Beckley Car Accidents

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Beckley car accidents can be minor, or they can result in severe property and personal damage. Although you may take care to be safe on the road, you cannot always prevent car accidents. When someone else is to blame for a car accident you were involved in, you can file a claim to recover your financial losses.

If you are planning to file a car accident claim, you need a skilled car accident attorney. They can help you file an insurance or civil claim properly. When you work with an attorney, you are more likely to have a successful claim, and that claim is likely to have a higher value. As you recover, your attorney can gather important evidence to advocate for the compensation you deserve.

Beckley Personal Injury and Car Accident Attorneys

At Wooton, Davis, Hussell & Johnson, PLLC, we have represented those in our community in personal injury claims for more than 40 years. Many of these personal injury claims have included car accident claims. Our firm understands the requirements of car insurance and personal injury claims, and we want to help you obtain the compensation you deserve. We are known as skilled trial attorneys, and this reputation helps us during negotiations.

When you approach our team with your car accident case, we review and investigate the accident using our resources. This way, we can determine the cause and at-fault party in the accident, and you do not have to rely on the investigation of the insurance company you are filing with. We calculate the damages available to you and fight for you to receive those benefits. Our team focuses on your needs and helps you to understand the reality of your case from the very beginning.

No one wants to negotiate with an insurance company while they’re recovering from an injury. Our attorneys at Wooton, Davis, Hussell & Johnson, PLLC, can give you the support you need.

Is West Virginia a No-Fault State for Car Accidents?

No, West Virginia is not a no-fault state for car accidents. It is an at-fault state, meaning that claims are filed with the insurance provider of the at-fault driver. If you were not to blame for the accident, you can recover property damage, medical bills, and lost income with an insurance claim.

Unfortunately, it can be difficult to negotiate with the insurance provider, which is focused on the company’s bottom line. The insurer’s goal is to provide you with as little compensation as possible. They may do this by claiming that your injuries are not as severe or that you were injured by something other than the accident. If fault is not clear in the accident, it is common for the insurance provider to try to suggest that you were at fault.

Do not give any written or spoken statements to an insurance provider before you have legal representation. It is important to work with an attorney to avoid being taken advantage of by an insurance provider and to obtain the settlement you deserve for your injuries.

What If I Am Partially at Fault for a Car Accident in Beckley?

If you are partially at fault for a car accident, you could still cover compensation. West Virginia uses modified comparative negligence laws for car accidents. This means that each individual in an accident is responsible for their portion of fault. Percentage fault is determined by the judge or the jury. If the case has not entered litigation, insurance providers and each party’s attorney can determine percentage fault.

Under modified comparative negligence laws, an injured party is only barred recovery if their percentage fault is greater than the combined percentage fault of all other parties liable. If you share less than half of the fault, you can still recover compensation for your injuries.

However, your final settlement is reduced by your percentage liability, so this can significantly limit the level of compensation you obtain. Insurance companies may try to limit the amount you can claim by claiming that you were partially at fault or that you were more at fault than you were in reality. An investigation by your attorney can help uncover the at-fault party, and it could limit your own liability. This can result in more compensation.

Understanding Fault in a Car Accident Claim

In order to hold another driver liable for your damages in court, you must prove several things. Many drivers make mistakes or are careless on the road, but this does not always mean that they are liable. In order for you to hold a driver liable, the following must be true:

  1. The driver owed you a duty of care. When drivers operate their vehicles, they owe others on the road a reasonable duty of care for their safety.
  2. The driver breached this duty of care. Any negligent or reckless action is a breach of this duty of care.
  3. The breach of care led to the accident. There must be a direct link between the driver’s action or inaction and the accident in which you were injured. Many drivers make mistakes, but a driver can only be held liable for that mistake when it causes an accident.
  4. You suffered injury and other damages. Your economic and non-economic damages must be provable and be directly related to the accident.

When you work with a car accident attorney, they can use their resources to investigate the accident and determine the at-fault party. This includes finding evidence of each of these aspects of liability.

What Commonly Causes Car Accidents in Beckley?

Understanding the cause of the car accident you were in is crucial to determining the person or party responsible for the accident. In most accidents, one or both of the drivers are liable for the accident, but there are many reasons why a driver may be at fault. These may include:

  • Distracted driving, which is the biggest cause of accidents. A driver is distracted if they, at any point, take their eyes or focus off the road. If their distraction is the direct cause of the accident, that driver can be held liable. Texting, eating, drinking, grooming, and talking on the phone can all result in distracted driving.
  • Reckless driving, including speeding, tailgating, weaving between lanes, failure to signal, and not following the flow of traffic. These reckless and sometimes aggressive actions are more likely to cause accidents. Speeding, in particular, gives drivers less time to slow down or react and increases the severity of any resulting collision.
  • Driving under the influence, which is also illegal. Drivers who operate their vehicle while under the influence of any substance are more likely to cause an accident. Being intoxicated slows a driver’s reaction speeds and lowers their ability to think clearly and make decisions while driving.
  • Fatigued driving, which is nearly as dangerous as driving under the influence. Similarly, it prevents a driver from thinking quickly and clearly, and it slows their reaction speeds. Many people drive while they are tired, and this can be incredibly dangerous.
  • Not following traffic laws. Even minor moving violations can impact the flow of traffic, causing an accident. Ignoring traffic signs and signals can result in serious accidents like T-bone or head-on collisions.

There are rare cases where drivers are not at fault for the accident. A governmental or private agency may be liable if the accident was caused by improper road design or maintenance.

A failure of an essential car component may result in a product liability claim if it was unreasonably dangerous or defective. In that case, the designer or manufacturer would be liable. However, if a driver fails to maintain their vehicle and it fails, causing an accident, they may still be liable.

Types of Motor Vehicle Accidents

Collisions can occur between many different types of vehicles and individuals on the road. Each may have unique damages and investigation requirements. At Wooton, Davis, Hussell & Johnson, PLLC, we have handled many types of car accident claims. Some common types include:

  • Truck Accidents: These accidents often involve more parties who can be at fault, and they also frequently involve commercial companies with significant resources and powerful insurance providers. These cases can be complex, and the damages that victims suffer can be severe.
  • Motorcycle Accidents: Motorcyclists have a higher risk of serious or fatal injuries. Motorcyclists have a right to the road, but not all drivers give riders the proper duty of care.
  • Bicyclist and Pedestrian Accidents: Bicyclists and pedestrians also have a higher risk of catastrophic injury or death when they are involved in motor vehicle accidents. Even if the cyclist or pedestrian was partially at fault for an accident, they may be able to file a claim under the state’s comparative negligence laws to recover some financial compensation.

An attorney can help you understand the reality of your case and whether it is viable to file if you are partially at fault.

What Is the Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury Claims in West Virginia?

The statute of limitations for personal injury claims in West Virginia is two years from the date the accident and/or injury occurred. There are only some cases in which you can file a personal injury claim after a car accident, as you are often limited to the insurance claim.

Determining Your Options for Compensation After a Car Accident

At Wooten, Davis, Hussell & Johnson, PLLC, we are proud to help individuals and families recover financially after a car accident. Contact our team today.