When you get behind the wheel of your car to go to work, school, or simply to run errands, you probably don’t think that you’ll be in a crash. Yet car accidents are incredibly common, including in and around Logan. West Virginia may be a small state, but it has a shockingly high rate of motor vehicle accidents – particularly when it comes to crashes that cause serious or fatal injuries.
If you were hurt in an accident that was caused by another driver, then you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault party. Through this type of insurance claim, you can recover financial compensation for your property damage, medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other losses. A Logan, WV car accident attorney can help you with the process, starting with a free initial consultation.
At Johnstone & Gabhart, our legal practice is dedicated to helping injury victims get the money that they deserve for their losses. We handle all cases on a contingency fee basis, which means that you’ll never pay a fee unless we recover money for you. Reach out today to schedule an appointment with a member of our legal team.
Common Car Accident Injuries
In 2019, an estimated 2.74 million people were injured in motor vehicle accidents. The extent of an accident victim’s injuries depends on several factors, including:
- The severity of the collision (high-speed or low-speed)
- If the driver and passengers were wearing seat belts
- If the vehicles involved had airbags
- The type of crash (head-on collision, side swipe, t-bone, etc)
Many people walk away from car accidents with relatively minor injuries, such as bruises, cuts, and scrapes. However, far too many suffer serious injuries in crashes, including catastrophic and even fatal injuries.
As a personal injury law firm, we have handled cases involving a range of injuries. Some of the most common car accident injuries that we see include:
- Soft tissue injuries, including sprains and strains
- Scrapes and cuts, including from airbags as they deploy
- Head injuries, such as concussions and traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
- Chest injuries, including broken ribs
- Broken bones
- Spinal cord injuries, such as paralysis
If you have suffered any type of injury in a motor vehicle accident, it is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Doing so will help you get the diagnosis and treatment that you need. It will also establish a link between the accident and your injuries, which will be critical if you decide to file a lawsuit with the help of an experienced Logan car accident lawyer.
When Can I File a Lawsuit for a Logan, WV Motor Vehicle Accident?
Motor vehicle crashes have a variety of causes but are often caused by driver error. This can include anything from speeding to distracted driving to drunk driving. In some cases, a collision may be caused by something other than another driver, such as a failure of a government agency to maintain a road or a defective product on your vehicle.
If you were in an accident that was caused by someone else, then you may be able to file a lawsuit against them. Most often, these cases are based on a theory of negligence, or carelessness. In some cases, such as drunk driving accidents, the claim is pursued under a theory of intentional or reckless conduct.
To prove a negligence case, you will have to demonstrate four things:
- That the at-fault party (defendant) owed you (plaintiff) a duty of care;
- That the defendant violated the duty of care in some way (such as by running a red light);
- That this violation was the direct (proximate) cause of your accident; and
- That you suffered damages (losses) as a result.
If you can prove these four elements, then you will be able to recover financial compensation from the defendant. More specifically, their insurance company will likely pay you for your losses.
In some cases, the insurance company will refuse to offer you a fair settlement for your injuries. This may be because the insurer questions liability, or because they challenge the extent of your injuries. Sometimes, insurance companies will offer a paltry settlement in the hopes that they can resolve the claim for as little money as possible.
Having a skilled Logan car accident lawyer on your side is the best way to ensure that you get maximum compensation for your losses. Your attorney won’t accept a lowball settlement offer and will fight to get you the money that you deserve for your losses. If necessary, they will take the case to trial and ask the jury to return a verdict in your favor.
Compensation in a Car Accident Case
In any car accident claim, you may be entitled to money for all of your losses. Most cases include compensation for economic and non-economic damages, which are also referred to as compensatory damages. In cases involving intentional or reckless conduct, you could also be awarded punitive damages.
Economic damages pay for your direct financial losses. Examples of economic damages include property damages, lost wages, reduced earning capacity, medical bills, and future medical treatment. Other expenses – like the cost of renovating your home to be accessible if you are permanently disabled – may also be covered by economic damages.
Non-economic damages pay for your intangible losses or things that can’t be quantified with a bill or invoice. These damages can be harder to prove but are incredibly important to make injury victims “whole” again. Examples of non-economic damages include pain and suffering, emotional distress, scarring, disfigurement, and loss of enjoyment of life.
Finally, in some cases, you may be able to recover punitive damages. These damages are meant to punish someone who acted intentionally or recklessly, such as a drunk driver. Your Logan car accident lawyer can talk to you about whether you may be entitled to punitive damages based on the facts of your case.
Studies show that people who are represented by counsel recover an average of 40% more in personal injury cases compared to people who represent themselves. If you want to get the money that you deserve for your injuries, then you should consider working with a West Virginia personal injury attorney. They will fight for your right to full compensation.
How Our Law Firm Can Help
Being in a car accident can be incredibly traumatic. In the aftermath, you may not know what to do or where to turn for help. Our legal team is here to help you get the compensation that you deserve.
Johnstone & Gabhart represents injury victims throughout West Virginia who have been hurt in all types of accidents. We offer free initial consultations and never charge a fee unless we recover money for you. To learn more or to schedule an appointment with a Logan, WV car accident attorney, give us a call at 304-343-7100 or fill out our online contact form.
How Long Do I Have to File a Car Accident Claim?
In West Virginia, the statute of limitations for most personal injury claims is 2 years. This means that – with a few exceptions – you have 2 years from the date of the accident to file a claim. If you don’t file within that time period, then your lawsuit will likely be dismissed.
2 years may seem like a lot of time, but it can go quickly when you are focused on doctor’s appointments and recovering physically and emotionally. Our law firm can help to protect your rights and get you full compensation for your losses. Call Johnstone & Gabhart today to talk to a Logan, WV car accident lawyer.
Do I Really Need a Lawyer to Handle My Car Accident Case?
For minor car accidents with no injuries, it may be possible to handle the insurance claim on your own. However, if you have suffered any injuries, then your best option for maximum compensation is to hire a Logan, WV car accident attorney.
Insurance companies are in business to make money – and they don’t have your best interests at heart. Their goal is to settle claims for as little money as possible. To get a fair settlement, call Johnstone & Gabhart today to schedule a free initial consultation.
See also: Logan Personal Injury Lawyer