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How Car Insurance Works in West Virginia

April 26, 2023

Car insurance thoughts may never cross our minds until an accident happens. Understanding how car insurance works in West Virginia can help you be proactive in decisions about coverage and why it is critical to maintaining coverage for your automobiles, especially if you are involved in an accident.

If you have been in an accident, begin by working with a highly accomplished representative with dedicated decades of service representing clients while navigating the insurance industry. We understand the law regarding insurance, working on your behalf to collect fair compensation. 

Basic Insurance Requirements

Drivers in West Virginia are required to carry basic liability insurance, which covers the damages incurred by the other driver if you are responsible for causing an accident. Your liability insurance will cover the vehicle damage and medical expenses of the injured driver.

Additionally, drivers must carry uninsured motorist coverage should the at-fault driver not carry insurance. There are strict penalties for uninsured drivers in West Virginia.

Drivers are not required to carry comprehensive or collision insurance. Still, these policies are a great option, with collision covering the expenses of repairing your vehicle if you are the at-fault driver in an accident involving another car, object, or single-car accident. Comprehensive coverage is for incidents such as vandalism, hail, fire or flood damage, animal damage such as deer strikes, and glass damage.

Car Insurance and Accidents

Traditional fault rules apply to automobile accidents in West Virginia, meaning the insurance company of the person responsible for the accident must make payment. Victims must file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. If you have collision insurance, filing a claim with your insurance company may speed up repairs to your vehicle if the claims process is taking longer than expected, allowing your provider to collect from the liable party’s insurance company. 

Liability insurance will not cover your vehicle or medical expenses if you are at fault. Your liability insurance covers family members or other persons you have permitted to drive your car if they are responsible for causing an accident while driving your vehicle. 

If you are involved in an accident and carry minimum liability coverage, you will be personally responsible for covering the costs of any damages and injuries above the coverage amounts once they are exhausted. It is best to consider your coverage options and whether more coverage is appropriate. 

Modified Comparative Negligence System

West Virginia has a system of modified comparative negligence, meaning that drivers cannot collect damages from other parties if they are 50% or more at fault in an accident. The percentage of responsibility applied to you will be deducted from the claim amount you recover in an accident. If it is determined that you are 20% at fault, you will only recuperate 80% in damages.

Driving Without Insurance

Driving without insurance will result in a suspension of your license for 30 days for the first offense, and additional uninsured driving offenses within five years will result in a 90-day suspension. Vehicle registration is revoked until proof of insurance is offered, and you will be required to pay a reinstatement fee of $200. The financial consequences of causing an accident and driving while uninsured can be devastating.

Representation in Your Insurance Claims

Insurance claims can be challenging if you are the victim of an automobile accident in West Virginia. Insurance brokers aim to pay out the minimum amount of money possible. You deserve fair compensation to cover the expenses you incur. 

Years of experience in litigation make our Charleston accident lawyers the team you want on your side when faced with the difficulties of an automobile accident and recovery. We are known and recognized for superior service in West Virginia, putting your needs first.