Workplace Injury Articles

Toxic Chemical Cases

In the area of toxic chemical cases you really need to be able to identify whether or not the injured person is suffering from a signature disease as a result of a toxin or if they have a more general condition. How would someone go about figuring that out? Experience. Experience is going to be critical in understanding what the signature diseases are for a specific toxin and knowing how to proceed once it’s known. What do I mean by signature disease? Well, for instance, there’s a well known toxin called asbestos. And one of the signature diseases for asbestos is mesothelioma. When you tell a lawyer that you have mesothelioma, it’s important that they first think of a possible exposure to asbestos. Was it at work? Was it on your Daddy’s clothes when you were a little child? Was it environmental? They have to know that mesothelioma is a signature disease of exposure to asbestos. Other signature diseases occur from exposure to Benzene and solvents. Certain types of leukemia are specific to exposure to Benzene. You need someone with the experience to figure out what it is that caused the condition with which you have been diagnosed. But sometimes …

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What Makes a Railroad Case Complex?

Railroad cases are handled and litigated in the court system under an entirely different set of laws than the normal laws of liability and injury. The Railroad Worker’s Act is a very specific set of federal rules and regulations that guide how a lawsuit is brought. But that doesn’t mean it’s always clear and simple. You need a lawyer that understands the complexities of the law and can tell you how and where to proceed in a court of law.   Where should I bring my case? Interestingly, although it is a federal set of rules and regulations that protects the railroad worker, the law suit can be brought in either state or federal court. If the railroad has railroad tracks within the home county of the person who comes to The Segal Law Firm, we can actually file the lawsuit right in his or her backyard. You can also file in federal court or state courts and that’s part of the experience that’s going to be important to you when you talk to us here at The Segal Law Firm.   What is the cause? It’s important that you have a lawyer who understands that it’s a completely different …

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Oil and Gas Rig Accidents- You Need an Experienced Lawyer

The experience of the attorney handling an oil or gas rig case is going to be critical to the injured person and their family because of different state and federal regulations that come into play. Right now, here at The Segal Law Firm, we’re actually doing all kinds of different cases because of the tractor trailers and suppliers that are rushing to get to the Marcellus Shale.   We’re seeing a lot of accidents that are due to fatigue and exhaustion. You’ve got the people operating the equipment at the site that are being overworked. You have safety rules being bent or completely ignored on the rigs in regards to how to safely keep noxious gases and explosive materials from igniting and leaking out. Because of the rush to the Marcellus Shale, we’re seeing a number or people getting hurt and it usually stems from the companies putting profits ahead of safety. They’re rushing to get the gas and they’re not being careful or protecting the safety of their workers.   We just had a case at The Segal Law Firm not long ago where we got into it very early and found out that the injury hadn’t even been reported to the authorities. …

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Your Coal Mining Case Needs an Experienced Attorney

Experience is extremely important in a coal mining accident case, whether it’s a deep mine case or a surface mine case, because the job of coal miner is extremely dangerous. And, unfortunately, many operators often put profit ahead of safety. There are very specific state and federal laws and regulations that are in place to protect coal miners and your attorney must not only understand those laws, but be able to use them to prove how and why you were hurt.   You would be shocked to see how many coal miners are required to do job that they have never been properly trained to do. The paperwork doesn’t exist in their personnel file that says they can legally do the job, but because the employer is rushing to get their profits, they make them do it. You lawyer has to know how to dig to find that information.   The regulations also speak to the maintenance and safety of the mine in general. Did the miner get hurt in a crush because the roof wasn’t being maintained pursuant to federal requirements? Was the mine properly rock dusted and ventilated? All of those things are regulated by the federal and …

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Breaking Down the Contingency Fee

Law Firms in West Virginia who predominantly represent injured workers generally work on a contingency fee basis. All that really means is that we only get paid if we win you money. But you’ve got to have that in writing. There are expenses that go into making a great case that also have to be spelled out and you’ve got to find a law firm that has the financial wherewithal to cover those, too. At The Segal Law Firm, you know upfront what you’ll be paying for and when you’ll be paying for it. And it’s not until after we’ve won.   We use the contingency fee because we know that the average working man or woman simply can’t afford an experienced, big-name law firm. That’s why we say, if we win your case, you’re going to give us a percentage of that money. It might be thirty, thirty-five or forty percent, depending on the complexity of the case. There’s a law that says that as long as it’s in writing, it’s okay for a lawyer to charge the percentage of the winnings that he or she accomplishes for that family.   In addition to a percentage, there are also …

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What is the Average Coal Mining Case Settlement?

It’s not uncommon for a client to want to know the average settlement of a coal mining injury case. These injuries are usually life-changing and monetary stability becomes a huge issue. It’s not easy to give you a dollar amount, but I can tell you the many specific elements that go into estimating a settlement. You need an experienced lawyer, like us at The Segal Law Firm, who know what those elements are and how to go about making sure you and your family are protected.   A lawyer who has any good amount of experience dealing with coal mine injuries and coal mine death cases can tell you what the elements of damage are and who the expert are that are needed to prove them. For instance, if you have had a crushing injury, you’re most likely going to need an orthopedic or neurological expert. You’ll also need a life-care planner who can tell the judge and jury what types of devices you’re going to need throughout your life.   Most people, when they see someone in a wheelchair, think that they’ll need just that one device. Not true. If you’re a hunter, you need assisted living devices that …

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Coal Mining Case Lawyers: What Should I Know?

When it comes to fighting coal companies, you’ve got to have someone in your corner that is willing to fight the bully. We’re talking about multi-million dollar companies that are willing to play dirty and coal miners know that. At The Segal Law Firm, we not only have the financial security to go round after round with these guys, we have the experience it takes to handle the complexities that coal mining cases bring.   We have dealt with cases from the Upper Big Branch disaster, Aracoma and even one going as far back as the Farmington disaster, which was more than four decades ago. There are very complex federal and state regulations that are going to determine whether or not we can bring a suit. And those state and federal regulations are the hallmark of every major coal injury or death case in our state.   Families have a right to certain types of information from both the federal and state agencies, and your lawyer has to know how to get that information and know how to use it. Because the complexity of the regulations, it’s kind of like a mine field in itself. You want to be sure …

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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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