Rich’s Viewpoint
in West Virginia

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Rich — Health Care Law Attorneys in Charleston, WV
Why I’m a Personal Injury (PI) Lawyer

I’m a Personal Injury Lawyer for two reasons: (1) At heart I’m for the little guy, injured, and forgotten; and (2) it’s a challenge. Both reasons are intertwined to the extent that our laws are largely in opposition to the little guy, injured and forgotten. Especially for medical malpractice claims.

First, before a medical malpractice lawsuit is filed, an injured person must produce an affidavit signed by a physician stating under oath that the claim has merit. This must be done before a Complaint is filed and without the opportunity of discovery, i.e. the opportunity to ask the defendant doctor or nurse questions under oath.

Second, it is an injured person’s burden to prove his or her case. He or she must prove each and every element: liability, causation and damages, to reasonable degree of medical certainty just for the opportunity to be heard by a judge and jury.

Finally, our state laws arbitrarily place monetary caps on damages for those individuals injured by a doctor, nurse, hospital and/or health professional. These caps restrict the amount that can be awarded no matter how great or painful the injury. In addition, monetary caps lead to a number of meritorious cases not being filed because the significant cost of litigation does not justify the possible award.

He who jests has never felt the pain

One of my favorite Shakespeare quotes is “He jests at scars that never felt a wound” fromRomeo and Juliet. This statement accurately reflects the perception of another’s injury. For most people it is difficult to feel another’s pain. To be empathetic. To understand. Each of us are the result of our experiences. And thankfully most people have not been a victim of medical negligence. So, it’s always challenging to illustrate to a jury the extent of pain and loss a victim of medical negligence has suffered regardless of whether it’s the loss of a child, a mother or the ability to walk or talk.

My Family, your sword

I’m a lucky dog. I work with my family. It’s not always easy. And there are certainly issues that come up that are distinct from those encountered in a normal work environment. But, working with family as opposed to working for a stranger, makes the work I do personal. It’s not only personal to the extent that we have a business that must succeed, but becomes personal for and on behalf of our clients. Each client brings with them a story of their family; a story of loss or tragedy as a consequence of someone else’s carelessness. A story that effects not just an individual, but their brothers or sisters, mothers or fathers and sons or daughters. Their experience is then felt by my family as we become engaged and absorbed in their pain; in their claim. In doing so, we become their sword in pursuit of a just and lawful remedy. At the end of the day we cannot undue their past loss, but we can attempt to make certain that they are heard. That they have their day in Court. That their loss is recognized and felt.