driver in a car accident

Driver Responsibilities Following a West Virginia Car Accident

West Virginia has one of the highest car accident rates in the country. Therefore, it’s imperative that all West Virginia drivers understand their responsibilities following an automobile accident. When someone is involved in a car accident in West Virginia that either causes over $1,000 in damage or physically harms another person, he or she must report the accident to the police. In addition, when an automobile accident results in death, injury, or over $500 in damage, the persons involved are required to report the event to the Department of Motor Vehicles. Below is some additional information on car accidents in West Virginia. 

Statute of Limitations for Auto Accidents

After a West Virginia car accident, an injured driver who wants compensation for his or her injuries must file a claim within a certain period of time. This period is called the statute of limitations. In West Virginia, a driver has two years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury lawsuit. If a driver who is injured in a car accident waits more than two years to file a lawsuit, the court will dismiss the case.

Obtain Compensation for West Virginia Car Accident Injuries

As opposed to “no-fault” insurance states, which require damages from a car accident to be paid by an injured person’s insurance regardless of fault, West Virginia is a “fault” state, which means that a driver may only obtain damages for his or her injuries if the other driver was primarily responsible for the accident. The responsibility of proving fault rests with the injured driver who filed the claim. Examples of circumstances under which a driver may be found at fault for a car accident include: 

  • The driver failed to follow West Virginia’s traffic laws.
  • The driver failed to adjust his or her driving to existing road conditions. 
  • The driver was intoxicated.  

The following types of damages may be available to an injured driver who successfully demonstrates that another driver was responsible for the accident that caused his or her injuries: 

  • Lost wages 
  • Medical bills
  • Emotional distress
  • Property repair costs 
  • Loss of future earnings

Finally, the damages available to an injured driver will be reduced by his or her percentage of responsibility for the accident, meaning that partial responsibility for a car accident isn’t a total bar to recovery. 

Contact a West Virginia Auto Accident Attorney 

If you’ve suffered injuries in a West Virginia auto accident, you need an experienced West Virginia auto accident attorney on your side. An experienced West Virginia car accident attorney will protect your legal rights and guide you towards the proper course of action based on your unique situation. At Hewitt & Salvatore, our attorneys pride ourselves on providing personal attention to each of our clients. When you choose us to handle your West Virginia car accident case, you can rest assured that we’ll treat your personal injury case as our top priority. Please contact our office today for a consultation.