Charleston, WV Car Accident Lawyers
Injured in a Car Accident?
You are probably feeling enough stress and frustration after being in a car accident without having to deal with stubborn insurance companies who want to pay you nothing for your damages. To take the trouble of filing and managing a car accident claim right off your shoulders, call Katz Kantor Stonestreet & Buckner, PLLC as soon as you can.
We are a Charleston, WV law firm that was first founded in 1931. Although the cars and roads looked much different back then, our firm held the same dedication to client satisfaction that we do today.
Should I Seek Medical Attention After a Car Accident?
Before we get into some of the other details of car accident claims, it is important to take a moment to say you should see a trusted medical professional as soon as possible if you have not already. Far too often, people feel achy and sore after a car accident, but do not think they need medical attention.
Skipping the doctor after a crash is problematic for two reasons:
- Unsafe: You could have underlying injuries that have not flared up yet, so you do not know about them. Seeing a doctor for a checkup after a car accident could identify these issues, like a concussion or bone fracture, before they have a chance to get worse.
- Complicates your claim: Without a medical record showing you were in an accident and sought medical care, it makes it more difficult to validate your claim and pursue compensation. The defending insurance company will jump on the gap in your medical care and try to argue that you were not hurt at all or that the accident never happened. Do not give them that opportunity. Take care of yourself and your claim and seek medical attention after a crash.
Causes of Car Accidents in Charleston, WV
Behind virtually every car accident is an act of negligence. The key to your car accident claim is finding out what type of negligence or mistake the other driver or another party carried out to cause it and your injuries. With our decades of collective legal experience, we can narrow in on the causes of car accidents quickly, keeping your claim moving without sacrificing on its quality.
Some of the most common causes for car accidents in Charleston and elsewhere are:
- Drunk drivers: Intoxication to virtually any degree drastically limits a person’s abilities to safely drive a vehicle. Reaction time, the ability to judge distances, and even visual clarity are all worsened after just one drink.
- Distracted drivers: Smartphone use behind the wheel has become common in America. Some safety groups like the National Safety Council (NSC) estimate upwards of 40% of all car crashes involve a distracted driver, with most of those drivers holding their cellphones at the time of the collision.
- Speeding: Exceeding the speed limit remains a persistent hazard on roads throughout West Virginia. Each posted speed limit is calculated based on expected traffic patterns, road design and size, and typical weather in the area. Driving faster than the posted limits inherently increases the risk of an accident.
- Vehicle defects: Many car accidents can be traced back to a single defect in the vehicle, like faulty brakes, thin-walled tires, or accelerators that stick. When a vehicle defect causes a crash, the consequent injury claims will need to challenge an automaker, which usually requires a lawyer’s help.
Worst Injuries in Serious Car Accidents
A bad car accident can cause any number of serious or life-changing injuries. You deserve maximum compensation for your injuries, no matter what they are. Once again, we must reiterate that you should see a doctor as soon as possible after a traffic accident to get a full diagnosis and an understanding of your injuries and treatment options. There could be a serious and sometimes permanent underlying injury that may not be immediately apparent following a car crash.
After a violent crash, many motorists suffer the following injuries and more:
- Brain injury: A motorist who hits their head on the dash, steering wheel, or window during a collision is at a high risk of suffering a brain injury, such as a concussion. Traumatic brain injuries can also occur even where you did not strike your head due to the acceleration and deceleration forces involved in a motor vehicle accident. During such forces your brain can impact the interior of your skull causing a contusion on the brain.
- Whiplash: Rear-end accidents often result in whiplash, a specific type of neck injury caused by the victim’s neck rocking back and forth rapidly. When a person suffers a whiplash injury they may demonstrate symptoms such as neck pain and stiffness, worsening pain with neck movement, loss of range of motion in the neck, headaches and tenderness or pain in the shoulder, upper back or arms, tingling or numbness in the arms, fatigue, dizziness and other symptoms.
- Multiple fractures: Bracing too forcefully in a crash can actually be a bad thing, as it distributes the impact into the motorist’s arms and legs, rather than through the seatbelt restraint system. This common mistake may lead to multiple limb fractures. Of course, fractures may also occur due to the penetrating forces of a car wreck such as where there is protrusion into the occupants compartment of a vehicle.
- PTSD: Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is common after a violent accident, yet rarely discussed. Drivers with PTSD have difficulty getting back in their vehicle, especially if they need to drive near where their accident happened.
- Disc bulges or herniations: Forceful impacts that occur during a motor vehicle accident can cause disc to “slip”. When a disc slips in ones neck or back it may be referred to as a disc bulge, disc protrusion or disc herniation. When a disc herniates, it protrudes into the vertebral canal and pinches the spinal cord. This injury may lead to extreme pain, weakness and numbness that radiates into your lower or upper extremities depending on the area in which the disc is protruding into the spinal canal and the nerve root in which it is affecting.
At-Fault Rules in West Virginia
West Virginia does not use a no-fault auto insurance system like some states. After a collision, the fault for the crash must be determined to split up liability. The more at-fault you are found to be, the lower the damages you can collect. Also, if you are 50% at-fault or greater, then you will be barred from seeking damages from the other parties involved in your crash, making it all the more important to work with an experienced Charleston car accident attorney to ensure that your rights are protected and adequate compensation may be obtained on your behalf. With our experienced Charleston car accident attorneys and their guidance and insight, you will have a chance to reduce your liability as much as possible and a better chance to receive the compensation you deserve.
What damages are recoverable in a car crash claim
- Reasonable and necessary medical bills you incur for treatment related to the injuries you sustained such as emergency room visits, doctor appointments, testing, hospitalization, surgery, etc.
- Future medical bills if your injury is permanent and a medical provider opines that you are reasonably certain to incur such future medical costs
- Lost wages as a result of you missing work due to your injuries or as a result of treatment that was necessary
- Future lost wages and or future loss earning capacity because you are unable to perform the same job as before your injuries and as a result your wages have been diminished
- Loss of household services such as when your injuries prevent you from performing tasks around the house and as a result you have to someone to perform such tasks
- Vehicle repair costs through a property damage claim
- Suffering and pain, diminishment in your ability to enjoy life as before, disfigurement, emotional damages, mental anguish, shock, terror ordeal, annoyance and aggravation and other general damages
Do Not Wait Too Long to File Your Claim
You should rest and focus on your health after a serious car accident leaves you injured. Yet you cannot take too long to take legal action. Do not forget that claims against the driver’s insurance provider should also be filed the same day as the crash.
At Katz Kantor Stonestreet & Buckner, PLLC, we always encourage people to reach out to our Charleston car accident firm shortly after their accident and before they talk to any opposing insurance companies. By hiring our team to represent you early on, we can handle all interactions with insurers who could have otherwise tried to coerce you into accepting liability or accept a low settlement offer.
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Class Action $4.5 Million
Workplace Injury $2.2 Million
Auto Accident $1.6 Million
Motor Vehicle Collision $1.4 Million
Medical Malpractice $1.3 Million
Slip & Fall Injury $1,056,000