In 2016, 250 fatal crashes happened in West Virginia resulting in the unnecessary deaths of 269 individuals. In the event you or a loved one is injured in a car accident due to the negligence of another driver, you’ll want to file a car accident claim with your insurance. This claim will be the first step towards seeking compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses associated with the accident.
The claim process can feel overwhelming, especially when you should be focused on your recovery. Our knowledgeable West Virginia car accident lawyers at DiPiero Simmons McGinley & Bastress, PLLC are prepared to guide you through the process and represent you in the event your claim goes to trial. Prior to any of that, it’s important to understand how filing a car accident claim works.
Reporting a Car Accident in West Virginia
In most cases, you will need to report your car accident to law enforcement immediately following the collision. There are two specific scenarios in which you must report it or risk a fine and the suspension of your license:
- If the accident results in the death of an individual
- If the accident involves over $500 worth of property damage
After you’ve received medical attention and notified the authorities, you’ll want to notify your auto insurance company. They’ll need the names and contact information for the drivers, insurance policy information, drivers’ license numbers, and the makes, models, and vehicle identification numbers of the vehicles involved.
Information Needed to File a Car Accident Claim in West Virginia
To successfully file your claim, you’re going to need evidence to prove you’re deserving of a financial award for your damages.
While the police report will determine if any laws were broken, you’ll need to work with an attorney to prove the other party was at fault for the accident. They may bring in an expert witness, like a Forensic Accident Reconstruction Engineer, to strengthen your case.
Your medical records can play an important factor in your car accident claim. It’s important to keep a record of your injuries, doctor’s visits, surgeries and procedures, medications, and any other applicable medical expenses.
Eyewitness testimony can also assist your case. If a third-party witness watched the accident happen, they may be able to provide an entire sequence of events and fill in any gaps you may not remember.
West Virginia Car Accident Compensation Laws
The statue of limitations to file a personal injury claim for your car accident is two years. You may be entitled to both economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages may include medical bills, lost wages, or vehicle repair costs. Non-economic damages may include emotional distress, disfigurement, and pain and suffering.
West Virginia has a modified comparative negligence law. In most states, if a person is found to be at fault for an accident in any way they are not entitled to compensation. In West Virginia, however, the modified comparative negligence law says that a person can recover damages even if they hold 99 percent of the liability.
For example, if you are found to be 20 percent at fault for a car accident in West Virginia, you’d be able to claim 80 percent of the damages. The other person would be able to claim 20 percent of the damages.
Filing a car accident claim in West Virginia can be confusing. Our car accident attorneys are dedicated to helping you understand your rights and recover from your accident. Contact us today for a free evaluation of your claim.