Medical Malpractice Articles

You Might Have a Case, Even if the Law Wasn’t Broken.

When a law is broken, most of the time negligence was involved. So it’s natural for people to think that’s the only way they have a case. In fact, even if the law wasn’t broken, you could still have a case.   In coal mining cases and tractor-trailer cases, you’re inevitably going to find a law or regulation that was broken and the courts allow the breaking of that law to be introduced as evidence of negligence. But there are many types of negligence where no law was broken.   For instance, if a doctor or dentist commits malpractice, it means that a standard of care was breached. In other words, the doctor failed to do what a reasonably prudent doctor in the same or similar circumstance would have done.   Negligence is violating a standard that is accepted by common law. We see it a lot in car accidents. There could be rain or snow on the road and a driver knowingly continues to drive at a dangerous pace, causing an accident.  A reasonably prudent driver would have slowed down.  This type of negligence, if we can prove it, can be used in court.   You need an experienced …

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Real Cases- Baby Girl Taken Care of for Life

When you call us at the Segal Law Firm, it’s most likely because you’re experiencing one of the most challenging times of your life. You can ease a little bit of your fear and anxiety by visiting our website and meeting our past clients. One of those clients is an eleven year-old little girl who was the victim of medical negligence when she was just a few days old.   This little baby girl was born with perfectly healthy lungs. But as a result of a surgery on her second day of life, a feeding tube was placed directly into her healthy lung and stayed there for over fifty days. Every day she had at least two x-rays and still no one caught it. There were only three x-rays that were read correctly, and even with those, no one followed up with what the radiologist was telling them.   Luckily for her, she had two very caring parents that transferred her to another hospital where a surgery was performed to save her life. Unfortunately, she lost a lung during the process. Losing a lung can cause many, many problems throughout one’s life.  We had to assemble a team of medical …

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My Loved One Just Died- How Long Do I Have to File a Case?

If your family member died due to an accident or a disease, the law in West Virginia states that you have two years from the date of the death to file a lawsuit.   Now, just because you technically have two years, it doesn’t mean you should wait that long to call us at The Segal Law Firm. The sooner you call, the better. An investigation is needed in a wrongful death case. And that takes time. Remember, the advice and the call are completely free. Why wait?   Now, there are a few exceptions. I encourage you to call even if you think your statute of limitations has run. One of the most common exceptions to the two years is what’s called the ‘discovery rule.’ It’s when you don’t find out until after your loved one has died what the actual cause of death was. The famous one we all have heard involves a patient dying because the doctor left a medical device in them during surgery. The law says you have two years from the time that you reasonably could figure out what went wrong to file a case.   I can’t stress enough how important it is …

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Do I Need a West Virginia Lawyer?

“If I’m from out of state and am hurt in West Virginia, is it necessary to have a West Virginia lawyer?” I don’t think I’d use the word ‘necessary,’ but I certainly think it’s in your best interest.   A West Virginia lawyer with the kind of experience the we have at The Segal Law Firm is going to know West Virginia law, West Virginia judges, and West Virginia juries better than an out of state lawyer. But is it absolutely necessary? The answer is no. The thing is, if you get an out of state lawyer, they’re going to have to hire a West Virginia lawyer anyway because they can’t practice law here unless they happen to be licensed. It’s not unusual for us to work with out of state law firms to help clients who have been hurt in West Virginia.   Right now I’m handling a case for a Canadian woman who was severely injured in a motorcycle accident here in West Virginia. Her Canadian lawyer called me and asked me if I would be willing to help. Once I realized how badly she was hurt I, of course, agreed. So, in the end, you are going …

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What is a Mass Tort Case?

The answer is pretty simple: a mass tort case involves a large group of people who were hurt by a singular event. The most famous one in West Virginia was probably the Upper Big Branch disaster, which took the lives of twenty-nine people as a result of one explosion. Another example would be the asbestos that has poisoned thousands of West Virginia workers since the 1940s. Mass tort cases in West Virginia are handled by mass litigation panels that help experienced lawyers move the cases through the system with great efficiency.   If you have the disease mesothelioma, which was caused by the asbestos used to insulate factories in the forties, fifties, sixties and early seventies, your case will be handled as a mass tort case in West Virginia. It will be streamlined by the mass litigation panel. There’s one judge on this panel who tries mesothelioma cases four times a year, which is usually about fifteen to twenty cases each time. As a result of that, we know what discovery needs to happen and what documents we need to prepare in order to get your case to trial.   The Segal Law Firm knows what information is required by …

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Class Action Cases: A Vehicle for the Masses

Class action lawsuits are a vehicle for several people with a similar type claim to bring a case against the same defendant all at once. Usually it involves everyone getting hurt by the same medicine or getting overcharged by the same financial institution. The good news is, you’re offered plenty of protection as part of the class action.   Let’s say the bank overcharges you five cents for a check. Well, you can’t sue the bank for five cents or even five hundred dollars! In fact, it would cost you more to hire a lawyer. But if all the people who use that bank and those checks got together in a class action, they would be able to afford to sue the bank and get that money back. That’s why you see a lot of class actions against financial institutions, lending companies and credit card companies.   It can also involve certain types of medicine. If a drug is put on the market that is dangerous and the FDA had been misled by the drug company, groups of people can ban together to bring a class action. They might ask for things like medical monitoring, which is a certain type …

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Don’t Wait Two Years- Evidence Disappears

You may have two years to file a lawsuit, but trust me when I say that you don’t want to wait that long to call an attorney. The fact of the matter is- evidence disappears. The longer you wait to call, the harder and harder it gets to bring your case. It doesn’t matter what type of case it is; tractor trailer, coal mining or mesothelioma. You need to call The Segal Law Firm as soon as you’ve been in accident so that we can make sure critical evidence doesn’t disappear right out from under you. Tractor Trailer Wrecks If you’ve been in a tractor trailer accident, it’s imperative that you or a family member call us immediately after you wake up in the hospital. We’re going to want the black box from the truck, the driver’s log books, the GPS information and the home office data about where the truck was and how fast it was going. Those are all pieces of evidence that are going to disappear pretty quickly it you’re sitting around waiting for two years to give us a call. Coal Mining Accidents When it comes to coal mining accidents, we’ve got to be a part …

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The Statute of Limitations for Injury or Diagnosis

Two years sounds like a lot of time, right? Well, it’s not when we’re talking about filing a personal injury lawsuit. If you have been seriously hurt or killed in an accident, generally speaking, you or your family have two years from the time of the accident to take action. Does that mean you should sit around and wait those two years before you call an attorney like The Segal Law Firm? Absolutely not. It will take most of that time to develop your case and make sure evidence isn’t destroyed. Call us right away so that we make sure you are on the right track to the money you deserve. This two year statute of limitation applies to any type of accident or diagnosis; motor vehicle, tractor trailer, workplace, coal mine or mesothelioma. But let me specify that this time frame only applies to adults. If you have a child who has been injured or diagnosed with a disease, the rules are a little bit different. One set of rules will apply to you and another will apply to your child. For instance, you may have five to ten years to file a case for your child, but all …

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Prescription Drug Safety

Prescription drug safety is a major concern for the public these days. Sadly, the last decade is littered with the history of bad drugs which have resulted in horrific side effects, illness and death. These were drugs and pharmaceutical companies that were regulated by the FDA.  Drugs we believed were safe and effective were, in fact, dangerous and defective. In one such instance of this, the death toll climbs in fungal meningitis cases linked to steroid injections from a compounding center, and people are questioning the safety of our drug and pharmaceutical supplies. Who is at fault? The company at issue in the fungal meningitis case is known as a compounding pharmacy and is authorized to prepare only specific doses of approved medications, based on guidance from a doctor, to meet an individual patient’s need.  It appears that the company actually shipped large quantities of drugs throughout the United States. Unfortunately, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has only limited regulatory authority over compounding pharmacies. According to the FDA, in any given week, half of adults will use prescription medications and some 10 percent will take at least 5 different ones. All prescription drugs have some risks. A …

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West Virginia: Caps in Medical Malpractice Cases

In today’s blog, we’d like to talk to you about a new piece of legislature that may affect you if you have suffered an injury due to medical malpractice. What is it? The West Virginia Legislature has placed “caps” on damages in medical malpractice actions. Simply, these “caps” limit the amount of damages that you are entitled to in the event that your doctor injured you through an act of medical malpractice. The limits on damages apply to what is known as “non-economic damages.” These are the damages that include pain and suffering, mental anguish and loss of enjoyment of life. Medical bills and loss of wages are not capped by West Virginia law. What does this mean? The limits on non-economic damages generally take two forms. If your doctor committed an act of malpractice which resulted in death, permanent and substantial physical deformity, loss of use of a limb or loss of a bodily organ system or permanent physical or mental function, the non- economic damages limit is five hundred thousand dollars ($500,000). However, if your doctor’s malpractice did not result in one of these conditions, then the limit for non-economic damages is two hundred fifty thousand dollars ($250,000). …

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