As we go about our daily lives, most of us don’t consider the possibility that we could be in a serious, life-changing accident. Yet the reality is that accidental injuries are incredibly common. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 24.2 million people visit the emergency room for unintentional injuries each year – and 200,955 people die in accidents.
If you have been hurt in an accident, you may be able to recover financial compensation through a personal injury lawsuit. A Beckley personal injury attorney can help you hold the at-fault party responsible for your losses. You may be entitled to money for your property damage, medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other losses.
Johnstone & Gabhart represents injury victims throughout West Virginia. We are aggressive advocates for our clients, fighting to get them maximum compensation for their injuries. To learn more or to schedule a free initial consultation, give our law firm a call today.
Types of West Virginia Personal Injury Cases We Handle
The legal team of Johnstone & Gabhart has more than 50 years of experience handling personal injury claims. Over the years, we have represented clients on all types of personal injury matters, including:
- Car accidents
- Bus crashes
- Pedestrian collisions
- Bike crashes
- Motorcycle accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Nursing home abuse
- Truck accidents
- Dog attacks
- Slip and fall
- Premises liability
- Wrongful death
- Construction accidents
- Dangerous and defective products (product liability)
- Drunk driving accidents
- Distracted driving crashes
- Uber accidents
Each of our cases begins with a no-cost, no-obligation consultation with a prospective client. During this appointment, we will listen to your story and advise you of your legal rights and options. If you choose to hire our law firm, we will get to work right away.
The personal injury lawsuit process begins with an in-depth investigation of the facts underlying your accident. We will interview witnesses, gather medical records, seek out accident reports, and analyze videos and photographs of the accident scene. At the same time, we will research West Virginia law to put together the strongest possible claim.
Next, we will draft a demand letter to the at-fault party’s insurance company. This letter will outline the facts of the case, the legal reasons why the insured is liable, and will then make a demand for damages. In most cases, the insurance company will respond with a counteroffer, which begins the negotiation process.
The vast majority of personal injury cases are resolved outside of court, such as through a settlement. It may still be necessary to file a lawsuit to preserve your legal rights. After the lawsuit is filed, negotiations will continue as the parties exchange information and prepare for trial.
A Beckley personal injury lawyer will fight for your right to full compensation. If the insurance company won’t offer you a fair settlement, they’ll take the case to court and ask a jury to return a verdict in your favor. Reach out to our law office today to schedule a free consultation about your accident claim.
When Can I File a Personal Injury Lawsuit in West Virginia?
Most personal injury claims are based on a theory of negligence, or carelessness. Generally, negligence is defined as the failure to use the level of care that a reasonable person would in a similar situation. For example, if a reasonable person would not text and drive while speeding down the highway, then engaging in that behavior will be considered negligent.
If there is reason to believe that another party’s negligence has caused your injuries, then you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against them. As the plaintiff, you will have to prove negligence by introducing evidence of four factors:
- Duty: the at-fault party (defendant) owed you a duty of care.
- Breach: the defendant violated that duty in some way.
- Causation: this breach was the proximate cause of your injuries
- Damages: you suffered losses as a result.
The negligence standard is slightly different for certain types of claims. For example, in a premises liability case, the property owner’s duty to you depends on whether you were on their property for business or for a social visit – or if you were trespassing. Similarly, in medical malpractice cases, a court will look at whether the defendant breached the standard of care for their profession.
While most personal injury cases involve a question of negligence, there are some situations where a personal injury was caused by intentional or reckless conduct. For example, in a nursing home abuse case, your Beckley personal injury attorney may argue that the individual’s intentional conduct is what caused your injuries. Alternatively, in a drunk driving case, the legal theory is that the defendant acted recklessly by driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.
These types of cases can be complicated, and it isn’t always easy to determine if another party can be held financially responsible for your injuries. The best way to learn more about your rights is by scheduling a free case evaluation with a Beckley personal injury law firm.
How Can a Beckley Personal Injury Lawyer Help Me?
After an accident or other type of injury, you may be approached by an insurance adjuster or other representative of the at-fault party. They may ask you to give a statement, sign some paperwork, or even offer you a settlement. You should not talk to the insurance company or sign anything until you’ve had a chance to talk to a lawyer.
Insurance companies make massive profits each year. Part of how they make so much money is by denying or minimizing legitimate claims. The bottom line: insurance companies don’t have your best interests at heart.
The best way to make sure that you get every dollar that you are entitled to under the law is by working with a Beckley personal injury attorney. Under the law, they are required to advocate for your best interests. They will fight to ensure that you get top dollar for your injuries.
Most personal injury law firms represent clients on a contingency fee basis, which means that they only get paid if they recover money for you through a settlement or verdict at trial. This system allows anyone to hire a lawyer – and it also aligns your interests with your lawyer’s. Both of you want the case to be resolved as quickly as possible, and for as much money as possible.
If you are hurt in any type of accident, don’t hesitate to call. The personal injury attorneys of Johnstone & Gabhart will shepherd you through the process, and make sure that you get the money that you deserve for your injuries.
Hurt in an Accident? We Can Help.
After an accident, the last thing that most people want to think about is filing a lawsuit. Yet a personal injury claim is often the only way to get the money that you need to pay for your medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and other losses. Our law firm is here for you.
Johnstone & Gabhart is dedicated to helping injury victims throughout West Virginia. Our Beckley personal injury lawyers will fight to help you get justice. To learn more or to schedule a free consultation with a member of our legal team, give us a call at 304-343-7100 or fill out our online contact form.
What Type of Compensation Can I Get in a WV Personal Injury Case?
You may be entitled to three types of damages in a WV personal injury claim: economic, non-economic, and punitive damages. Economic damages compensate you for your tangible and intangible losses, such as lost wages, property damage, medical expenses, and future medical treatment. Non-economic damages compensate you for emotional harm, such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life.
Punitive damages are only awarded in cases involving intentional or reckless behavior, as they are designed to punish wrongdoers. If you’d like to learn more about the value of your case, call Johnstone & Gabhart to schedule a free consultation with a Beckley personal injury attorney.
What Happens If I Was Partially at Fault for My Accident?
In West Virginia, as long as you were 50% or less at fault for your injuries, you can still file a personal injury claim. Under the comparative negligence rule, your total compensation will be reduced by the percentage that you were at fault. For example, if you suffered $150,000 in damages and were 30% at fault, then your recovery would be reduced by 30% or $50,000, for a total of $100,000 in compensation.
Questions of negligence can be complicated. If you have been hurt in any type of accident, we can help. Reach out to Johnstone & Gabhart today to talk to a Beckley personal injury lawyer about your case.