An accident can happen anytime and anywhere. It is an unforeseen event that happens unintentionally resulting in an injury or damage. One of the most common accidents that happen every day is road traffic collision or car accidents. It involves one or more vehicles in motion that hit a person, an object, or another vehicle. There are several causes of car accidents, such as distracted driving (texting while driving), driving under the influence of alcohol (or dangerous drugs), overspeeding, reckless driving, defective vehicle, and adverse weather conditions. Car accident victims may suffer from serious injuries including spinal or brain injuries, whiplash, fracture, paralysis, or even wrongful death.
Car accident and personal injury laws may vary from state to state. In West Virginia, there are state laws that you need to follow when you deal with car accident cases. When you opt to file a car accident lawsuit, you need to be aware of the “statute of limitations”. This state law sets a time frame to file a personal injury lawsuit.
According to West Virginia Code section 55-2-12, you are allowed to file a lawsuit resulting from car accident injury, property or vehicle damage within a deadline of two years. This will start from the date when the accident happened. Furthermore, West Virginia Code section 55-7-6 gives a two-year deadline for a death claim filed by the bereaved family. If you want to try to file a lawsuit beyond this two-year statute of limitations, the case might end up being dismissed by the court upon the request of the defendant. A credible Wheeling personal injury attorney can help you meet this statute.
Once you submit your case to the court, the designated jury will investigate the evidence and hear the testimonials of the witnesses. In case the jury has made a verdict that the defendant was liable for the car accident but includes you to take part of the responsibility, then the state law on “comparative negligence” will be followed. According to West Virginia Code section 55-7-13c, you may still be eligible to recover the damages in the personal injury or car accident lawsuit. However, your compensation and accident settlement will be adjusted based on your part of negligence. Your accountability should not be “more than the combined liability of all the other persons at fault for the total damages” for you to recuperate from liable parties. If you are more than fifty percent accountable, then you will not be granted any compensation by the court. You may seek the legal help of a Wheeling personal injury lawyer to guide you when faced with these issues.
For example, assume that the assigned jury has evaluated your pain and suffering, accident injuries, and other financial losses amounting to $10,000; however, they believed that you have a 10 percent liability for the car crash. In this case, 10 percent ($1,000) will be deducted from the total amount ($10,000) resulting in compensation worth $9,000.
The rule on comparative negligence also guides an insurance adjuster during the evaluation of your accident case. You have to remember that there are no realistic means of allocating fault, therefore, the assignment of liability will be based on your negotiating skills with a judge, jury, or insurance claims adjuster.
Under the West Virginia Code section 17C-4-6, the vehicle driver involved in a car crash that resulted in injuries, fatalities, or property damage shall immediately report the car accident by calling the West Virginia State Police or County Sheriff’s office.
When you buy a car, you need to secure a vehicle insurance policy from acclaimed insurance companies that will help you cover any possible vehicle damage from a car accident. You must be knowledgeable about the insurance coverage policies that may affect any of your injury claims, either car accident claim, or wrongful death claim.
A traumatic accident may cause a great impact on your life. A person who is injured in a car accident may have to suffer from emotional distress, lost wages, and increasing medical bills. Recovering from serious injuries after a vehicle accident takes time and effort. The individual responsible for the accident shall be held liable for the damages caused by his or her negligent acts and careless driving. Contact our experienced Wheeling personal injury attorneys from Ghaphery Law Offices, PLLC to help you win your car accident or personal injury lawsuit.