Most of us get behind the wheel of a car without thinking too much about it. Unfortunately, even if you are an incredibly cautious driver, car accidents can and do happen far too frequently. In fact, West Virginia is known for being one of the most dangerous states in the country when it comes to motor vehicle collisions.
If you are hurt in any type of car accident, you may be able to file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver. Through this type of personal injury lawsuit, you can recover financial compensation for your lost wages, property damage, medical expenses, pain and suffering, and other losses. A skilled Madison, WV car accident attorney can advocate for your best interests and help you get full compensation for your injuries.
At Johnstone & Gabhart, we are dedicated to fighting for the rights of injury victims – never the insurance companies. We represent clients throughout West Virginia who have been hurt in all types of accidents, including car crashes. To learn more or to schedule a free initial consultation with a member of our legal team, reach out to our law offices today.
Types of Car Accident Cases We Handle
Our law firm has decades of combined experience handling personal injury claims. We are particularly adept at handling car accident lawsuits. We have represented clients in cases involving:
- Drunk driving accidents
- Distracted driving crashes
- Rollover accidents
- Head-on collisions
- T-bone accidents
- Rear-end crashes
- Hit-and-run drivers
- Uninsured motorists
- Uber accidents
These cases often result in serious injuries. In some cases, they may even cause death. Our team is skilled at handling all types of injury claims, including traumatic brain injury (TBI), spinal cord injuries, paralysis, internal organ damage, soft tissue injury, and broken bones. We also advocate on behalf of surviving family members in wrongful death claims.
When Can I File a Lawsuit for a Madison, WV Motor Vehicle Accident?
If you were in a car accident that was caused by another driver, then you may be able to file a claim against them. These cases are most often based on a theory of negligence. This legal term essentially means that another person was careless.
Most motor vehicle accidents are caused by driver error, such as speeding, running a red light, or not looking both ways before turning onto a street. The key in a car accident case is to prove that the other driver was responsible in some way. To demonstrate negligence, you will need to show 4 things:
- Duty: the other driver (defendant) owed you (plaintiff) a duty to use reasonable care.
- Breach: the defendant violated that duty in some way, such as by texting while driving.
- Causation: this violation was the direct (“but for”) cause of the accident
- Damages: you suffered losses as a result
If you can prove these elements, then you may be able to win a negligence lawsuit against the other driver.
Of course, negligence isn’t always clear-cut. There may be situations where you were partially at fault for the crash (known as comparative negligence) or where it isn’t obvious who caused the accident, such as in a multi-vehicle pile-up accident. A seasoned Madison, WV car accident attorney will evaluate the facts of the underlying case to put together the strongest possible claim for damages.
In some situations, the at-fault driver wasn’t just negligent – they acted intentionally or recklessly. For example, if someone drove after drinking or using drugs and caused an accident, they were acting recklessly. The standard of proof in these cases is slightly different.
In many cases, a personal injury lawsuit can be resolved without ever having to go to court. Your attorney will send what is known as a demand letter to the at-fault driver’s insurance company, and the two sides will negotiate back and forth until a settlement is achieved. However, because the insurance company doesn’t have your best interests at heart, you should never talk to an adjuster, accept a settlement offer, or sign any paperwork before you have had a chance to talk to a Madison personal injury attorney.
West Virginia Car Accident Settlements
In a car accident claim, you may be entitled to three types of damages: economic, non-economic, and punitive damages. Economic and non-economic damages compensate you for your losses, while punitive damages punish a person who acted intentionally or recklessly.
Economic damages pay for your direct financial losses. Examples of economic damages include property damage, lost wages, reduced earning capacity, medical bills, and future medical treatment. By comparison, non-economic damages pay for intangible losses, such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, scarring, and disfigurement.
Punitive damages are not awarded in all cases. However, if you can prove that the defendant acted intentionally or recklessly – such as in a drunk or drugged driving crash – then you may be awarded this type of damages.
The key to getting top dollar for a Madison, WV car accident claim is by working with a seasoned lawyer. The insurance company’s goal is to resolve the case for as little money as possible. If you want to get full compensation for your losses, your best option is to work with a highly experienced personal injury law firm that isn’t afraid to take on the big insurance companies – and has a track record of success to prove it.
Our attorneys know how to handle car accident cases, and how to successfully negotiate a fair settlement for our clients. We start with a free consultation, where we will listen to your story, offer you a ballpark estimate of the value of your case, and provide advice on your legal rights and options. If you decide to hire our law firm, we will get to work right away.
We will start by investigating the facts of your case, interviewing witnesses, gathering accident reports, analyzing photos and videos of the scene, and reviewing medical records. We will then draft a demand letter to the insurance company, explaining why their insured is at fault and making a demand for damages. This usually kicks off the negotiation process, where both parties go back and forth in an attempt to reach a settlement.
Our goal in every case is to get our clients a fair settlement as quickly as possible. When necessary, we will file a lawsuit and even take a case to trial to ask a jury to return a verdict in our favor. We have the experience and knowledge to get our clients the money that they deserve for their injuries.
How Our Law Firm Can Help
Being hurt in a car accident can cause devastating injuries. In this situation, you may not know what to do or where to turn for advice. Johnstone & Gabhart is here for you.
We understand that car crashes can be incredibly traumatic. That is why we work so hard to help our clients get the money that they deserve for their injuries – and why we never charge a fee unless we recover money for you. To learn more or to schedule a free initial consultation with a Madison, WV car accident attorney, give us a call at 304-343-7100 or fill out our online contact form.
Do I Really Need a Lawyer for a Car Accident Claim?
You aren’t required to be represented by counsel to resolve a car accident case – but if you don’t have legal representation, you may regret it in the long term. Insurance companies are in business to make money, not to make sure that you get maximum compensation for your losses. Our attorneys will thoroughly analyze the case and put together the strongest possible claim.
Throughout the process, we will fight for your best interests and work towards a favorable outcome. We won’t rest until we get you the money that you deserve for your injuries. To learn more or to schedule a free consultation with a Madison car accident lawyer, call Johnstone & Gabhart today.
How Can I Pay for a Lawyer If I’m Out of Work After a Car Accident?
Our law firm handles all cases on a contingency fee basis. This means that you pay absolutely nothing upfront, and only pay a fee if we recover money for you through a settlement or jury verdict at trial. The fee that you pay will be a percentage of your total recovery.
Contingency fee agreements mean that anyone can afford to hire a lawyer to protect their interests. They also align your interests with your attorney’s, as you both want to resolve the case as quickly as possible and for as much money as possible. Contact Johnstone & Gabhart today to schedule a free consultation with a Madison, WV car accident attorney.