West Virginia Personal Injury Attorney FAQs
The West Virginia personal injury attorneys at Burke, Schultz, Harman & Jenkinson assist people in Martinsburg and throughout West Virginia who have been injured in car accidents and other incidents involving another’s negligence or misconduct. In this FAQ, we offer answers to common personal injury claim questions. If you have additional questions, or if you have been injured and need an experienced West Virginia personal injury attorney to advise or represent you, contact Burke, Schultz, Harman & Jenkinson for a free initial consultation.
Answers You Need from A West Virginia Personal Injury Attorney
When you or someone you love is injured, you need answers from a knowledgeable source you can trust. Drawing on knowledge gained from more than 150 years of collective experience, the West Virginia personal injury lawyers at Burke, Schultz, Harman & Jenkinson offer answers to a few of those questions here:
- Is it true that I can’t get compensation for a car accident if I wasn’t wearing my seat belt?
- Can a West Virginia personal injury attorney help me recover damages if the defendant claims I was at fault?
- How long do I have to decide whether to sue or accept a settlement?
- Can a West Virginia personal injury attorney help me recover if I was hit by an uninsured driver?
Is It True that I Can’t Get Compensation for a Car Accident if I Wasn’t Wearing My Seat Belt?
No. In fact, the issue of whether you were wearing your seat belt or not is not even admissible into evidence in a trial. In some circumstances, if the court finds that failure to wear a seat belt was a proximate cause of your injuries, then your financial recovery could be reduced by up to five percent of the medical damages. West Virginia personal injury lawyers can help establish that failure to wear your seatbelt did not contribute to your injuries, so you can recover full compensation.
Can a West Virginia Personal Injury Attorney Help Me Recover Damages if the Defendant Claims I Was at Fault?
It is a common tactic of defendants and their insurance companies to try to shift the blame to an injured party for causing the accident. It is your attorney’s job to prove that the other party was negligent while also defending against allegations that you caused or contributed to the accident in some way.
Even if the jury finds that both parties are to blame, you will not be prevented from recovering as long as you are not primarily responsible for causing the accident. Under WV Code § 55-7-13c, as long as you are determined to be less than 50 percent at fault, you can still recover damages, although your monetary award may be reduced in proportion to the amount of fault assigned to you.
How Long Do I Have to Decide Whether to Sue or Accept a Settlement?
In West Virginia, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims is generally two years from the date of the injury, as noted in WV Code § 55-2-12. This timeframe can sometimes be longer or significantly shorter depending on factors such as the age of the injured person, when the injury was discovered, and whether the injury involved a government employee, government vehicle, or public property.
It is crucial that you do not miss the deadline to file a personal injury lawsuit, or you could miss out on collecting compensation for your medical expenses and other damages. On the other hand, you do not want to settle or sue too early, because it takes time to fully understand your present and future medical condition and how that will affect the amount of damages available to you.
A personal injury lawyer in West Virginia can help you determine if you should settle your claim or file a lawsuit. If filing a lawsuit is your best course of action, your attorney can determine the best time to do so and ensure that your claim is timely filed.
Can a West Virginia Personal Injury Attorney Help Me Recover if I Was Hit by an Uninsured Driver?
West Virginia law requires all drivers to carry liability insurance as well as uninsured motorist (UM) coverage. The Offices of the WV Insurance Commissioner set the mandatory coverage requirements for UM insurance coverage. These policies must cover at least $25,000 in property damage and $25,000 for bodily injury, with a total of $50,000 for bodily injury per incident.
If you are in an accident caused by an uninsured driver but are insured, you may still be entitled to compensation under your uninsured motorist insurance coverage. You will still want West Virginia personal injury lawyers to represent you and make sure you are being fairly compensated for your damages.
Contact a Personal Injury Attorney in West Virginia for More Answers
Should you have further questions regarding the litigation process or damages you can recover for a personal injury in West Virginia, contact an experienced West Virginia personal injury attorney at Burke Schultz, Harman & Jenkinson in Martinsburg. You can call the firm at 304-263-0900 or fill out this online contact form.