Auto Accident Attorney in West Virginia
West Virginia is a “comparative fault” state. In West Virginia , every auto driver is financially liable for any accident in which they are deemed to be more than 50% at fault. Drivers are required under West Virginia State Law to purchase Auto Accident Insurance Liability Insurance to offset this risk.
West Virginia has the highest rate of road death fatalities in the United States. With Auto Insurance premiums at an all-time high and no end to the road chaos, there is plenty of work for the estimated 1,265 Auto Accident Attorneys in West Virginia .
Minimum West Virginia Car Insurance Cover
West Virginia auto drivers are required by State Law to hold the following auto insurance cover as a minimum: Bodily Injury Liability: $30,000 per person and $60,000 per accident. Property Damage Liability: $25,000. Personal Injury Protection (PIP): $2,500.
These are the minimum amounts required under West Virginia State Law and most auto insurance policy holders opt to increase their level of Auto Accident Insurance cover with the following optional West Virginia insurance extras
- Liability Coverage
- Collision and Comprehensive Coverage
- Medical Payments and Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Coverage
- Uninsured/Under-insured Motorist Coverage
- Mexico Coverage
- Rental Reimbursement and Towing Coverage
- Negligence Law
Who Pays in a Car Accident in West Virginia
West Virginia is a “comparative fault” State. This means you are financially liable for any accident in which you are deemed to have caused by being more than 50% at fault. If the other party is deemed to be more than 50% at fault it is their insurance policy that must pay compensation.
Depending on your level of cover you can be sued personally if an award is made against you that’s above your auto insurance policy limits
Who does an Auto Accident Attorney in West Virginia Sue?
West Virginia is a highly litigious state with the worst accident injury rates in the whole of the United States. An auto accident attorney can be hired to sue:
- another party if you believe they have caused you injury
- your own insurance company to maximize a direct compensation payout
- an auto accident attorney in West Virginia can also defend you against criminal charges
How many Auto Accidents in West Virginia
Over 3,700 people are killed in auto accidents in West Virginia each year, with an average year on year increase of 7.3% in motor vehicle traffic fatalities, according to the West Virginia State Government
The fatality rate on West Virginia roadways for 2018 was 1.44 deaths per hundred million vehicle miles traveled. Representing a 2.12% decrease from 2017.
254,415 persons were injured in motor vehicle accidents in West Virginia last year. Pedestrian fatalities totaled 699 in 2018. This is a 8.11% year on year decrease.
Road Deaths in West Virginia 2019
- 1 person is killed every 2 hours and 28 minutes
- 1 person is injured every 2 hours and 11 minutes
- 1 auto accident occurs every 42 seconds in West Virginia
- 568 motorcyclists killed in 2017. 52% were not wearing helmets
- West Virginia saw 565 people killed in head-on collisions in 2018.
- There were no deathless days in West Virginia roads last year.
- July was the deadliest month with 388 persons killed in Auto Accidents in West Virginia
What do you do after a car accident in West Virginia ?
Experiencing an auto accident is a stressful time. Thoughts become irrational as the adrenaline kicks in, helping accident victims deal with these hugely stressful incidents. These are the 8 things to do immediately following an auto accident in West Virginia .
- Check for injuries and stay calm
- Dial 911 for the emergency services
- Do not leave the scene of the accident
- Follow police instructions but do not admit guilt or answer questions
- Gather information, shoot video and take photos
- Call your insurance company
- Follow medical instruction
- Contact an auto accident attorney in West Virginia
Is West Virginia a Litigious State for Auto Accidents
Court Cases involving an Auto Accident Attorney in West Virginia made up the largest share of the West Virginia Court system costs, according to the State Government.
There are over 1,200 Auto Accident Attorneys in West Virginia with specializations including
- Small vehicle accident attorney
- Truck Accident Attorney in West Virginia
- West Virginia Auto Accident Attorney Generalist
- West Virginia Insurance Auto Accident Attorney
- Personal Injury Attorney in West Virginia
- Commercial Vehicle Auto Accident Attorney in West Virginia
- Uber Auto Attorney in West Virginia
- Lyft Auto Accident Attorney in West Virginia
West Virginia Statute of Limitations in Auto Accidents
The statute of limitations for a car accident in West Virginia is two years from the date of the car accident (Sec. 16.003). The West Virginia two-year statute of limitations applies to all claims made by drivers, passengers, pedestrians, truck drivers and motorcyclists. The clock starts ticking on the day of the accident and not the day you consult an auto accident attorney in West Virginia .
How long does an insurance company have to settle a claim in West Virginia ?
- Your insurance company must acknowledge your claim within 15 working days
- Within this 15 day they should request any further information from you
- Insurance companies in West Virginia may extend this 15 days by a further 45 days and inform you of their reason
- Generally, if an insurance company extends the 15-day time frame clients will consult an auto accident attorney in West Virginia .
- There is no time frame for your insurance company to settle the claim. On average it takes between 3 and six months.
- Once approved, your claim must be paid within 5 days
- If the claim involves a weather event or natural disaster a West Virginia insurance company may take 45 additional days to approve or deny your claim and 15 additional days to pay your claim.
- An auto accident Attorney in West Virginia may help speed up your compensation payout, or may delay proceedings to maximize your payout.
How much car insurance do I need in West Virginia ?
- Bodily Injury Liability: $30,000 per person
- $60,000 per accident
- Property Damage Liability: $25,000
- Personal Injury Protection (PIP): $2,500.
These are not high minimums. In a more severe auto wreck accident, the West Virginia Statutory minimum insurance levels may prove to be inadequate.
If you are judged to be more than 50% at fault in a West Virginia car accident the other side may hire an attorney to personally sue you for any difference between their financial compensation award and the insurance policy limits.
Is West Virginia a no-fault state
West Virginia is not a no-fault state. Some states in the USA require a no-fault insurance policy, often known in West Virginia as PIP. Every driver in West Virginia is required to hold auto insurance to cover expenses for the other driver in the event of an accident.
Insurance Payout Limits in West Virginia for Personal Injury
West Virginia uses 50 percent modified comparative negligence laws, so the court decides how much each party in an accident is at fault. You can claim damages from the other party if your level of fault does not exceed theirs.
However, your damages will be also be reduced according to your apportioned level of fault.
West Virginia Auto Attorney Insurance Claims Rights
According to the West Virginia Bill of Consumer Rights (Order No. 12-0862), you have the right to be treated fairly, honesty and with respect when you make a claim. If you believe you are being treated unfairly by your insurance company, make a complaint to the TDI in West Virginia and consult an auto accident attorney in West Virginia with immediate effect.
Over 72% of Auto Accident Attorneys in West Virginia are hired to fight an individual’s own insurance company for a better deal.
West Virginia State Auto Accident Demographics
West Virginia (/vərˈdʒɪniə/ (listen)) is a state located in the Appalachian region of the Southern United States, and is also considered to be a part of the Mid-Atlantic Southeast Region. It is bordered by Pennsylvania to the north, Maryland to the east and northeast, Virginia to the southeast, Kentucky to the southwest, and Ohio to the northwest. West Virginia is the 41st largest state by area, and is ranked 38th in population. The capital and largest city is Charleston.
West Virginia became a state following the Wheeling Conventions of 1861, at the start of the American Civil War. Delegates from the Unionist counties of northwestern Virginia decided to break away from Virginia, which also included secessionist counties in the new state. West Virginia was admitted to the Union on June 20, 1863, and was a key border state during the war. It was the only state to form by separating from a Confederate state, the first to separate from any state since Maine separated from Massachusetts, and was one of two states admitted to the Union during the American Civil War (the other being Nevada). While a portion of its residents held slaves, most of the residents were yeomen farmers, and the delegates provided for gradual abolition of slavery in the new state Constitution.
The Census Bureau and the Association of American Geographers classify West Virginia as part of the Southern United States. However, the Bureau of Labor Statistics classifies the state as a part of the Mid-Atlantic region. The northern panhandle extends adjacent to Pennsylvania and Ohio, with the West Virginia cities of Wheeling and Weirton just across the border from the Pittsburgh metropolitan area, while Bluefield is less than 70 miles (110 km) from North Carolina. Huntington in the southwest is close to the states of Ohio and Kentucky, while Martinsburg and Harpers Ferry in the Eastern Panhandle region are considered part of the Washington metropolitan area, in between the states of Maryland and Virginia. The unique position of West Virginia means that it is often included in several U.S. geographical regions, including the Mid-Atlantic, the Upland South, and the Southeastern United States. It is the only state that is entirely within the area served by the Appalachian Regional Commission; the area is commonly defined as “Appalachia”.
The state is noted for its mountains and rolling hills, its historically significant logging and coal mining industries, and its political and labor history. It is also known for a wide range of outdoor recreational opportunities, including skiing, whitewater rafting, fishing, hiking, backpacking, mountain biking, rock climbing, and hunting.
Can someone sue you for a car accident if you have insurance in West Virginia ?
If your insurance policy does not cover the amount awarded to the other party you may find yourself in a lawsuit regardless of whether you held car insurance. For this reason many auto accident attorneys advocate the purchase of premium cover and under-insurance ‘gap’ policies.
Do I call my insurance if it’s not my fault?
You must report any damage to your vehicle or personal injuries to yourself or others to your insurance provider immediately. Your insurance company will help file a claim against the other party and start the process of compensation.
Also contact an auto accident attorney in West Virginia for a Free Consultation and Claim Evaluation
How long do you have to file an accident report in West Virginia ?
You must file an accident report with the West Virginia Department of Transport within 10 days of the auto accident. The report should be on form CR-2 available here and can be filed by you, your insurance company or your auto accident attorney in West Virginia
Do I need an Auto Accident Attorney in West Virginia ?
An Auto Accident Attorney is not required for every case. For example, cases with minor injuries, soft tissue damage or ‘fender benders’ may not require a specialist auto accident attorney in West Virginia . In more severe personal injury cases you need an expert specialist attorney to protect your interests, regardless of whether you have one appointed for you by your insurance company.
Average Auto Accident Payout in West Virginia
The average car accident compensation settlement in West Virginia is $22,887 in 2018, according to the West Virginia bureau of Statistics. The average auto accident payout by using an auto accident attorney in West Virginia was $44,887.
Hit by a Drunk Driver in West Virginia
In the United States 32 people die every day from vehicle accidents that involve a drunk driver. A drunk driver could face criminal charges from the state of West Virginia and civil charges from the injured parties.
Convictions for criminal charges can result in fines, jail, rehab and community service. A civil Court case could force the drunk driver to financially compensate victims.
If you’ve been hit by a drunk driver in the State of West Virginia check out our list of Auto Accident Attorneys in your area who are experts at DUI auto accidents.
West Virginia is a pure negligence state and you are free to lodge a lawsuit against a drunk driver who caused you or a loved one personal injury.
Filing a civil lawsuit in West Virginia against a drunk driver will require that you prove them responsible for your injuries. An experienced auto accident attorney in West Virginia will need to demonstrate beyond reasonable doubt that:
- The other driver owed you a duty of safe travel as you shared the road.
- The driver breached his or her duty by an act of negligence (e.g. drunk driving).
- The driver’s negligent act caused injury to you in the form of a car accident
- The injuries caused you to suffer specific, quantifiable damages.
Take our online Compensation Checker to find out from an auto accident attorney in West Virginia how much compensation you could expect if you’ve been injured by a drunk driver.
What Damages can I claim for after a West Virginia Car Accident?
- Medical Costs
- Lost Wages
- Pain & Suffering
- Diminished Earning Capacity
- Non-economic Damages
How do I calculate Pain and Suffering in West Virginia
West Virginia uses a multiplier to work out the amount of compensation to be paid as a result of pain and suffering. For example, if your case is worth $40,000 in specific damages, but your pain and suffering has a multiplier of five for temporary brain damage, the total amount payable will be $200,000 in non-economic damages.
Will an Auto Accident Attorney in West Virginia increase my Pain and Suffering Payout
An experienced auto accident attorney in West Virginia will be instrumental in pushing up both specific damages and the pain & suffering multiplier. As can be seen in the example, both elements are key to securing the financial compensation package you deserve.
Average Whiplash Settlement in West Virginia
West Virginia does not have whiplash settlement guidelines though mild to moderate whiplash claims can result in a compensation payout from $2,500 to $10,000 worth of compensation. For severe whiplash claims in West Virginia , expect this figure to rise over the $22,000 level.
Can I Sue Uber or Lyft in West Virginia
If you’ve sustained injuries in an Uber, Lyft or other ride-sharing accident you may be entitled to financial compensation from the “at-fault” driver and their insurance company.
If your accident involved an Uber, Lyft or ride share driver who was “on-the-clock” when the accident occurred, you likely won’t make a claim on the driver’s own insurance policy. Instead, the insurance policies of the ride share companies should cover your personal injuries and damages.
Take the following steps if you’ve been involved in an accident with an Uber, Lyft or Ride share Driver either as a passenger or other road user.
- Report your Accident Immediately to Police and Uber. File an insurance claim directly with Uber.
- Seek Medical Attention. Some injuries can take days or weeks to become fully apparent and a proper diagnosis will help to strengthen your compensation case.
- Speak to an auto accident Attorney in West Virginia for a free consultation
Where do most Auto Accidents happen in West Virginia
According to the West Virginia Department of Transport most recorded car incidents requiring the use of an auto accident attorney in West Virginia happen in the following places:
(List of all areas in West Virginia with more than 40,000 people)
Get an Auto Accident Lawyer in West Virginia because the State Legal System is Complex
The West Virginia legal system is complex and navigating West Virginia personal injury law is not something which can be mastered while focusing on your own rest, recovery and rehabilitation. Using an auto accident Attorney in West Virginia should help reduce stress and maximize your financial compensation payout.