When you or a loved one suffers an injury, it’s normal to feel overwhelmed—especially when the injury was the result of someone else’s negligence. When someone causes you preventable harm, you have the right to file a personal injury claim. This can help you obtain the money you need to deal with the accident-related losses. The best way to ensure you receive full and fair compensation is to work with a Morgantown personal injury lawyer.
We serve clients all over West Virginia who’ve suffered numerous types of accidents. If your accident happened in Morgantown, we’re prepared to represent you and do what it takes to hold the negligent party accountable for their actions. We’ll handle all the difficult paperwork and conversations for you, so you can focus on your recovery and getting your life back in order. In order to understand if you have a personal injury case, let’s take a look at some of the most common claims we deal with.
Personal Injury Practice Areas
Personal injury law allows injured parties to seek compensation for their losses related to an accident they did not cause. Often times, the cause of the incident is related to negligent actions or inactions. If you believe you have grounds to file a claim, it could be in one of the following litigation areas:
Car accidents happen every day in Morgantown. Whether a distracted driver runs a stop sign or someone loses control of their vehicle while speeding around a sharp curve, car crashes can result in serious physical, mental, and financial injuries.
Victims may be left to deal with injuries like broken bones, spinal cord injuries, lacerations and bruises, traumatic brain injuries, burns, and more. Recovery can be challenging if the person is also dealing with anxiety, depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder. It’s also easy to fall behind with bills, as medical expenses, lost wages, and property damage costs add up.
Accidents involving tractor-trailers or other commercial vehicles often result in more serious, if not catastrophic, injuries. This is because of the sheer size difference between trucks and passenger vehicles. The worst truck accidents result in fatalities.
The causes of truck accidents often revolve around distraction, fatigue, and neglect. The trucker, however, isn’t always the negligent party. The trucking company or the manufacturer could also be responsible depending on why the crash happened.
Motorcyclists are some of the most at-risk for injuries on the road. This is because of their exposure to the elements. If a motorcyclist is struck by another car, they might be thrown from their bike or crushed between vehicles. While the negligent driver may try to blame the motorcyclist for the accident, that’s not always the case. Distracted drivers easily miss motorcycles because of their size.
One of the most common injuries related to motorcycle accidents is road rash, which happens when exposed skin comes into contact with pavement or asphalt at high speeds. This can result in permanent scarring and disfigurement.
Losing a loved one is always a traumatic experience, but the situation can be even more troubling when neglect is involved. If you believe your loved one’s death could have been prevented, you have the right to file a claim on their behalf. Your family can seek compensation for your loss and secure a comfortable future.
Those are not the only practice areas we cover. At DiPiero Simmons McGinley & Bastress, PLLC, we can help you with a number of other claims including defective products, employment law, medical malpractice, slip and fall accidents, dog bites, and more.
Filing a Personal Injury Claim in West Virginia
If you’re ready to file a personal injury claim, you’ll want to have a solid understanding of the process. The first step after any accident is to contact a lawyer as soon as possible. The sooner you’re working with a lawyer, the better your chances are of receiving the compensation you need to recover.
Once your attorney is aware of the situation, they’ll begin gathering evidence, conducting an investigation, and collecting documents like police reports and medical bills. They’ll handle all the conversations with the opposing insurance company or lawyer for you.
After they’ve gathered all the necessary information, it’s time to submit the demand letter. This will outline the accident and your injuries. It will contain detailed information on why you believe the other party caused your accident. It will also contain the amount of compensation you’re seeking.
After you’ve submitted the demand letter, negotiations will start. The majority of personal injury cases are settled outside of court, but we have no issue proceeding to trial to get you the monetary recovery you deserve.
Statutes of Limitations
As mentioned above, it’s crucial to file a personal injury claim as soon as possible after an accident. This is because of the statute of limitations. Every state establishes statutes of limitations, which defines the period of time someone has to take legal action. For most personal injury cases in West Virginia, plaintiffs have two years to file. Your lawyer will be able to tell you exactly how much time you have based on your unique circumstances. If you neglect to file your claim within the timeframe it will be thrown out without review and you’ll render yourself ineligible for compensation.
What Does a Personal Injury Lawyer Do?
Filling a personal injury claim can be intimidating on your own. That’s why it’s important to have a personal injury lawyer by your side through the claims process to guide you through it and provide you with the support you need. Before hiring a personal injury lawyer, you might not fully understand what their job is and what they do for you. Let’s take a look at what a personal injury lawyer does for you when you’re filing a claim against an at-fault party.
When you’ve hired a personal injury lawyer, you’re not just paying them to file your claim, but they also become your advocate and try to get you the full compensation that they have deemed fair for your case. After you discuss your situation with them, they’ll take some steps to figure out exactly what happened and determine how much you’re owed in compensation for your damages.
Some specific things that your personal injury lawyer will do to help your case after an accident in Morgantown are:
- Gather evidence and documents. To get a better understanding of your accident and the injuries it caused, your lawyer will look at all of the evidence, like the police report, photographs of the scene, and medical bills.
- Talk to witnesses. By talking to witnesses of the accident, your lawyer will be able to determine what happened and who caused the accident and might ask that witness to testify for you if needed.
- Bring on expert witnesses. Sometimes expert witnesses are brought on to prove what would have been done in normal circumstances to show that you experienced an action that was not in line with the typical duty of care. For example, and expert witness of a surgeon would be able to describe how the surgery should have been done compared to what you experienced as medical malpractice.
- Prove negligence. All of these witnesses and documents enable your lawyer to prove the other party was acting negligently and makes them responsible for the accident and the injuries that you suffered.
- Calculate your damages for compensation. Looking at your financial, physical, and emotional losses is how your lawyer will calculate your damages. Documents like your medical bills, treatment costs, medication costs, repair bills, and lost wages will help us determine what a fair settlement would be financially. If any emotional suffering or permanent disability occurred, then your lawyer will include that in your compensation amount.
- Negotiate a fair settlement. Once we’ve proved liability and determined how much your compensation should be, we’ll negotiate with the responsible party to recover a full and fair settlement for you.
- Represent you in court. If a fair settlement can’t be reached between your lawyer and the other party, then you will have to go to court. This can be a long and difficult process, but with your Morgantown personal injury lawyer by your side, you can rest assured that they will fight for the full and fair compensation that you deserve.
How to Choose A Personal Injury Lawyer
After experiencing an accident caused by another person that results in an injury, you’ll likely want to file a personal injury claim with the help of a lawyer. If this is your first time with a case, you might not know how to pick the right lawyer for you. Here are some things to consider when you’re choosing a Morgantown personal injury lawyer to recover compensation for your injuries.
The most important thing to look for in a lawyer is that they’re someone you trust. If you get the feeling that your lawyer is untrustworthy or lying, then you might have problems with them later. Make sure you choose a lawyer who makes you feel safe and like you can trust that they want the best for you. Remember, they are there to help you.
You want a lawyer who is experienced in the area of litigation that you are seeking help with. If you’ve been in a car accident, you want a car accident lawyer who has successfully represented many clients.
Your lawyer shouldn’t ask you for any money up front. They should listen to you explain what happened, determine if they’re willing to take your case, and you shouldn’t have to pay them until a settlement is reached. If a lawyer is asking you for money up front, then you should steer clear of them and find another personal injury lawyer to represent you.
A consultation is a great time to ask about a lawyer’s experience and what they will do for you, and if they don’t seem like the right fit, then you don’t have to sign anything and can find another lawyer. In Morgantown, DiPiero Simmons McGinley & Bastress, PLLC has ample experience with personal injury claims, and knows how to handle your claim with care and tact.
The County Seat of Monongalia County
Home to West Virginia University, an art museum, and a sculpture garden, Morgantown welcomes all residents and visitors. Settled in 1772 by Zackquill Morgan, Morgantown is closely tied to the Anglo-French struggle for territory. Prior to 1763, the area was greatly contested among settlers, Native Americans, English, and the French.
Today, Morgantown strives to be an inclusive community for all. They strive to ensure everyone acts with helpful intent, civility, and respect. As the home of West Virginia University, Morgantown has plenty different activities for residents, students, and visitors alike.
Our historic downtown is a beautiful place to explore. We have museums, art exhibits, theatres, parks, markets, restaurants, and bars that you can visit and experience while in town. We also frequently hold community events that bring us all together for fun and excitement in this place we all call home.
Whether you’re attending a WVU sporting event, in town for a conference, or exploring the natural surroundings, there’s always something to do or see in Morgantown, WV. Our law firm is proud to serve the residents of Morgantown. We strive to provide each of our clients with the representation they deserve and need to receive the compensation they’re owed.
Seek Legal Representation in Morgantown Today
Balancing recovery with legal paperwork and conversations with insurance adjusters isn’t always easy. That’s why our Morgantown personal injury lawyers are here to make sure everything goes as smoothly as possible for you. Depending on your losses, you may be eligible for compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, the cost of future care, pain and suffering, and more. To learn about your legal rights after a personal injury, contact our office. We’ll begin by providing you with a free consultation where we examine your claim and explain what comes next.