If you or somebody you love has been injured or sustained property damage in a vehicle accident caused by a negligent driver in West Virginia, you likely have various questions when it comes to the aftermath of the incident and filing your insurance claim. Here, we want to answer some of the most common questions asked in the aftermath of these incidents.
How Long do You Have to File a Claim?
Car accident victims in West Virginia need to be mindful of a few deadlines. First, the personal injury statute of limitations in this state is two years from the date an injury occurs. This means that claims must be filed in civil court within two years from the date the accident occurs. However, the insurance carriers involved in the claim also have their own deadlines, which are typically a day or two after the accident occurs. Failing to file a claim with the insurance carriers right after the accident could result in your claim being denied or delayed.
How Much Compensation Will You Receive?
There is no set amount of compensation available to car accident victims in West Virginia. Rather, there are several factors that can influence compensation amounts, including the severity of any injuries, how much property damage there was, the level of pain and suffering damages, whether or not a crash victim can work, and more. Some of the most common types of compensation available to crash victims include:
- Coverage of past, current, and future medical bills
- Lost income
- Property damage expenses
- Pain and suffering damages
- Loss of enjoyment of life damages
What if You Were Partially At-Fault?
If you were partially at fault for a vehicle accident in West Virginia, there is a chance that you will still be able to recover compensation. This state operates under a “comparative negligence” system. This means that individuals can recover compensation so long as they are less than 50% at fault for the incident. Any individual found to be 50% or more responsible for a crash will be unable to recover compensation from another party’s insurance carrier.
However, individuals less than 50% will receive a reduced compensation amount based on their percentage of fault. For example, if a person sustains $100,000 worth of injury and property damage expenses, but a jury decides that they were 30% responsible for causing the crash, then they would receive $70,000 instead of the full $100,000.
Will You Have to go to Court?
The majority of car accident claims in West Virginia are resolved through settlements with insurance carriers. When this happens, claimants will typically not have to go to court. Usually, personal injury claims are not filed in civil court when the case is resolved through an insurance settlement. However, if the insurance carriers refuse to offer a fair settlement, or if they deny the claim altogether, it may be necessary to file a Charleston car accident claim against the at-fault party. When this happens, there is a better chance that the case will have to go to court, but usually, claims are still resolved before they go before a jury.