Who Pays For Car Accident Compensation in West Virginia?
Our accident attorneys explain how the legal system works
Car accidents might seem simple. Someone crashes into your vehicle, they pay you for your accident. But these cases often turn out to be much more complicated. That's why it's important that you understand how the legal system works in West Virginia.
Our accident attorneys at Klie Law Offices thoroughly understand our state's unique accident insurance system. That's because we have worked with accident victims throughout the state. There's no substitute for such experience. And we're eager to share our knowledge and expertise with you after your accident.
West Virginia's 'fault' insurance system
Like many states, West Virginia holds the driver responsible for an accident accountable for the injuries and property damage he or she causes. This system is known as a "fault" or "at-fault" insurance system, as opposed to the "no-fault" system used in some other states, including our neighbors Kentucky and Pennsylvania.
Under West Virginia's "fault" insurance system, people injured in accidents generally have three options to recover compensation:
- File a "first-party" claim with your own insurance company
- File a "third-party" claim with the at-fault driver's insurance company
- File a lawsuit against the at-fault driver
Our experienced attorneys can explain the benefits of each approach and help you decide which one works best for you.
'First-party' accident claim
This is often the most common way people obtain compensation for their accident-related expenses in West Virginia. You file a claim with your insurance company and they take care of everything else, including dealing with the at-fault driver's insurance company.
This sounds straightforward. But it's important to remember that insurance companies, including your own, don't always have your best interests at heart. Instead of focusing on whether you're fully compensated for all your accident-related expenses, most insurance companies only care about paying accident victims as little as possible.
That's not right. That's why we take accident cases so seriously. We realize that a serious accident can add up to hundreds of thousands of dollars or even more. And as your attorney, we can demand every single penny you rightfully deserve.
'Third-party' accident claim
If the cost of your car accident continues to climb higher, this is often one of the best ways to get the money you need to get your life on back on track. To initiate a third-party claim in West Virginia, all you have to do is send a letter to the at-fault driver's insurance company stating that you believe you have such a claim - or have an attorney send that letter on your behalf.
We can help you every step of the way. We know how to negotiate with insurance companies and work with them to reach an agreement that benefits you and provides you with the support and financial resources you need to fully recover.
Where these cases can become very complicated is when the at-fault driver - or that driver's insurance company - claim that you were responsible for causing the crash. That's why it's important to have an experienced legal team on your side, standing up for your rights.
Lawsuit against at-fault driver
When different sides can't agree on how much your accident claim is worth - or if they try to deny your claim altogether - sometimes filing a lawsuit is the best way to demand the money you deserve after your West Virginia car accident.
Filing a successful lawsuit takes a tremendous amount of skill. That's because you need strong evidence to support your claim. Judges and juries base their decision on the facts in a case, which can include eyewitness testimony and the investigating police officer's official car accident report.
We know how to analyze such evidence and present the strongest possible legal case in court. We will not rest until justice prevails.
Common accident-related expenses
Accident-related expenses can cover a wide range of items, including:
- Medical expenses
- Vehicle repairs
- Lost income
- Lost future income
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
It's not just expenses that come immediately after the accident that count. Accident-related expenses can continue to add up weeks, months, or even years after your accident. We can help you accurately estimate the total true cost of your crash, then fight for the full amount on your behalf.
West Virginia's car insurance requirements
Car insurance is mandatory for all drivers in West Virginia. As a result, all drivers must have a minimum amount of the following insurance coverage:
- $20,000 per person for accident-related injuries
- $40,000 per accident for accident-related injuries
- $10,000 per accident for property damage
All drivers in West Virginia also need to carry uninsured motorist coverage (UIM). The minimum amount is:
- $20,000 per person of UIM coverage
- $40,000 per accident of UIM coverage
Such figures might seem like a lot of money. But many motor vehicle accidents end up costing significantly more. And if you don't receive the compensation you deserve, you might end up paying for an accident caused by the other driver.
How we can help you
You only have one opportunity to demand the compensation you deserve after your accident. Don't let insurance companies dictate what happens to you. Take back control and contact Klie Law Offices right now.
When you have our experienced legal team in your corner, you can focus on your recovery while we handle all the red tape associated with your accident. We can conduct our own in-depth investigation into your accident. We can talk to police, interview eyewitnesses, analyze your accident report and consult with experts.
We take such a comprehensive approach because we know most accident victims only have once chance to get all the money they will need to cover the full cost of their accident for the rest of their lives. We're here for you every step of the way. Trust Klie for results.