If you have been in a car accident, there are many things to consider. You may be dealing with pain and suffering from your injuries, the emotional toll of being involved in such an incident, or even financial problems if you missed work due to your injuries. The last thing on your mind should be filing the lawsuit by yourself.
If you suffered any losses in a car accident, it is important to talk to a Morgantown personal injury attorney about your legal rights as soon as possible. The process of filing a lawsuit and the types of damages you may be entitled to can vary based on the details surrounding the accident.
The Morgantown car accident attorneys at The Miley Legal Group can help you understand your legal rights and how to get the compensation that may be owed to you. Our attorneys have the knowledge and skill to fight for your claim and get you the maximum compensation for your losses.
For more information on how we can help you, contact us today.
The Car Accident Lawsuit Process
Since West Virginia is an at-fault state, the at-fault driver’s insurance carrier is responsible for paying for the victim’s damages.
After a car accident, the insurance company of the at-fault party will launch an investigation to reduce potential liability. This means that the insurance carrier will attempt to do everything it can to minimize the compensation amount it will ultimately pay.
This is why it is so important to hire an attorney to defend your claim. One of the initial steps in the lawsuit process is for your attorney to conduct an investigation of their own to counter the insurance company and build your case.
A strong case rests on the ability of your lawyer to prove that the other driver’s negligence caused your damages.
Some of the negligent actions which your attorney will look for include during their investigations include:
- Failing to pay attention to the surroundings
- Distracted driving
- Drunk driving or drugged driving
- Violating traffic laws
- Driving without a license
To gather this information, your attorney will look at a variety of sources. They will gather police reports and photographs of the accident and may review any video footage of the crash if it is available. They may call upon witnesses to give statements about the accident.
Your attorney may also retain the services of experts such as accident reconstruction specialists to help recreate the scene of the accident.
Your attorney will go over all of your medical bills and records to demonstrate that your injuries were a result of the accident. This information helps determine the amount of compensation you may be eligible for.
Determining Compensation Amounts
A good lawyer will work with experts to find out what your injuries and losses are from the accident, and will determine an appropriate amount of compensation.
After a car accident you may be entitled to the following forms of compensation:
- Lost wages
- Loss of future earning capacity
- Current and future medical expenses
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of enjoyment in life
Depending on the specifics of your case, you may be eligible for other forms of compensation. A good attorney will work hard to uncover all forms of compensation available to you.
Creating a Claim for Damages
After your attorney investigates the case and determines eligibility, they will review the information to create a claim that serves as the basis for your lawsuit. It will state details about your injuries and losses, the other driver’s behavior that led to the accident and ask for compensation.
Your lawyer will use this claim in negotiations after reaching out to the person or other parties involved in a car accident in an effort to reach a settlement rather than taking the case to court. If the other side refuses to negotiate or offer a fair settlement, your attorney will file the suit in court and begin preparing for a trial.
Most settlements are negotiated before the case goes to trial. This reduces both fees and court costs. But, if pre-trial negotiations are still unsuccessful, your attorney will represent you in court and provide a vigorous defense.
What to Do After a Car Accident
No matter if you’re an experienced motorist or a first-time passenger in a vehicle, there are certain things to bear in mind during the aftermath of an accident.
The first thing that you should do at the scene of an accident is to make sure there are no life-threatening injuries. After that, you need to call the police so that they can come to the scene and begin creating a police report.
Once you’ve done that, the following steps will help preserve and gather evidence that will be useful to your case:
- Take pictures of the scene of the accident and the damage to vehicles and property involved
- Exchange contact and insurance information with the other driver
- Take down the other driver’s license plate number
- Visit a doctor to have your injuries checked out even if you don’t think your injuries are serious
- Contact your insurance company
- Keep a record of all repair and medical bills
- Contact a car accident attorney as soon as possible
Keeping track of all the evidence from an accident and its aftermath goes a long way in helping your attorney develop a strong case for compensation.
Handling Discussions With Insurance Companies
When you are in a car accident in West Virginia, you have the right to seek compensation for your losses directly from the at-fault party or the at-fault party’s insurance. This is because West Virginia is a “fault” state or tort state.
In most cases, car accident victims seek compensation from the at-fault party’s insurance carrier first before filing suit against other parties.
These insurance companies are businesses and their goals are to maximize their profit while minimizing their losses. Without the help of a skilled attorney leveling the playing field and negotiating on your behalf, the at-fault driver’s insurance company may try to pressure you into taking less than you deserve, get you to admit fault, or otherwise diminish the value of your claim.
To ensure that your claim is not devalued, you should never speak to anyone about the accident or your injuries except for an attorney and the doctor you are seeing for treatment.
Statements you make after an accident can impact the negotiation process or the results of a lawsuit.
Common Car Accident Injuries
Motor vehicle accidents can cause fatal injuries and lifelong disabilities. Here are some common types of injuries that our attorneys have encountered in car accident cases:
- Scrapes and cuts
- Broken bones
- Internal bleeding
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
Types of Car Accident Cases Our Morgantown Lawyers Handle
The car accident attorneys at The Miley Legal Group are well-versed in handling all types of car accident cases. Some of the cases we handle include:
- Head-on collisions
- Side-impact collisions
- Rear-end collisions
- Drunk driving accidents
- Distracted driving accidents
- Reckless driving accidents
- Multi-car collisions
How a Morgantown Car Accident Attorney Can Help
The team of auto accident injury attorneys at The Miley Legal Group are experienced, knowledgeable, and reliable. We know what it takes to get car accident victims the compensation that they deserve and we know the tactics that insurance companies may use to devalue your claim.
If you have been injured in a car accident, it is in your best interest to speak with an attorney before the time to file your claim runs out. Contact The Miley Legal Group today for a free consultation and more information on how we can help you.