West Virginia might be small and rural, but that has not stopped pharmaceutical and biotechnical companies from setting up shop. And pharmacies there have been ordering far more supplies than what they conceivably need – one pharmacy in Kermit, West Virginia, a town with just 392 residents, received 9 million opioid pills in just two years. Pharma companies McKesson, Cardinal and AmerisourceBergen have made $17 billion between 2007 and 2012 after shipping 423 million opioids to the state. Those companies distribute 85% of the nation's drugs, and West Virginia has the highest rate of overdoses in the country. Lawyers are finally bringing Big Pharma to task for what they have done, starting class action lawsuits and untangling the threads of the opioid crisis. Whatever help you need, if you have been hurt and require assistance for your personal injury case, Enjuris can offer guidance.
West Virginia Personal Injury Cases & Accident Info
West Virginia statutes online
This is where you’ll find the West Virginia Code. The website has details about how long you have to bring a case, monetary limits on personal injury cases (which are also known as damage caps), and other important information.
West Virginia's car accident statutes of limitation
In West Virginia, you have two years to bring both a personal injury and a property damage claim. That means you have two years to file your paperwork with the court, not that your case has to be completed in that time frame.
The first meeting with a personal injury attorney is normally free. (Note that other legal specialties, such as family law or domestic relations law, are different.) After that, lawyers work on a contingency basis, which means that they will receive a third of the eventual reward, plus whatever office expenses they incur along the way.
If your case proceeds to trial, that percentage could rise to 40% of the eventual reward or judgment. These numbers aren't determined by law, so don't be surprised if your lawyer suggests something else.
These are some cases of legal importance that came out of West Virginia's courts:
Virginia v. West Virginia, 78 U.S. 39 (1871): This U.S. Supreme Court case led to West Virginia breaking away from Virginia to become its own state. The 6-3 ruling held that Berkeley and Jefferson counties would join West Virginia during the height of Unionist grumblings. There is an argument that the state itself is unconstitutional, as during the Wheeling Conventions when the votes were being taken for Virginia to secede from the United States, Berkeley and Jefferson counties weren't even allowed to participate in the voting, as they were under Confederate control at the time. Meanwhile, Article IV of the Constitution says: "New States may be admitted by the Congress into this Union; but no new State shall be formed or erected within the Jurisdiction of any other State... without the Consent of the Legislatures of the States concerned as well as of the Congress." However, as the governor allowed the votes and Congress passed a resolution acknowledging the transfer, West Virginia became its own state.
West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette, 319 U.S. 624 (1943): The Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment of the United States Constitution means that students cannot be forced to say the Pledge of Allegiance during school or have to salute the flag. This case was brought by Jehovah's Witnesses and was a huge victory for them, as they are bound by religion not to salute or pledge to graven symbols of temporal government. The court did not discuss this in terms of religious beliefs, but in that the state does not have the power to compel anyone to salute the flag or recite the Pledge of Allegiance.
West Virginia v. Butler, No. 16-0543 (2017): West Virginia's hate-crime statute does not protect LGBTQ people, and this case – presided over by Justice Paul T. Ferrell – examined the definition of "sex" rather than "sexual orientation." Two men were beaten by a college football player, Steward Butler, who also shouted homophobic slurs. Justice Margaret Workman wrote a strong dissent ("If a man stands on a corner kissing a man and is beaten because he is kissing a man, has he been assaulted because of his sex? Yes, but not simply because he possesses male anatomical parts; rather, the crime occurred because he was perceived to be acting outside the social expectations of how a man should behave with a man. But for his sex, he would not have been attacked."). However, because of that 3-2 vote, LGBTQ West Virginians will lack state-level protections against hate crimes.
There are many issues you can solve without the help of an attorney. If you don't know where to start, a law librarian can help you. They are usually legally trained, and they can help you both with texts or online research engines like LexisNexis or Westlaw.