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Charleston, WV Car Accident Attorneys

Car Accidents Claims in West Virginia

Every day, thousands of people are seriously injured or killed in motor vehicle accidents. If you or someone you love was involved in a devastating car crash, it can be difficult to know what to do next or how to begin the healing process. The good news is that you do not have to do it alone.

At Mike Slocumb Law Firm, our Charleston car accident attorneys represent people throughout West Virginia who have had their lives forever changed by the negligence of others. We understand that you are going through an extremely challenging time in your life, and we want to help. Our aggressive approach to litigation has helped us recover more than $500 million in compensation for our clients, and our compassionate legal guidance has earned us the respect of our peers and the communities we serve. When it comes to your car accident case, we know the law, and we know how to fight for every penny you are owed.

Call our office at (304) 802-2115 or contact us online to request a free, no-obligation consultation.

Who Pays for Damages After a Car Accident in WV? 

Even a seemingly minor car accident can have a major impact. Victims are often left to deal with life-changing injuries, mounting medical bills, and other unexpected physical, emotional, and financial hardships. When someone else is responsible for the crash that caused your injuries, you do not have to face these difficulties on your own.

In West Virginia, after a car accident, the party responsible for causing the accident (the at-fault driver) is liable for the damages of the injured party. West Virginia follows an at-fault system when it comes to auto insurance and accident claims.

Here's a breakdown of how damages are typically handled:

  • Insurance: In most cases, the at-fault driver's insurance company will cover the damages, up to the limits of their policy. This applies to both property damage (car repairs) and personal injury (medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering).
  • Personal Responsibility: If the damages exceed the at-fault driver's insurance coverage, they become personally responsible for the remaining amount.

The other driver may be liable for the accident if they were:

  • Texting or using a cellphone while driving 
  • Driving while distracted (by a cellphone or otherwise)
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs 
  • Disobeying a traffic control device, such as a signal or stop sign
  • Speeding or driving too fast for current conditions 
  • Driving aggressively or recklessly 
  • Engaging in road rage behaviors, such as tailgating
  • Violating traffic laws or general rules of the road 
  • Behaving carelessly or negligently in some way 

Shared Fault (Comparative Negligence)

West Virginia uses a comparative negligence law. This means that if you are found to be partially at fault for the accident, your compensation will be reduced based on your percentage of fault. For example, if you are found to be 20% at fault, your damage award will be decreased by 20%.

Uninsured/Underinsured Motorists

If the at-fault driver has no insurance or not enough insurance to cover the damages, your own insurance policy may provide coverage under Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist (UM/UIM) provisions. It's important to check your policy details to understand your UM/UIM coverage limits.

While negligent motorists are the leading cause of car accidents, other factors could be at play. For example, some accidents occur or have worse effects because of an auto defect, such as a defectively designed vehicle or a faulty safety component. In other cases, poor roadway maintenance indirectly leads to a collision. 

At Mike Slocumb Law Firm, we carefully investigate claims to determine the exact cause of an auto accident. This, in turn, allows us to identify the liable party, or the party responsible for paying your accident-related damages. Depending on the specifics of your case, your damages may include things like medical bills, future medical expenses, lost wages, lost employment benefits, loss of future income and earning ability, pain and suffering, and more. 

When to Report a Car Accident in West Virginia

In West Virginia, you are required to report a car accident to the police immediately if it meets any of the following criteria according to West Virginia Code section 17C-4-6:

  • Injuries: If anyone involved in the crash sustained injuries, no matter how minor, you must report the accident immediately.
  • Death: If the accident resulted in a fatality, report it to the police right away.
  • Property Damage: If the total property damage from the accident seems to be $1,000 or more, you must report it to the law enforcement. This applies to the combined damage to all vehicles involved in the accident.

The law doesn't give a specific definition of "immediately," but it's best to err on the side of caution and report the accident as soon as possible at the scene of the accident. You can call 911 for emergencies or the non-emergency number for the appropriate law enforcement agency depending on the severity of the situation. Be honest with the police about what happened, but avoid making any statements that could be construed as admitting fault. Remember, only a thorough investigation into the accident will uncover exactly what happened and who is responsible. 

If you can, obtain a copy of the police report. If you need help with this, our team at Mike Slocumb Law Firm can assist you in collecting a copy of the police report, as well as all other pertinent information and evidence regarding the crash.

Reach out to our Charleston, WV car accident attorneys today for a no-cost, no-obligation consultation.

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What Is the Statute of Limitations on Car Accident Lawsuits in West Virginia? 

The statute of limitations refers to the amount of time you have to file a personal injury or wrongful death claim in court. Note that this is different than filing an insurance claim; in most cases, you have much less time to file an insurance claim—often a matter of several days to a couple of weeks at most.

The statute of limitations on car accident lawsuits in West Virginia is two years from the date of the accident. For a wrongful death lawsuit stemming from a car accident, the statute of limitations for filing is two years from the date of the death, not the date of the accident itself.

If you miss the two-year filing deadline, the court will almost certainly dismiss your case, and you will be ineligible to recover compensation for your accident-related damages.

Don’t Let Time Run Out on Your Case

We encourage you to get in touch with our firm as soon as possible after the accident. While three years may seem like a long time, the truth is that the sooner we can begin building your case, the better. We are ready to meet with you right away to learn more about your situation and discuss the facts of your case. From there, we can immediately begin investigating your accident, gathering important evidence, and communicating with the insurance company on your behalf. 

Mike Slocumb Law Firm is ready to fight for the maximum compensation you are owed. Our Charleston, WV car accident attorneys have extensive experience aggressively advocating for the rights of accident victims and their loved ones. We do not collect any attorney fees unless we win your case.

Call (304) 802-2115 or contact us online for a free consultation. Hablamos español.

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