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West Virginia Legal Issues Blog

Car accident claims lives of 2 West Virginia residents

A recent crash between a car and a government mower on a busy stretch of interstate highway killed two people. The mid-morning car accident, which set the vehicle on fire, claimed the lives of the West Virginia residents when their SUV collided with a West Virginia Division of Highways mower. A state worker suffered serious injuries in the crash and was taken to the hospital.

The Department of Transportation worker had severe head injuries and lacerations, but was alert at the time he was transported to the hospital. The mower he was working on was was connected to a tractor when the accident happened. The Jackson County Sheriff said the cause of the crash is under investigation. The deceased driver and passenger of the SUV have not been identified. 

West Virginia woman dies in car accident with dump truck

A 36-year-old woman lost her life when her car recently collided with a dump truck. The West Virginia car accident, on Highway 51 near Middleway, also seriously injured a 35-year-old female who was a passenger in the car. The deceased driver was from Martinsburg.

The woman died at the scene of the crash. The passenger was airlifted to a medical center. According to the Jefferson County Sheriff's Department, the woman is in critical condition. The 46-year-old male driver of the dump truck was uninjured. 

W. Va. estate planning: Making healthcare choices for elders

Health care laws are strict and with good reason. They deal with private matters and when it comes to estate planning in West Virginia, the law makes it clear that only those who are authorized will be privy to information regarding a person's health and health care options. Adult children and their aging parents need to establish some framework for making decisions about health care if parents are no longer able to do so. It is something best taken care of when all those involved have a say in planning for the future.

Not doing so might mean children will need to go to court to establish guardianship of their parent(s), which can be both costly and time-consuming. This can be avoided by having the documents in place should anything happen. There are some documents that are needed in these situations.

Results in on West Virginia coal mining accident investigation

An investigation into a recent coal mining death has concluded that the emergency stop on a mining machine that was remote controlled was overridden by a miner causing his death. The investigation also found that the warning lights on the machine weren't working and may have contributed to the West Virginia coal mining accident. The 32-year-old miner was killed when the machine he was working on pinned him against an underground wall.

Investigators of the Office of Miners' Health, Safety and Training said the emergency stop override on the machine was operating when the miner was working in a restricted zone. That stopped the machine from detecting anyone wearing a safety monitor entering the "red zone" which would have shut the machine down. It was also found that the red and green driver lights did not alternate, which they should have been to show that the system was bypassed.

Could social media hurt your personal injury claim?

It seems almost everything we do today potentially ends up in front of millions of eyes. Posting things on social media has become as common as brushing your teeth — whether that's the dinner you're about to eat at that fancy new restaurant in your West Virginia neighborhood to adding a new puppy to your family.

You might want to think twice, though, about posting anything regarding being injured — whether that's in an accident or from a slip-and-fall incident. You may impede any personal injury claim by doing so should you decide to pursue compensation.

Estate planning: What it means to die without a will

Dying can make things complicated for the living. When West Virginia residents ignore estate planning, they may be leaving their loved ones with much more than heartache. Dying without a last will and testament gives the state a lot of say in what may happen to one's assets.

The West Virginia Code spells out who will inherit a probate estate in the Mountain State when residents do not make their wishes clear in a last will and testament. In many instances, a surviving spouse will inherit all assets. In other instances, a spouse will inherit one-third of the estate and only half the estate in other cases.

Prenatal care issues may lead to W.Va. medical malpractice suits

Many women have to travel hours to get prenatal care in the Mountain State. These distances have contributed to medical malpractice cases in West Virginia. Because of the vast rural areas in the state, traveling for prenatal care for many soon-to-be moms isn't out of the ordinary, but more health care providers in country areas would be a step in the right direction.

Statistics show that almost half of all counties in the U.S. don't have a practicing ob-gyn. In fact, the U.S. is looking at a shortfall of between 6,000-8,000 ob-gyns by 2020 and about 22,000 by 2050. General practitioners were taking up a lot of slack and providing a lot of care for moms, but that has all but stopped. An increase in medical malpractice cases from the late 1990s to the early 2000s lead to an increase in family doctors' insurance premiums, so most GPs stopped prenatal care services.

Medical malpractice: West Virginia economy may be to blame

The head of the medical association in the Mountain State is suggesting that the depressed economy may be partly to blame for the state's ninth place ranking in the country's medical malpractice lawsuits. In a recent report West Virginia showed 29.6 medical malpractice lawsuits for every 100,000 of its residents. The state has laws that cap the amount of some monetary damages for medical malpractice cases against health care providers. Non-economic damages are limited to $250,000 or $500,000 depending upon the severity of the harm.

The state's medical association aims to prevent lawsuits by having a risk management program that requires all doctors to attend workshops and conferences yearly. Thirty-six states have apology laws, and West Virginia is one of them. These laws bar some statements, expressions and other evidence per disclosure from being allowable in a lawsuit.

Car accidents: 2 injured in crash between bus and delivery van

Two people were injured in a crash between a school bus and a delivery van recently in Berkeley County. West Virginia residents continue to be injured or to lose their lives in car accidents on the state's busy roads. In this case, both the driver of the bus and the van driver were taken to hospital with unknown injuries. One other person involved in the collision was not injured.

West Virginia state police, along with ambulance and fire crews, responded to the scene. There were no children on board the bus since it was between runs. Police say the collision is under investigation, but both the bus and the van suffered considerable damages. 

With a complex estate, DIY planning may not be the way to go

Estate planning can offer West Virginia residents numerous benefits. Not only can these plans help address the distribution of your assets after death, but you can also use your plan to address needs you may have while still alive. Because the decisions you make with these plans can have considerable impacts on your life and the lives of your surviving loved ones, you may want to ensure that you take the best approach in creating your estate plan.

For some, the idea of creating an estate plan on one's own may seem appealing. It could potentially help individuals save money while also letting others know their desires. However, if your estate meets certain criteria, taking the DIY approach may not work in your best interests.


Beckley Office
201 N. Kanawha St.
Beckley, WV 25801

Phone: 304-250-9532
Fax: 304-255-2189
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Charleston Office
105 Capitol St.
Suite 300
Charleston, WV 25301

Phone: 304-345-4611
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Lewisburg Office
106 N. Jefferson St.
Lewisburg, WV 24901

Phone: 304-992-9711
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