A series of tragic accidents led to the death of nine people in West Virginia over the Labor Day weekend.
Although the facts behind each accident are unique, one common contributing factor in the car accidents involved the use of excessive speed.
Whether injured as a passenger in a vehicle involved in a crash or driving a car that was struck as a result of another driver’s reckless or negligent actions, it is important to protect your legal remedies. Those involved in a car accident are wise to take proactive steps to protect their legal rights. These steps include:
- Not leaving the scene. Immediately following a motor vehicle accident it is important to stay at the scene of the crash. Wait until the authorities arrive, statements are given and questions are answered to leave. However, those injured in an accident can take exception to this rule. If injured and need medical treatment, seek it as soon as possible.
- Keeping track of medical and rehabilitative bills. If injured, keep a record of all physicians, physical therapists, chiropractors, massage therapists and other medical professionals that provided care or treatment for the injuries.
- Getting an estimate of property damage. Get an estimate of the cost of repairs needed if a vehicle was damaged in the crash. If the first estimate seems off, do not hesitate to get a second opinion.
- Avoiding early settlement offers. Insurance companies often offer settlements fairly quickly after an accident. Injuries may not be fully apparent for days, weeks or months after the accident. Do not settle a claim before carefully considering potential future costs of treatment.
Although it is best to avoid early settlement offers, it is also important to know that time is off the essence when attempting to receive compensation after an accident. Under a legal rule known as the statute of limitations, a person has to file a claim for payment within a certain period of time. In West Virginia, a person injured in a car accident has two years to file a claim.
Generally, this time period does not begin until the person who is asking for relief knew, or should have known, that an injury existed. This is referred to as the “discovery of harm” rule. In most cases involving car accidents, this begins shortly after the crash.
Navigating through the intricacies of a car crash claim can be difficult. As a result, those injured in a car accident should contact an experienced West Virginia car accident attorney to discuss their situation. This legal professional will help investigate your accident and better ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve.