Often, car accident victims fail to pursue the full amount of compensation they could be owed because they are unsure of their legal rights or simply too overwhelmed after a crash. If you were hurt in a collision in West Virginia, an experienced Bridgeport car accident attorney serves as your legal representative, protecting your rights and pursuing the money you deserve on your behalf.
The team at Robinette Legal Group, PLLC can help you navigate the complexity of insurance claims and the legal system. We want you to focus on recovering from your injuries and spending time with your family. Let our dedicated lawyers handle the details and demand fair compensation for your injuries and expenses. Contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation with a Bridgeport personal injury lawyer.
West Virginia Car Accident Statistics
Recent statistics show that West Virginia has a higher-than-average rate of fatal crashes. According to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), nearly 1,000 people are hurt in car accidents statewide every year. What’s more, this is a growing problem, as you can tell by the following year-over-year statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA):
- Increase by 5 percent in traffic fatalities for West Virginia and nearby states
- Statewide 3 percent rise in traffic fatalities
- Statewide 36 percent rise in alcohol-related traffic deaths
West Virginia’s motor vehicle fatality rate is also higher than the nation’s average, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). While the U.S. average of deaths per 100,000 population is 12.9, West Virginia has a rate of 15.7.
Most Common Causes of Car Accidents
West Virginia is known as the Mountain State for its rugged beauty, but that comes with a cost. Driving on rural mountain roads can be challenging, especially in the winter or poor weather. That said, most car accidents result from driver error. Some of the common causes of crashes in Bridgeport include:
- Failing to adjust speed or following distance for weather or traffic
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Driving while sleepy
- Ignoring red lights, stop signs, or other traffic signals
- Driving recklessly or aggressively
- Distracted driving
Injuries Frequently Suffered in Auto Accidents
Car accident injuries range from minor sprains or bruises to life-threatening injuries that lead to disability, disfigurement, or death. Here are some of the most serious injuries that frequently result from collisions:
- Spinal cord injuries (SCIs) – SCIs can lead to partial or total paralysis, depending on the loss of nerve function. Car accidents involving a tremendous impact force, such as a head-on collision, are especially likely to result in these severe injuries.
- Brain injuries – Car accidents are a significant contributor to traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), which include concussions. Each year, over 200,000 people go to the hospital for TBIs, with an average of 69,000 deaths. These injuries can lead to permanent brain damage. Victims must learn to live with cognitive and physical impairment and may require lifelong care.
- Internal bleeding – Both blunt-force trauma and penetrating wounds can cause internal injuries that lead to bleeding, organ damage, and organ failure. This is especially common for chest and abdominal injuries.
- Broken bones – Any fracture to a bone requires immediate and consistent follow-up medical care. Improperly healed broken bones can lead to disability or chronic pain.
- Soft tissue injuries – The violent force of a collision can damage muscles, joints, and tendons, including painful sprains and strains in the legs, wrists, and neck. Whiplash is one of the most common soft tissue injuries after a car accident.
What To Do After a Collision in West Virginia
Calling law enforcement to report the accident and getting medical care should be the first steps after any car crash in West Virginia. Once you are safe and the collision is recorded, follow these next steps to protect your subsequent car accident claim.
Keep Medical Appointments
For your best health, follow your healthcare provider’s instructions for return visits, physical therapy, and medication. Insurance companies become suspicious when accident victims do not follow through and question the extent of their injuries.
Keep or make copies of receipts for all expenses related to the crash. These include medical test results, hospital bills, ambulance costs, prescriptions, lost wages, rental cars, and anything else that can provide evidence of the harm the accident caused you.
Talk to a Car Accident Lawyer
Motor vehicle accidents happen for a reason. If someone’s negligence caused your injuries, an experienced Bridgeport car accident lawyer can assess your claim, determine liability, and demand maximum compensation to reduce your financial burden.
Start a Pain Journal
Extensive injuries require a lengthy recuperation time. Start a daily journal in which you record your pain level (on a scale of 1 to 10) and how the injuries impact your daily life. Our memories fade over time, so keeping a journal goes a long way to document your claim to the insurance company.
Do Not Discuss Fault
The insurance company might call you after they receive your claim, supposedly to check up on you. In addition to asking for basic information (such as the accident date, time, and location), they might ask who or what caused the crash. Do not say anything about fault and liability. You may respectfully decline to make a statement until you retain legal counsel to assist you.
Damages Awarded in WV Auto Accident Cases
Your car accident compensation depends on the nature, extent, and severity of your injuries. An experienced car accident attorney can assess the specifics of your situation and pursue money for:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Property damage
Statute of Limitations for West Virginia Accident Claims
A statute of limitations on personal injury claims restricts the time frame for filing a car accident lawsuit. In West Virginia, you generally have two years from the date of the accident to file yours. Since many car accident lawsuits begin as insurance claims, you should act quickly to give yourself and your attorney enough time to explore all your legal options.
Talk to an Experienced Car Accident Lawyer in Bridgeport, WV Today
If you were hurt in a collision in eastern Harrison County, West Virginia, contact a Bridgeport car accident attorney today. At Robinette Legal Group, PLLC, our dedicated team of legal professionals is ready to protect your rights and fight for compensation. We deliver award-winning results for the Mountain State, and we want to do the same for you. What’s more, we’ll only charge you legal fees if we win your car accident case.
Contact us today for a free consultation.