West Virginia Car Accident Attorneys
Auto accidents can turn your whole world upside down. Many vehicle crashes cause moderate to severe injuries, which can result in major medical expenses, time missed from work, and excruciating pain and suffering. In some cases, injuries can be permanent and debilitating, making it impossible to return to your job. The combination of mounting medical bills and being out of work for an extended period of time can put a major financial strain on car accident victims and their families. When the accident was the fault of another party, those who suffer these types of injuries deserve to be compensated.
When a car accident results in a life-changing injury or the loss of a loved one, Bailey, Javins & Carter, L.C., is here to help. With more than 40 years of experience on our side, we understand that the insurance company is going to play every possible game to avoid paying compensation. We refuse to play games, and insurance companies know it. They know we are serious about obtaining the just compensation our clients deserve.
We are skilled litigators and strong negotiators. We understand that it is generally in everyone’s best interests to settle the car accident case without having to go to court, and we work hard toward negotiating a settlement that fully compensates you for your injuries. That being said, if the other side is not willing to be reasonable, we will file a lawsuit and do everything we can to get you the money you need and deserve.
We handle West Virginia motor vehicle accidents of all types, including:
- Car accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Bicyclist and pedestrian accidents
- Distracted driving accidents
- Drowsy driving accidents
- Commercial vehicle accidents
- Rear-end accidents
- Head-on collisions
- Rollover accidents
Damages in West Virginia Car Accident Cases
Most auto accidents occur because of the negligence or reckless actions of one or more parties. As mentioned earlier, these accidents can often result in serious injuries and fatalities. Those injured in a vehicle crash that was the fault of another party are eligible for compensation, which is commonly known as “damages”.
Compensatory damages can be divided into two general categories:
- Economic damages: These are actual monetary losses resulting from the injury; such as medical costs, lost wages, loss of earning capacity, property damage, and funeral and burial costs (in the case of a wrongful death).
- Non-economic damages: These are losses that are intangible and more difficult to quantify. Examples of non-economic damages include physical pain and suffering, psychological distress, loss of enjoyment, disfigurement, and loss of consortium.
In rare cases in which the conduct of the party responsible for the auto accident was especially egregious, punitive damages may be awarded to punish the wrongdoer and help deter them (and others) from similar behaviors in the future. West Virginia caps punitive damages at four times the amount of compensatory damages or $500,000, whichever is greater.
It is important to note the West Virginia applies the “modified comparative negligence” legal doctrine to personal injury lawsuits. This means that, if you are found to be partially at fault for the car accident, your damage award is reduced in proportion to the percentage of fault you share in the accident; unless you were more at fault than the other party, in which case you may be barred from recovering damages at all.
Here is an example of how modified comparative negligence might work. If total damages are $200,000 and you were found to be 10% at fault, your award would be reduced by $20,000, leaving you with $180,000. However, if you were found to be 51% at fault in the same scenario, you would not receive any compensation at all.
There is no doubt that the insurance company for the other side will employ all kinds of tactics to try to get you to admit at least partial fault for the accident. This is why you should never agree to give any type of recorded statement to the insurance company. They may tell you that this is just a formality and that the statement is necessary in order to process your claim expeditiously. However, the questions they ask are usually worded in a way that is designed to get you to admit fault or otherwise weaken your case. Do NOT agree to give any type of statement to an insurer without first speaking with your lawyer.
Even the Odds Against the Insurance Company
Be aware that the insurance attorney, insurance agent or insurance claims adjuster is not your friend, although he or she will certainly pretend to be. They will often contact you just a few days after the accident before you have had a chance to get organized and assure you that you will be “taken care of”. They may even imply that you are better off without an attorney.
It is important to keep in mind that the interests of the insurance company are not aligned with yours. You are seeking full and fair compensation for your injuries, and they are working hard to escape or limit liability. If the insurance company has experienced lawyers and others trying to limit your recovery, shouldn’t you have someone on your side trying to maximize your recovery? We have successfully handled hundreds of auto accident cases, and we are ready to go to work for you!
Immediate Action and Investigation Is Critical
Insurance companies want you to procrastinate. They want as much time as possible so that the scene of the car accident can be cleaned up and they can send your car to the scrap yard, erasing evidence that may be crucial to your case against them. Insurance companies are also mindful of the two-year statute of limitations in West Virginia for filing a personal injury lawsuit. They would like to delay your claim as much as possible, so the clock will expire, and you will lose your right to pursue damages for your injuries in court.
As soon as you retain our services, our lawyers will take action and begin the investigation. We will examine the scene of the car accident. We will prevent your car and any other vehicles involved in the collision from being scrapped until we can review them. We will talk to witnesses and gather all the information we need to lay a foundation of facts. Our lawyers will also work with your medical providers to gather details about your condition, which will also be important in terms of determining the amount of compensation to seek.
Free Initial Consultation with a West Virginia Car Wreck Attorney
At BJC, we understand the major physical, emotional, and financial toll motor vehicle accident injuries can take on victims and their families, and we work hard to make the legal process as smooth and seamless as possible. We are in your corner from start to finish, handling all the complicated legal tasks, so you can focus on recovering from your injuries and putting your life back on track. Throughout the process, we are always available to answer any questions or address any concerns you may have.
Contact our firm to schedule a free initial consultation with one of our car accident lawyers in Charleston, Logan or Summersville. We are ready to fight for your rights.