Are you wondering if West Virginia is a no-fault state? Knowing whether your state operates under a no-fault or at-fault insurance system is crucial. It affects legal proceedings and insurance claims in the event of an accident. This blog will clear up any confusion about West Virginia’s stance, helping you understand the laws and how they impact residents. Let’s dive in and explore the specifics.

At-fault car accident

What is No-Fault Insurance?

No-fault insurance is a type of car insurance system where your own insurance company pays for certain losses, regardless of who was at fault in an accident. This system is designed to speed up the claims process because you don’t have to prove the other driver was at fault to receive payment for minor injuries.

Under no-fault insurance, policyholders and their passengers are typically covered for medical expenses, lost earnings, and other reasonable and necessary expenses related to injuries sustained in a car accident. However, no-fault insurance doesn’t cover property damage or serious injuries where the threshold for suing in court is met.

The primary goal of no-fault insurance is to reduce the number of lawsuits resulting from car accidents, helping to keep court costs and insurance premiums lower. It simplifies the claims process, allowing you to receive benefits quickly and recover sooner without getting tangled in legal disputes over who caused the accident.

West Virginia’s Car Insurance Laws

Is West Virginia a no-fault state? The simple answer is no. West Virginia operates under an at-fault insurance system. This means that the driver who is legally at fault for causing the accident is also responsible for paying the damages.

In West Virginia’s at-fault system, if you’re involved in an accident, you have several options:

  1. File a claim with your own insurance company, who will then seek reimbursement from the at-fault driver’s insurance if you were not at fault.
  2. File a third-party claim directly with the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
  3. Pursue a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver to recover additional compensation for serious injuries or damages not covered by insurance.

This system allows for flexibility in how you handle post-accident procedures, but it also requires proving fault to receive compensation. Determining who is at fault in an accident typically involves an investigation by insurance companies, which review the accident report, inspect the vehicle damage, interview witnesses, and assess any relevant traffic laws or conditions that could have contributed to the incident.

Minimum Insurance Requirements in West Virginia

As a fault-based state, West Virginia imposes certain minimum insurance coverage amounts every driver must carry to lawfully be on the road. Auto insurance policies will pay for victims’ damages after an accident, up to the policy’s maximum. The following are the minimum insurance amounts required in the state.

  • $20,000 in bodily injury insurance per person, per accident.
  • $40,000 in bodily injury insurance per accident, for all persons.
  • $10,000 in property damage protection.
  • $20,000/$40,000 in uninsured and underinsured motorist bodily injury.
  • $10,000 in uninsured motorist property damage protection.

These are the bare minimum amounts. Drivers may opt for additional coverage for themselves or others if they wish. Failing to maintain adequate insurance amounts can result in fines of up to $5,000 and a suspended license.

West Virginia’s Fault Insurance Laws

Only 12 states in the country abide by no-fault insurance laws. In a no-fault state, neither driver has to determine fault before calling their insurance companies. They will seek benefits from their own auto insurers, regardless of fault. The only time someone in a no-fault state would need to know who or what caused the wreck is if the victim is pursuing damages through a personal injury lawsuit. This is only possible in no-fault states if the victim has serious, debilitating injuries.

Under West Virginia’s fault laws, someone injured in a car accident must identify the at-fault party before filing an insurance claim. This is because the claim will go through the at-fault party’s insurer. Most people will not admit fault at the scene, even if they know they were in the wrong. It is important to call 911 and report the accident if you have injuries or expensive property damage. Police can investigate and assign fault, giving you the ability to call the correct auto insurance company.

You typically have to file your insurance claim as soon as possible for the provider to accept it as valid. This could be 24 hours to a few weeks after your accident. Make sure to get the other driver’s insurance information before leaving the scene of the accident. Once you have received medical care, call the insurance company and report the crash. Do not admit any fault over the phone and do not agree to give a recorded statement. Call a West Virginia car accident lawyer for a free consultation before accepting a settlement.

When Can You File a Lawsuit?

West Virginia’s tort-based insurance laws give victims the right to file lawsuits against at-fault parties for actual damages. You do not need to prove your injuries are serious before filing a civil claim. You do, however, have to make sure you file within the state’s two-year deadline. A personal injury lawsuit could result in greater compensation for your damages than an insurance settlement alone. You could recover compensation for other types of losses besides medical bills and property damage.

  • Physical pain
  • Emotional suffering or distress
  • Mental anguish
  • Lost quality or enjoyment of life
  • Lost future earnings
  • Disability costs
  • Loss of consortium
  • Punitive damages

If you suffered serious injuries or lost a loved one in a West Virginia car accident, speak to a West Virginia personal injury attorney about a potential personal injury lawsuit. A lawsuit against the at-fault driver or another party could yield the financial recovery you need to move forward. Call today to set up a free consultation with a qualified Morgantown car accident lawyer.

Attorney Timothy Manchin established the Manchin Injury Law Group in 2011 after his law partner of more than 25 years became a West Virginia circuit court judge. His focus is on helping individual clients and entire families victimized by negligent acts.

  • Taylor Downs was easy to talk to (I do not speak the legal language well!) and was very upfront and honest about the entire process of my case. He kept me updated as the case progressed, and answered my relentless questions. The end result was a favorable settlement that I’m not sure could have been any better with anyone else. In short, go see Taylor if you have a case. Don’t be intimidated to go seek his help, he won’t blow your brains out with “legal speak”.


  • Being referred to Taylor was the best thing I could have asked for. Taylor and staff are very easy to talk to. I would highly recommend them to anyone.


  • If I ever have to go through it again I would definetly call Taylor right away. The group was so helpful through my situation and handled everything that needed to be done. They made a stressful situation a stress free situation. With Taylor you dont have to worry about one thing. Definietly would recomend to anyone.

    - TAYLOR G.

  • Efficient, knowledgeable, and friendly.


  • Taylor and Tim helped make a difficult moment in life, a little more bearable. Easy to communicate with and informative. I will absolutely recommend them to everyone.


  • Manchin Injury Law Group, Took care of me when I got into a car accident while I was pregnant. Very scary moment for a first time mom but thankfully Manchin Injury Law Group had my back and treated me great. They made me feel as if I was part of their family. My son is now 7 Months Old and very happy and healthy. I’m very thankful for them for helping me through everything and getting me what we deserved. I 100% would recommend them to anyone. If I ever have an accident again they will be my number 1 phone call!


  • The support given helped me to feel like I was included in my personal injury case every step of the way. I was informed about the entire process throughout. It was amazing how quick the turn around time was and I would definitely recommend Attorney Timothy J. Manchin to anyone!


  • Taylor and Kelly worked hard on my case so I didn’t have to. Thanks guys!


  • Excellent experience dealing with Manchin Injury Law. They were very responsive, professional and easy to talk to. I did my homework before I hired a lawyer after my accident and I am so glad I found Manchin Injury Law Group. If you are injured, give them a call!


  • Taylor and Tim helped make a difficult moment in life, a little more bearable. Easy to communicate with and informative. I will absolutely recommend them to everyone.


  • Kelly and Taylor did all the hard work so that I didn’t have to. They both cared about my circumstance and got me a nice settlement. Taylor knows what he is doing and I felt comfortable with my case in his hands.


  • Great lawyers. They helped me with a West Virginia case.


  • Such a great experience with Taylor and this firm. Thankful for their diligence and their work on our case. Thank you to all!


  • Had a easy and smooth experience with a great attorney so when you go there make sure you ask for Taylor.


  • My experience at the Manchin Injury Law Group was extremely positive, and I would recommend them to anyone who needs a compassionate and experienced lawyer on their side.


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