Common WV Motor Vehicle Accident Questions
Answers from a source you can trust, Klie Law Offices, West Virginia car accident law firm
After an auto accident, you may have questions. But with so many sources of information, separating fact from fiction can often be difficult. Who's telling the truth? Who should you trust?
At Klie Law Offices, we understand how overwhelming dealing with a car accident can be in West Virginia. That's because our experienced accident attorneys have dealt with hundreds of accidents throughout the state.
People routinely rely on us to help them after a serious motor vehicle accident. We want to help you. That's why we compiled this list of questions we often receive from accident victims in Elkins, Weston, Philippi, Clarksburg and other communities throughout West Virginia.
Frequently asked questions about West Virginia motor vehicle accidents
The following questions represent a sampling of some of the most common questions we receive about motor vehicle accidents. If you do not see your specific question - or even if you do - make sure you contact us right away.
- What should I do immediately after an accident?
- Who will pay my medical bills?
- Will I get compensated for my lost earnings?
- How are car and truck accidents different?
- Do I have a case if I was partially at fault?
- What should I say if the other driver's insurance company contacts me?
What should I do immediately after an accident?
We strongly urge you to take the following steps after your motor vehicle accident:
- Call 911 to report the accident. Tell the dispatcher if there are any injuries.
- Ask the 911 dispatcher to send a police officer. Having a police officer at your accident can make a dramatic difference. Insurance companies carefully review official accident reports written by police when determining how much money to pay accident victims. Also, without an officer at the scene, it's your word against the other driver's.
- Take photographs of your accident. Make sure to get pictures of your vehicles before moving your cars. Also take photos of the accident scene, including any street signs or traffic signals.
- Obtain personal information (name, address, phone number, insurance information) from the other driver.
- Do not make any statements about the accident to the other driver or witnesses. Anything you say could be used against you by insurance companies.
- Get contact information from witnesses (names, addresses and phone numbers).
- Call an attorney. Klie Law Offices can send out investigators to collect evidence. We can assist with the red tape and deal directly with insurance companies on your behalf.
Who will pay my medical bills?
If you were in an accident in West Virginia, you may get payment from your own car insurance policy. Your Medical Payments (Med Pay) coverage, which is limited, may pay for some medical expenses. In accidents where the other party was at fault, the insurance company for the driver who caused your accident should financially compensate you for your medical bills (and other accident expenses). But getting the money you rightfully deserve can sometimes be difficult. Many insurance companies are interested in paying injury victims as little as possible. That's why it's important to get a knowledgeable West Virginia attorney on your side. We can answer your insurance questions related to your car accident and provide guidance.
We know that a car wreck can result in expensive emergency room treatments, overnight hospital stays, physical therapy and other medical expenses. Our dedicated attorneys consistently recover compensation for our clients, and we're eager to work with you.
Will I get compensated for my lost earnings?
The answer should be yes. But it's not always guaranteed automatically that you will be compensated for money you lost out on by not working after your accident. That's why many accident victims in West Virginia rely on us to help them obtain the compensation they deserve.
We know how to negotiate with insurance companies and fight for lost wages on behalf of our clients. Your lost income may include not only lost wages, but lost earning capacity if you sustain a long-term disability and lost opportunities (for example, you miss important job interviews or meetings with clients because you are recovering from an injury).
How are car and truck accidents different?
Car accidents often involve simply dealing with the other driver and his or her insurance company. As for truck accidents, there are often many other people and companies you will need to confront. Parties may include the trucking company the truck driver works for, the company that loaded the truck and maybe even the manufacturer of the truck.
And in each instance, an insurance company and several lawyers often work for each company involved in your truck accident. Negotiating with all these companies can be extremely complicated and overwhelming. Additionally, the trucking company may send investigators immediately to the scene of the accident to begin looking for ways to reduce the liability of the company or the driver.
You can level the playing field by putting our law firm on your side. We can handle everything for you. Our experienced accident attorneys know the tactics insurance companies and trucking companies often use to try to avoid paying for accidents. We know how to take them on and win.
Do I have a case if I was partially at fault?
First of all, it's strongly recommended that you NOT admit fault after an accident. Your insurance rates almost certainly will go up, and you may have a harder time getting fair compensation for your losses. In the moments after an accident, it might not be clear who was at fault. Let the insurance companies determine the details.
Even if it's determined you were partially at fault, you may be entitled to compensation after a car accident in West Virginia. That's because West Virginia's insurance system for auto accidents operates according to the "Proportional Comparative Fault at 50 Percent" system.
Under this system, if authorities determine that you were less than 50 percent at fault, you are entitled to financial compensation. If you are more than 50 percent at fault, you are not entitled to compensation.
But there's often a fine line between more or less than 50 percent at fault. That's why it's important to have a lawyer on your side who understands West Virginia's insurance rules and regulations. Talk to Klie Law Offices today.
What should I say if the other driver's insurance company contacts me?
Don't make any comments about the accident to the insurance company adjuster for the at fault driver. Whatever you say may harm your claim. You can ask for their name and phone number and tell them your attorney will be in touch. If you're not yet represented, call us immediately and tell us about your case. We can handle the adjuster on your behalf.