West Virginia and Ohio Personal Injury Legal Topics by Jan Dils & Jim Leach
March 7th, 2014
According to a report released last year by the National Research Corporation, 88 percent of nursing home residents are satisfied overall with their facility. For families making the difficult decision to moved a loved one to a nursing home, though, it’s still important to evaluate any prospective care center diligently. If caregivers mistreat your loved one, our Charleston nursing home abuse lawyers can pursue the damages you and your family deserve.
Choosing a nursing home for an aging relative can be emotional, often requiring a great deal of faith in the professionalism and compassion of the staff. Steps you can take to vet the quality of care at a facility include:
- Making multiple visits to the nursing home, varying day and time to see the facility at all hours
- Assessing safety features, cleanliness, and other conditions
- Observing resident behavior during free time and meals, as well as interaction with staff
- Noting visible signs of nursing home abuse or neglect, such as bruising or bed sores
- Speaking with the administrator about the ratio of caregivers to residents, staff turnover, and other issues that could impact quality of care
- Contacting the long-term care ombudsman to learn more about nursing homes in the Charleston area
Once your loved one is settled, he or she should be treated with care and dignity. If members of the staff fail to provide the standard of care your family member deserves, our lawyers can begin legal action on your behalf.
To find out more about how our lawyers can help your family recover from nursing home abuse, please contact Jan Dils & Jim Leach, Attorneys at Law, PLLC, or call 1-877-526-5461 today to schedule a no-cost evaluation of your case. Our attorneys serve clients throughout the Charleston area.
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February 28th, 2014
Though they can be faithful, loyal pets, animal instinct can also cause dogs to become vicious and territorial if they feel threatened. If you were injured by a dog bite, our experienced Charleston attorneys can help you pursue restitution from the dog’s owner.
The very first thing you should do after suffering a dog bite is seek medical attention. In addition to the initial trauma of the attack, dog bites also carry the risk of infection if not treated properly by a health care professional.
Initially, your doctor will examine the wound to gauge its severity. While dog bites might break the skin, they can also cause damage to underlying tissue such as muscles, tendons, or nerves. The caregiver might apply a local anesthetic to the site of the injury to ease discomfort during the exam
After assessing the bite, treatment might entail the following steps:
- Cleaning the wound with saline solution to remove bacteria and dirt
- Review of options on closing the wound with sutures or letting it heal independently
- Surgical repair of severe skin or tissue damage, if needed
- Antibiotics prescription for one to two weeks after the attack
- Rabies vaccine, if deemed necessary
Once you’ve received treatment for your dog bites injuries, our attorneys can help you build an effective case. Please contact Jan Dils & Jim Leach, Attorneys at Law, PLLC, or call 1-877-526-5461 today to set up a no-cost review of your claim at our office near Charleston.
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February 25th, 2014
Trucking companies and truck drivers are subject to a number of federal regulations on how rigs should be loaded, maximum weight limits, and the frequency of load inspections. Failure to follow these rules can lead to devastating consequences for nearby drivers if the cargo comes loose or isn’t properly placed in the truck. Our Charleston truck accident attorneys can help you pursue the compensation you deserve for injuries sustained due to the mishandling of freight.
Along with a maximum weight limit of 80,000 pounds when fully loaded, truck drivers are required to ensure loads are secured before beginning a haul and periodically check on the load’s stability during the trip. It’s mandatory for truckers to inspect loads within the first 50 miles of a trip, followed by reexaminations every three hours or 150 miles, whichever comes first.
Improper loads make trucks dangerous for a variety of reasons, including:
- Cargo can become dislodged and collide with other vehicles, or create hazards on the road
- Imbalanced weight, potentially making the truck overturn or jackknife when turning corners
- Poorly distributed weight puts uneven pressure on brakes, which can wear them down and cause overheating
Though each case is different, multiple parties could be liable for your injuries, including the truck driver, freight company, and/or shipping company. Our attorneys will thoroughly investigate the accident and build a strong case on your behalf.
If you’ve been injured in a truck accident, please contact Jan Dils & Jim Leach, Attorneys at Law, PLLC, or call 1-877-526-5461 today to set up your no-cost consultation. Our attorneys proudly represent clients in or around Charleston, West Virginia.
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February 12th, 2014
Having to seek medical attention for a serious illness or injury is difficult enough without a doctor, nurse, or other health care professional failing to provide adequate treatment. If you or a loved one sustained injuries because of a health care provider’s reckless conduct, our Charleston medical malpractice attorneys can help you through every step in your fight for restitution.
Malpractice occurs when medical professionals fail to uphold an adequate standard of care, encompassing multiple circumstances including misdiagnosis, disregarding proper procedures, and neglecting to warn patients about potential side effects. Depending on the specific nature of your case, you might be entitled to economic damages such as:
- Medical expenses
- Long-term care costs
- Lost wages
Economic damages are compensation for injuries that have a definable dollar amount attached to them. West Virginia law places no limit on the economic damages a plaintiff can win in a medical malpractice case.
Depending on the circumstances, you might also be awarded non-economic damages. Non-economic damages can be more difficult to assign a specific monetary cost, but nonetheless cause harm to the plaintiff. Examples include:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Impaired quality of life
Though the impact on you and your family can be no less devastating, West Virginia law does cap non-economic medical malpractice damages to $250,000. If the court determines that the injuries were particularly catastrophic, such as permanent disability, disfigurement, or wrongful death, this award could be increased to $500,000.
To begin building your medical malpractice claim, please contact Jan Dils & Jim Leach, Attorneys at Law, PLLC, or call 1-877-526-5461 today to set up a no-cost review of your case. We proudly represent clients in or around Charleston.
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February 5th, 2014
February 2 through February 8 marks National Burn Awareness Week, an observance dedicated to educating people on ways to avoid becoming one of the estimated 2.4 million burn injuries Americans suffer each year. If you live in West Virginia and you sustained burn injuries because of somebody’s careless behavior, Jan Dils & Jim Leach, Attorneys at Law, can help you pursue the compensation you deserve.
The irresponsible conduct of another party can often lead to serious injuries, including burns. Our attorneys will diligently investigate the incident to determine the party or parties at fault for causing your injuries.
Personal injury claims can encompass a wide variety of cases. Depending on the nature of your burn injury case, potentially liable parties might include:
- A reckless driver who caused a car accident
- The company responsible for designing, manufacturing, or selling a defective product
- Property owners who fail to keep the premises safe, such as not installing or maintaining functional smoke detectors
- Employers who expose workers to hazardous conditions
Burn injuries often require a lengthy period of healing, and even after the initial recovery victims can suffer from ongoing pain, complications, and scarring. Depending on the circumstances of your case, you might be entitled to damages for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering, to name a few examples.
To begin building a claim for your burn injuries, please contact Jan Dils & Jim Leach, Attorneys at Law, PLLC, or call 1-877-526-5461 today to schedule your no-cost consultation. We serve clients in or around the Parkersburg, Charleston, and Morgantown areas of West Virginia.
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January 31st, 2014
Just weeks after West Virginia’s drinking water was contaminated by a chemical spill, an environmental scientist discovered formaldehyde in a water sample taken from a Charleston restaurant. If you live in Charleston and sustained injuries from exposure to a dangerous chemical, our toxic torts attorneys can evaluate your case and help you seek the compensation you deserve.
Formaldehyde is colorless but gives off a strong odor. Exposure can occur through breathing in vapors containing formaldehyde, or absorption through the skin.
Though it is used in building materials and everyday products such as adhesives and industrial cleaners, the National Toxicology Program has identified formaldehyde as a “known human carcinogen.” People exposed to the chemical for longer periods of time are more at risk for cancer.
Sensitivity to formaldehyde varies from person to person and the amount of exposure, with short-term effects including:
- Watery, burning eyes
- Burning sensation in the ears, nose and throat
- Skin irritation
If you or someone you care about sustained injuries after being exposed to a hazardous chemical, you might be eligible to recover damages through a “toxic tort” action. Toxic torts are an area of personal injury law in which someone injured because of exposure to a harmful substance can pursue restitution from the party responsible for the exposure.
To find out more about how our attorneys can assist you with your toxic torts claim, please contact Jan Dils & Jim Leach, Attorneys at Law, PLLC, or call 1-877-526-5461 today to schedule your no-cost consultation. We serve clients in or around the Charleston area.
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January 28th, 2014
The first nationwide analysis of data on fatal car crashes has concluded that drivers operating a vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) as low as .01 percent are still much more likely to be at fault in a vehicle collision than their sober counterparts. If you suffered injuries because an impaired driver made the reckless decision to get behind the wheel, our Morgantown car accident attorneys can build an effective case on your behalf.
In West Virginia, operating a vehicle with .08 percent BAC or higher is considered driving under the influence. However, according to the new study, BAC levels at even a fraction of the legal limit can significantly compromise driving ability. These findings indicate a driver could consume alcohol and then operate a car legally, but still pose a danger to themselves, their passengers, drivers and passengers in other vehicles and pedestrians.
Having a blood alcohol percentage of .08 or higher doesn’t suddenly make a driver unfit; impairment builds gradually with intoxication. Having a BAC between .02 and .05 percent, for example, still means you can legally drive, even though that blood alcohol content can diminish a driver’s:
- Reaction time
- Ability to perform multiple tasks at once
- Visual motion sensitivity
- Judgment and inhibition, potentially leading to risky behavior
Car accidents caused by drunk driving are often devastating for victims and their families. After you’ve received medical attention, our Morgantown attorneys can investigate the incident that caused your injuries and initiate legal action on behalf of you and your loved ones.
If you were injured in a car accident involving alcohol, please contact Jan Dils & Jim Leach, Attorneys at Law, PLLC, or call 1-877-526-5461 today to schedule a no-cost consultation. Our attorneys are pleased to serve clients in or around Morgantown, West Virginia.
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January 20th, 2014
The dangers of driving while intoxicated are well-known. But what happens if you get behind the wheel without a good night’s sleep? If you live in or around Parkersburg and you’ve been injured in a car accident, our skilled lawyers can help you pursue your case against the reckless driver.
Though drunk driving is dangerous, irresponsible and puts everyone in the immediate vicinity of the impaired driver’s vehicle at risk, you might be surprised to learn that drowsy driving can be similarly hazardous. For example, studies show that staying awake for 18 hours straight can result in the same mental impairment as a blood alcohol concentration of .05 percent, which is more than half the legal limit.
Both lack of sleep and alcohol diminish cognitive skills, negatively affecting the safe operation of a vehicle in similar ways. Intoxication and tiredness both impact driving by:
- Diminishing alertness
- Slowing reaction time
- Compromising judgment and decision making
Just because drunk driving is illegal and drowsy driving is not doesn’t mean a sleepy driver can’t be held liable for causing a car accident. Regardless of the condition of the other driver at the time of the crash, you might still be entitled to damages for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering and other compensation for your injuries.
If you were hurt in a car accident, please contact Jan Dils & Jim Leach, Attorneys at Law, or call 1-877-526-5461 today to schedule a no-cost evaluation of your case. Our lawyers are pleased to serve clients in or around Parkersburg, West Virginia.
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January 9th, 2014
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, drivers are three times more likely to be involved in a car crash when operating a mobile device. If you’ve been injured because a driver was paying more attention to a cell phone than the road, our Morgantown car accident attorneys can help you build a strong case and fight for the compensation you deserve.
Though many distractions can result in a driver losing focus on road conditions, nearby traffic and his/her own ability to operate a vehicle, texting while driving is one of the foremost causes of car accidents. To combat this problem, many states have introduced legislation targeting mobile phone use.
As of July 2013, West Virginia law prohibits the use of all handheld electronic communication devices when operating a motor vehicle. Fines begin at $100, and cell phone use behind the wheel is a primary offense, meaning law enforcement can pull over a distracted driver just like they could for traffic infractions such as failing to wear a seat belt or exceeding the speed limit.
Under state law, drivers of any age can be pulled over and fined for:
- Talking on the phone, except in cases of reporting an accident or other emergencies
- Checking voicemail
- Using apps and other mobile programs
No matter how well this law is enforced, some distracted drivers will still be on the road, posing a risk to themselves and their passengers, as well as people in other cars and pedestrians.
If you’ve been injured in a car accident caused by a distracted driver and you need legal representation, please contact Jan Dils & Jim Leach, Attorneys at Law, or call 1-877-526-5461 to schedule a no-cost evaluation of your case. We are proud to serve clients in or around Morgantown, West Virginia.
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December 26th, 2013
Burn injuries are among the most painful one can experience. Even minor burns can cause a great deal of physical pain, and severe burns can be life-threatening. If you have suffered burn injuries due to the careless conduct of another party, Parkersburg injury attorneys Jan Dils & Jim Leach can help you build a case and seek compensation for your injuries.
The symptoms of burn injuries are classified according to their severity:
- First-degree burns affect only the outer layer of skin (epidermis). Sunburn is a type of first-degree burn that nearly all of us have experienced. The burn area is red and very sensitive to touch, but it appears white when light pressure is applied.
- Second-degree burns injure both the epidermis and the first layer of skin below the surface (dermis). Victims of second-degree burns will experience severe redness, pain and swelling, and the skin will often blister.
- Third-degree burns penetrate as far as the layer of fat beneath the skin, as well as the hypodermis beneath. The skin will appear charred or translucent. Victims experience severe pain, and scarring is likely.
- Fourth-degree burns are the most severe, deeply penetrating the skin and compromising muscle and bone tissue. Despite the severity of the injuries, victims of these burns might feel no pain in the burn area due to substantial nerve damage
All burns are serious and require careful attention to avoid complications.
If you’ve received a burn injury because of someone else’s negligence, please contact Jan Dils & Jim Leach, Attorneys at Law, or call 1-877-526-5461 today to schedule a free consultation. Our injury attorneys proudly serve clients in or around Parkersburg, West Virginia.
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