I Slipped and Fell and was Injured in a Store. What Should I Do?

Most people do their shopping without any incident. But wet or wintry weather conditions can make any shopping trip a little more adventurous. Wet floors, ice, snow, and cracked floors or sidewalks add obstacles to an already busy day. An incident where you slip in a retail establishment can lead to serious injuries if there are dangerous conditions.

I Slipped and Fell and was Injured in a Store. What Should I Do?

Many slip and falls lead to a little bruising, including the ego. But broken bones, lacerations, concussions, spinal cord injuries, and traumatic brain injuries can also come from a slip and fall accident.

Premises Liability

A slip and fall injury in a retail store comes under West Virginia’s premises liability laws. Under premises liability, the store’s owner, manager, and employees have a duty to exercise reasonable care to keep the place safe for anyone who is an “invitee.” This includes customers, employees, vendors and anyone else on the property for any legal reason. The law also concerns when a manager, owner or employee knew about the unsafe condition and had an opportunity to do something about it. Negligence is involved when someone knew about the problem but failed to remedy it.

Negligence of this duty of care can lead to conditions that can lead to conditions such as:

  • Wet or slick floors
  • Loose or missing handrails on stairs
  • Uneven or loose steps
  • Trip hazards
  • Inadequate security and dark walkways
  • Cracked or broken sidewalks
  • Holes not easily visible
  • Protruding objects in concrete

Any kind of condition that can cause a slip and fall may be negligence if someone failed to correct the condition. However, Virginia’s “open and obvious” doctrine excludes something that should have been apparent to anyone, such as signs warning off wet floors or hazardous areas where non-employees should not be walking.

After An Accident

Of course, you should immediately seek medical assistance, even if you don’t think you’re injured. Some injuries, such as soft tissue damage, may not show up immediately. If you plan to file a claim, you’ll also need medical records to back up your claim of injuries.

Keeping written timeline documentation, started right after your accident, is also helpful to keep all the details in one place.

If you have any damaged property, such as a broken watch, keep it somewhere safe for evidence later.

Use your phone’s camera to take pictures of the accident scene, and store them in Google Drive, Dropbox or another safe place. Pictures will come in handy when you speak with your attorney.

Get names and contact information from any witnesses who saw the accident.

Since video surveillance is very common in businesses, you (or your lawyer) should immediately ask the business to preserve any video taken of your accident. Many stores use video to disprove frivolous injury claims but may delete the video if they know you’re planning to file a claim. Make sure this evidence is preserved in the event you’re required to head to court.

Keep track of all your expenses, including medical expenses, lost wages and other out-of-pocket costs related to your accident.

Talk to an experienced West Virginia slip and fall personal injury attorney before speaking to anyone with any insurance company. You may unwittingly accept an unsuitable settlement, or admit fault without realizing it.

Caveat: Comparative Negligence

One defense against a slip and fall that a defendant may have is that you were at fault, or partly at fault, for your injuries. Known as “comparative negligence,” it means that you share in the responsibility for your injuries. If you’re assigned a percentage of fault in court, any settlement can be reduced by that percentage.

For instance, if you were talking on your phone and didn’t pay attention to the caution signs that warned everyone about a water spill, or walked into an employee-only area and were injured, you may be held partly responsible. If your settlement is $5,000, and the court finds that 15% is your fault, your settlement becomes $4,250.

Another factor is whether or not you were on the property legally. If you were injured while trespassing, breaking in, or otherwise should not have been there, you won’t be able to collect for your injuries.

Injured In A Slip & Fall? Call Us

The Love Law Firm is Charleston, West Virginia’s personal injury law firm with extensive experience handling slips & falls and premises liability cases. Call us today at 304-344-5683 or contact us online and schedule your free consultation. There’s no fee until we win your case, and our contingency fee arrangement means you won’t pay unless we win your case.

 

Who’s Liable If I Slip And Fall In A Restaurant?

An evening out should be enjoyable, no matter where you dine. But a slip & fall incident in a restaurant may do more than spoil a nice evening. An injury from an unseen hazard can ruin more than just dinner.

Who’s Liable If I Slip And Fall In A Restaurant?

It Can Happen Anywhere

Slipping and falling in a place like a restaurant is called “premises liability.”

Slips and falls may occur in any number of places. But restaurants are prone to slippery conditions and trip hazards due to the nature of their business. Most restaurants are conscientious of running a clean, safe establishment for employees and customers. But accidents do happen, and they may not be addressed as quickly as they should during a very busy time.

A restaurant owner (or any property owner or manager) has a legal obligation to keep their premises in a safe condition for anyone who visits or works there. They’re required to take care of any dangerous conditions as soon as possible, such as slick floors or icy sidewalks. Should a property owner/manager negligently ignore an unsafe condition, causing a preventable injury, the owner and/or the company can be held liable by the injured party for financial damages.

Partial Fault

If you are found partly at fault for your injuries, you’ll be assigned a percentage of fault, and your settlement can be reduced by that amount.

For instance, if a wet floor caused the unsafe condition that caused your slip, but you missed the warning signs because you were inebriated, you could be assigned a 10% fault for your injuries. A $10,000 settlement will be reduced by 10%, giving you a $9,000 settlement.

However, under West Virginia’s modified comparative fault rule, if you’re found to be more than 50% at fault (such as your inebriation being the reason for your slip and fall), you won’t be allowed to receive any settlement.

Open And Obvious

If you are injured by a hazard that is apparent to anyone who encounters it, but ignore the hazard and proceed anyway, you will not be able to sue under West Virginia’s Open And Obvious Doctrine. A property owner is still liable for a hazard that was unknown or not apparent, but not for something that everyone could clearly see. This prevents owners from being held liable from a patron who disregards his or her own safety and intentionally steps into harm’s way. Under this doctrine, your settlement could be reduced by the modified comparative fault rule, or eliminated altogether.

Documenting And Proving Liability

If you’ve been injured, of course, you should seek medical attention for your injuries. Tell the attending physician what happened, because a slip & fall involves specific types of injuries.

Your smartphone is your friend here–if you are able, take ample photographs of the place where you were injured (or have someone take them for you.) You’ll want to take several, particularly if there are any hazards that aren’t immediately obvious, or any dangerous conditions that were neglected. In addition to the accident scene, take pictures of your injuries as well.

Notify the owner, manager, or tenant immediately. The restaurant likely has a process for reporting accidents and injuries. If you’re asked to fill out a form or a report, get a copy of it for your records.

Keep records of everything involved with your case. This includes medical bills, doctor’s reports, any accident reports, prescriptions, insurance claims and anything else related your slip & fall accident. A file folder or accordion file stores everything in one place and will help keep you from misplacing anything. The file will help when you meet with your attorney.

Statute of Limitations

You have a two-year time frame from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit, known as the “statute of limitations.” If you don’t file within the legally allowed two-year period, you’ll lose your rights to file.

If you have insurance, you should file your claim immediately, as soon as you are able. Not all cases will require a lawsuit. If you file after the two-year period, when you can no longer file a lawsuit, you’ll have less leverage with your insurance company. They’ll be more difficult in settlement negotiations, because they know you won’t be able to sue.

Don’t Wait–Call Us Today

The Love Law Firm is West Virginia’s personal injury law firm with many years of experience handling slips and falls. Call us today at (304) 344 5683 and schedule your free consultation. There’s no fee until we win your case, and our contingency fee arrangement means you won’t pay unless we win your case.

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.

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.

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.

 

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.

 

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

 

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.

 

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

 

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.

 

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

 

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.

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.