In West Virginia, anyone involved in a car accident that either injures or kills another person or causes more than $1,000 in damage is required to report the accident to the police. In addition, when an accident results in injury, death, or more than $500 in damage, those involved must report the accident to the Department of Motor Vehicles. Given the fact that West Virginia is one of the most dangerous states in the country for car accidents, everyone who gets behind the wheel should familiarize themselves with the car accident reporting deadlines of the state.
West Virginia statute of limitations: Car accident reporting deadlines
Following a car accident in West Virginia, there is a specific amount of time within which an injured party may file a lawsuit—this is called the statute of limitations. In West Virginia, the deadline is two years from the date of the accident. If an injured party waits more than two years following an accident to file a lawsuit, the court will dismiss the case.
Receiving compensation for your injuries
Some states have what is called “no-fault” insurance, which means that damages from a car accident are paid by the injured person’s insurance regardless of fault. This isn’t the case in West Virginia, however. West Virginia is a “fault” state, which means that damages are only available if an injured party can prove that another driver was at fault. In order to establish that another driver was at fault, the injured party must demonstrate that the other driver was negligent in his or her driving duties, and this negligence caused the accident. Ways that a driver may be at fault for an accident include:
- Failing to follow West Virginia’s traffic and driving laws.
- Failing to drive safely for existing road conditions.
- Driving with a high blood alcohol content (BAC).
If the court in a West Virginia personal injury lawsuit finds that another driver’s negligence caused a plaintiff’s injuries, the following types of damages may be available:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Property repair costs
- Emotional distress
- Loss of future earnings
If an injured driver is found to be partially responsible for a car accident, the damages available are reduced by his or her percentage of responsibility. For example, if a plaintiff is awarded $200,000 but is found to be 40% responsible for the accident, he or she will receive $80,000.
Hire a lawyer to help you receive compensation!
If you’ve been injured in a West Virginia auto accident of any kind, you need an experienced West Virginia auto accident attorney on your side. An experienced personal injury attorney will protect your legal rights and guide you towards the proper course of action based on your situation. At Hewitt & Salvatore, we pride ourselves on providing personal attention to each of our clients, and we’ll treat your personal injury case as our top priority. You can trust us to see your claim through to a successful conclusion. Please contact our office today for a consultation.
Posted in: Auto Accidents