In West Virginia, if you are involved in a car accident that injures or kills someone or causes over $1,000 in damage, you must report the accident to the authorities. In addition, when an accident results in death, injury or over $500 in damage, you must report the accident to the Department of Motor Vehicles. West Virginia is one of the most dangerous states in the country to drive in, so everyone who gets behind the wheel here should understand the state’s car accident reporting requirements.
Statute of limitations
If you’re involved in a West Virginia car accident, you only have a certain amount of time to file a lawsuit—this is known as the statute of limitations. In West Virginia, the car accident statute of limitations is two years from the date the accident occurs. If you wait more than two years following an accident to file a lawsuit, the court will dismiss your 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. This means that you are only entitled to damages if you can prove that the other driver caused your accident. In order to establish that the other driver caused your accident, you must demonstrate that he or she was negligent in some way. In West Virginia, a driver may be at fault for an accident when he or she:
- fails to follow West Virginia’s traffic laws,
- fails to drive safely for existing road conditions, or
- drives with a high blood alcohol content (BAC).
If the court in your personal injury lawsuit finds that the other driver’s negligence caused your injuries, you may be entitled to the following types of damages:
- Medical bills
- Property repair costs
- Lost wages
- Emotional distress
- Loss of future earnings
However, if you are found to be partially responsible for your car accident, your damages will be reduced by your percentage of responsibility. For example, if you are awarded $100,000 but are found to be 40% responsible for your accident, you will receive $60,000.
Contact a West Virginia Auto Accident Attorney
If you’ve been hurt in a West Virginia auto accident, you need an experienced West Virginia auto accident attorney on your side. An experienced auto accident attorney will protect your legal rights and guide you towards the proper course of action based on your situation. At Hewitt & Salvatore, we take pride in providing personal attention to our clients, and we’ll treat your auto accident case as our top priority. You can trust us to see your auto accident claim through to a successful conclusion. Please contact our office today for a consultation.