When you or a loved one experiences a serious injury in a car accident, the impact can turn your life upside down. If another driver’s actions contributed to the accident, you may be eligible for financial compensation.
Learn more about West Virginia laws for filing a personal injury claim after an auto accident.
Statute of limitations
Like most states, West Virginia has a time limit for personal injury lawsuits. You only have two years from the accident date to file a claim. Otherwise, the court will likely dismiss your lawsuit and you will be unable to seek compensation for medical bills, lost wages and other associated costs.
Even if you shared partial fault for the accident, you may still be eligible for partial compensation because of the state’s comparative negligence law. For example, if the court determines that you were 30% at fault in the collision, the judge will reduce your damage award by 30% with the other driver responsible for the other 70%. However, if you were more than 50% at fault, you will not be able to recover damages. Because state law does not outline a specific method for fault determination, you can negotiate based on police reports, witness testimony and other evidence.
Types of damages
West Virginia allows plaintiffs in this type of case to recover both economic and non-economic damages. Examples of allowed types of compensation include coverage for:
- Lost income
- Repairs to your vehicle
- Medical costs
- Emotional distress
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of earnings
- Loss of future wages
- Punitive damages when the defendant’s negligence led to the crash
After a car accident in which an injury occurs, you must report the incident to the local police and seek necessary medical care. You can file a claim for compensation for serious injuries with your insurance company or the other driver’s insurance company. If the adjuster does not provide a settlement that covers your associated costs, you can file a civil suit.