Princeton Car Accident Lawyers
Experienced Legal Team Serving West Virginia since 1931
Car accidents happen to many people, and they can cause life-altering injuries that require costly medical care. When involved in a car accident in West Virginia, most people do the right thing. They check on each other, exchange information, and honestly report the accident to their insurance companies. When they don’t, however, financial compensation from the insurance company can be insufficient to handle the problem. Katz, Kantor, Stonestreet & Buckner offers aggressive representation to fight for what our clients deserve.
Injuries Due to Another’s Reckless Behavior
Not all accidents result in a successful lawsuit for financial compensation, but when negligent and reckless drivers fail to follow the rules of the law, they must be held responsible. Unfortunately, many insurance companies try to pass the blame onto other parties and avoid paying a fair settlement. If a car crash happens to you, an experienced automobile accident attorney can make sure that your rights are protected, and you don’t have to deal directly with the other driver’s lawyer and insurance company.
With the state’s varying terrain and weather patterns, West Virginia currently has the most fatal car accidents in this country. Drinking and driving, driving while distracted, and simply not paying active attention all contributed to the deaths of 20.56 people for every 100,000 West Virginia residents. This rate is far above the national average of 12.38 per 100,000, and it only seems to be worsening as more and more people are injured and killed in car accidents in West Virginia every year.
Some common causes of car accidents include:
- Failing to yield
- Fender bender
- Distracted driving
- Not understanding the road laws
Most Common Types of Car Accident Injuries
As the rates of dangerous and fatal car wrecks continue to rise across counties in West Virginia, more and more people suffer from a wide range of car accident injuries.
When you are involved in a car accident, you may suffer one or more of these injuries:
- Head and neck injuries: Depending on the force of the collision, these can result in only some mild bruising and a headache, or they may cause long-term brain damage that may take a lifetime to heal from.
- Neck and chest injuries: The most common neck injury is whiplash, which occurs when the head is twisted and bent, straining the muscles in the vertebrae. This injury usually dissipates within a few hours or days, but it can also last for months or years in severe situations.
- Injuries involving extremities: Hands, arms, legs, and feet are all subject to injury as well and are often one of the first places to be hurt. Arms and hands can be broken due to impact injuries with the inside of the car, the collision between the other vehicle and the victim’s arm and hand that was outside the car at the time of the accident, or due to rolling the car.
- PTSD: Many drivers encounter PTSD (Post-traumatic Stress Disorder) as they recover from an accident. For many, these feelings will diminish with time. For others, it is something they may need to seek therapy for to truly and fully recover from.
How to File Your Car Accident Claim in West Virginia
Statute of Limitations:
If you or a loved one have been injured in a car accident, it's important to understand West Virginia laws in relation to submitting a claim and ensuring that your case is handled properly. The statute of limitations for West Virginia only allows you to file a lawsuit for your accident up to 2 years after the date of the accident. (This does not apply to insurance claims, which are usually required to be filed immediately following the accident.)
Reporting an Accident:
West Virginia law requires motorists to immediately report any accident resulting in injury or death, or property damage that exceeds $1,000. These types of accidents must be reported "by quickest means of communication" to the local police department or the county sheriff's office.
Is West Virginia a No Fault State?
No. West Virginia is a "Fault" car accident state, which means that after an accident it's important to determine who caused the crash. The insurance company of the person at fault for causing the accident is then responsible for covering the cost of damages to the injured party (up to policy limits).
West Virginia Car Insurance Requirements
West Virginia requires all drivers to carry a minimum amount of car insurance coverage. Unlike many other states, In West Virginia, if you have been injured by no fault of your own you can pursue compensation through one of the following avenues:
- File a claim with your own insurance company, who will in turn pursue a subrogation claim against the other party's insurance company.
- File a third party claim against the at-fault party's insurance company.
- File a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver.
Call Us Today
After a car accident, many people don’t know their rights and what can and can’t be covered in a personal injury or car accident claim. Insurance companies will contact you, insisting that you need to settle immediately to protect yourself and your compensation. However, the insurance company almost never has your best interest at heart, and they’ll always want you to settle for less than your injury is actually worth.
At Katz, Kantor, Stonestreet & Buckner, we can review your case and help you understand what your next steps are in securing what you’re legally owed after a car crash in West Virginia.
Trusted Legal Representation Since 1931
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