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Posted in Car accident on October 29, 2020
Auto insurance is proof that a driver can afford to pay for the costs of an injured victim’s medical bills and property repairs after causing a crash. In West Virginia, all drivers must carry minimum amounts of liability insurance for bodily injuries, property damages and uninsured/underinsured motorist accidents. If the other driver did not give you his or her insurance information at the scene of the car accident – as required by law – take the right steps to make sure you receive coverage.
In West Virginia, all drivers have a responsibility under Erin’s Law to stop at the scene of car accidents and exchange information with others involved. It is important to gather the other driver’s name, phone number and insurance information, as you will need to call his or her insurer to file a claim if the other driver caused your crash. West Virginia is a fault-based car accident state, meaning the person who caused the wreck will be financially responsible for damages.
Protect yourself and your legal rights by calling the police while still at the scene of any car accident in West Virginia. Legally, you have to call 911 immediately if you are in a crash involving injuries, deaths or more than $1,000 in collective property damages. You must also report the wreck to the Department of Motor Vehicles if it causes injuries, deaths or more than $500 in damages.
Calling the police can ensure you obtain the other driver’s contact and insurance information. The other driver may refuse to give you his or her insurance information, but the driver will not be able to refuse a law enforcement officer. If the other driver is refusing to give you his or her insurance information because the driver is uninsured, the police can ticket the driver for unlawfully operating a vehicle without insurance.
If you did not get the other driver’s insurance information at the scene of the accident because it was a hit-and-run or the other driver did not have insurance, you can rely on your own insurance company to cover your losses instead. Every driver in West Virginia must carry uninsured or underinsured motorist insurance. You can file a claim with your own insurance provider to recover compensation through this type of insurance if you do not have the at-fault driver’s information. Your own insurance provider should issue a check to cover your medical expenses and vehicle repairs based on your coverage available.
The at-fault driver might not be the only party you can hold financially responsible for a car accident in West Virginia. A third party – someone not directly involved in the crash – could also bear liability for your wreck. If so, you can file a damage claim with that party’s insurance company instead of relying on the other driver. Many third parties may have played a role in your car accident or injuries, depending on the situation.
Holding someone besides the other driver responsible for your West Virginia car accident could allow you to recover compensation for your crash even if you were in a hit-and-run or the other driver does not have insurance. Work with a West Virginia car accident lawyer for assistance with your car accident case if you did not get the other driver’s insurance information, or if you discover the other driver is uninsured/underinsured. A lawyer can help you explore all of your options for financial recovery.