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West Virginia Car Accident Lawyer

The West Virginia car accident attorneys at the Manchin Injury Law Group, PLLC have been assisting victims of automotive collisions 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. Our auto accidents lawyers also give your personal injury case the seriousness and dedication it deserves.

West Virginia civil law provides car accident victims 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 injury claims, however, requires the assistance of an experienced car accident lawyer.

Our law firm prepares every single automobile accident case as if it’s going to trial – we gather critical evidence, police reports, medical records, conduct an independent investigation into the crash, use forensics, and gather eyewitness statements to help our clients. While many of our cases settle out of court, we’re always prepared to fight for our clients’ legal rights in the courtroom. Contact our Fairmont office to schedule a free case evaluation and see how we can help you recover maximum compensation. We proudly serve Charleston, Kingwood, Morgantown, Philippi, and various areas of West Virginia.


Why Should I Hire a West Virginia Car Accident Lawyer?

Car collisions 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. Car wrecks also can be the cause of wrongful death.

When some people sustain severe injuries in automobile accidents, they may erroneously assume that they can handle the insurance claims process from the insurance company on their own. Unfortunately, these people are doing themselves a disservice. There are several reasons why car accident claims require the assistance of a West Virginia car accident attorney. Some of the most important include:

You might not understand your right to full compensation under the law.

There are a number of different damages you may be able to collect following a motor vehicle accident. While you might just think you’re entitled to fair compensation for your medical bills and medical expenses, you may also be able to recover your lost work wages and even reimbursement for your pain and suffering. Should an auto accident lead to your incapacity, your family members may be able to collect compensation to pay for your ongoing medical treatment, as well.

Insurance companies might try to take advantage of you.

Most auto insurance companies are familiar with the complex rules that govern car collisions, 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 settlement offer. An experienced West Virginia personal injury attorney knows how much your injury claim is really worth and will negotiate aggressively on your behalf to obtain the full cost of your bills, lost work wages, and suffering.

Motor vehicle accident liability is complex.

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 car accident lawyer from a reputable law firm to protect your rights is essential.

An accident attorney can help you understand your rights.

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 car accident case to court and letting a jury award damages. The car accident attorneys at the Manchin Injury Law Group prepare your case as if it could go to trial, which may result in the insurance company countering with a fair offer. Our firm operates on a contingency fee basis, meaning you do not pay unless we have secured compensation for you.

You need to follow certain rules and procedures.

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 with an experienced attorney from a reputable law firm as soon as possible following a car collision and avoid making these common mistakes

How Much Does a West Virginia Car Accident Lawyer Charge?

The number one reason why many car accident victims make the mistake of representing themselves during claims is the desire to save money on legal fees. Statistically, however, claimants consistently receive greater financial compensation with attorneys than they do without attorneys, even after deducting legal fees. If the cost to start your claim (often referred to as a retainer) is what concerns you, come to Manchin Injury Law Group. We do not charge anything upfront for our services.

Our car accident attorneys in West Virginia make fees affordable for every client by working on a contingency fee basis. This means you won’t pay us a penny in advance to begin work on your case. You also won’t pay an hourly rate for your lawyer. You will only pay if and when your lawyer wins your case and successfully obtains financial compensation for your car accident. If you don’t win your case, you won’t pay us anything for the work that has already been completed. That’s our no-win, no-fee guarantee.

If your car accident case does result in a successful settlement or jury verdict, we charge our fees as a percentage of the amount won. We keep this percentage reasonable – normally around one-third or 33 percent – so that we never collect more compensation than our clients. We will bill your settlement or judgment award directly rather than charging you out of pocket for our legal services. You will sign off on the percentage ahead of time to enjoy full transparency. To learn more about how much your car accident case will cost, request a free consultation at Manchin Injury Law Group.

West Virginia Car Accident Attorney

What Compensation is Available if You’ve Been Injured in a West Virginia Automobile Accident?

West Virginia law permits a car accident victim to file a civil claim in pursuit of damages, or financial compensation, for the full extent of his or her losses. This includes tangible as well as intangible losses. Understanding the value of your automobile accident case is important when entering into insurance settlement negotiations. An insurance company is likely to try to take advantage of you by devaluing your claim. If you know ahead of time how much your claim is worth, this can give you an edge during settlement negotiations.

The types of damages that could be available in your car accident case include:

  • Present and future necessary medical costs. The price of all medical care and treatments that you require, including surgeries, hospital stays, medications, tests and x-rays, physical therapy, rehabilitation, and disability accommodations.
  • Lost wages and future earning capacity. The value of your lost wages, income, and tips or commissions from having to take time off of work because of your car accident. You can also recover future lost capacity to earn if you have a long-term disability that interferes with work.
  • Vehicle and property damage repairs. The cost of repairing your damaged vehicle or replacing a totaled vehicle, as well as reimbursements for any other property that was lost or damaged in the accident.
  • Pain and suffering. An amount awarded for your intangible damages, including physical pain, emotional suffering, psychological and mental anguish, scarring and disfigurement, post-traumatic stress disorder, loss of consortium, and diminished quality of life.

A lawyer can help you demand full and fair compensation for your losses. Your lawyer will know exactly how to handle an insurance company on your behalf for the best possible financial outcome. Hiring a lawyer improves your chances of receiving a settlement and resolving your case without a trial. If an insurance company is refusing to offer the amount that you deserve, however, your lawyer can take your car accident case to trial in pursuit of better results. Your lawyer will work relentlessly to obtain the financial compensation that you deserve for a West Virginia car accident.

What is the Car Accident Settlement Process in West Virginia?

After sustaining serious injuries in a car wreck, your first step is filing an auto insurance claim with the at-fault driver. Their insurance company will assign an insurance adjuster to 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 an insurance 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.

What is the Statute of Limitations for Car Accidents in West Virginia?

The state civil code of West Virginia sets certain time limits for bringing a lawsuit for personal injury. That time limit is two years (West Virginia Code §55-2-12). If you fail to file a car accident claim within two years of an accident, you may lose your right to compensation. For this reason and many others, contact a West Virginia car accident lawyer for a free initial consultation as soon as possible.

The Manchin Injury Law Group is here to help you understand your legal rights as a victim of negligence following an auto accident. To schedule a free initial consultation with our law firm and attain a review of your legal options, please call us.

We represent many people throughout West Virginia, including Fairmont, Charleston, Clarksburg, and Morgantown.

What are the Car Accident Laws in West Virginia?

The amount of compensation you can receive following a car crash 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 three types of damages accident victims can collect:

  • Economic damages, which include the cost of your medical bills and property damage, any loss in earning capacity, and the costs of your ongoing treatment or therapy.
  • General damages, which address the intangible losses of your accident. These include loss in life quality, pain, and emotional anguish.
  • Punitive damages, which are meant to “punish” a defendant for malicious or intentional conduct that caused the collision.

West Virginia law requires that motorists carry certain minimums for car insurance coverage:

  • $25,000 per crash involving one injury (personal injury).
  • $50,000 per crash, involving two or more injuries.
  • $25,000 for property damage.

If your accident 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. If you lost a loved one in a car collision, you and your family may be able to seek compensation through a wrongful death claim. Consider speaking with an experienced injury lawyer in Bridgeport to learn more about your legal options.

West Virginia Car Accident Statistics

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 collisions 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:

  • In 2019, there were 247 fatal crashes that resulted in 260 deaths in West Virginia. Although deaths have consistently decreased since 2006, car wrecks are still one of the most common causes of death.
  • Of these deaths, 72 fatally injured occupants were unrestrained, compared to the 78 who were wearing seatbelts or other restraining devices. Restraint use was undetermined in 19 car accident cases.
  • Based off data from 2019, West Virginia had the lowest percentage of fatally injured drivers (14%) with BACs of 0.08 or higher.
  • 33% of West Virginia motor vehicle crash deaths in 2019 were in urban areas, compared to 64% in rural areas. 2% of accidents were identified as unknown.

Severe car accident on freeway with one car rolled over

Types of Car Accidents

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:

  • Rear-end accidents. These accidents usually occur when someone fails to assure a safe following distance and crashes into another vehicle. This may have a domino effect at high speeds, and whiplash is one of the most common injuries reported in rear-end collisions.
  • Side impact collisions. People may know these as “t-boning” or “broadsiding.” These accidents often occur at intersections. Both property damage and injuries are more likely to be severe in these accidents.
  • Rollover. Vehicle rollover is most likely to occur in single-vehicle accidents, and at high speeds. SUVs are more prone to this type of accident because of their higher center of gravity.
  • Head on collisions. When the two front ends of vehicle collide, the results can be disastrous. These collisions can often be fatal, especially at high speeds.
  • Sideswiping. These accidents occur when two parallel vehicles touch one another, and it’s more common on interstate highways. At slow speeds, damage is usually limited to property, but high-speed collisions can result in serious injury.
  • Pileups. These accidents involve multiple vehicles, and it’s not uncommon for several parties to share fault.

Common Car Accident Injuries in West Virginia

While car accident injuries have a wide range of type and severity, some injuries occur more frequently than others, including: 

  • Burn injuries. Thermal burn injuries can range in severity and cause deep tissue damage. Burn injuries may also result from defective airbags.
  • Broken bones. Fractures can be simple or complex, and may even require surgery.
  • Traumatic brain injuries. Concussions are the most common form of traumatic brain injury, and car accidents are the second leading cause of all brain injuries nationwide.
  • Spinal cord injuries. The force of a car crash can cause trauma to the neck or spinal cord, which can lead to paralysis, loss of sensation, or other loss of bodily function.
  • Soft tissue injuries. These types of injuries, which include bruising and muscle strains, lead to swelling and inflammation.
  • Whiplash. This soft tissue injury occurs when the force of a car crash causes a driver or passenger’s head to “whip” backward. The force of the crash may also cause trauma to the skull from striking the steering wheel or back seat.

After a car accident, immediately seek medical attention to address any injuries. Sometimes a personal injury won’t be noticeable until a few days following the car wreck. Ensure you keep all receipts of medical expenses and medical treatment to help strengthen your car accident claim.

Contact a West Virginia Car Accident Lawyer Today

If you or a loved one sustained injuries in an accident involving a negligent driver in West Virginia, immediately seek medical care and the other driver’s insurance information. Then, consider speaking with a qualified Clarksburg personal injury attorney.

While you work on making a full recovery, our auto accident lawyers work hard to build your case. We want to recover the financial compensation you deserve for injured victims of negligence. Our experienced law firm represents clients in Charleston, Kingwood, Weston, and various other locations throughout West Virginia. Call our firm today for a free consultation and legal advice about recovering fair compensation after suffering injuries sustained in motor vehicle accidents.