West Virginia Courts and Laws

What is Involved in Mediation?

In West Virginia, almost all judges require mediation before trial. It’s basically an attempt for both sides to work with an impartial party to try to agree on an amount of money that would be sufficient for the plaintiff.   Mediations can occur both early on and later in the case. Because we usually deal with very complex cases, ours at the Segal Law Firm tend to happen later in the case. We have to spend some time gathering the facts. What are you current and future medical bills? How much money have you lost in wages and how much will you lose moving forward? As soon as we get those types of numbers, we’ll want to mediate to see if we can help you settle and move on with your life.    So what does mediation look like? Both sides will choose a third party, a lawyer without bias. The mediator doesn’t care who wins and who loses; their role is solely to see if they can get the two sides to agree to a number. In one room will be the insurance company or corporate representatives of the entity responsible for hurting you. In the other room will …

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How are Damages Calculated?

It’s crucial that the damages you collect from your lawsuit properly reflect the amount of compensation necessary for you to live out the rest of your life post-injury.  Only an experienced law firm will know the complex steps to take to ensure that happens.   Special Damages In West Virginia, there are two types of damages. The first, and possibly easiest to understand, are ‘special damages.’ These are damages that can be computed into an exact or range of numbers. For instance, we know what your medical bills have been so far, because we can get those from your doctors and hospitals.   But we also have to figure out your future medical costs. For that, we’ll need to use an expert witness called a life care planner. A life care planner will help us determine how much your future care will cost. Many people don’t realize that wheelchairs and prosthetic legs don’t last forever. You’ll need replacements and possibly multiples of both, depending on your lifestyle.   Once the life care planner’s report is done, it goes to someone called a forensic accountant, who computes how many dollars you will need to afford the rest of your life. We …

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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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Is There a Difference Between Accident Lawyers & Injury Lawyers?

If you are seeking the services of a lawyer, it may be confusing when you see lawyers who call themselves accident lawyers or injury lawyers, and you may wonder how they differentiate between the two. In my opinion, there really is no difference and although lawyers may state they specialize in specific areas, what really counts is their experience. You need to ask how many injury cases they have tried to a jury; or if they claim they are an accident lawyer, then exactly how many cases have they investigated, filed and resolved, either by mitigation, settlement or winning a case in a trial. If they tell you that you will be their first one – run! For example, if you were in need of a doctor to perform a procedure, you would definitely want to know if they are experienced with that procedure, and it’s no different with lawyers, because your lawyer needs to be experienced with your specific type of case. In the state of West Virginia, a lawyer cannot call himself a specialist; they can tell you their level of experience and the types of cases they have filed, discovered and tried, but they cannot tell you …

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What is the Average Cost to Hire an Injury Lawyer in West Virginia?

Here in West Virginia, the average cost to hire a competent and experienced injury lawyer ranges between 25 and 40%, and that will depend on the actual costs and complexity associated with your case. The Segal Law Firm sometimes has cases where there isn’t a lot of insurance available as a result of an automobile accident. A common assumption is that most people think the at-fault driver’s insurance is their only recourse. Our job is to find what insurance is available and then collect it. Many people aren’t aware that their own car insurance sometimes has extra coverages in the event of a wrongful death motor vehicle accident. We check for double-indemnity policies at your workplace, insurance on your mortgage and on your car itself or the car loan. If insurance is limited and costs associated with your case are small, we may sometimes lower our cost to you to 25%. Typical injury cases range between a third and 35%, with complex cases running around 40%. A complex case is one that will require a lot of experts. Mesothelioma Cases If you have a Mesothelioma case, which is a disease of the lining of the lung or gut from asbestos …

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Contingency Fees and Why They Exist

Let’s get real here: the reason you’re hiring a lawyer in an injury case is to win damages for you and your family. But what’s that going to cost you? How much will the law firm charge to take on your case?  This is an extremely important question to all involved and one that we at The Segal Law Firm take very seriously. The answer is going to be based on your contingent fee contract and the amount of risk involved in your case. One thing is always true, we don’t get paid unless we win you money.   What is the Average Contingency Fee? Above I mentioned a contingent fee contract, which is a written document that guarantees you and your family that an injury lawyer is going to get a specific percentage of what they win you. In West Virginia, that is going to run between thirty and forty percent. This is always done in writing so that if they don’t win or get you money, you don’t owe anything. This is extremely important because it helps people get protected who would normally not be able to afford legal representation. I’ve made my living for over thirty years …

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Coal Mining Regulations- Crucial to Winning Your Case

We’ve all seen tragic mine stories on the news. What you don’t get to see is what happens to the widows and children of these lost miners after cameras turn off.  My job at The Segal Law Firm is to provide protection for the miners’ families and I do that by delving into the state and federal regulations that set the safety guidelines for the coal mines. Often times, these regulations have been broken in some way or another and you need an attorney that understands the rules, so they know where to start looking for answers. What Type of Mine? The first thing I’m going to do when I find out a coal miner has been killed in an accident is determine if it happened in a deep mine or a surface mine. The answer to that question is going to affect which state and federal laws were in place to protect them while they were at work. You have to know where it happened so you can begin to look at the very complex set of regulations that are in place to protect the miners. Training and Licensing Let’s say it was a deep mine. Well, deep miners …

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Free Consultations for Personal Injury Cases

If you have been involved in an accident resulting in a serious personal injury, Segal Law Firm offers free consultations to you and your family. This meeting provides a chance for you to become acquainted with us, learn about our background and find out how we can help you. It also gives us the opportunity to learn how your injury has affected you and your loved ones so that we can fully understand the impact it has had on your life. This free consultation gives you the opportunity to be sure we have the experience to deal with your lawsuit. You should ask questions such as: Have we tried cases like yours before? Have we settled cases like yours before? Do we have the ability to obtain the necessary information needed to win your case or get it settled? How much will my contingency fee be? A contingency fee is paid to your lawyer only if your case reaches settlement or jury verdict. What will the agreement with my law firm look like and will it be in writing? A free consultation gives you the ability to explore what Segal Law Firm can do for you and your case. It …

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Qualities of the Best Law Firms and Lawyers in West Virginia?

The best and most successful attorneys in West Virginia are those with experience in settling lawsuits, trying cases that reach a verdict and having the drive to take a case to the Supreme Court if necessary. They should possess the willingness to help you in your darkest hour if you or your family suffers a serious personal injury or wrongful death. These highly qualified lawyers know how to handle your case, where to find the right experts and how to get key documents from the opposing side. They will check to see if a corporation or insurance company has a history of wrongdoing. An experienced lawyer understands a corporation or insurance company is going to fight your case and they will want to know if your lawyer has the necessary experience the number of verdicts reached. They will be more willing to fight with and wait out a lawyer who doesn’t have the track record of taking cases to court. When you really need a lawyer who will defend your family, make sure that lawyer can back up your case with a full arsenal of experience and isn’t afraid to fight for you and your loved ones. Segal Law Firm …

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Why do Law Firms in West Virginia Work off of Contingency Fees?

West Virginia law firms represent people and their families on a regular basis, regardless of the nature of injury received. Injuries can range from an aviation case involving a plane or helicopter crash, a coal miner’s injury, a Marcellus Shale driller’s case, a tractor trailer wreck or a coal truck wreck. All of these types of cases are handled by the Segal Law Firm and other lawyers here in the state on a contingency fee basis. We recognize the desperation an injury can create when medical and rehabilitation bills begin piling up. When people are injured, no longer able to work and they have no source of income to help pay these bills, this can be devastating to families. How Contingency Fees Help in a Time of Crisis A contingency fee allows families to retain the best possible lawyers to represent them. These lawyers are experienced and trial-hardened, and they’re not afraid of taking your case to a jury trial. Until you make the decision to settle your case, or you receive a jury verdict, you pay no fees to these lawyers. The typical contingency fee is between a third and 40%, and this depends on the complexity of your …

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