Live Chat
Have a case? Call Colombo Law.

Useful Evidence for Proving Nursing Home Negligence

There is a certain amount of anxiety involved when leaving your loved one at a nursing home. This feeling is normal. Everyone wants their loved ones to get the care and attention they deserve and a nursing home is a great way to ensure your loved one’s needs will be met. Unfortunately, some individuals will not receive the best care possible. Once you are aware that your loved one is not obtaining the care he or she deserves, it is important to promptly address the issue with a manager at the nursing facility. If that does not resolve your issue or if your loved one suffers an injury as a result of the nursing home's negligence, contact Colombo Law to obtain assistance from an experienced attorney.

In order to successfully pursue a claim of negligence, there must be a showing that the nursing facility owed a duty to your loved one as well as a subsequent breach of that duty which caused your loved one to suffer damages. While there may be an inclination that your loved one is not receiving proper care, more is required to prove a claim of negligence. A couple of factors that will assist you in proving your negligence claim include:

  • Stage of the Illness: The stage of the patient’s illness can be key in determining negligence. For instance, bedsores progress in several different stages. If your loved one is in one of the later stages of the illness, it is a strong indicator that he or she is not receiving proper care and treatment.
  • Adequate Recordkeeping and Maintenance: Nursing homes are required to keep records in accordance with West Virginia statutes. Failing to keep adequate records and maintain the facility may rise to the level of negligence. With the assistance of an attorney, it is possible to obtain the records for your loved one, as well as investigate into the length of time the hazardous condition was present.

Proving a negligence claim can be a tricky endeavor. Many times it is difficult to show that your loved one's declining health is a direct result of the nursing home’s negligence. Elderly people frequently experience declining health while in the care of a nursing facility, so determining the trigger factor for the decline is crucial to a successful claim. In most instances, your loved one is unable to communicate what occurs in the nursing facility. Gathering as much evidence as possible is beneficial to your loved one's claim, but the knowledge of an experienced attorney will be most helpful in proving a negligence cause of action against a nursing home facility. Our firm is a full-service personal injury law firm located in Morgantown West Virginia. Our team of attorneys will meet with you to discuss the facts and circumstances of any nursing home negligence claim. Contact Colombo Law firm for a no-risk initial consultation.

What to Do if You Witness an Accident

Everyday there are accidents on streets and highways across the state. No one knows when exactly an accident will occur, but many know the devastating impact it will have on a family. The seconds and minutes following an accident are crucial and sometimes can be the difference between life and death. Witnesses to an accident can be invaluable when the immediate aftermath of an accident causes a chaotic scene. If you are a witness to a serious accident or incident, you can assist others by following some of the recommendations as follows:

  • Ensure Your Safety: There are many things that can be done to provide assistance following an accident while still keeping yourself and your loved ones safe. However, a serious accident can affect those directly involved in the accident and bystanders alike. If you are a bystander who has been injured in an accident, it is imperative that you take care of yourself before assisting others. When stopping for an accident, be sure to pull over at a safe place and put your flashers on to alert others who are traveling near the accident area.
  • Call the Police: It is important to call 911 when you witness an accident. Never assume that someone else called law enforcement personnel. If others are on the scene of the accident, you should check with them to see whether 911 has been called. If you are the first to witness the accident, call law enforcement and be sure to note the location of the accident, the roadway and direction of travel, as well as the condition of the parties.
  • Plan a Course of Action: Accidents can have a traumatic effect on those who witness them. You should properly assess the scene before planning your next course of action. If possible, that course of action should include checking on the victims to assess their conditions and directing traffic. When assessing the victim's health condition, try to avoid moving the victim unless absolutely necessary in case there unknown injuries to the victim's neck or back.
  • Take Pictures: Taking pictures of the scene of the accident may be extremely valuable. Many times, parties to the accident take photographs of the accident scene. Where there are serious accidents, the parties are sometimes unable to photograph the scene. Once the scene is altered, key details will not be able to be recovered. Be sure to photograph any road conditions or hazards, skid marks, and the position and condition of the vehicles.

About Colombo Law

Colombo Law is a full service personal injury law firm seeking to ensure that our clients obtain just compensation. We assists clients located in and around West Virginia including Morgantown, Fairmont, Clarksburg, Bridgeport, Kingwood, Grafton, Weston, Philippi, Buckhannon, Elkins, Parkersburg, as well as Monongalia, Marian, Harrison, Preston, Taylor, and Lewis county. If you or your loved ones have been injured in an accident and are looking for a no-risk initial consultation, contact an attorney at Colombo Law today.

Dangers of Distracted Driving: Playing Pokémon Go While Driving Can Be Fatal

The dangers associated with distracted driving have been the subject of many recent discussions in an effort to raise awareness and prevent accidents. Technological advancements and the need for instant gratification make it difficult to wait to complete any given task at a later date or time. Regardless of whether your distracted driving is a result of Facebooking, texting, eating, or playing Pokemon-Go, your decision can be fatal. If you have been injured in an accident as a result of another person's negligence, let Colombo Law help you obtain a just compensation for your injuries. Our skilled personal injury attorneys can discuss your claim during a no-risk initial consultation.

Pokémon Go and Negligence

Every driver owes other motorists on the road the duty of safe operation of a motor vehicle. This obligation is fulfilled by ensuring that their actions are the same as any reasonably prudent person’s. Pokémon Go allows you to find and catch more than a hundred species of Pokémon as you explore your surroundings. Different species are available by location. Recently, individuals desiring to pick up different species have been looking for them while on the road. Studies have shown that directing your attention to something other than the road in front you substantially increases your chances for an accident. In fact, one fortunate individual survived a serious accident after crashing his car into a tree while playing Pokémon Go.

If involved in an accident while playing Pokémon Go, it is likely the driver will be found negligent, as a reasonably prudent person is aware of the dangers of cellphone use while driving.

Proving Your Negligence Claim

Proving your negligence claim as a result of distracted driving can be difficult. If a driver does not readily admit to using a cell phone while driving, you will need the help of an experienced attorney who will need to investigate whether the cause of the accident was negligence. Although determining negligence can be complicated, the skilled attorneys at Colombo Law can make the process easier for you.

Contact Your Personal Injury Litigators Today

The damages that follow a distracted driving incident can be drastic. Typically, damages suffered include lost wages, out of pocket medical expenses, pain and suffering, and loss of consortium. These expenses can quickly cause financial strife or financial ruin. One of the main goals of the attorneys at Colombo Law is to restore your sense of security by rebuilding your financial wealth.

Colombo Law is a full service personal injury law firm located in Morgantown, West Virginia. We assists clients located in and around West Virginia including in Morgantown, Fairmont, Clarksburg, Bridgeport, Kingwood, Grafton, Weston, Philippi, Buckhannon, Elkins, Parkersburg, as well as Monongalia, Marian, Harrison, Preston, Taylor, and Lewis county.

Gym Injuries: What You Need to Know

Many individuals frequent gyms as a way to release energy, lose weight, or increase their overall health. Fitness centers grow in popularity each year as additional facilities appear in neighborhoods across America. Despite the intended use of increasing one's overall health, gyms often have the opposite effect for many individuals. Each year, thousands of individuals are injured in gyms across America leaving them with serious health consequences. If you or a loved one has been injured at a gym facility in West Virginia, contact Colombo Law for a free initial case review.

Common Gym Injuries

Health club injuries range in severity and may include:

  • Skin infections: Skin infections commonly occur in gym facilities. This type of injury sometimes occurs as a result of improper cleaning of exercise equipment or the facility itself including shower rooms, tanning beds, and saunas. Gyms are required to sanitize their fitness centers and equipment throughout the day. However, many facilities are open 24 hours a day and do not have staff members present at times outside of their most busy business hours. This creates increased hazards for skin infections.
  • Bodily injury as a result of a slip trip or fall: Fitness equipment such as dumbbells, ropes, and weights are often left out after use, creating a tripping hazard for other patrons.
  • Bodily injury as a result of faulty exercise equipment: When equipment malfunctions, gym owners are required to alert customers in an effort to avoid future injuries. However, some fitness centers fails to warn customers with appropriate signage resulting in injuries that could have been avoided.

Fitness center injuries include fractured or broken bones, torn ligaments, and trauma to the head or chest. The costs associated with a gym injury will quickly add up. If you or your loved ones are finding yourselves on the brink of financial ruin due to an unexpected gym injury, let one of our attorneys help you recover compensation.

Contact Colombo Law Today

No one deserves to suffer physically and financially for an injury that could have been avoided. Colombo Law is a full service personal injury law firm that wants to ensure that our clients obtain just compensation to ensure restoration of our clients financial positions. Our attorneys will fight to ensure that your case is handled promptly, efficiently, and in a way to obtain the most desirable result. We assists clients located in and around West Virginia including in Morgantown, Fairmont, Clarksburg, Bridgeport, Kingwood, Grafton, Weston, Philippi, Buckhannon, Elkins, Parkersburg, as well as Monongalia, Marian, Harrison, Preston, Taylor, and Lewis county. For a no- risk initial consultation, contact an attorney at Colombo Law today. 

Injured by an Uninsured Driver in the State of West Virginia?

A motor vehicle accident in West Virginia can often lead to great financial expense. In serious accidents, one or more parties may be injured. These injuries often include costly medical treatment, lost wages from missed work, and payments for damages to motor vehicles. Although the legal process to recover damages can be exhausting, many injured parties are relieved that there is a legal avenue to recoup funds from the insurance of the at-fault party. However, each year hundreds of individuals learn that the at-fault party involved in their accident is not insured. This is often discovered when the at-fault party leaves the scene of an accident. The stress that accompanies a motor vehicle accident can be drastically increased when that accident involves an uninsured driver.

If you or your loved one is involved in an accident involving an uninsured driver, you need to speak with an experienced attorney. The attorneys at Colombo Law are trained personal injury litigators who can meet with you to discuss your options following this type of unfortunate accident.

Uninsured Motorists Coverage in West Virginia

Each state has different laws regarding whether motorists are required to carry uninsured motorist coverage. In several states, motorists are not required to carry uninsured motorist coverage. When accidents occur in which an uninsured motorist is involved, individuals who have full coverage simply file a claim with their insurance company. However, West Virginia requires insurance companies to have uninsured motorists coverage within their insurance policies. The uninsured motorist coverage rates increased in 2016. Motorists are now covered for up to $25,000 per person, $50,000 per accident, and $25,000 for property damage. Many individuals may choose to simply take care of their claim through their own policy's uninsured motorists coverage. Unfortunately, these amounts often do not cover all of the injured party's damages in serious auto accidents.

Filing a Tort Claim Against a Motorist

In most cases, a civil action is filed against a motorist's insurance company. While this is typically the most feasible approach in accidents, if a motorist is not insured you may be able to initiate an action against the motorist individually. Nothing prohibits a motorist from initiating a lawsuit against another motorist in West Virginia. However, an attorney will need to investigate to determine whether it is beneficial to file a claim against the individual. Scheduling a consultation with an experienced attorney at Colombo Law will help you be better equipped to determine whether to file a tort claim against an uninsured individual.

About Colombo Law 

Colombo Law is a full service personal injury law firm located in Morgantown, West Virginia. We handle cases in and around West Virginia including in Morgantown, Fairmont, Clarksburg, Bridgeport, Kingwood, Grafton, Weston, Philippi, Buckhannon, Elkins, Parkersburg, as well as Monongalia, Marian, Harrison, Preston, Taylor, and Lewis county.

Drunk Driving Accidents and Civil Lawsuits Against the Wrongdoer

According to MADD, there are approximately 27 people who lose their lives to drunk driving accidents each day. Many more individuals are injured each day as a result of the decision to drive while under the influence of alcohol. Drunk driving accidents range in severity from minor accidents to those causing major health consequences, resulting in extended hospital stays. While many cases involving drug driving result in satisfied victims due to criminal charges being filed with the ultimate consequence of a conviction, license suspension, and in some cases jail time, criminal charges are not the sole remedy for victims. If you or someone you know has been involved in an accident involving a drunk driver, contact Colombo Law today to determine your rights to relief.

Criminal vs Civil Cases

While criminal and civil laws relating to drunk driving both serve important purposes, they are aimed at different forms of relief. The purpose of filing criminal DUI charges is to punish the wrongdoer for his or her actions and deter future similar conduct. Laws prohibiting drunk driving also seek to protect the public against the dangerous tendencies of individuals who underestimate their intoxication level or intentionally drive under the influence of alcohol. The purpose of civil proceedings is to compensate the victim for injuries sustained during the accident. The monetary compensation received serves as reimbursement for expenses such as out of pocket medical expenses, lost wages, and lost property. You will also be able to recover for noneconomic damages such as pain and suffering or permanent disfigurement.

Although the purposes of criminal and civil proceedings differ, criminal proceedings may benefit a party who seeks to bring a civil suit for damages. This is because criminal proceedings establish wrongdoing on the part of the defendant. A criminal conviction is beneficial in establishing negligence in your personal injury matter. However, you may still pursue civil proceeding against the wrongdoer even if criminal charges are not filed. There are different standards in criminal and civil proceedings which sometimes prevents criminal charges from being filed. The standard of evidence in civil cases is proving that it is more likely than not the defendant was negligent by drinking and driving. This civil preponderance of the evidence standard is much lower than the criminal standard of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Have You Been Injured by a Drunk Driver? Contact Colombo Law Today

Drunk driving accidents are serious and unfortunate encounters that impact the entire family. These devastating accidents take far too many lives each year and injure many others. Our attorneys want to help you and your loved ones rebuild your lives again after tragedy strikes. When a tragic accident happens, you need to speak with an experienced attorney at Colombo Law to ensure you obtain the relief you deserve.

Our attorneys are personal injury litigators in West Virginia. We handle cases in and around West Virginia including in Morgantown, Fairmont, Clarksburg, Bridgeport, Kingwood, Grafton, Weston, Philippi, Buckhannon, Elkins, Parkersburg, as well as Monongalia, Marian, Harrison, Preston, Taylor, and Lewis county.

Photo Copyright: ambrozinio / 123RF Stock Photo

Expert Witnesses in Personal Injury Cases

After an accident or incident, family members of the victim experience many of the consequences of injuries, regardless of whether they experienced the accident. These consequences include extreme pain as a result of your injuries, added stress due to increased obligation in addition to day-to-day responsibilities, and the loss of employment. The financial impact of an injury alone is enough to cripple a family. When you are injured in a negligence action, you deserve compensation to provided needed stability to you and your loved ones. The attorneys at Colombo Law strive to ensure that your case is presented in ways that will maximize your recovery. One of those strategies include introducing testimony from expert witnesses. If you are looking for an experienced personal injury attorney, contact Colombo Law today for a no-risk consultation.

What is an Expert Witness?

An expert witness is an individual who possesses specialized knowledge or experience in a particular field. The knowledge or experience of an expert witness can be acquired through different many different forms, including:

  • Education;
  • Training;
  • Certification;
  • Skills; or
  • Experience

Expert witnesses are not limited to one specific type of occupation. They may include retired law enforcement officers, medical doctors, physical therapists, and psychologists.

Expert witnesses must be accepted by a judge before the client may realize some of the benefits experts can provide. Once accepted as an expert, they are able to provide testimony that may serve as corroborating evidence or evidence that disproves an argument or theory provided by the opposing parties. Expert witnesses have the ability to make or break a case. That is why our attorneys ensure that our experts have a thorough understanding of the issues, experience in personal injury cases, and the ability to persuasively articulate a position regarding your claim.

Types of Testimony Experts may Offer

Experts have the ability to provide several different forms of testimony:

  • Opinion Testimony: An expert has the ability to offer testimony regarding his opinion on relevant issues in a case. The opinion can be based on facts or data in the case that the expert has become aware of or personally observed. Experts may also offer an opinion regarding a particular set of facts presented to discuss how the facts as presented may change a particular outcome.
  • Scientific: Experts also provide the necessary task of educating a jury. This education may also come in many forms. Regardless of the form, experts are hired to educate witnesses on scientific theories or explanations. They seek to explain and clarify the complexities involved in the case. Without an explanation of the scientific or technical matters, jurors may be confused about injuries or disbelief of the victim's account of what occurred that caused the injury.

While expert witnesses provide a major benefit in personal injury cases, they should only be used in cases after the injured party carefully weighs the benefits as expert witnesses are costly. If you or your loved one has been involved in an accident and you are unsure how to proceed, contact Colombo Law to obtain the guidance you need. Colombo Law is a full service personal injury law firm located in Morgantown, West Virginia. To schedule your initial consultation, contact Colombo Law today.

Photo Copyright: ikiryo / 123RF Stock Photo

Benefits of Conducting Depositions

Each year, there are thousands of accidents or incidents causing serious bodily injury as a result of another individual’s negligence. Many injured parties rightfully initiate civil actions to obtain compensation for their injuries. However, every civil action case, including personal injury cases, turns on evidence. All admissible evidence has the potential to make or break a case. In successful cases, presenting strong evidence relating to negligence or injuries will allow you to obtain the maximum amount of relief available for your injury.

One powerful tool for gathering evidence is through discovery. There are many different forms of discovery, one being depositions. Depositions are a beneficial way to collect evidence, so long as you are represented by an experienced attorney. If you or your loved one has been injured in an accident or incident, contact Colombo Law today.

Depositions have a variety of benefits. These include:

  • Providing a unique opportunity to gauge a witness: Many times, attorneys do not have the opportunity to speak with or question the opposing party or other witnesses. A deposition prior to the actual trial date allows your attorney to develop some insight regarding the potential witness’ temperament, ability to answer and comprehend questions, as well as the overall impression that may be conveyed to jurors should the witness testify. This information is beneficial in preparing for trial and how to proceed with questioning during the trial. Ultimately, having an understanding of the opposing party and their witnesses may strengthen your case and probability of recovery.
  • Gathering key information: Depositions are not conducted in every case, particularly those cases in which there are only legal issues in dispute. Depositions are designed to gather testimony and gain clarification on certain facts that are either disputed or unknown. Typically, depositions will have witnesses expand on allegations made or information provided in other types of discovery (such as written interrogatories or production of documents). Gathering expanded information during a deposition is sometimes invaluable as parties are not always prepared for extended testimony at this stage of litigation and may expose some inconsistencies in testimony. The more prepared your attorney is for your deposition, the more beneficial the deposition will be.
  • Depositions create a binding record: Depositions are conducted in the presence of a court reporter. During a deposition, witnesses are sworn in and are under an obligation to tell the truth. The court reporter then transcribes all the testimony provided and transmits a copy of the same to the parties upon request. This becomes a binding record. This is beneficial as there is an official record of statements made should any inconsistencies develop in the future.

Colombo Law: Experienced Personal Injury Attorneys

When you  or your loved one has been injured in a devastating accident or incident, you need an experienced personal injury attorney to help fight your case. All of our attorneys are experienced personal injury lawyers who have helped thousands of individuals recover the maximum amount of compensations for their injuries. We want to help you win your claim. Our attorneys are available to assist clients in Morgantown, Fairmont, Clarksburg, Bridgeport, Kingwood, Grafton, Weston, Philippi, Buckhannon, Elkins, Parkersburg, as well as Monongalia, Marion, Harrison, Preston, Taylor, and Lewis County. For a risk-free consultation, contact Colombo Law today.

Photo Copyright: kzenon / 123RF Stock Photo

What You Should Know if Your Child is Injured in an Accident

There are thousands of personal injury actions settled or taken to trial every year. A tragic accident does not skip over any specific class of individuals. These cases involve men, women, and children without bias. However, several aspects of a personal injury case differ when a minor child is the injured party. Special rules are put in place to provide greater protection to minor parties. If you or your loved one has suffered from injuries associated with an accident or incident, contact Colombo Law today for a no- risk initial consultation regarding your claim.

Main Differences in Personal Injury Actions Involving a Minor Children

The statute of limitations time period varies. The statute of limitations is created to place restrictions on when individuals can use a court of law as a remedy to resolve disputes and seek damages for injuries. Ordinarily the statute of limitations for personal injury actions is two years. This two-year statute of limitations begins from the date the accident or incident occurs. If an individual fails to meet the required statute of limitations, he or she has missed the opportunity to pursue legal recourse for his or her personal injury. Courts create limited exceptions for which it allows individuals to bring a cause of action outside of this time frame.

One exception to the rule occurs in instances in which a minor party is the injured victim. Generally, in personal injury actions where a minor child is the injured party, the statute of limitations will not begin to run until the minor child turns 18. Once the individual turns 18, that individual has two years to file a cause of action. This rule, however does not apply to cases involving medical malpractice.

Children cannot file suit on their own behalf. In most civil actions, the real party in interest must file a claim against the wrongdoer to recover for any damages or monies due. However, there are certain exceptions to this rule, as well. Certain instances preclude individuals from filing claims on their own behalf. One instance is where the victim is a minor, unless the minor has been emancipated. In most instances, the minor child’s parent(s) files the action on the child’s behalf. Other instances include where there is death or incapacity which makes the victim incapable of testifying.

Negligence standard of care. The state of West Virginia is a comparative fault state. This means that an individual cannot collect any amount of damages equal to the percentage in which the individual caused their injury. In cases in which minors are the injured parties, there are special rules with regard to comparative negligence. They are as follows:

  • Minors under the age of 7 are incapable of negligence. Regardless of whether the child actively participated in causing their injuries, they cannot be considered negligent.
  • Minors between the ages of 7 and 14 are presumed incapable of negligence. However, the Defendant can present evidence to refute the presumption.
  • Minors between the age of fourteen or older are older are presumed to be capable of negligence.

There are many differences in personal injury actions where the minor child is a party. Although unique, your minor child’s personal injury case is important to recover for the costs expended and ensuring financial stability for your loved one’s future. Our attorneys are experienced personal injury lawyers who are equipped to handle your minor child’s unique case. For a risk-free initial consultation, contact Colombo Law today. 

Photo Copyright: pkazmercyk / 123RF Stock Photo

Circumstances That Impact a Personal Injury Award

Many individuals who suffer from injuries as a result of an accident can find themselves overwhelmed with emotional and financial problems. These victims have no access or limited access to funds due to the loss of employment and are experiencing trying times as they try to juggle whether to rest or push through the pain to meet their daily obligations. At Colombo Law, our attorneys believe injured parties deserve the greatest possible compensation for their injuries. However, there are many factors that may have an impact on the amount of compensation an injured party receives as well as the ability to successfully prove a claim. The following is a list of circumstances that may have an impact on your claim:

Extent of the Injury

The extent of an injury is one of the most important factors in determining the amount of compensation. A serious injury will have a greater probability of recovery as well as a higher settlement offer and/or jury award. This is inevitable because cases in which there is a serious bodily injury will require longer recovery periods, increasing the claim for lost wages, medical expenses, loss of consortium, and pain and suffering. These additional losses have an effect on any personal injury claim. To obtain an estimated amount of recovery, contact Colombo Law today.

Contribution to Your Injury

The state of West Virginia is a modified comparative negligence state. If it is determined that you have contributed to your injury (caused some of your own damages) your award will be reduced to the extent in which you caused your own injury. In addition, if your injury is more than 50% caused by your own fault, your personal injury claim may be barred. This is why it is so important to seek medical care after an injury and follow the advice as instructed by your care provider.

Experienced Representation

Having the knowledge and representation of an experienced attorney is essential for you to maximize your claim for relief. This could mean thousands in additional recovery. The benefits of a firm that practices personal injury law are as follows:

  • Experienced personal injury lawyers know the typical amount of recovery for many injuries. They can better advise you of when a settlement offer should be accepted, given the facts and circumstances of your case.
  • Experienced personal injury lawyers know the right questions to ask that will allow them to gather all of the relevant facts.
  • Experienced personal injury lawyers know that personalized representation is necessary in every case as injuries may be similar between cases but the experiences in every personal injury case are different, requiring specialized attention.

Colombo Law is a personal injury law firm located in Morgantown, West Virginia. Since opening, our firm has helped thousands of personal injury victims recover the maximum amount of compensation possible for their injuries. Our satisfaction comes from successfully representing clients allowing them to rebuild their lives and obtain financial security for the future of their families that will help generations to come. To be a part of a team that thrive on results driven success, contact Colombo Law today.

Photo Copyright: gajus / 123RF Stock Photo