The more vehicles involved in a crash, the more complicated it can be to determine fault. But no matter what type of multi-vehicle accident an individual was involved in, negligence laws will always come into play. A determination needs to be made as to who acted in a careless or reckless manner.
What are negligence laws in West Virginia and how do they matter in a multi-vehicle crash?
Comparative fault allows for recovery of damages even when someone is partially responsible for an accident. Many states that use a comparative fault system require that the individual be less than a certain percent at fault. In West Virginia, that percentage is 50 percent.
This means that in order for someone to recover damages, the degree of fault must be 49 percent or less. Once an individual is found half (or more) responsible for a crash, no compensation is available.
This becomes very important in an accident, especially if someone was seriously injured. Because of the complex issues of multi-vehicle crashes, it’s generally a good idea to seek legal advice.
Let’s say a minivan slowed down because of congestion and is struck by a light truck. The driver wasn’t paying attention and failed to see the brake lights ahead. But in turn, the light truck is also struck from behind by a passenger car whose driver was talking on a cell phone.
If the driver of the light truck was assigned 40 percent of the fault and the passenger car driver 60 percent, the only person who could recover full damages is the one driving the minivan. The person driving the car may have been injured, but no compensation will be recoverable because fault is greater than 49 percent. The driver of the truck would have damages reduced by 40 percent. This is why proving fault in a multi-vehicle accident is so essential when filing a claim or lawsuit.
Get legal help from The Miley Legal Group – call 304-931-4088 – to set up a consultation.