Injured in a car accident? Find out how to recover damages for your injuries!
If you were injured in a car accident in West Virginia, you’re probably wondering how to recover damages after a car accident. Our Wheeling personal injury attorney at Ghaphery Law Offices, PLLC can help you explore your legal options and take the necessary steps to file your injury claim and seek compensation.
At Ghaphery Law Offices, PLLC, we are committed to understanding your unique situation and working relentlessly to secure the best possible outcome for you. We excel at navigating the complexities of car accident claims in West Virginia, ensuring that you receive the compensation you’re entitled to.
Don’t let a car accident define the course of your life. Take action now and let our dedicated attorneys help you reclaim your future.
What are the different types of car accidents?
The type of car accident you were in can influence the extent of injuries you sustained during the crash. Some types of car accidents lead to minor damage or injuries, while others can result in severe or fatal injuries.
Identifying the nature of your accident is crucial during the claim process. At Ghaphery Law Offices, PLLC, we have represented victims of numerous car accident types, including the following:
- Rear-end Collisions: This happens when the front of a vehicle crashes into the back of another, often due to sudden deceleration. Even though slower accidents might result in minor injuries, high-speed crashes can precipitate severe neck and back injuries.
- Sideswipe Accidents: The side of one vehicle brushes against another’s during improper merging. Unless the drivers lose control, the damages are usually minimal.
- Rollovers: These accidents involving larger vehicles or trucks occur when taking curves at high speeds or carrying improperly loaded cargo resulting in the vehicle overturning.
- T-bone Accidents: Also known as side-impact crashes, these accidents frequently occur at intersections, leaving occupants on the side of the struck car more vulnerable to major injuries.
- Head-on Collision: If two cars crash frontally, particularly at high velocities, consequences can be disastrous and sometimes fatal.
- Single Car Wreck: These types of crashes involve only one vehicle. It commonly takes place in parking lots or when a vehicle swerves off the road to avoid hitting an animal.
- Multi-vehicle Pile-up: These accidents involve more than two cars, usually on multi-lane highways. Determining liability and cause in such cases can be complicated, making it vital to consult an experienced Wheeling car accident attorney.
Five Steps to Take After an Auto Accident in West Virginia
If you’re ever involved in a car accident in West Virginia, here’s what you need to know. These pointers may help safeguard you or others implicated in the accident, as well as preserve your legal rights.
Step 1: Stop Safely Near The Accident Scene and Report to Law Enforcement
As stated by the West Virginia Code, drivers must halt as closely to the accident location as safely feasible. If there are no significant injuries or vehicle damage, you should avoid blocking approaching traffic.
Under Section 6 of Article 4 of Chapter 17 of the West Virginia Code also mandates reporting the incident to law enforcement promptly if auto accident caused property damage above $1,000, or there are physical injuries. Giving police useful data like the accident’s exact location and any potential dangers on the site will assist them in completing the West Virginia Crash Report.
Upon the arrival of medical staff, allow them to examine you. Even if you feel okay, there might be internal injuries that the crash’s adrenaline masked.
If you sustain minor injuries and others are severely harmed, don’t just stand by — offer needed “reasonable assistance.”
If you hit a parked or unattended vehicle, you should attempt to locate and inform the owner and leave a note with the necessary details if you can’t find them.
Step 2: Share Your Details With The Other Driver
The West Virginia Code obliges you to share certain information with the police and other accident participants: personal details, vehicle data, and insurance coverage information.
Step 3: Make An Effort To Gather Evidence
If the accident hasn’t resulted in serious injuries, it’s wise to collect evidence at the site which will augment your legal and insurance claims. This includes noting down vehicle details, gathering passenger/driver/witness information, and capturing pictures or videos of the accident scene.
Step 4: Inform Your Insurance Company And Avoid Talking To Driver’s Insurance Company
Email your insurance company about the accident ASAP. Do not communicate with the other driver’s insurance company before talking to your insurer, and ideally consult a West Virginia auto accident lawyer first.
Should the accident have happened at your workplace, you will also need to inform your employer’s workers’ compensation carrier.
Step 5: Seek Help From A Leading West Virginia Car Accident Attorney
In the wake of a vehicle accident in West Virginia, it’s beneficial to reach out to a highly-rated West Virginia car accident lawyer for assistance. Their wisdom and understanding of the legal complexities surrounding such incidents can ensure your rights are fully protected.
FAQs on Recovering Damages in West Virginia
Who is liable for my injury – the driver or my insurance company?
If you find yourself in a car accident in West Virginia, be aware that the state’s laws govern your claim filing process. Knowing these laws is key to a successful claim filing.
For example, every motor vehicle must be backed by a liability policy in terms of car insurance. This policy should include:
- $25,000 liability coverage for bodily injury or death of one individual
- $50,000 liability coverage for total bodily injury or death
- $35,000 liability coverage for any property damage
These coverage amounts are applicable to accidents caused by the owner/driver of the insured vehicle.
This liability coverage is designed to cover costs such as medical expenses, property damage, and other liabilities of drivers and passengers who were injured in the accident. However, if the policy limit is reached, the person at fault for the accident is financially liable for the remaining expenses.
Who determines fault in an accident in West Virginia?
Concerning fault determination, West Virginia adheres to the conventional fault-based system. It implies that the individual who caused the accident must foot the bill for the financial losses. A person who suffers injuries has several options for seeking compensation―file a claim with their own insurance provider, file a third-party claim with the insurance company of the person at fault, or lodge a personal injury lawsuit.
If you opt to file a claim, it’s important to note that the statute of limitations applies. This legal term refers to the time frame during which you must file your claim. In West Virginia, this period is two years from the accident date. Failure to file within this period means you forfeit your right to compensation.
Which type of compensation can I get for West Virginia auto accident cases?
In car accident cases, compensation can be divided into two main categories: property damages and personal injury damages.
Property damages refer to the harm caused to the vehicle itself and any personal belongings inside it. Personal injury damages involve physical harm inflicted upon you or your passengers during the accident.
When accident victims seek compensation, they usually claim both economic and non-economic damages for injuries you have suffered. Economic damages include expenses such as medical bills, rehabilitation costs, and lost earnings due to missed work. Non-economic damages, on the other hand, cover aspects like pain, distress, emotional trauma, disfigurement, and other long-lasting injuries.
In exceptional cases where the responsible party’s actions were particularly outrageous, punitive damages may also be awarded. However, quantifying non-economic damages can be complex. For example, if an insurance company acknowledges that their client is more than 50% at fault for the accident, they may be willing to reimburse proportionally for property damage, medical expenses, and lost wages.
However, obtaining suitable compensation for pain, suffering, and emotional distress can be more challenging. That’s why it’s best to speak with an experienced Wheeling car accident lawyer about your situation.
Ready to learn how to recover damages after a car accident?
Car accidents can turn your world on its head, with the path to recovery and compensation often unclear. Yet, understanding how to recover damages after such an event is vital to ensuring you secure what you’re rightfully owed.
At Ghaphery Law Offices, PLLC, your fight becomes ours, as we stand beside you through every step of this intricate process. Don’t go it alone—reach out to our Wheeling personal injury law firm today and start your journey towards rightful compensation.