Protecting Your Rights on Dangerous Roads
Whether you are traveling through West Virginia for work, recreation or on a cross-country trip, driving to your destination can lead you toward great adventures. Yet you should be aware about the dangerous tracks of roads in this great state. The major interstate, I-64, running from the Virginia state line northwest to the Kentucky state line, is well known to have a significantly higher percentage of crashes than other roads in the state. For this reason, drivers need to be extra cautious when traveling this interstate road. You should also understand your rights when you are injured in a vehicle accident along this busy highway.
Interstate I-64 Crash Statistics
Reported crash statistics for Interstate I-64 dealing with lane merging demonstrate that accidents occur because drivers aren’t willing to allow other vehicles to merge. Along a 4-mile stretch in Putnam County near the Nitro and St. Albans Bridge, there were reported 830 crashes between 2012 to 2016. With 60,000 vehicles traveling along that location on a daily basis, the crash rate is higher than the state average.
Common Reasons for Crashes on Interstate I-64
There have been reported problems of drivers including semi-truck drivers, traveling at excessive rates of speed, along interstate I-64, especially when turning. Large trucks going at these high rates of speed are losing control and end up skidding along the road, resulting in several accidents. About a half-dozen semi-truck crashes occurred along Cross Lanes and Institute in Kanawha County in 2015, causing the West Virginia Division of Highway (DOH) to install a high-friction surface treatment.
Another problem is that there are a larger number of vehicles out on the road at certain times of the day, increasing the likelihood of an accident. As with all crashes, driver negligence is one of the leading causes of accidents along major interstates. This issue is especially true for people who may not be familiar with the interstate road as they are unprepared for changes in road or driving conditions. Single-vehicle accidents can easily turn to multi-vehicle accidents due to a distracted driver who doesn’t have time to brake due to cars suddenly stopping in front of them to avoid an accident further up the road.
Things to Do When Involved in an I-64 Accident
An immediate action that you should take is to assess injuries to yourself, passengers in your vehicle, and the driver. If the vehicles are able to be moved to the side of the road to prevent further accidents, then do so carefully. Keep in mind that wet, icy and snowy conditions can cause vehicles to skid. So, getting yourself to a safe location is ideal in case incoming traffic is unable to stop which could result in a worse accident.
Call 911 or contact police or authorities as soon as possible. Write down details about the accident, including the time, day and road conditions. Take photos of the damages and speak with witnesses. Exchange insurance information and obtain medical services if you are injured. At no time should you admit total or even partial fault for the accident. Admitting fault, especially in an emotional state and before knowing all of the facts, can damage or destroy your personal injury claim, even if it is later determined that the other driver was at fault for what happened.
Another thing that you should avoid doing is just sitting and waiting for the insurance companies to decide what is going to happen, who will pay for the accident, and how much you receive in compensation to pay for medical injuries and lost wages. You only have a certain amount of time to file a claim to receive compensation. After gathering all accident information and police reports, it is ideal to speak with an experienced personal injury and accident attorney regarding your case.
An I-64 accident attorney can provide you with a consultation to discuss your situation. They can review details regarding the accident, speak with witnesses and evaluate police reports. They can also help you determine a settlement amount based on current out-of-pocket medical expenses, future medical treatments you may need, and lost wages. So, if the insurance company tries to give a lowball amount in compensation, refuse that amount and contact an experienced West Virginia personal injury attorney to negotiate for the compensation that takes into account your personal financial losses as well as your pain and suffering.
Schedule a Free Consultation to Discuss Your Accident Case
If you have been involved in an accident along Interstate I-64 in West Virginia, reach out to our attorneys at Johnstone & Gabhart. We are personal injury lawyers experienced in handling accident cases and we will help you decide on the right course of action regarding your claim. Contact our office today at 877-416-5457, or fill out our convenient online form for a free consultation.