What Questions should I Ask When Choosing a Personal Injury Attorney?

If you’ve never hired a personal injury lawyer before, you probably have a number of questions. Should you get a referral, go online and search, or pick someone from the ads on TV?

Much like hiring an employee, you should ask questions of the attorneys you are considering. Hiring a personal injury attorney may be the biggest decision you’ll make in the case.

What questions should I ask when choosing a Personal Injury attorney?

So what do you ask an attorney to assess his or her skill, ability and suitability for your accident case? Once you get past a greeting and initial pleasantries, here are some questions to get you started interviewing attorneys.

Do You Specialize In Personal Injury Cases?

Some attorneys handle a myriad of things, including personal injury. Others do nothing but personal injury. If you have a serious personal injury claim, you want an attorney who understands the complexities of personal injury and stays on top of new developments.

How Long Have You Handled Personal Injury Cases?

The more experience the attorney has in PI cases, the better your chances of a successful settlement.

Who Will Be Handling My Case?

You may interview with a partner in the law firm, but much of the work will likely be done by non-legal staff with junior attorneys attending the hearings. It’s important to ask, and also to find out who your point of contact will be when you call.

Do You Actually Try Lawsuits In Court? How Often?

Some attorneys are ready to take a case into court; others aren’t. It’s important to know who will and who won’t. Insurance companies take this very seriously and want to know who is representing you. If you hire an attorney who takes every case as a potential court case, you’ll receive a better settlement. If your attorney prefers to settle rather than go to court, you won’t receive as much.

Please Explain Your Contingency Fee Arrangement

Many attorneys will offer this, and you’ll owe a fee “contingent” upon winning the case. However, there are other expenses in a case besides an attorney’s fee. Filing fees, court costs, medical reports, expert witnesses and other costs involved in preparing your case may be billed directly to you while the case is ongoing. Other law offices may take them out of your settlement in addition to the attorney’s fees. These charges will happen win or lose. It’s important to ask so that you are not surprised with bills while you’re trying to recover from an accident.

Do Your Own Research Too

One of the best ways to research an attorney is one of the three online websites:

All three are peer-reviewed directories that will give you additional insight into an attorney you are interviewing or plan to hire.

Accident information website Enjuris offers a free PDF and additional information on interviewing and hiring a personal injury attorney.

Should you have a question about an attorney’s disciplinary history, the West Virginia State Bar also has a website.

Take Precautions Against Chasers

You may receive solicitation letters from attorneys offering to represent you immediately after your accident. They may be of the high turnover variety that will get you a “quick check” but not negotiate for your needs. If you decide to talk to one of them, always commit to due diligence before signing anything.

The Love Law Firm Is Ready To Help

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

Charleston Premises Liability 101: What Property Owners Should Know

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

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

Charleston Premises Liability 101: What Property Owners Should Know

What Is Premises Liability?

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

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

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

Injuries

Premises liability injuries can include:

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

Open And Obvious

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

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

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

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

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

Statute of Limitations

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

Premises Liability Defense?

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

Charleston Premises Liability 101: What Visitors Should Know

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

Charleston Premises Liability 101: What Visitors Should Know

Premises Liability

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

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

Get Medical Care Immediately

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

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

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

And so many others.

You Also Have A Responsibility For Your Own Safety

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

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

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

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

You Have Two Years To File

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

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

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

Settlements in West Virginia Accident Injury Cases

After a car crash, there is a lot to process—who, what, when, where and why are the most obvious questions that need an answer. Once those are answered and you’ve begun the process of filing insurance claims and maybe hiring an attorney, you’ll start to hear the word “settlements.” It’s important to understand what it means and how it affects you before you sign anything.

Settlements in West Virginia Car Accident Injury Cases

Take Care Of Yourself First

One of the first things you should do is see a doctor—whether your own or in the emergency room right after the crash. You may not have any obvious signs of injuries, but you may show symptoms later. Establishing your medical condition after the crash is important for your case. You’ll need to be as well as you can be when it’s time to speak to insurance companies and attorneys.

While you are recuperating, you may receive a call from an insurance adjuster with the other party’s company. Their job is to settle your case as quickly as possible, for the least amount of money. If you’ve been injured, your car has been damaged (or totaled) or you suffered other property damage, there are a number of costs that must be taken into consideration when discussing settlements. If you will need continuing long-term medical care, your car needs replacement, or you’ll require other compensation for the accident, those costs must be figured into the final amount.

Once your case is settled and you’ve signed all the papers, you won’t be able to go back and get any more money if you didn’t get enough the first time. A settlement should make you “whole,” or compensate you enough to where you are in relatively the same position you were in before the accident.

Settling a case can be a long time, especially if there is a large amount of money at stake. If you’re being pressured to sign settlement papers, don’t—it’s time to find a West Virginia personal injury attorney and ask for help.

Don’t Accept The “Quick Check”

Some attorneys may dazzle you with multi-million dollar judgment amounts they’ve won for previous clients. Some may suggest that they can “settle your case quickly.” But before you accept a “quick check” from an attorney, you should understand how the settlement process works. You may be signing your rights away and leaving a lot money on the table. Every case is different, so a “quick check” may not be the right way to go. An experienced personal injury attorney with car accident experience can better help you understand your case.

The Statute Of Limitations

There are time limits for filing your claim. Called the “Statute of Limitations,” West Virginia allows two years from the date of the accident to file, or you lose your right to sue (West Virginia Code section 55-2-12.) If a fatality was involved, there is also a two-year statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death claim by the deceased person’s family (West Virginia Code section 55-7-6.)  You must file within the two-year period of the date of the accident to have your claim processed and settled. A personal injury attorney can give you an idea of how long you may have to wait for a settlement. If the end date is coming up soon, it’s time to call an attorney now.

Settlements

Your settlement may not require you to go to court, but it might. Should your attorney not be able to reach a suitable agreement with the insurance company, it may become necessary to file a lawsuit.

When an agreement is reached between you (and your attorney) and the other parties (the other driver, their insurance company, and any other attorneys involved) on the dollar amount that is owed to you, then you’ll receive a settlement. At that point, your attorney will let you know how much your settlement will be, how much you owe in attorney’s fees from that settlement amount, and final amount you will receive. The settlement will include pain & suffering, loss of wages, medical expenses, and other related compensation. Depending on the severity of your injuries, this settlement may include monies for future medical expenses.

If your attorney took your case on a “contingency fee basis,” it means that they are paid a percentage of your settlement amount. He or she will advise you of their fees at that point and can answer any of your questions.

Let Us Help With Your Case

Call The Love Law Firm today at (304) 344-5683 and schedule your appointment with one of our attorneys. We’ll discuss your case with you, explain your options and what to expect in a car accident injury settlement. We offer contingency fee arrangements, and there’s no fee if we don’t win your case for you.

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.

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.

What is the “Storm In Progress Rule” and How Can It Affect My Slip & Fall Claim?

Whether heavy rain, sleet, snow, or more, hazardous conditions and weather pose an increased risk for slips and falls, as well as a myriad of other ways to be injured. Throughout West Virginia, property owners have a responsibility to protect the safety of anyone who steps on their property, even when bad weather has left a lot to clean up. As such, following a storm, property owners need to take the extra steps to ensure a safe and well-maintained property.

Storm in Progress Rule Charleston WV | Personal Injury Attorney Love

During the storm, however, property owners are not expected to put themselves at risk clearing snow or picking up fallen tree branches, among other hazardous clean-up tasks. To protect property owners from slip and fall liability during storms, West Virginia follows a “storm in progress rule.” This rule states that if the conditions are too dangerous for a property owner to maintain his/her premise, then he/she may not be liable for a slip and fall accident that occurs on the property.

If you were injured on someone’s property during or after a storm, it’s essential to speak with a Charleston WV slip and fall attorney as soon as possible. Call the Love Law Firm at (304) 344-5683. In the meantime, you can learn more about the “storm in progress rule” below.

What is the Storm in Progress Rule?

The “storm in progress” rule is fairly common in several other states, especially states in the northern parts of the United States. Furthermore, many states follow a rule where a property owner is not liable if the conditions to maintain the property are too dangerous. For instance, Section 55-7-28 of the West Virginia Code states that a property owner does not owe a duty of care to protect others when the dangers are “open, obvious, reasonably apparent or as well known to the person injured as they are to the owner or occupant.”

Imagine the following scenario:

There’s a major storm coming to Charleston, and it’s bringing heavy rains, winds, and lightning and thunder. During a break in the storm, you realized that you forgot to pick up groceries. While walking in front of the grocery store, you slip on a wet staircase and severely injure your back.

In this situation, is the grocery store liable? At first glance, it’s hard to tell. But according to the storm in progress rule, if there were heavy rain and potentially dangerous conditions, then the grocery store wouldn’t be liable for not maintaining the premises during the storm.

How the Storm in Progress Rule Can Affect Slip and Fall Claims

West Virginia’s storm in progress rule can affect a slip and fall claim in many ways. For instance, if the conditions prevent the property owner from creating a safe property, then the property owner may not even be liable for the accident and associated injuries. If this is the case, then you may not have a lawsuit.

At the same time, it is essential to understand some of the nuances of the storm in progress rule. For instance, after the storm has passed, the property owner is given a reasonable amount of time to clear hazards and make the premises safe again.

Do You Have a Case? Call Your Charleston WV Attorney Today

As you can see, slip and fall claims during a storm can be fairly complicated, and so it’s always a good idea to have a prominent and experienced personal injury attorney to help you fight for the damages that you rightfully deserve. If you live in the Charleston WV or Kanawha County area, and you were injured in a slip and fall, don’t bear the full weight of the medical expenses and other accident-related expenses yourself. Call Charleston WV slip and fall attorney Charles M. Love at (304) 344-5683 today. Free consultations are available.

The Price of Pain – How Courts Calculate the Award for Slip and Fall Cases

Injuries that result from a serious slip and fall can accumulate some hefty expenses, ranging from the medical bills to difficulties at work. When your accident and the resulting injuries occurred due to hazardous conditions on someone’s property, then you may be able to recover some of these damages by filing a personal injury lawsuit. By filing a slip and fall lawsuit, however, you need to prove that the property owner was negligent regarding hazardous conditions on his/her property.

Awards for Slips and Falls | Charleston WV Personal Injury Attorney

Calculating the award for a slip and fall case can be difficult, as every case and every venue (where you file the lawsuit) is different. However, at the Love Law Firm in Charleston, West Virginia, one of the first questions we come across is, “How much is my slip and fall claim worth?” In the following paragraphs, we’ve described some of the basic elements of the award for a slip and fall case.

In the meantime, if you’ve been injured due to the negligence or wrongdoing of another, call Charleston WV slip and fall attorney Charles M. Love today.

Medical Expenses

Imagine you’re in Charleston, and on the steps of a building in the downtown area. You slip on the edge of a step, severely injuring your back. You later discover that skateboarders have been intensely waxing the building steps, and the property owner hadn’t done anything for months to make the steps more secure.

Because the property owner was negligent in removing the hazardous conditions, and since the hazardous conditions were there for months and the property owner didn’t do anything to rectify the problem (hence, the property owner knew about the hazard), then you shouldn’t have to bear the full weight of the financial expenses alone. One of the most important financial damages in a slip and fall case is related to the medical expenses. Often, these expenses are costly, and a valid slip and fall claim is usually worth at least the value of the medical bills.

Future Medical Expenses

In addition to present medical bills, your slip and fall lawsuit should also consider the value of possible future medical bills. In the example above, the back injury may present medical challenges further down the road, such as future surgeries or doctor visits. As such, it’s essential to consider the full extent of your injuries, and how these injuries may progress over the years. An experienced personal injury attorney can help evaluate your claims and estimate a fair and reasonable amount that aims to cover future medical expenses.

Lost Wages

Aside from the medical expenses, you also need to consider your wages at work. Following the slip and fall injury, and as you’re getting better, you may not be able to go to work. This is especially true if your work demands physical activity, such as lifting. If the injury resulted in a loss of wages from work, you may be able to recover this money in your lawsuit.

A thorough personal injury lawsuit backed by a prominent attorney will also consider lost wages as an essential component of the lawsuit. In this case, your employer will likely have to verify the amount you earn and the time you missed.

Loss of Future Earning Capacity

If the injury was so severe that you are no longer capable of performing the work you once did before you were hurt, and you are unable to earn as much as you did previously, you may also litigate to recover this lost earning capacity. Generally, a vocational rehabilitation specialist (or another expert) will need to offer testimony supporting your claim, and you may have to undergo evaluations for your injuries, your occupation, and your prospects for future work.

Other Expenses

Many individuals also incur other expenses related to their injuries, such as travel expenses to and from the hospital. Other awards, such as awards for pain and suffering, may be available in the event of particularly severe injuries. Furthermore, if the injury led to a change in lifestyle—becoming paralyzed, for example, will require medical and mobility equipment at home and elsewhere—you may be able to recover damages for these expenses as well.

Contact our Charleston WV Law Office for Your Case

At the Love Law Firm in Charleston, WV, one of our main goals is to make sure that you receive a fair and reasonable award for the injury-related expenses incurred. Slip and fall attorney Charles M. Love has worked on numerous successful lawsuits in the past, and attorney Love understands many of the components involved in the lawsuit’s awards. To speak with attorney Love about your slip and fall case, and how much the case may be worth, call our Charleston WV law firm today at (304) 344-5683. Free consultations are available.