If you or a loved one were injured in a car accident caused by another driver, our legal team can help you gather the evidence required to pursue compensation for your injuries.
Some car accident claims can be complex from a legal standpoint. A West Virginia car accident lawyer from our firm can help you navigate the legal process.
Do All Car Accidents Require Legal Representation?
If you have been in a car accident, you are not legally required to hire legal representation. However, it can be beneficial to discuss your situation with a lawyer in cases where the legal process is more complex, such as if:
- You sustained serious injuries
- Your injuries affect the way you live your life or work
- The accident involved multiple parties
- The other party denies blame for the accident
- You are unsure about the full financial impact of your accident
- You would like a car accident lawyer serving West Virginia to manage settlement negotiations and case administration on your behalf
- You feel an insurance company has not treated you fairly
- You have received (but not agreed to) a low settlement offer
Any negligent act can cause a car crash. Negligence occurs when a driver fails to exercise due care towards other road users. This may stem from doing something they should not have done or failing to do something a reasonable person would do under the same circumstances.
For a free legal consultation with a car accidents lawyer serving West Virginia, call (972) 535-6377
How does Negligence Cause Car Accidents?
According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), some of the leading causes of car accidents involving negligence include:
Anything that diverts a motorist’s attention from driving is considered a “distraction.” Such distractions can include:
- Using smartphones or other in-car technologies
- Other passengers
- Events in and outside of the vehicle
- Driving while upset, angry, or preoccupied
Driving while impaired is a serious offense under WV Code § 17C-5-2 and occurs when a driver’s ability to operate a vehicle is altered after consuming alcohol, drugs, or prescription medication.
Reckless and Aggressive Driving
When a driver disregards the rules of the road or operates a vehicle without considering others’ safety, the risk of causing an accident increases. Typical examples of reckless or aggressive driving include:
- Failing to yield the right of way
- Failing to obey traffic signs and signals
- Driving in the wrong lane
- Erratic driving
- Making improper turns
- Driving while fatigued
- Driving too fast for the weather conditions
- Driving a poorly maintained vehicle
If you suspect another person’s negligence caused your accident, learn about your legal options. A car accident lawyer from our firm taking cases in West Virginia can help you.
West Virginia Car Accident Lawyer Near Me (972) 535-6377
How does a Lawyer Establish Negligence?
Establishing negligence can be a complicated process. There are several steps involved, which include:
- Showing the other party had a duty of care: First, a lawyer must show that the other party owed a plaintiff a duty of care, or a responsibility to act safely. For example, drivers are responsible for following traffic laws to keep other drivers safe.
- Showing the other party breached their duty of care: Second, a lawyer must show that the other party violated their responsibility. For instance, if a driver runs a red light, they violate their responsibility to drive safely.
- Showing the breach of duty caused the accident: Next, the lawyer must show that the breach of duty led to the car accident that caused the plaintiff’s injuries and other damages.
- Showing the plaintiff suffered damages: Finally, the lawyer must show that the plaintiff suffered damages, like medical bills or physical pain, due to the accident.
Since establishing negligence can be complicated, you may want to leave this job to a lawyer. Our firm’s personal injury lawyers can work to establish negligence even when there are multiple at-fault parties.
How does the Legal Process Work for Car Accident Cases?
Depending on the accident’s circumstances, a victim can:
- File a claim with their own insurance company
- File a third-party insurance claim
- Pursue a lawsuit against the at-fault driver
Our legal team can review your case and help determine your legal options. After establishing a suitable course of legal action, we’ll help you build a solid case. We will:
- Investigate the circumstances of the accident
- Gather evidence and other supporting documents (such as witness statements, police reports, CCTV footage, medical reports, and employment records)
- Identify liable parties
- Work to prove negligence caused your injuries
- Estimate your current and ongoing expenses related to the accident
- Manage settlement negotiations and review offers
- Represent you in court if necessary
Being involved in a car accident caused by someone else can be frightening and frustrating. Crash victims often worry about paying for their medical treatment and other financial obligations because their injuries prevent them from working.
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How Much Is Your Case Worth, and What Compensation Is Available to You?
No two accidents are identical, so it would be unfair to place a fixed dollar amount on a case without fully understanding how an accident can affect a person’s life.
After examining the facts of your case and discussing the effects of the accident on your life, we’ll determine the types of compensation available to you.
Economic damages are available to compensate a car accident victim for monetary losses, which we can calculate based on medical bills, repair fees, and calculations of expected wages.
You may receive this type of compensation for:
- Current and ongoing medical bills and rehabilitation costs
- Lost wages and any impact on future earning capacity
- Any adjustments required in your home related to your continued care
- Property damage
Non-economic damages are more difficult to calculate than economic damages. For example, emotional injuries may take many years to heal and are more challenging to value, as they are subjective.
Examples of non-economic damages include:
- Pain and suffering
- Decreased quality of life
- Physical disfigurement
- Physical impairments
Wrongful Death Damages
These damages can be both economic and non-economic. They apply to cases in which a plaintiff lost a family member.
If you lost a family member in a car accident, you may be able to claim wrongful death damages. By recovering these damages, you’ll be able to support yourself and your family more easily while you recover from your loss. Additionally, recovering wrongful death damages may help you and your family find a sense of closure.
Such damages may include:
- Medical bills your family member incurred
- Bills for the funeral and burial/cremation
- Loss of consortium and companionship
- Loss of family guidance
- Loss of income for the family
- Mental anguish
Laws That Could Affect Your Case
It is important to be mindful of laws that could affect your right to claim compensation. Time limits defined in West Virginia law generally allow two years from the date of an accident for plaintiffs to file a lawsuit, per WV Code § 55-2-12. The same time limit also applies to surviving beneficiaries who lost a loved one and want to file a wrongful death lawsuit, per WV Code § 55-7-6.
About Our Firm
Our firm has been helping the residents of West Virginia recover the compensation they deserve for over two decades. Some of our clients have simple claim cases, while others have major lawsuits, and many of our clients have had excellent case results with us.
Our attorneys, Mark Forest Underwood, John Patrick L. Stephens, and Melissa Munich-Droz, have dedicated their professional lives to standing up to insurers, large companies, and judges and recovering compensation on behalf of our clients. One of these attorneys would be privileged to represent you in your case.
If you hire an attorney from our firm, you can rely on them to handle everything regarding your case. You can focus on recovering and taking care of your family.
Call Our Firm Today for a Free Case Review
If you were injured or lost a loved one in a car accident caused by another party’s negligence, a West Virginia lawyer familiar with car accident cases can help you pursue a settlement. We want to help you and your family move through this difficult time.
For more information about our legal services, call for a free case review with the team at Underwood Law Office.