In just a matter of moments, a car accident can completely upend a person’s life. Totaled cars, physical injuries, psychological trauma, and related financial burdens are serious consequences. If you believe your car accident resulted from someone else’s negligent actions or inactions, you have the right to take legal action to seek compensation for your losses. Doing so on your own is challenging, which is why our Morgantown car accident lawyers are prepared to represent you.
Located in Charleston, the lawyers from DiPiero Simmons McGinley & Bastress, PLLC are proud to represent personal injury victims all over West Virginia. If your crash happened in Morgantown, we can help you recover compensation for your economic and noneconomic damages. One of the first steps to building a strong claim is determining just how your wreck happened.
Common Causes of Car Accidents
Car accidents happen every day. While every situation is unique, there are common causes of collisions. Determining the cause is an important part of building evidence that supports your car accident claim. Your lawyer will be able to investigate your crash and determine how and why it happened. Many of the wrecks we help victims recover from were the result of:
- Distracted Driving. This is one of the leading causes of car accidents. Cell phones, vehicle controls, and passengers contribute to driver distractions. If the person operating the vehicle doesn’t have their eyes, mind, and hands focused on the task at hand, a crash is a very real possibility.
- Drunk Driving. If someone’s blood alcohol content is above 0.08%, they are legally considered unable to drive as a result of intoxication. When a drunk driver gets behind the wheel, their ability to focus and process information is severely inhibited.
- Speeding. Driving faster than the posted limited is another leading cause of automobile collisions. It’s easy for a driver to lose control of their vehicle while speeding, especially if they’re traveling around sharp curves or they need to make an emergency stop.
- Disobeying Traffic Laws. Traffic laws are in place for a reason. When drivers follow them, their chances of getting into a wreck decrease. Unfortunately, negligent drivers may run stop signs, improperly merge or change lanes, tailgate, and more.
- Inadequate Car Maintenance. Drivers are responsible for ensuring their cars are well maintained. When a vehicle isn’t, there’s a greater chance for an accident to happen if the car unexpectedly breaks down or a tire blowout occurs.
- Inclement Weather. While responsible drivers know how to operate their vehicles in conditions like rain, snow, or ice, others will try to drive normally. This is incredibly dangerous. It’s easy for a car to skid on ice or hydroplane through water, both of which can result in deadly crashes.
- Manufacturing Defects. Vehicle manufacturers are supposed to ensure the cars they release are safe. When a faulty brake line or steering column causes an accident, the company can be held accountable.
- Poorly Maintained Roads. Potholes, missing guardrails, poorly lit streets, and weakened bridges can cause accidents. Determining liability for an accident resulting from a neglected road can be a challenge, which is why it’s important to work with a skilled law firm.
Consequences of Auto Wrecks
The consequences of an unexpected collision are often underestimated. The ramifications, whether they’re physical, emotional, or financial, can last for weeks, months, or even years if the injuries result in a disability. Having a comprehensive understanding of the losses you sustained is important to your claim. You lawyer will be able to calculate your economic and noneconomic damages to ensure your settlement offer is full and fair.
Immediately following a crash, it’s imperative to seek medical treatment. Whether 911 is called and you are looked over by emergency responders, you’re taken to an emergency room, or you make an appointment with your primary care physician, being seen by a doctor guarantees your injuries will be treated and you’ll have documentation of your losses.
Some of the most common injuries include broken bones, whiplash, head injuries, spinal cord injuries, and internal bleeding. The treatment options and recommendations will depend on the severity of the injury. For example, a minor broken bone could be set and placed in a cast, but a severe break could require surgery and physical therapy.
It’s important to listen to what your doctor says in regard to recovery and going back to work. If you neglect your doctor’s advice, you could worsen your injuries or jeopardize your eligibility for full compensation.
Not all injuries are physical or visible. Sometimes, the most debilitating injuries are mental. When a person has been in a serious or fatal car accident, it’s possible they could suffer from emotional trauma. Some of the more common symptoms of this consequence in sleep loss, weight fluctuations, moodiness, social withdrawal, anxiety, and depression.
If the emotional trauma goes untreated, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) could develop. With PTSD, the victims are likely to suffer physically, cognitively, emotionally, and behaviorally. Symptoms include chest pain, difficulty breathing, confusion, guilt, grief, denial, memory problems, poor concentration, and more.
While car accident victims may put a focus on healing their physical injuries, it’s just as important to take care of their mental health. Often times, therapy with a licensed counselor can help.
The financial impact of a wreck can be devastating. Annually, crashes costs hundreds of billions of dollars. If you’ve been in an accident, you may be dealing with increased insurance rates, hefty medical bills, property damages, and lost wages.
Many insurance companies will increase your rate, regardless of who was at fault for the accident. Added monthly expenses can be challenging to cover, depending on your established budget.
If you were treated in a hospital for your injuries, you can expect serious medical bills coming your way. Depending on your health insurance coverage, the bills could seem insurmountable. There’s also the expenses for follow-up treatments and rehabilitation services to consider.
Your property damage costs are typically associated with your vehicle. Depending on the damage, your vehicle could be totaled. Your auto insurance policy will determine how you go about getting a new vehicle.
If your injuries were severe, your doctor may recommend taking time off work. While this can seem like an impossible idea because of all the other bills you’re dealing with, neglecting to do so could put you out of work for even longer.
Legal Representation You Can Trust
Filing a car accident claim can seem overwhelming, but we’re here to handle the process for you. Whether you’re seeking recovery for medical bills, lost wages, property damage, or pain and suffering, we believe you’re entitled to the compensation you need to get back on your feet.
If you believe your wreck resulted from negligence, our Morgantown car accident lawyers are here for you. We’ll handle the litigation process for you, and keep you informed every step of the way. To learn more about your legal rights and options, contact us today.