As a motorist in West Virginia, it’s important for you and every other driver to understand your state’s auto insurance laws. While this subject can get confusing, there’s a chance people will be better drivers when everyone knows the laws and requirements of their state because they’re more informed. In the event you’re ever in a car accident, you’ll know that you’re following the law and what you need to do to protect your claim. Let’s look at what basics your insurance needs to have in West Virginia.
What Are the Minimum Requirements for Your Auto Insurance?
If you own a motor vehicle, then you need to have auto insurance. This is so in the event of a car accident, there are ways for your insurance to pay for the damages, so it doesn’t come out of your pocket as a lump sum.
People in West Virginia need to have some basic amounts of coverage with their insurance. There needs to be $25,000 for bodily injury or the death of one person in an accident. You also need $50,000 for total bodily injury or death for one accident. The last item is $25,000 for property damage.
Because you have the proper insurance coverage doesn’t mean that the person who caused your accident will. But this doesn’t mean that you won’t get a fair settlement for your injuries. Our lawyers are prepared to help you if you’ve been in a car crash involving an underinsured or uninsured motorist.
Now that you know about insurance coverage, you also need to know about how liability works in West Virginia.
West Virginia Is an At-Fault State
Because West Virginia is an at-fault state, it means that the person responsible for the accident owes the other party or parties that they injured compensation. If you’ve been injured, you may be thinking that this means your settlement will be a simple matter to solve.
However, West Virginia also has the comparative fault system, meaning that while one driver caused the accident, if the other driver was somehow negligent, then their compensation can be lowered because they were partially at fault.
Fault is often assigned in percentages. If the driver that caused the accident was found to be 90 percent at fault, but the other was found to be 10 percent at fault, then the injured party can only recover 90 percent of the damages instead of 100.
Receiving less compensation than you deserve can be financially difficult when you’re trying to pay off medical expenses and afford care in the future. You shouldn’t have to deal with the stress of trying to pay off bills, keep food on the table, and recover all at once.
Even if you know you weren’t partially at fault, there’s a chance the other driver who caused your accident will try to push some of the liability on you. They could act cordial at the scene of the accident. They could exchange the necessary information with you, be apologetic, and seem like they’re going to be cooperative.
However, this behavior may change in the future. You could find that they claim you were acting in a way that contributed to your injuries. Drivers may do this if they’re worried about how the accident will affect their premiums or possibly affect their ability to continue to drive. But that doesn’t mean it’s okay to lie and make you take part of the blame when you have nothing to do with the wreck. It’s vital that you have lawyers who will protect your rights so you don’t get less compensation than you deserve.
The Lawyers at DiPiero Simmons McGinley & Bastress, PLLC Can Help You
When you need to take legal action after being involved in a car accident, you need to be able to trust the lawyer at your side. We’re dedicated to helping our clients get justice. You can have peace of mind that we’re looking out for your best interests and won’t settle for less than fair compensation. To get started on your case, get in touch with us today. We’ll have an obligation-free consultation to go over your options.