West Virginia Personal Injury Lawyer Blog

The Benefits of Teaching a Baby to Sign

My daughter decided before her baby was even born that she was going to teach the baby sign language. I was skeptical and uncertain why you would want to signDarcy Springer portrait headshot.jpg to your baby. Would the little one depend on signing and not learn to talk? My niece did some limited signing with her little one and felt that it was a deterrent for him in beginning to talk (let me tell you - he is now three and he definitely talks!). So, when my granddaughter was about five to six-months-old my daughter started signing to her. She initially used three to four signs: drink, milk, more, and bath. As she got older, more signs were introduced: water, ball, duck, please, eat, and noises. This went on for months and months with seemingly no results.

Once baby girl hit her first birthday, it all started to sink in! She started with the sign for more. More fruit, more milk and then more tickle!! We knew she understood exactly what more was when she wanted more tickles. It's one thing to want more food, but more tickles seemed to prove that she knew what more actually was.

Allstate Insurance Company Releases Its 10th Annual "America's Best Drivers Report"

Allstate Insurance Company recently released its 10th annual "America's Best Ty.jpgDrivers Report." Among America's smaller cities, Pittsburgh ranked dead last in terms of car crash frequency. A "smaller city" was determined to have a population of 250,000-499,999 people. According to the report, the average driver in Pittsburgh will experience a crash every 6.6 years and is 51.3 percent more likely to crash than the average American.

"We don't want drivers in Pittsburgh to be discouraged by their ranking. Instead, we want the report to challenge drivers in Pittsburgh to make positive changes to their driving," said Blair Bogdan, Pittsburgh-area Allstate agent. "Our goal with this report is to make the cities that fall on the bottom of the list safer places to live and raise families."

The Surprise House Guest

'Twas the night before an exam and all through the house not a creature was mousefb.jpgstirring except for A MOUSE! It was last Tuesday, I was almost asleep until I heard my roommate Sarah, call out, "Liv, there is a mouse. It just ran behind the couch." I called her crazy until I saw the mouse myself. I immediately thought that it would make sense for the mouse to come inside since every other creepy crawler in the town of West Liberty likes to move in with us.

Due to the fact that we are two college students who have always had our fathers kill the creepy crawlers when living at home, we argued over who was going the lift the couch up and who was to swat at the mouse; yes, our weapon of choice was a fly swatter. Since we have terrible aim when it comes to smashing any bugs, Sarah came up with the bright idea to open the door in hopes that the mouse would run out. I hopped on her back as she made the heroic move to unlock the door. As we lifted the couch up, anxious to see what would happen next, there was no sign of the mouse. Frazzled, we both continued to check under all the other pieces of furniture, but still could not find a trace of the mouse...until Sunday night.

A Truly Frightening Medical Crisis

The ongoing Ebola scare in the United States has led to calls for broad travel bans, gcb.jpgthe appointment of an "Ebola Czar" from President Obama's administration, and a general feeling that our government at all levels should be doing everything in their collective power to stop a virus that has infected a few Americans. Perhaps only time will tell whether this response was justified or an overreaction, but one thing is for certain, there is another healthcare epidemic going on in our country that we hear very little about. To the extent the media reports on it at all, those reports advocate for less safety, not more. This healthcare epidemic results in at least 210,000 to 400,000 deaths per year, with events of serious harm being perhaps 10 or 20 times higher than that. Experts who have studied that epidemic have concluded that these deaths and injuries are "preventable," but there is no public outcry. What is this healthcare epidemic? Medical malpractice.

A Great Day in Wheeling

It was Friday, September 19, 2014, and I had the day off.emd blb.jpg 

For the first time in a very long time, I found myself without any commitments or housework to catch up on. This time something was different, my youngest has entered kindergarten; the kids were all in school!!! I had several hours-this is like gold to me.

Child Car Seat Safety - Buckle Every Child, Every Time

Every year, thousands of children are tragically injured or killed in vehicle crashes. In fact, collisions are the leading cause of death for children ages one to thirteen.Zak Zatezalo small portrait headshot.jpg Unfortunately, in our line of work we routinely encounter folks who have been seriously injured in automobile or tractor-trailer collisions. These incidents are often heartbreaking. But nothing is more upsetting than when a collision involves injuries to a child. Statistics shows that road injuries are the leading cause of preventable deaths and injuries to children in the United States, but correctly used child safety seats can reduce the risk of death by as much as 71 percent.

As the father of a seven-year-old, I thought we were past the days of bulky car seats and five-point harnesses for her. However, I recently learned how wrong I was. Apparently I am not alone, as 73 percent of car seats are not used or installed correctly! For those of us with children, we understand how much time our kids spend in vehicles. So it's always a good idea to periodically review child car seat laws and guidelines to make certain that we, as caregivers, are doing right by our children, no matter their age, every time we put them in the car. What follows are some handy tips:

Forget what you've Heard about Hearsay

Evidence was a class I enjoyed in law school. I think a lot of that was because I lpp.jpgreally liked my professor. Also because the class was in the afternoon, and I am not a morning person. But one of the real reasons that I enjoyed Evidence class was that a lot of what we discussed in the class was familiar to me even before I grappled with the subject matter or read the cases or rules we studied in class. I recognized many of the words and phrases we were studying. As a Law & Order enthusiast for many years before law school, I'd heard Sam Waterston yell "objection!" more times than I could count. I'd heard him accuse the defense of "badgering the witness" and I'd heard him question the relevance of testimony. But more than anything, I heard about "hearsay."

Now that I am a practicing attorney, I realize that many clients must have also heard about hearsay just as much as I had. Particularly when preparing for a deposition, or answering written discovery requests, clients will often worry about their ability answer a particular question, because the only information they have was learned from another person, or was hearsay. This is a very valid question for a client to have, and I am always glad that people ask. The good news for clients is that you don't have to worry too much about whether something is hearsay or not. We, as lawyers, get to worry about that for you! Nonetheless, it can often help ease the uncertainty that comes with answering discovery or having your deposition taken to have a little better understanding of what hearsay means and the role it plays in a lawsuit.

The Not-So-Long-Distance Grandma

My 18-month-old granddaughter lives half of her life in Miami, Florida and the other half in Nassau, Bahamas. While that may be great for her, I hate being so Darcy Springer portrait headshot.jpgfar away. With the use of our iPhones and Facetime, the distance issue becomes so much easier. Ella and I have a Facetime visit every few days - my daughter is so wonderful about keeping me in Ella's life and I so love her for it. Here is how a Facetime visit works.

I answer my Facetime call and on the other end is the face of my beautiful granddaughter! I wave to her and she waves back. I ask her what she has been doing all day and just carry on a conversation with her. Since she doesn't talk a whole lot, she just listens and carries me all over the house! Since my daughter has taught Ella sign language, if I mention something that she knows the sign for, she signs - her favorite being duck! She will take me in her little carnival tent from Ikea and we tell stories and share secrets! Sometimes she lays me on the floor and walks off. My daughter will say, "Ella, you left Gigi over there, go get her!" Ella will grab the phone, give me a big smile, and carry me off somewhere else! When Ella has the phone, I see all kinds of strange things - eyeballs (which is now a vocabulary word), bellies, nostrils, ceiling fans - you know how it goes if you accidently leave your video camera on and walk around.

A Kindly Gesture

A kindly gesture can go a long way. Making kindly gestures a part of youremd blb.jpg everyday behavior is ideal, but realistically it doesn't always happen. Sometimes, just sometimes, that kindly gesture may need some talking into before you actually do it, but at least you made the right choice.

Something recently happened that made me want to address this very issue.

I try to make a general conscientious effort to open the door for people whether they are older or younger; male or female; it's just a nice thing to do.

I try to greet people with a friendly smile and say hello or pay a little closer attention to someone who may seem to be having a day where they kind of need a friend or maybe for just one good thing to happen and, sometimes, for no reason at all.

I must admit I am very proud when I do those things effortlessly.

I am proud when I do it even if I had to talk myself into it.

I am proud that I am ashamed when I do not.

Recently, on the way home from work, my youngest child was in extra-hyped mode. With this said, it's not a normal-hyped mode. She has a condition that she cannot control. It is hyperactivity disorder.

Blog, Blog, Blog!

I must live a terribly boring life. I cannot think of anything to blog about thatLinda Scaggs.jpg I think people would be interested in. I have reviewed my life in my mind - let's see - Monday through Thursday (my new work week!) I am at work. Friday and Saturday, I am at home. Oh, wait! Friday and Saturday during spring, summer and into the fall, I am hitting up garage sales.

This is an activity that my husband also enjoys, so we garage sale (or go "garaging") and then sometimes go to breakfast. I love to dig through other people's "stuff" and sometimes I am rewarded with a really great find! I "do" the Awana Christmas Store at my Church (First Baptist of Wheeling), so I need lots and lots of good, clean "stuff" for ages nursery through 12th. I have found that grandmas get Christmas gifts they can't use, since by the time they get to that age, they have everything. This is good for me! They keep the gift in its original box, and VOILA! I purchase it for a great price in their garage sale. So, not only do I have great items for the store, I get the items at a great price.

recent verdicts & news

Winning Experience: Read about our Appellate Decisions, as well as our Verdicts and Settlements.  Recent cases: Kilgore v. Bedi , (Ohio County, West Virginia, 2013) - Medical Malpractice, Personal Injuries - nearly $900,000 Verdict -- Turkoly v. Gentile et al. , Verdict, $5,100,000.00 (Medical Malpractice, Mahoning County, Ohio, 2013) -- Cox v. Personal Service Insurance Company , (Belmont County, Ohio, 2012) - Bad Faith Insurance Practices - $10,000,000.00 Verdict;