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personal injury journal

What Is a Personal Injury Journal and Why Should I Start One After Getting Injured?

If you were injured in a vehicle crash, a slip and fall on someone else’s property, a workplace incident that was perhaps the fault of a third party, or you suffered any other type of injury that was caused by another party’s negligence, an experienced personal injury attorney can handle all of the complex legal tasks with your claim and fight for maximum compensation. There are some steps that you can take to make your case stronger, however, and keeping a personal injury journal is one of them.

 

A personal injury journal is similar to any other type of journal or diary you might keep in order to record the important events of your life. The main difference is that this journal is focused on documenting the details of your accident, as well as your account of your recovery process.

 

One other thing to keep in mind about a personal injury journal is that, unlike other journals you might have kept throughout your life, this one might not stay private. Because your journal will contain details about your recollection of the events around your accident and recovery, it could be used by either side if your case ever goes to trial. This should not stop you from giving an honest account of the events as you see them, just remember this journal is not necessarily “for your eyes only.”

 

What Should be Included in a Personal Injury Journal?

There are several important things that could be recorded in your personal injury journal:

 

  • Details of the Event: One of the first entries that should be made in the journal should be a list of all the facts about the event as you recall them. Some details that should be recorded include the weather and other conditions, any hazards that you remember being present, the date, time, and location of the event, how it occurred, the name, contact information, and insurance information for the responsible party, the names and contact information of any witnesses, and the agency and name of any responding law enforcement personnel.

 

  • Medical Appointments and Care Received: You should receive medical attention immediately after an injury and follow all of your doctor’s recommendations from there. Record in your journal the date and time of each medical appointment and the important things that happened during the visit. Also keep a record of all the procedures, prescriptions, and other types of treatment you have received.

 

  • Time Missed from Work: If the injury is keeping you out of work, record all of the days that you have missed and the earnings you have lost.

 

  • Pain and Discomfort that You are Experiencing: During an injury recovery process, there is a natural ebb and flow from day to day. One day, you seem to be feeling better, then the next day, the severe pain returns. Note each day how you are feeling, what types of pain and discomfort you are having, and the frequency, location, and severity of the pain.

 

  • The Emotional Impact of Your Injury: How is the injury affecting your emotional outlook? Are you concerned about your future? Are you concerned about when you will be out of pain and back to normal? Do you have financial concerns because you are no longer able to work?

 

  • How the Injury has Affected your Quality of Life: Take note of the ways your injury is impacting your ability to live your life to the fullest. Are there some activities you have always enjoyed that you are no longer able to participate in? Do you have to depend on others to do things that you were once able to do yourself?

 

How Will a Personal Injury Journal Help My Case?

Keeping a personal injury journal can be very helpful for your injury claim, because it is your own first-hand account of everything that happened. Memories tend to fade over time, and people have a tendency to suppress memories of negative events, like extreme pain and suffering.

 

Keeping a journal allows you to document your daily struggles as you seek to recover from your injuries. This allows you to better contextualize the intangible losses you have suffered, such as the physical pain, anxiety, and emotional distress you have experienced. Your journal also gives you an opportunity to keep detailed records of your medical progress, which will be very important in showing the extent of your injuries, the treatments you have received, your recovery process, etc.

 

 

Suffered a Personal Injury in West Virginia? Contact Bailey, Javins, and Carter L.C. for Assistance

If you or someone close to you has suffered an injury that was caused by someone else, it is very important to work with an experienced personal injury lawyer. Your lawyer can provide additional details on what should be included in a personal injury journal, and they will guide you through all other aspects of your personal injury claim as well.

 

If your injury occurred in West Virginia, contact Bailey, Javins, and Carter L.C. for legal help. Call our office today at (800) 497-0234 or (800) 296-6979 or message us online for a free consultation and case assessment. We look forward to serving you!

 

 

personal injury lawyer in charlestown, west virginia

Understanding the Basics of Personal Injury Law

Personal injury is a complex area of law that allows an injury victim to go to civil court and pursue monetary damages. This is distinctly different from a criminal case which involves penalties such as fines that are paid to the state and jail time. The purpose of a personal injury claim is to compensate the victim for all losses suffered and to make them “whole”. Although no amount of money cannot make up for intangible losses like having to live with a permanent injury or losing a loved one, it is the best the legal system can do to provide just compensation and hold responsible parties accountable.

 

Personal injury law can apply to numerous situations, including but not limited to:

 

  • Accidents: Accidents happen all the time, and many of them result from the negligence or reckless actions of others. Some common types of accidents in which a personal injury claim could be filed include auto accidents, commercial vehicle accidents, motorcycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, and premises liability accidents.

 

  • Workplace Injuries: Some injuries that occur in the workplace may warrant a personal injury claim. This could apply to cases in which the injury was caused by the deliberate actions of the employer, or if the injury was caused by a third party.

 

  • Medical Malpractice: When someone with a health concern goes into see a medical professional, they have the right to be provided with an acceptable standard of care. Unfortunately, this does not always happen. Medication errors, surgical errors, emergency room errors, errors that result in birth injuries, and nursing home negligence are just a few examples of medical malpractice.

 

  • Product Liability: Thousands of products come onto the market each year, and many of them are defective and/or dangerous. When a faulty product causes injury to a consumer during the course of regular use, this could be grounds for a product liability claim.

 

What Must I Prove to Demonstrate that a Personal Injury Occurred?

In order to have a valid personal injury claim, you must prove four basic elements:

 

  • Duty of Care: The first thing you must show is that the defendant owed you a duty of reasonable care. For example, a vehicle driver has an implied duty to drive in a safe manner and take reasonable steps to avoid causing others harm.

 

  • Breach of Duty: After you have established a duty of care, you must show that the defendant breached this duty by their actions or omissions. For example, the driver was sending a text and did not look up in time to avoid hitting the pedestrian that was crossing the road in front of them.

 

  • Causation: Next, you must show that the defendant’s breach was the proximate cause of the plaintiff’s injury. Using the previous example, the pedestrian would not have been hit had the defendant been watching the road rather than looking at his/her phone.

 

  • Damages: Finally, you will need to show that the accident or incident caused by the defendant resulted in compensable losses. For example, the collision into the pedestrian resulted in several broken bones, an extended hospital stay, and several weeks out of work.

 

Pursuing a Personal Injury Claim

If a plaintiff has a valid personal injury claim, they can pursue damages not only for direct monetary losses such as medical bills and lost wages, but also for noneconomic losses such as pain-and-suffering, psychological distress, loss of enjoyment, and permanent injury. Noneconomic losses are more intangible and difficult to quantify, however, and this is where it is extremely helpful to work with an experienced personal injury lawyer. Your lawyer will guide you through the complex legal process, and they will accurately calculate the value of your losses so they can put you in the best possible position to recover full and fair compensation.

 

In many cases, a personal injury plaintiff will be dealing with the defendant’s insurance company. This typically involves a series of back and forth negotiations with offers and counter offers that each side considers. Most personal injury cases are settled out of court, because it is generally in the best interests of all parties involved to avoid costly and protracted litigation.

 

That said, you should enter the process with the willingness to take your case to trial, and you should be represented by an attorney with extensive trial experience and the proven ability to win these types of cases. Oftentimes, just the credible threat of litigation will be enough to bring the other side to the table and motivate them to agree on a reasonable settlement.

 

Contact an Experienced West Virginia Personal Injury Attorney

If you or someone close to you suffered injury at the hands of another party, you need strong legal counsel by your side advocating aggressively for your legal rights and interest. At Bailey, Javins, and Carter L.C., we have over four decades of experience successfully representing West Virginians with even the most complex types of personal injury cases. We work closely with our clients, providing the strong personalized representation they need and deserve.

 

Call our office today at (800) 497-0234 or (800) 296-6979 or message us online to schedule a free, no obligation consultation with one of our seasoned attorneys.

 

 

 

 

 

 

covid-19 and personal injury

Will I End up with a Lower Injury Settlement because of COVID-19?

The coronavirus outbreak has disrupted every area of society, and the legal world is no exception. The courts have been temporarily closed for most in-person proceedings, although many meetings and hearings are still being conducted remotely via teleconference or videoconference. Whenever the court resumes a normal schedule, there is likely to be a backlog of cases, which will cause some delays if you are in the middle of a personal injury lawsuit.

 

Because of disruptions to the court schedule and other issues that have arisen due to the coronavirus, many people are concerned about how long it will take them to receive compensation for their injuries and whether or not they will receive a lower settlement because of COVID-19. This is a valid concern, and in times like these, it is more important than ever to have an experienced attorney in your corner who has the proven ability to recover maximum compensation in even the most complex cases.

 

What COVID-19 Related Factors might Impact my Personal Injury Settlement?

In addition to court-related delays, here are some other issues that personal injury plaintiffs may have to deal with because of the coronavirus pandemic:

 

Delays in Medical Treatment

West Virginia and most other states put temporary holds on elective medical care in order to direct resources toward treating COVID-19 patients. West Virginia restarted elective procedures on April 28, but there is still likely to be some lagging delays as the state’s medical professionals get caught up on all of their appointments.

 

During normal times, it would never be a good idea to delay/postpone medical treatments. You are supposed to get prompt treatment for your injuries, not only to put yourself on the path to recovery, but also to fulfill your legal duty to mitigate your losses. Thorough medical documentation is also needed in order to prove the full extent of your injuries.

 

All that said, these are extraordinary times, and these could almost certainly be considered “extenuating circumstances”. While there is nothing you can do about medical care that was postponed because of a government order, it is still important to be diligent about keeping the appointments you have and following through on all of your doctor’s recommendations.

 

Insurance Claim Delays

The insurance companies are fully aware of the delays with the courts, and many of them are trying to take advantage of the situation by unnecessarily delaying injury claims. Insurance is considered an essential business, and insurers have been operating this whole time, although many of their employees are working from home. By dragging their feet on an injury claim, they believe they can pressure a claimant to settle for far less than they deserve.

 

Financial Problems for Plaintiffs and Defendants

Closely related to the previous issue, COVID-19 has created unexpected financial problems for millions of Americans. Sudden business closures and job losses have put a financial strain on countless households. For personal injury plaintiffs, this makes them highly motivated to receive their compensation sooner rather than later, and this could cause them to accept a lowball settlement offer from the defendant or their insurer.

 

For defendants, it could mean far fewer financial resources available to settle a claim. For example, if a plaintiff was in the middle of a premises liability lawsuit against a bar or restaurant that is suddenly out of business and on the brink of bankruptcy, they may find it much more difficult to recover the compensation they are entitled to. This factor is especially important in cases in which the plaintiff suffered losses that exceed the liability limits of the defendant’s insurance policy. In a case like this, there might not be as much available to recover as there was just a few months ago.

 

Contact Bailey, Javins, and Carter L.C. for Skilled Legal Guidance during Difficult Times

If you or someone close to you has suffered injury at the hands of another person or party, Bailey, Javins, and Carter L.C. is here to serve your needs. Even in these extraordinary times, we remain fully operational and committed to fighting for every dollar of compensation our clients deserve. We routinely go up against well-funded adversaries such as large insurance companies, and we are not intimidated by their vast resources. Over the past four decades, we have successfully stood up for the legal rights of those who have been injured through no fault of their own, and we are ready to go to work for you.

 

For a free, no obligation consultation with a member of our legal team, message us online or call our office today at (800) 497-0234 or (800) 296-6979.

 

 

 

 

 

can I sue for coronavirus?

Can I Sue for COVID-19 Infection or Death?

The coronavirus pandemic is an unprecedented event that our nation is still in the midst of, and we will not know the full extent of its consequences for quite some time. What we do know, however, is that hundreds of thousands of Americans have tested positive for the virus and tens of thousands have died from it. And because the vast majority of our population has not been tested yet, it is reasonable to assume that there are countless additional cases that we do not know about.

 

One of the important questions that a growing number of people are asking is what legal rights COVID-19 victims have. Can someone who contracts the virus because of another person or party’s wrongful actions bring a personal injury lawsuit against those responsible? Can the family of someone who died from the coronavirus bring a wrongful death lawsuit against the responsible party?

 

This is a rapidly emerging area of the law, and the legal system is still in the process of determining the answers to these questions and in what circumstances a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit would be appropriate.

 

Cruise Ships where the Coronavirus Spreads

One of the first places where massive outbreaks of COVID-19 began to affect Americans was on cruise ships. Large groups of people being in an enclosed environment for several days at a time causes the virus to spread very quickly, and to date, tens of thousands of passengers and crew members from cruise ships all over the world have tested positive for the coronavirus.

 

Several lawsuits have been filed against cruise ship companies, including a class-action suit against Costa Cruises, a subsidiary of Carnival Cruise Lines. Experts warn, however, that these lawsuits face an uphill battle because of liability limits that are hidden in passengers’ paperwork, maritime laws, and the fact that many of the cruise ship companies are based in foreign countries.

 

Hospitals and Nursing Homes that Fail to Protect Patients from COVID-19

The first major coronavirus outbreak on US soil was at a nursing home in the state of Washington, where dozens of patients died. While it may be difficult to hold the very first facilities that had outbreaks liable for the spread of COVID-19, it is a different story for those that have been infected by the virus after these facilities knew (or should have known) about the risks and failed to follow proper safety protocols.

 

Businesses that Fail to Protect Employees and Customers from the Coronavirus

Earlier this month, Walmart was sued by the family of an employee who died of COVID-19 after contracting the virus while working at one of the company’s Chicago area stores. The suit alleges that managers of the store failed to alert employees after several of them began showing symptoms of the coronavirus. The 51-year-old victim is said to have informed a store manager in mid-March that he was having symptoms, but that the manager ignored him. On March 25, he was found dead in his home.

 

The circumstances that triggered the Walmart wrongful death lawsuit are a prime example of what can happen when a business fails to implement proper safety protocols to protect their employees and customers. If it can be shown, for example, that management knew (or should have known) that an employee was infected and/or their product was contaminated by COVID-19, those who become seriously ill or die as a result should be able to hold those who are responsible fully accountable.

 

Individuals Who Spread the Coronavirus

What about an individual who knowingly spreads COVID-19 to others? For example, a person tests positive for the coronavirus and fails to self-quarantine. Instead, they go out to the grocery store and expose countless others to the virus. Unfortunately, there are those who are not taking this situation as seriously as they should, and this could result in other individuals becoming seriously ill or dying from the virus. A person could be held liable for this provided you could prove that they knew they had the coronavirus and continued to expose others to it.

 

Bailey, Javins, and Carter L.C. is Here to Help

There are a lot of questions that are yet to be answered about liability for illness or death from the coronavirus, and as this area of law develops, we will gain a clearer picture of when and under what circumstances it would be appropriate to sue someone for a COVID-19 infection or death. That said, if this has happened to you or a loved one, we recommend getting in contact with an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as possible to review your case. The longer you wait, the more difficult it will become to successfully pursue a claim.

 

At Bailey, Javins, and Carter L.C., we have over four decades of experience standing up for those who have been injured by the negligence or reckless actions of others. We have a successful track record with even the most complex cases, and we have been at the forefront of many emerging areas of the law. While our country continues to deal with the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, we continue to be fully operational while taking all the safety precautions and observing social distancing guidelines.

 

For a free, no obligation consultation with one of our attorneys, message us online or call our office today at (800) 497-0234 or (800) 296-6979. We look forward to serving you!

 

pedestrian accidents in West Virginia

Pedestrian Accidents Could Increase During Coronavirus Shutdowns

The COVID-19 pandemic has shaken our country to its core. Hundreds of thousands of Americans have tested positive for the virus, and tens of thousands have died from it. Millions more have moved home for the time being as countless non-essential businesses have been forced to temporarily close or limit their offerings.

 

Along with most other states, West Virginia has issued a “shelter in place” order, which limits movements outside of homes to only essential activities. Citizens have been asked to stay in their homes, and when they do need to go out, they are supposed to keep at least a 6-foot distance from others.

 

With most of us spending a lot more time at home, there are fewer vehicles out on the road. There are more big rig trucks and delivery vehicles out there, but there are far less people commuting to their offices. At the same time, however, there are quite a few more people going out for walks.

 

Walking is one activity that is allowed under the state’s “shelter in place” order, and with gymnasiums closed, it is one of the best ways for West Virginians to get their exercise. Going for a walk is also a great way to get some fresh air and enjoy the Spring weather.

 

The increase in walking traffic in West Virginia neighborhoods does pose a risk of more pedestrian accidents. And because pedestrians are not protected by a steel cage like motorists are, they tend to end up with more severe and catastrophic injuries. Because of this risk, it is very important for both drivers and pedestrians to be extra cautious and do everything possible to avoid this type of crash.

 

Tips for Avoiding Pedestrian Accidents

 

For Drivers

 

  • Avoid Distractions: Motorists have more distractions than ever these days, particularly those who are addicted to their smartphones. Texting while driving and similar activity is extremely dangerous, because it distracts drivers visually, manually, and cognitively. This can cause them to miss important details, such as a pedestrian crossing in front of them. Put your phone away when you drive, it is not worth risking a life to send or receive a text.

 

  • Follow Traffic Laws: Aggressive or reckless driving is a major contributor to many pedestrian accidents. When a motorist is driving too fast, for example, they have far less time to slow down or stop the vehicle to avoid a pedestrian. Running stop signs, going through red lights, and failing to yield the right-of-way are some of the other common causes of pedestrian crashes.

 

  • Stay Sober: Driving while chemically impaired slows reaction times and generally results in very poor driving behaviors, many of which put pedestrians in great danger. Refrain from drinking and driving at all times – the potential consequences of this behavior are just not worth it.

 

  • Look Out for Pedestrians: Motorists need to be mindful of the fact that there are more pedestrians out walking right now, and act accordingly. And as we touched on earlier, the bulk of this increase in traffic is happening in your local neighborhoods.

 

For Pedestrians

 

  • Be Visible: It is important to do everything within reason to make sure that drivers see you when you are out walking. This means wearing brightly colored clothing during the day and lightly colored or reflective clothing at night. Also, try to walk in areas where there is plenty of lighting, and try to make eye contact with vehicle drivers before crossing the road in front of them.

 

  • Be Alert: Smartphone activity can be a problem for pedestrians as well, and it can cause them to trip and fall and/or not see nearby vehicles. Having your headphones turned up too loud could also cause a pedestrian not to hear a vehicle that is behind them. Stay safe by limiting the use of your phone while you walk.

 

  • Follow the Rules: Be predictable and follow all of the rules wherever you are walking. Cross the road only at designated crosswalks or other places where crossing is legal, and always make sure that traffic is clear before you cross.

 

  • Stay Sober: Although the majority of alcohol-related pedestrian crashes involve a chemically impaired motorist, some also involve a pedestrian who is intoxicated. Alcohol impairs the judgment of both drivers and pedestrians, so do yourself a favor and stay sober when you walk.

 

Injured in a Pedestrian Accident in West Virginia? Contact Bailey, Javins, and Carter L.C. for Assistance

If you or a loved one suffered injury in a pedestrian crash in West Virginia, you may be entitled to compensation. Seek medical attention immediately and get in touch with an experienced attorney at your earliest convenience. Even during the midst of COVID-19, it is still very important to have your case evaluated so you fully understand your legal rights and options.

 

At Bailey, Javins, and Carter L.C., we have over four decades of experience successfully representing West Virginians who have been injured in pedestrian accidents and those who have suffered all other types of personal injuries. We are taking all the precautions and following all social distancing guidelines brought on by the current pandemic, but we are still open, fully functional, and ready to serve you.

 

For a free consultation with one of our attorneys, message us online or call us today at (800) 497-0234 or (800) 296-6979.