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Wheeling Personal Injury Law Blog

What is PTSD?

Some mental disorders can occur suddenly in a person who has no family history of them. One of those is post traumatic stress disorder, which is a psychiatric disorder caused by trauma of some type, according to the American Psychiatric Association. PTSD can happen to anyone in West Virginia. Although, it is often associated with people who have serviced in the military, specifically in combat zones, and those who have been through a seriously traumatic experience.

PTSD causes intense feelings and thoughts that are linked to traumatic experience. It can cause flashbacks, depression and emotional distance. Some people with the disorder may also start abusing drugs or alcohol. It may make people retreat away from others or react strongly to certain situations or triggers, such as sounds, people, smells or other sensory stimuli. The severe reactions that characterize PTSD can be triggered by anything that even remotely relates to the trauma the person went through.

3 causes of preventable deaths in hospitals

When you are ill or simply being proactive about your health, you may visit a hospital for a check-up or treatment. The last thing you would expect is to have your health worsened. Too often, though, hospitals threaten patients' health as much as they improve it. This is evidenced by the striking number of preventable deaths and illnesses that occur in hospitals each year.

According to the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, mistakes in hospitals claim the lives of approximately 440,000 patients annually in the United States. Consider the following three common causes of death that can be prevented in a hospital setting:

Could technology make offshore drilling safer?

There are many dangerous professions in West Virginia. One of the toughest is offshore drilling. Not only are you away from your family but you are also in the middle of a body of water. Getting help or reacting to an emergency is hindered by the job location. Then, there is the risk of working with flammable substances and complex equipment. As much as the industry works to make things safe for employees, it does not stop the many injuries and deaths that occur every year.

However, according to The Next Web, technology may be the solution to keeping oil rig workers safe. Automated monitoring systems are being tested to see if they can help. These systems are able to check and watch over rigs to spot any weaknesses or other issues within the equipment or lines that could lead to explosions, leaks or fires.

What is required to prove medical malpractice?

There are many situations where people in West Virginia may not be happy with a health care provider, but how can you know when your situation goes beyond just being unhappy and is an actual case of medical malpractice? The answer lies in the law, which is very specific as to what needs to be proven in order for a charge of malpractice to be levied.

According to the West Virginia Legislature, there is a general level of care that everyone should expect from medical providers and that is required under law. When a provider does not meet this level of care, it is possible malpractice has occurred. To this end, the state requires that to prove your case, you must show that your provider did not provide you with a proper level of care. This means that he or she did not treat you in a way that another health care provider would have done in the same situation. This lack of care needs to have caused you injury.

Preventing your children from causing distractions while driving

You are on your way to the grocery store and your toddler drops his toy onto the floor of the car. He asks you to get it and you inform him that you will when you arrive at the store. He begins wailing and is eventually screaming so loud that you cannot even hear yourself thinking. At Gellner Law Offices, we have helped many parents in West Virginia who have been involved in automobile accidents. 

There is little else as stressful as driving with your children sometimes. You may find yourself trying to break up fights, retrieve toys, open fruit snacks, hand water bottles or even catch vomit all while trying to drive at the same time. Unfortunately, these distractions can create a major diversion from driving and leave your family's wellbeing and safety at risk. According to Parents, there are some helpful preventative measures you can take to reduce the amount of distractions you deal with while in the car. Some of the things you can do include the following:

  • Abandon your cell phone: Do not give into the temptation to fiddle with your phone while you are driving. Set a good example for your children and keep everyone safer. 
  • Stock up on food: Make sure that you take care of your food needs before you leave the house. If you think your children will be asking for food, give them each a snack before you begin driving. 
  • Be aware of other distractions: Know what other distractions you are prone to giving into while you are driving. Examples include programming your GPS or trying to do your makeup. Make an active effort to prepare ahead of time so you can avoid the temptation to multitask. 

What is whiplash?

One of the most common injuries you hear about that occurs in auto accidents in West Virginia is whiplash. This condition is often used in television shows and movies, as well. If you have never suffered from the condition, then you may wonder exactly what it is. Most people know it has to do with the neck but beyond that are unclear what it entails.

According to WebMD, whiplash is just another name for neck strain. It is often associated with car accidents due to the way the body is whipped around during an impact. The head is heavy and when it is pushed forward and snaps back, this causes stress to the muscles and supporting structures in the neck.

Taking on the big guys

At Gellner Law Offices, we understand that our clients come to us in a state of stress. More often than not, informal methods have failed in their pursuit of justice. They often see us as their last chance to obtain the compensation they deserve against seemingly insurmountable odds. We are proud to represent our clients in their contests against even the largest opponents.

The first step we take is usually an in-depth analysis of the details of our potential client's case. Often, people come to us with conflicts involving powerful hospitals, petroleum companies, large manufacturers or even their own employers. These incidents could eventually take form as a number of different types of cases, including the following:

Fracking brings a worrisome increase in truck traffic and crashes

Trucks are a common sight on West Virginia roads, especially semi tractor-trailers. However, with the advent of fracking activities, there has been an increase in oil tankers and other large trucks related to the industry.

More truck traffic translates to more accidents that can result in severe injury or death.

What are the safety hazards of oil and gas extraction?

Extracting gas or oil is a dangerous business in West Virginia, but it also is a necessary one. Those who work in this field face daily hazards that could cost them their lives but they do so to help everyone else get the energy sources they need. If you choose to work in this industry, it is a good idea to familiarize yourself with the risks.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration outlines various categories of hazards that are commonly seen in the gas and oil industry. The first are explosions and fires, which are obvious due to the highly combustible nature of oil and gas. These hazards can happen when a spark ignites a fume and can occur in an instant.

How are damages awarded in a wrongful death case?

Losing someone you love to the negligence of someone else is a horrible situation. While accidents happen all the time, you do have the right to file a wrongful death case in this situation. It is important, though, to understand your rights in West Virginia when filing this type of case.

The first thing to know, according to the West Virginia Legislature, is that you can only file a wrongful death claim if you are financially dependent upon your loved one. You also must file the claim within two years of the death of your loved one or you lose your right to sue.

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We invite you to schedule an appointment with Greg today to talk more about your injury or incident, what you can potentially recover and why we are the uniquely suited to help you. Call 304-242-2900 today. You can also send a confidential email.

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