After a crash, you need legal representation you can trust. At DiPiero Simmons McGinley & Bastress, PLLC, we recognize the challenges of recovering from a wreck that wasn’t your fault. That’s why our Wheeling car accident lawyers are here to help you file a claim, so you can seek the compensation you need to recover.
Types of Car Accidents in West Virginia
The speed, position of the vehicles prior to the collision, and the impact location all play a role in determining the type of accident someone is in. While some types are associated with minor property damages and injuries, others are more synonymous with catastrophic or fatal injuries.
Determining the type of wreck you’re in is an important part of the claims process. Our lawyers have experience representing car accident victims in a number of accident types. Some of the more common ones we see include the following:
- Rear-end Collisions. This occurs when the front of one car crashes into the rear of another. Sudden deceleration is often the cause. While injuries in a slower accident might be minor, serious neck and back injuries are possible in a high-speed crash.
- Sideswipe Accidents. These accidents tend to happen when a driver improperly merges and swipes the side of another vehicle with the side of theirs. Damage is often minimum unless one or both of the drivers lose control.
- Rollovers. Rollover accidents tend to occur in larger vehicles and trucks. Taking curves at high speeds or improperly loaded cargo can cause a vehicle to roll over.
- T-bone Accidents. Sometimes referred to as side-impact crashes, T-bone accidents are most common at intersections. The vehicle occupants on the side of the car that is struck are more likely to sustain serious injuries.
- Head-on Collision. When two cars strike each other from the front, especially at high speeds, the resulting damage can be catastrophic. Head-on accidents are among the most fatal.
- Single Car Wreck. Single car wrecks can happen anywhere. While the majority occur in parking lots, accidents like this can happen when someone runs off the road or swerves to miss an animal.
- Multi-vehicle Pile-up. When a wreck occurs on a multi-lane highway, it’s possible for more than two vehicles to be involved. Determining liability and the cause of a multi-car pile-up can be challenging, which is why it’s important to work with an experienced attorney.
Investigating a Car Crash in Wheeling
With any car accident, there could be three different parties investigating what happened. Law enforcement officials are typically first, as they arrive at the scene shortly after the crash happened. Policy officers will make a report that details the exact location of the crash, the date and time, the weather and road conditions, the number of people injured or killed, and any presence of drugs or alcohol.
The second party to investigate is likely an insurance company adjuster. They’ll want to investigate the accident to put a value on the victim’s claim. They’ll primarily be looking at the damage to the vehicles and the medical reports relating to the crash.
If you’re working with a lawyer, you can have them conduct a private investigation. They’ll be able to pool resources to have experts look at the evidence they’ve compiled to determine fault so the compensation you receive is full and fair.
Auto Accident Laws in West Virginia
If you’ve been in a crash in West Virginia, the state’s laws will apply when you go to file your claim. Understanding those laws is an important part of filing a successful claim. For example, in regard to car insurance, all motor vehicles must be insured by a liability policy that includes at least $25,000 liability coverage for bodily injury or death of one person caused by the owner/driver of the insured vehicle, $50,000 liability coverage for total bodily injury or death, and $35,000 liability coverage for property damage.
The liability coverage can pay for medical bills, property damage, and other costs of the drivers and passengers who were injured in the accident. But if the policy limit has been exhausted the at-fault driver is financially responsible for the remaining expenses.
In regard to fault, West Virginia operates under the traditional fault-based system. This means that the person who was at-fault for the accident is responsible for the financial losses. A person who suffers injuries can seek compensation by filing a claim with their own insurance company, filing a third-party claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company, or by filing a personal injury lawsuit.
If you choose to file a claim, doing so will be subject to the statute of limitations. This is the timeframe in which you have to file. In West Virginia, you have two years from the date of the accident to file. If you neglect to do so, you’ll forfeit your right to seek compensation.
Seeking Compensation for Your Losses
The consequences related to a crash go deeper than just the physical injuries, as emotional trauma is a real possibility. Additionally, the financial ramifications can seriously impact a family’s everyday situation. Fortunately for accident victims in Wheeling, DiPiero Simmons McGinley & Bastress, PLLC is here to help.
If you’re looking to recover from a crash as quickly as possible, working with a Wheeling car accident lawyer is in your best interests. We can build a claim that proves you were wronged by another negligent driver or entity and are owed compensation for your losses. When you work with us, you’ll maximize your chances of receiving a full and fair award. You could be eligible for monetary recovery for your economic and noneconomic losses.
Filing a claim takes time. As you can see, just the investigation alone is complex and time-consuming. That’s why it’s best to get in touch with an attorney as soon as possible after a crash. If you’re ready to file a personal injury claim or would like more information on your legal rights and options, schedule a free consultation with our firm.