Car accidents are one of the leading causes of injury in the United States. Injuries caused by vehicle collisions can range from broken bones and contusions to traumatic brain injury and other catastrophic or permanently disabling afflictions.
West Virginia civil law provides victims of car accidents the opportunity to pursue compensation from the at-fault driver to pay for medical bills, lost wages, and even the pain and suffering associated with your experience. Pursuing these claims, however, requires the assistance of an experienced West Virginia car accident attorney.
The automotive collision attorneys at the Manchin Injury Law Group, PLLC have been assisting victims of car accidents in Fairmont for 37 years. We set ourselves apart by treating every client like family – when you walk into our office, you can rest assured knowing that we will treat you with both dignity and compassion. We also give your case the seriousness and dedication it deserves. We prepare every single case as if it’s going to trial – we gather evidence, conduct an independent investigation into the crash, use forensics, and gather eyewitness statements to help your case. While many of our cases settle out of court, we’re always prepared to fight for your rights in the courtroom. Contact our office to schedule a free case evaluation and see how we can help.
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When some people sustain injuries in auto accidents, they may erroneously assume that they can handle the insurance claims process on their own. Unfortunately, these people are doing themselves a disservice. There are several reasons why car accident claims require the assistance of an attorney. Some of the most important include:
There are a number of different damages you may be able to collect following a car crash. While you might just think you’re entitled to compensation for your medical bills, you may also be able to recover your lost wage and even reimbursement for your pain and suffering. Should a car accident lead to your incapacity, your family members may be able to collect compensation to pay for your ongoing medical expenses, as well.
Insurance companies are familiar with the complex rules that govern car accidents, and you may not fully understand them. Insurance companies are also committed to paying out as little on a claim as possible. As a result, they may take advantage of your lack of knowledge regarding your claim and give you a low-ball offer. A personal injury attorney knows how much your claim is really worth and will negotiate aggressively on your behalf to obtain the full cost of your bills, lost wages, and suffering.
In West Virginia, there are certain rules that determine fault, and dictate what happens when multiple parties play a role in an accident. Since there are so many elements that play into a car accident case, having a personal injury attorney to protect your rights is essential.
Insurance companies often try to settle out of court, as this is the less costly option. However, you always have the option of taking your case to court and letting a jury award damages in your case. The attorneys at the Manchin Injury Law Group, PLLC prepare your case as if it could go to trial, which may result in the insurance company countering with a fair offer.
West Virginia law requires that anyone seeking to file a personal injury lawsuit follow certain filing procedures and time limits. If you don’t adhere to these regulations, you may lose your right to sue and will never be able to gain compensation from the at-fault party again. To avoid this disastrous scenario, we recommend scheduling a free initial consultation as soon as possible following a car accident and avoid making these common mistakes.
West Virginia is a state with scenic views that hundreds of thousands of people travel on each year. There are 37,277 miles of public roads and 549 miles of interstate highways. There are currently around 795,000 cars registered throughout the state, with 580,000 light trucks and 10,000 heavy trucks. We also have a lot of motorcycle travelers, with 26,000 registered in the state.
Car accidents remain a leading cause of death and injury, both nationwide and in the state of West Virginia. These statistics paint a disturbing picture of just how dangerous traveling by car can be:
Accidents can happen in several different situations and under many different conditions. They may occur on interstates or in traffic, on back-country roads, or on scenic two-lane highways. The most common types of these accidents include:
While car accident injuries have a wide range of type and severity, some injuries occur more frequently than others, including:
The amount of compensation you can receive following a car accident depends on the laws set forth in the West Virginia Code. West Virginia law holds that you can sue an at-fault driver for any injuries you suffer as a result of their carelessness or misconduct. There are two types of damages victims of negligence can collect:
West Virginia law requires that motorists carry certain minimums for car insurance coverage:
If your injury damages extend beyond this minimum amount, and the at-fault driver only has this coverage, you may be able to obtain the rest of your compensation from your underinsured motorist coverage or the at-fault driver’s personal assets .
Car accidents are one of the leading causes of death and injury in the United States, including West Virginia. Though these accidents may occur in limitless scenarios, some causes of car accidents are more common than others. The following are some of the leading causes of car accidents:
Unsurprisingly, speeding is one of the most common causes of car accidents. West Virginia is home to scenic, winding roads – which can become deadly when there’s a speeding driver in the other lane. Even going a few miles over the speed limit can exponentially increase your likelihood of being in a crash – as well as sustaining serious or life-threatening injuries.
Despite public awareness efforts, distracted driving continues to pose a threat to all drivers on the road. We readily associate distracted driving with cell phone use, but actually it encompasses any activity that take your attention from the road. Some examples include:
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, reading a text takes about 5 seconds. Traveling at speeds of 55 miles per hour, you could travel the length of a football field during this time – all while not paying attention to your surroundings.
Drunk driving claims thousands of lives and leads to even more injuries each year. Drivers who get behind the wheel after drinking or using drugs commit gross negligence that can have serious consequences. Operating under the influence does not apply to just illegal drugs or alcohol – even people who take prescription medications that alter their judgment may be guilty of negligence if they cause a crash.
West Virginia sees its fair share of inclement weather, from ice and snow to freezing rain and torrential storms. Even high winds can cause car accidents by impacting a car’s control. Inclement weather conditions are a common cause of West Virginia car accidents.
Fortunately, there are a few simple steps you can take to avoid being in a car accident. We recommend taking the following actions to reduce your risk of injury.
There’s always some risk of being in a car accident, even if you control as many factors as possible. Wearing a seat belt is one of the simplest ways you can reduce your risk of serious injury, even if you are in an unavoidable car crash.
Statistically, some driving times are safer than others. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, accidents are most common between 3-6 p.m. on a weekday – evening rush hour. If you can’t avoid driving during these times, at least use extra caution. Also avoid driving during the late night hours, when you’re most likely to encounter a drunk driver.
Resist the temptation to talk on the phone, text, or otherwise fiddle with your mobile device. Hand it to a passenger to manage, or put it in your glove box. If you must take a call or check your map function for directions, pull over to the side of the road and do it there. If you’re a parent to a teenage driver, enforce a strict “phone off while driving” rule, and keep them accountable by downloading a usage and tracking app.
Practicing basic safety and defensive driving techniques can greatly reduce your risk of being in an accident, but cannot eliminate it completely. If you or a loved one sustained injuries in an accident involving a negligent driver, consider speaking with a qualified car accident attorney.
After sustaining injuries in a car accident in West Virginia, your first step is filing an insurance claim with the at-fault driver. Their insurance company will investigate the claim, make a designation of fault, and offer you a settlement. This is often where an attorney’s guidance becomes essential, as he or she will negotiate on your behalf to receive a fair settlement for your medical bills, lost wages, pain, and suffering. If you and the insurer cannot decide on a settlement amount, you may have to go to trial and have a civil jury decide.
This process varies from case to case, but settling a car accident claim can take anywhere from a few months to a few years. It depends on the number of vehicles involved, the extent of the injuries, and whether other motorists share fault for an accident.
The state civil code of West Virginia sets certain time limits for bringing a lawsuit for personal injury. That time limit is two years. If you fail to file a claim within two years of an accident, you may lose your right to compensation. For this reason and many others, contact a personal injury attorney for a free initial consultation as soon as possible.
The Manchin Injury Law Group, PLLC is here to help you understand your rights as a victim of negligence following a car accident. To schedule a free initial consultation with our firm and attain a review of your legal options, please contact us.