Akers Law Firm Serves Clients In Charleston And Throughout West Virginia
At Akers Law Offices, PLLC, in Charleston, West Virginia, we take pride in vigorously representing our clients and upholding their best interests. Whether you have a personal injury case or an employment dispute, our firm is prepared to handle your case personally and effectively. We have experience handling a wide array of cases from car wrecks and medical malpractice to workplace discrimination and construction site accidents. Call us at 304-720-1422 or 888-720-1422 to see the difference being represented by a local, independently owned firm can make when dealing with a difficult situation.
Why Akers Law Firm?
When you trust your legal needs to Akers Law Offices, PLLC, we are committed to providing only the highest-quality legal service. What does that mean exactly? When you decide to work with our firm, we promise to always be:
- Honest — We will never tell you what you want to hear, instead of what you need to hear. If you have a valid case, we will tell you. If you don’t, we’ll explain why and what your options are.
- Diligent — Our mission is to recover the maximum amount of compensation for you with the least discomfort possible. To this end, we will diligently explore all avenues for obtaining the money and benefits you deserve while protecting your interests and your personal well being to the best of our ability.
- True Partners — We won’t just show up for you in court, we will be true partners in your case. We will guide you through the challenges of obtaining medical care, accessing insurance benefits, and any other case-related matters you may need assistance with. With Akers Law Firm, you will never have to walk through the process alone.
- Communicative — We will take the time to answer all of your questions and concerns, not just the ones we think are important. Our firm will always keep you informed of your current legal options, the current status of your case and any developments or updates that occur throughout the process.
- We Will Be Trial-ready — Our firm prepares every case with the understanding that it could potentially go to trial, and we need to be prepared for that possibility. Although many claims are successfully settled through negotiation, our careful preparation makes sure you are prepared for all developments in your case and gives you the best opportunity for success.
- Working With Only The Best — As necessary, and in order to provide you with the best possible legal representation, we partner with trusted experts in a spectrum of disciplines — including fields such as engineering, medicine and mining — to gather evidence and develop the strongest possible case.
You Have Nothing To Lose And Everything to Gain
Because our fees are structured on a contingency basis, our firm only gets paid if we successfully recover compensation or benefits for you. Your initial call and consultation are always free of cost and obligation. Contact our Charleston WV law office today.
About JB Akers
JB Akers is a Lawyer in Charleston, WV where worked for 20 years. He is married with three kids. His wife, Maryclaire, is a highly respected prosecuting attorney. JB knows WV because he was born and raised here and he’s worked in WV courts for two decades. JB chose to return to WV after he finished school because of his love for this place and its people. JB was raised by a working class family so understands the needs of the people he represents, whether they wear a blue or white collar on-the-job.
What is a Personal Injury Lawyer?
The phrase “personal injury” is used a lot but not always understood. A personal injury occurs when an individual is hurt. While I do a lot more than just personal injury work, injury cases are a big part of what I help clients with here in Charleston and throughout West Virginia.
Many people think of personal injuries when they think of a person who was hurt on the job or when someone is injured in a car wreck. A personal injury may involve a physical injury that requires medical treatment. However, other types of personal injury may involve sexual abuse cases by a caregiver or guardian. Other injuries may be financial or reputational. You may suffer employment injuries.
Ultimately, most of the personal injury cases we handle in Charleston and throughout West Virginia involve clients who have been physically hurt and require medical care. Some of the worst personal injury cases involve what’s called a wrongful death. As it sounds, this occurs when someone was killed as a result of another person’s negligence. The person who died suffered a personal injury. His or her loved ones then have the right to bring a claim.
At Akers Law Offices we handle all types of personal injury cases. We work in Charleston and throughout the state of West Virginia. My firm is licensed to practice law in all state and federal courts in the state of West Virginia. We also handle appeals. At Akers Law Offices we serve the entire state of West Virginia.
How to Choose the Right Lawyer in Charleston, WV?
Charleston is certainly home to many lawyers. For those who’ve never had to hire an attorney it may seem daunting to pick out one person to help you handle what is likely a very difficult time in your life. This is may be one of the most important or most challenging things you and your family has ever faced.
One thing that sets me and my firm apart is our client focused culture. I purposely maintain a small firm to focus on individual client attention. I turn a lot of cases away to focus my attention on the cases I do accept. Anyone who watched TV, especially daytime TV, will see a lot of law firms that advertise very heavily. For many of them their business model is to get as many cases in the door as possible. Their goal is to then turn those cases over as quickly as possible because that means they get paid more quickly. However, that may also result in you obtaining a less than best resolution. That’s not the way I work.
I obviously work to resolve my client’s cases as quickly as possible. However, every case that I accept I assume will go to trial. If we settle your case before trial then I will feel confident we got you the best possible outcome. When the other side knows your lawyer is prepared and willing to try a case then they will take your claim more seriously. That’s a simple truth in this business. I have a reputation as a lawyer who will try cases. That reputation helps me get the best outcome for all of my clients, even if your case settles out of court.
What Should You Expect When You Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer?
A lot of our clients have never had to hire a lawyer before they see us. If you have questions, and I’m sure you do, rest assured that you are never charged for calling or sitting down down with me simply to see if we can help. My view is you should expect a free initial consultation, which is what we offer.
In the type of work I do you should also expect your lawyer to charge what’s called a CONTINGENCY FEE. Many of my clients cannot or simply do not want to pay retainers and monthly bills. Instead, you won’t pay me unless I successfully resolve your case. If we don’t win then I don’t get paid and you won’t get a bill from me. Most of my clients also appreciate that I am willing to pay all of your case expenses up front. That means you pay nothing out of pocket if and until we prevail for you.
I’m a straight shooter. I do not give potential clients a hard sell to hire me. I will never walk in your door and immediately demand that you sign a contract. I also won’t make huge, unrealistic promises about your case to try and convince you to hire me. Any lawyer who tells you they can predict exactly what your case is worth and how much money you’re going to get the first time they meet you is a lawyer who you should politely tell “no thanks” when they ask you to sign their contract.
When your case is resolved I want my clients to always look back and know that I was honest with them. I want my clients to have the right expectations, from day one, when we work on their case. If you’re hiring a lawyer it means you are going through a difficult time. The last thing you need is for your lawyer to make that situation worse by making promises they can’t keep.
Something else you should expect from a lawyer who handles these types of cases –personal attention. You should expect to actually talk with your lawyer. I’ve got great staff but I always make myself accessible to my clients.
Another expectation you should have is for your lawyer to actually understand your needs. My wife and I are life-long West Virginians. I was raised here by a working class family. I know my clients because chances are they are just like my own friends and family. I can relate to the people I represent because I probably grew up and was raised with your same West Virginia values. Hard work, respect and honesty. That’s what my family demanded of me and it’s what you should expect from your lawyer.
When you contact us, your call and your consultation are free. In fact, with contingency fees, our firm only gets paid if we successfully recover compensation or benefits for you. Contact us and we can meet at our office or travel to you, at your convenience
How Much Does It Cost to Hire A Personal Injury Attorney?
Many of my clients are intimidated by the expected cost of hiring a lawyer. Fortunately I am able to charge what is called a “contingency fee” for most of my work. If you face workplace discrimination or harassment or you were physically hurt such as in a car wreck then I can work for you on a contingency rather than billing by the hour. In those cases my clients do not pay me unless I successfully resolve their claim. I also usually pay all the of your case expenses if and until your case is successfully resolved. Since many of my clients are working-class folks this is their best and most affordable option. They are facing a difficult legal challenge that may have already cost them significant money. The last thing they need is a large monthly bill from the lawyer who was hired to help them get their life back to normal. If you have more questions about how contingency fees work then please feel free to call or email us.
What To Expect From Your First Meeting With A Personal Injury Attorney?
This may sound overly simplistic, but you should like your lawyer when you first meet them. If you are going to hire a lawyer then that means something negative happened to you or your family. You do not want to go through that process with someone who you do not like or, even worse, do not trust.
I always encourage people to ask their potential lawyer tough questions. Before you hire a lawyer ask them if they’ve ever handled a case like yours. If so ask how many times. Do not let the lawyer get away with saying things like “more times than I can remember.” Ask the lawyer for examples of those other cases and to tell you how those cases turned out. No two cases are alike but your lawyer shouldn’t be afraid or especially unable to tell you about their experience. If that lawyer gets defensive or doesn’t want to talk about their experience it probably means they don’t have experience necessary to handle your case. Just because someone practices law doesn’t mean they know how to handle all types of cases. Some lawyers may be great at performing property work but they have no idea how to handle a complex insurance injury claim.
Make sure your lawyer clearly explains exactly how they get paid. I’ve seen some people who thought they were entering into a contingency agreement (described elsewhere on my website) when they actually wound up having to pay money for case expenses as they were incurred. Some people don’t know exactly how much they will owe their lawyer when a case is resolved. Your lawyer should be able to clearly explain this from day one. If they can’t then do not hire them.
Your lawyer should tell if you they are going to be personally handling your case. Some of the lawyers who advertise the most do not actually work on your case if you hire them. Those lawyers may sign you up and then pass your file on to someone else in their office or they may even give your case to a completely different firm who does the work and then sends back a referral fee to the lawyer you thought you hired. You may therefore think you are hiring one lawyer when someone you never met winds up handling one of the most serious situations you’ve ever faced. Ask who is going to handle your case and demand a straight answer.
If you do meet with me then I will answer these questions and any others you may have. During that first meeting I will also obviously have lots of questions for you so that we can get to work as quickly possible. We will want any relevant insurance information. We will want the names of any witnesses who can help your case. We will want pictures or videos that relate to you claim. We will need the names of all doctors and hospitals you may have visited. We will have lots to discuss and that’s a good thing. As your lawyer my goal is to get to know as much about your case from that first meeting. We are on the same team and I will do everything I can, from day one, to help you win.
What Are The Biggest Mistakes People Make When Involved In A Lawsuit?
One of the biggest mistakes I see modern day clients make is posting about their claim, or potential claim, on social media. Anything you post on Facebook, Instagram or any other social media site is open for scrutiny. The insurance adjuster, your boss or the lawyer for the other side will very often gain access to your social media accounts. Even if you have your account settings on private most courts consider your posts in the public domain. Likewise, even if what you post is true, it can very often be read out of context or otherwise used against you at some later time. I always advise my clients to keep their cases off of social media.
Some of my other clients think that sending instant messages, texts or emails is a safe way to “vent” or talk about their case with family friends. They are wrong. Those messages are likewise open for review if you wind up in a lawsuit. Generally speaking, the only truly private conversation you can have about your case is with your lawyer. Anything you send to anyone else can be used against you. Again, even if what you type to family and friends is truthful and appears harmless, the lawyer for the other side can often make it appear otherwise. What you type may read one way to one person but have a totally different meaning to someone else.
You should also at least talk with a lawyer sooner rather than later. Some of my clients tried to handle their claims on their own until they figured out they were making a mistake. By then they may have already revealed sensitive information to an insurance company, failed to put necessary parties on notice or missed important benefit deadlines.
There is simply no downside to calling or emailing my office as soon as it even appears possible you will need a lawyer. I often tell clients with smaller claims that they are fine to proceed on their own. However, at least they have that peace of mind along with some free advice I gave them. For anyone with a significant claim, my office will, quite simply, help you get a better result. Helping people is what we do. Call or email to find out how we can help you.
How Do I Know If I Need An Employment Lawyer?
Most of my clients have never had to hire a lawyer and they are sometimes afraid to even call us. That is especially true when their claim revolves around their job and therefore their livelihood. First and foremost, everything you tell us is confidential. Even if you eventually decide not to hire me, whatever you tell me about your job situation will remain private. I take that promise very seriously.
It is important to remember that West Virginia is an at-will employment state. That means your boss can fire or discipline you for any reason that is not otherwise illegal. I unfortunately get a lot of calls from people who have terrible bosses. I have to tell them it’s not illegal to be a jerk. However, some behavior is illegal.
By example, your boss cannot legally discriminate against you because of you race, gender, age or disability. This should go without saying but your boss absolutely cannot sexually harass you. It’s amazing to me that this still happens but it does. It is illegal and I personally take pride in righting that wrong. No employee should be expected to put with sexual misconduct in order to earn a paycheck.
We treat every client as an individual. We know employment cases are often among our clients’ toughest and most emotional claims. These cases often have the highest stakes because they involve your livelihood. We are sensitive to that reality and we will work hard to keep you working. I’d love to talk with you about whatever workplace challenge you’re facing. If you need a lawyer we’re here to help.
What should I do immediately after a Car Accident?
First and foremost you should always make sure your medical needs are taken care of. You should cooperate with any investigating law enforcement officers. And you should give your own insurance company the basic information it needs to open its file. However, if your wreck was serious, you should talk with a lawyer before you talk with the insurance company for the at-fault driver.
The insurer for the at-fault driver is in the business of paying as little as possible on its claims. That’s not a criticism but just a fact of how insurance companies generate revenue. If you hire me as your lawyer then my job, and the way I generate revenue, is to help you obtain the most money possible. Your interest (and mine as your lawyer) runs contrary to the insurer’s goal of paying as little as it can.
While the adjuster for the insurance company may be a nice person they have a job to do. Their job is protect their insured (the person who hit you) and to protect the premium dollars paid to their company. Their job is not to be your friend or to make you happy with a settlement. You should expect anything you tell the insurance adjuster to be used against you, if possible, later in your claim. If your claim involves any significant amount of medical bills then you really should talk with a lawyer before you speak with an insurance adjuster. Your lawyer works for you while the adjuster works for the insurance company.
If you have a case that’s going to involve an insurance claim it never hurts to call my office first. On some smaller claims I will tell people they can probably resolve things on their own without having to hire a lawyer. I’ll always give you an honest, and free, evaluation. It’s always better to know rather than second guess yourself later. You have nothing to lose by giving me a call or emailing my office. We’ll always give you a straightforward answer.