Articles by Scott Segal

I’ve Got Two Years to File My Case: Why Should I Call a Lawyer Now?

The law that protects people who have been hurt in accidents is extremely complex. Yes, you do have two years in most cases to file your lawsuit. But it’s important that you understand right away what your legal rights are, so that critical information isn’t missed and evidence doesn’t disappear.   Evidence is NOT like a fine cheese. It doesn’t get better with age. It actually disappears altogether. The quicker you pick up the phone and make the free phone call to The Segal Law Firm, the sooner we’re going to be able to gather the evidence that will prove your case.   We’ve seen it time and again. Folks will call us with a really good lawsuit as a result of a defect in their vehicle. But they wait a few months to call and, by that time, their vehicle has been destroyed. Well, guess what? Without your vehicle, we can’t prove that the airbag didn’t go off or the seatback was faulty. If you call me right away, I can gather that information and make sure we can prove your case.   We can preserve that evidence in a variety of ways. We can write letters, contact government …

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How Soon Should I Call a Lawyer After My Coal Mining Accident?

How soon should you call The Segal Law Firm after you’ve been seriously injured or a loved one has been killed in a coal mining accident? The answer is immediately.   Any coalmine injury that is severe enough to cause a serious injury to a coal miner or death has to be reported to state and federal mine inspectors right away. The state and federal mine inspectors will look into the cause of the injury and the miner is entitled to know about that investigation and what it reveals.   If you are a coalmine accident victim and don’t have a lawyer, you might be missing timely information that could protect you and your loved ones. We recently had a case where a coal miner knew to call us at The Segal Law Firm. As it turns out, the coal mining company didn’t even report our client’s injury to the federal investigators, even though law required them to. Because he had called us in time, we were able to notify the inspectors, who then opened a new case to not only inspect the cause of injury, but to investigate why the accident hadn’t been reported in the first place.   …

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Tractor-Trailer Accidents: How Soon Should I Call You?

How soon should you call The Segal Law Firm after you’ve been hurt in a tractor-trailer accident? Literally as soon as you wake up in the hospital.   Do you have two years to file your lawsuit? Yes, you do. That’s your statute of limitations. But you stand to lose a lot of critical evidence if you don’t call us right away.   The amount of information available on those tractor-trailers these days would astound you. And it can disappear quickly. There’s information concerning how the truck was maintained, how it was loaded, and how that load was secured. Thanks to GPS, many trucking companies know exactly where their trucks are and how fast they’re going at all times. So the sooner we know what happened to you, the sooner we can start that investigation and make sure that information isn’t destroyed.   Remember, too, that the police reports don’t come out for a few days. We have hard-working law enforcement officers, but there is a lot of paperwork involved in a tractor-trailer accident, and we want to be sure to alert the appropriate state authorizes that we’re looking for that accident report.   The call is free and so …

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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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How Long Do I Have to File a Mesothelioma Case?

Anytime you think you have a case, we suggest you call us at The Segal Law Firm as soon as possible, but when it comes to mesothelioma cases, you have a specific time limit, based on where you are in the stages of the disease.   That time limit is called your statute of limitations. In West Virginia, you have two years from your diagnosis of mesothelioma to file a lawsuit. The day your doctor tells you that you have the disease, the statute clock starts ticking. That means you need to call right away.   Families sometimes come to us after the statute has run. We can’t do anything at that point until mesothelioma actually causes the death of the victim. At that point, we have two years from the date of the death to file a wrongful death lawsuit. I’ve been able to save a few cases over the years this way.   It is much better, however, if we are able to get your case filed within the first two years after diagnosis, because it gives us the opportunity to take a video deposition of the victim, which can be used in a court of law if …

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How Soon Should I Call a Lawyer After an Accident?

The simplest answer to that question is as soon as possible. If you are in an accident, my advice is to call us as soon as you are released from the hospital. If you are going to be in the hospital for an extended period, have a family member call for you.   Evidence Disappears I tell my young lawyers in the office all the time that evidence doesn’t get better, it disappears. The sooner we investigate your case, the less likely it is that this will happen.   We recently had a woman come to us who had been paralyzed in a car accident. She first contacted another law firm and they didn’t really do much. When she called us I asked her where her car was and she said she didn’t know. We found out later that the car was just two days from being permanently destroyed when we found and purchased it. Had we not gotten that vehicle, our client would have no proof of how she was paralyzed in that car accident.   Getting Involved in the Investigation Coal mining accidents, railroad accidents, airplane and helicopter accidents, and many more will involve investigations by the federal …

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Who You Should and Should NOT Speak to After an Accident

We deal with accident cases every single day at The Segal Law Firm of all different types and in all different industries. The thing that they all have in common is who you should and should not be speaking to.   Who you should be speaking to is pretty simple: me. You need to call me right away to get all of your questions answered about your case, even if you’re not sure you have one. I can come to your hospital, rehab center, your home or we can have that conversation over the phone. We also always welcome you to our offices where we can sit down and discuss your accident over a cup of coffee.   You want to talk to a lawyer immediately so that evidence that may be critical to your case doesn’t disappear. You don’t want to miss the opportunity to protect your family’s rights.   You should also be talking to your doctors, therapists and other medical providers. In some instances, you should also talk to state and federal investigators. If you’re in a car wreck and you are still conscious afterward, you’ll have a duty to cooperate with state and city police. For …

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What are My First Steps if I’ve Been Hurt in a Railroad Accident?

A railroad accident case is going to be one of two scenarios. Either you are a worker who got hurt on the railroad or a civilian hurt because of a derailment or explosion. In both cases, we’re going to start by meeting with you to get to know your case and explain your legal rights.     Our first meeting can be in our office, your home, or in the hospital or rehab center in which you’re recovering. You need to get your questions answered at this time. Ask us about experience with cases like yours. Make sure we know what we are doing and how to use the legal system to protect you.   You’ll also see a contingency fee contract make its first appearance at this meeting. If you decide that I’m the right lawyer for your case, then we’ll both sign this contract that says that I only get paid attorney’s fees if I win you a settlement or jury verdict. You’ve got to make sure you hire a lawyer who has those agreements in writing. As for where we’ll file your case, that depends a bit more on the circumstances of the accident. If you are …

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First Steps in a Catastrophic Injury Case

If your loved one has been involved in an accident that resulted in a catastrophic injury, you must speak to a lawyer right away. Evidence does not get better- it disappears. We at The Segal Law Firm have the experience to investigate these types of cases to make sure that no piece of evidence goes unnoticed, but only if you call us sooner rather than later.   Because these catastrophic cases usually result in life-altering injuries, our first meetings with clients often take place in burn centers, rehabilitation centers, or even in critical care. During that meeting, we meet with the family and let them know what we can do to protect their legal rights. We want to get all of their questions answered to make sure they feel we are the right fit for their case.   If a client or family member decides that they’d like The Segal Law Firm to represent them, we provide a contingency fee contract. This is a written agreement guaranteeing that they will only pay attorney’s fees if we win them money, either by settlement or verdict.   So why is it so important that we have this first meeting as soon as …

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Was a Loved One Was Hurt or Killed in an Aviation Accident?

The very first thing you should do if a loved one has been killed or hurt in an airplane or helicopter crash is call The Segal Law Firm. It’s an incredibly difficult and emotional time. We understand that. But there is critical information to collect and time cannot be wasted. It’s never too early to call, but it can be too late. Immediately following an aviation crash, the federal government dispatches an emergency investigation team. These investigations by the National Transportation Safety Board can take up to a year or two years. But what most people don’t realize is that preliminary reports are released along the way that can provide us with useful information for your case. The truth is we don’t need to have all the answers to begin your case. We know that’s what the family is looking for: the answer. Why did this plane crash and severely injure or kill your husband, wife or child? We want to find those answers for you. In fact, we can conduct our own investigation using our jet engine, traffic control, and pilot experts. But if we don’t start right away, crucial evidence could disappear. We’re working on a case right …

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