Resources for Personal Injury, Medical Malpractice, Nursing Home Neglect, Social Security Disability and Employment Law in West Virginia
The Bayless Law Firm provides the following links for the benefit of individuals in West Virginia seeking information about car accidents, defective products, medical malpractice, nursing home abuse and neglect, Social Security disability, and employment law topics such as discrimination, harassment and wage violations. These resources may provide all the help you need, but if you find you need professional assistance with a particular legal matter, please contact the Bayless Law Firm in Princeton to speak with an experienced personal injury and employment law attorney with a record of successful results.
Personal Injury Resources
Although funded by insurance companies, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety is an independent nonprofit organization dedicated to reducing deaths and injuries from crashes. Keep up to date here on the latest trends in traffic safety, from structural reinforcements to prevent roof crushes to teen driving laws and self-braking cars.
The National Safety Council is a nonprofit organization that engages in research, education and advocacy to prevent injuries and deaths at home, in the workplace and on the road, addressing topics such as teen driving, distracted driving and workplace safety.
AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety addresses issues such as teen driving, senior driving, road rage and more in an attempt to promote a safety culture regarding driving to reduce fatalities for drivers, passengers, cyclists and pedestrians.
Kelley Blue Book is a trusted resource to help you determine what your car is worth, in the event it has been damaged and you are seeking to value it for insurance purposes.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration was established to prevent crashes and achieve the highest standards in motor vehicle and highway safety. Recent NHTSA safety campaigns include drunk driving awareness and child passenger safety week. NHTSA also operates www.distraction.gov, the official U.S. government website for distracted driving.
The Bureau of Transportation Statistics is a division of the U.S. Department of Transportation providing data and statistics on a number of different transportation topics, including vehicles, safety and passenger travel.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) creates regulations governing truck drivers and trucking companies, including maximum hours of service for truckers, required safety equipment, and maintenance and inspection routines. In the event of a truck accident, reviewing the trucker driver and company logbooks can help determine whether FMCSA regulations were being followed before the collision.
Dozens of household products are recalled every month due to fire hazards, choking hazards and other serious and deadly dangers. Find out about the latest recalls and learn safety tips at the website for the Consumer Products Safety Commission. For information on dangerous drugs and defective medical devices, visit the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. In addition to the CPSC and the FDA, there is a national centralized website for safety recalls. At www.Recalls.gov, you can view the most recent recalls for consumer products, motor vehicles, boats, food, medicine, cosmetics and environmental products. You can even sign up to receive free e-mail alerts whenever a product is recalled. Just be prepared to get a lot of emails.
Employment Law Resources
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is the main federal government agency in charge of investigating and enforcing workplace discrimination and harassment. The EEOC investigates claims of discrimination based on race, color, ethnicity/national origin, gender/sex, or religion under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, as well as disability discrimination under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), age discrimination under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), pregnancy discrimination under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA), and even discrimination based on a person’s genetic information under the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA).
At the state level, the West Virginia Human Rights Commission investigates and adjudicates complaints of employment discrimination under the West Virginia Human Rights Act, which prohibits treating people differently based on their race, religion, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, age (40 and above), blindness and/or disability. In addition, the Act protects against sexual harassment and racial harassment and allows for reasonable accommodations for individuals with disabilities. Whistleblowers are also protected from retaliation for complaining about discrimination to their boss or to the Commission.
The Wage & Hour section of the West Virginia Division of Labor makes sure that workers receive all the wages and benefits that are due to them, including paying the applicable minimum wage, prevailing wage, unpaid wages or improper deductions, and unpaid overtime. Federal wage and hour law is governed by the United States Department of Labor under the Fair Labor Standards Act, which establishes federal minimum wage and maximum hour requirements, as well as allowable exemptions from overtime.
Social Security Disability Resources
The main resource for information on social security disability is of course the Social Security Administration (SSA). To learn more about disability benefits, or to apply for benefits or check on your application status, visit the SSA disability claims page.
Before you apply for SSD, download the application checklist so you can make sure you have all the documents and information you will need.
To get an idea of what your disability or survivor benefits might be, use one of the Benefit Calculators on the SSA website.
If you are unsure whether your disability meets SSA’s strict definition of disability, the on-line disability planner may prove helpful. This planner is useful if you already know that you have enough work credits to qualify for SSD. Of course, meeting with an experienced social security disability attorney may get you a fuller and more definitive answer. The Bayless Law Firm will provide you with a free initial consultation regarding your eligibility for SSD or help if your application has been denied.
People who qualify for SSD often qualify for Medicare as well. The SSA website includes a page on Medicare benefits that allows you to apply for benefits, get help with prescription drug costs, or get a replacement Medicare card.
Nursing Home Neglect Resources
If you are looking for a nursing home or need more information about the facility you are currently using, Nursing Home Compare is an excellent resource provided by Medicare that enables you to compare nursing homes in your area based on Medicare’s five star quality rating system.
To report abuse or neglect in a West Virginia nursing home, contact the Office of the Inspector General or the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Services. You can also contact the local Department of Health Human Resources for your county or call the 24-hour hotline at (800) 352-6513.
Medical Malpractice Resources
The American Medical Association (AMA) is the foremost organization of physicians in the country. View the AMA Code of Medical Ethics to learn what the profession expects of its members regarding the doctor-patient relationship and other aspects of the medical practice.
The West Virginia Board of Medicine licenses all doctors and physician assistants in the state and is the regulatory and disciplinary body for M.D.’s and P.A.’s. Click here to view license information on a particular physician, including whether the doctor has any discipline or malpractice cases on record. Click here to file a complaint against a physician.