Written by on August 30, 2017 in blogs, Personal Injury

Unfortunately, the West Virginia Legislature has passed yet another law limiting your rights in medical negligence cases. This time, the restrictions apply to some of the most vulnerable of our society – the elderly and others who are injured in nursing homes, assisted care and acute care facilities.

For cases which arise after July 1, 2017, the required time period for filing a case has essentially been cut in half! An injured resident or their family who wants to bring a lawsuit for injuries or death caused in a nursing home, assisted care or acute care facility must now file a “Certificate” WITHIN ONE (1) YEAR, or they could lose their right to pursue a case. (The “Certificate” is explained in a July 29, 2015 blog.)

Therefore, if you or a loved one have a claim against a nursing home, assisted care or acute care facility, do not delay. Contact an attorney as soon as possible. These cases take time to prepare before they can be filed and you only have one (1) year.

This new restriction makes it even harder to protect the elderly from injuries and death caused from pressure ulcers, dehydration, malnutrition, medication errors, etc. As I advised you in a prior blog, even if the mistake is clear, many of these cases cannot be pursued because of the legal limits placed on the amount you can recover, the costs of “Certification,” the case expenses needed to prosecute the case, reimbursement of your health insurer or Medicare for the medical expenses paid on your behalf, and other limitations. See http://harvitschwartz.com/new-limits-on-medical-malpractice

Also, in another prior blog, I advised you that the injured party will have to pay one percent (1%) of their gross settlement or judgment to the West Virginia Board of Risk and Insurance Management, which will further limit your recovery! For further explanation of this “tax,” see this link:

Many states have found many of these laws to be unfair and have repealed them. Not in West Virginia! Our Legislature continues to limit your rights to a full recovery.

If you think these laws are unfair, then you should contact your State Legislator and tell him or her so. A list of Legislators and their contact information can be found here: http://www.legis.state.wv.us/index.cfm

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