Filing an auto accident claim is one of your rights as a victim in West Virginia. A claim serves to reimburse you for the money spent on your recovery, including medical bills and vehicle repairs. Learning what your claim is reasonably worth can better prepare you for the insurance claims process ahead. Obtain your case estimate from a personal injury attorney, not an insurance claims adjuster. An attorney will seek to maximize your payout, while an insurance company will want to minimize it. The right attorney can help you with every step of the car accident recovery process.
Factors Involved in Your Auto Accident Claim
The value of your West Virginia auto accident claim can vary significantly according to the unique factors involved. Every case is different. It is generally not helpful to search for average car accident settlement amounts since an accurate average value does not exist. Victims of auto accidents can receive $10,000 to $1 million, or significantly less or more, depending on the factors of the specific case. A West Virginia car accident lawyer will analyze many different elements to accurately evaluate your claim’s value.
- The pre-crash value of your vehicle
- The current value of your vehicle
- The extent of your injuries
- How much medical care you require
- Whether you will have to miss work
- If the crash gave you a disability
- How much the crash impacted your life
- The actions or level of negligence by the defendant
- Whether or not you hire an attorney
In general, your car accident claim will be worth more if you were in a serious or catastrophic vehicle accident. These are accidents that cause significant personal injuries such as broken bones, burns, scars, disfigurement, amputations and disabilities. If your car accident led to life-changing personal injuries or the death of a loved one, you could receive substantial compensation. Hiring a lawyer can also change the outcome of your case. Work with a lawyer to maximize your financial recovery after a car accident in West Virginia.
Types of Compensable Damages in an Auto Accident Claim
One way to gauge how much your car accident claim is worth is with a breakdown of all the compensable damages related to your collision. In West Virginia, the civil justice system allows for the recovery of both economic and noneconomic damages during car accident lawsuits. Any physical, emotional and financial losses the crash caused you could be items you list on your damage claim. Calculating your total losses can help you estimate what your case might be worth.
- Past and future health care costs
- Disability-related expenses
- Out-of-pocket costs
- Legal fees
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Lost quality of life
- Vehicle damages
- Wrongful death damages
Work with a lawyer for advice about how much your car accident claim might be worth. A lawyer will know how the West Virginia courts calculate noneconomic damages such as physical pain and emotional distress. A lawyer will also have tactics for maximizing your financial recovery, such as tailored legal strategies and aggressive settlement negotiations. Finally, a lawyer can adequately demonstrate your damages to a judge or jury.
How to File a Claim
West Virginia is in the majority as a fault-based car accident state, meaning the driver responsible for causing your car accident will be financially accountable for related damages. To file a claim, first contact a lawyer to investigate your crash. A lawyer can identify the correct defendant and help you bring a claim by the state’s deadline. You have two years from the date of your car accident or of injury diagnosis to file a claim in West Virginia.
With a lawyer’s assistance, you can bring a claim with the correct county courtroom by the statute of limitations. Your claim will list all the damages for which you are demanding compensation, along with a fair and reasonable estimate of your case’s value. From there, you and your attorney can negotiate with the insurance company for a fair settlement. If settlement negotiations fail to resolve your case, your lawyer can bring your crash claim to trial in West Virginia for better results. Hire a lawyer to optimize your odds of obtaining maximum financial compensation during a car accident case.