Depending on the type, catastrophic injuries may also require constant personal care, additional surgeries (including reconstructive surgery), therapy (physical, occupational, speech, language), medical transportation and other supportive accoutrements.

Who takes care of it? Without the funds to take care of yourself or your loved one, your condition can deteriorate considerably. But if you’re unable to work, how will you pay for everything?

A personal injury attorney will fight for the best settlement for you. He or she will be an advocate, helping you through each step of the process, and ensure that your case is handled properly, so you receive the settlement you need to take care of yourself (or a loved one.)

You Have Two Years

On any personal injury case, you have a two-year window (called the “statute of limitations”) to file a lawsuit to recover compensation for your injuries. While a settlement may take some time, you must file within two years of the date of the injury in order to be eligible for a settlement.

West Virginia divides compensation into two groups: economic (medical expenses, lost wages, etc.) and non-economic (“pain and suffering.”) The limit on non-economic damages for catastrophic injury is $500,000.  A personal injury attorney will review your case and advise you on what kinds of compensation you should expect to receive.

You Can’t Do This Yourself

Don’t let an bullying insurance company coerce you into taking their first settlement offer. You may not have enough money to cover your medical bills, lost wages, or other related expenses. An attorney who has experience with catastrophic injuries can not only help you win your case, but ensure that you are fairly compensated and can get the specific medical care you will need for the rest of your life. The Love Law Firm has represented Charleston victims of personal injury for over 18 years. Contact us today for a free consultation—by phone at (304) 344-5683, email or by filling out our online form.

When Should I Hire A Charleston, West Virginia Personal Injury Lawyer?

The moments after a car crash are clouded and anxious. What happened? Are you injured? Is anyone else injured? What about the car? What do you do next? In those blurry moments it can be very hard to think about what needs to be done. You might need to hire a personal injury lawyer.

You may have gone to the emergency room for an evaluation. You’ll need copies of the attending physician’s medical report, and copies of any written prescriptions for your file.

When Should I Hire A Charleston, West Virginia Personal Injury Lawyer?

If you were badly injured and still hospitalized, you may need to wait until your condition is stable enough to go home to start filing your claim. If you have someone who can make calls for you and help with administrative tasks (insurance calls, obtaining a police report, getting a rental car, etc.) enlist their help until you are well enough to do it yourself.

When you’ve sufficiently healed to leave the hospital, or you’ve seen your physician to follow up after your ER visit, it’s time to file your claims and hire a personal injury lawyer.

A Personal Injury Attorney Can Help

The time to find a personal injury attorney is immediately. Start calling and interviewing personal injury attorneys as soon as possible after your accident, when you’re able to start handling things. An attorney who helped you with a previous legal matter may not be right to handle a car crash. The Love Law Firm stands ready to help with 18 years of PI experience you won’t find anywhere else.

Insurance companies don’t have your best interests at heart. They’re interested in getting your claim settled and off their books as quickly and cheaply as possible. If you accept a quick settlement, and later have problems with your car, yourself, or a loved one who was involved, you can’t go back and request more money. A skilled personal injury attorney will examine your case, review facts and evidence, and determine a fair settlement to help you get back on your feet.

Preserve All Available Evidence

This is one of the most important aspects of any legal case, but especially a car crash. Don’t expect the police report to have everything, because it may not.

If you have a smartphone, and you’re not familiar with the photo and/or video function, start learning and using them now, while you’re reading this, before you need it. If you need help, find someone who can teach you how to use it and practice often, because it will come in handy. You should take pictures and/or video of your car, the area, and any other relevant visual evidence, including witnesses. If you are at all able at the time of the accident, take pictures and video as necessary of everything you can. If you have a family member or friend available ask them to take additional pictures and video.

Assemble Your Case File

Once you’ve gathered your police report, medical records, pictures, video and audio evidence, insurance information and anything else relevant, it’s time to take these to your attorney. Keep copies of everything. Digital pictures and video can be placed on a flash drive, unless instructed otherwise.

The more information you can provide, the better. An attorney will likely request a police report as a matter of course. Additional information you can provide will help your attorney understand and build your case.

Who Was At Fault?

Your case will depend heavily on who is assigned fault in the police report. West Virginia’s Comparative Negligence system means that it may not be all the other driver’s fault. If you were using a cell phone while driving, and the other driver didn’t have enough time to respond, you could be partly responsible and a percentage of fault may be assigned. If your fault percentage is above 50%, you will not be eligible to receive a settlement.

Charleston’s Top Choice For Personal Injury Experience

You need to hire an experienced attorney for after a car accident. Charles Love and The Love Law Firm has expertly handled personal injury cases in West Virginia for over 18 years. We’d be happy to help you, too.

We can offer a contingency fee arrangement. Free consultations are available, so call today at (304) 344-5683.

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

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

getting a car accident settlement

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

West Virginia Statute of Limitations

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

you should always get a lawyer, regardless of fault

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

The answer is probably, “Yes.

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

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

Beware Of Time Limits

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

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

Who’s Fault Was It, Really?

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

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

In West Virginia, you may be awarded compensation as:

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

Auto Insurance Requirements in West Virginia

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

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

Call Love Law Firm Today

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

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

5 Car Accident Claim FAQs and Answers in Charleston WV

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

5 Car Accident Claim FAQs and Answers in Charleston WV

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

Exceptions to Car Accident Laws in West Virginia

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

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

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

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

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

2. Do I have a personal injury case?

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

3. What is negligence in a car accident case?

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

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

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

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

5. How much is my car accident claim worth?

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

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

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

Contact the Love Law Firm in Charleston WV Today!

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

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

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

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

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

Summary for Motor Vehicle Accident Emergencies

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

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

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

How to Report Your West Virginia Car Accident

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

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

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

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

Speaking to Witnesses of the Car Accident

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

Some questions to ask the witness can include:

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

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

Call the Top Car Accident Attorney Charleston WV

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Statute of Limitations for West Virginia Personal Injury Claims

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

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

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

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

Who is Liable in Your Personal Injury Claim?

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

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

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

Filing a Lawsuit in West Virginia

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

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

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

Who Pays For Injuries in a West Virginia Car Accident?

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

Charleston WV Car Accident Insurance & Liability | Love Law Firm

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

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

West Virginia Car Insurance Requirements

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

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

The West Virginia Comparative Fault System

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

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

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

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

First and Third Party Accident Claims in West Virginia

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

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

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

Call Charleston WV Car Accident Attorney Charles Love

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

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

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