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I hit the vehicle, but the accident wasn’t my fault. Do I still have a car accident claim?
You can file a car accident claim if you hit a vehicle but the accident isn’t your fault, or if you hold partial fault for the accident. You must present evidence to establish the cause and contributing factors for the accident, such as a police report, witness statements or other relevant documentation.
Negligence Laws in West Virginia
West Virginia follows the modified comparative negligence rules, meaning you are entitled to damages if you are 49 percent or less at fault for the accident.
More specifically, after you have filed a car accident claim and establish the extent of your fault, you will be entitled to receive compensation that is equal to the total damage amount minus an amount that is equivalent to the percentage of your liability.
So if you are not at fault in any way, then you will receive the total damage award. If you are found to be 25 percent at fault, your damage award will be reduced by 25 percent. If total damages are $50,000, after reducing the damage award by 25 percent, you would be able to recover $37,500.
If you think that you are not at fault, even though you may have hit another vehicle, you should acquire the help of a car accident attorney in Clarksburg to file a claim for damages. Your attorney will gather and analyze the requisite evidence and help you prepare and present a case that establishes fault for the accident and, thus, liability for injuries and other damages resulting from the accident.
Get in Touch with a Personal Injury Lawyer
If you or a loved one has been involved in a vehicle accident and believe that it was caused by (or mostly caused by) the other party, get in touch with The Miley Legal Group in Clarksburg, W.V., at (304) 931-4088 for a free consultation
Should I keep the package and instructions of a defective product?
If you or a loved one suffered a defective product injury, you should keep the package, instructions and the product itself. Holding onto these items can help if you plan to pursue legal action against the manufacturer in defective product claims.
Evidence in Defective Product Claims
After you seek medical attention for your injuries from a defective product, a West Virginia defective product lawyer in Clarksburg can go over your options for legal action. In order to strengthen your case and probability of a positive outcome, the lawyer will need evidence and information to show that the product was defective and therefore caused your injury. This can be done a multitude of ways, including inspecting the item’s packaging and instructions.
A mislabeled product, incorrect product packaging, or inaccurate or incomplete instructions can lead to misuse of the product through no fault of the consumer. In some cases, inadequate safety warnings may be included. This could lead to serious defective product injuries including broken bones, burns, cuts, brain damage, nerve damage and even death.
In addition to the packaging and instructions, it’s also a good idea to keep documentation from the hospital or doctor that treated your injuries, the receipt from when you purchased the item, and the item itself if possible. This information can help you in a defective product claim. You don’t want to miss out on possible compensation because you did not have the right information.
Legal Help from a West Virginia Defective Product Lawyer in Clarksburg
If you were seriously injured by a defective or faulty product, contact a West Virginia defective product lawyer at the Miley Legal Group in Clarksburg. We can assist with defective product claims and determine the cause of defective product injuries. Call (304) 931-4088.
What if I'm partially at fault for my ATV accident?
With more and more people riding ATVs, accidents are becoming more common. According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, the ATV driver sustains 80 percent of injuries in an accident.
When an ATV accident occurs, accident liability will be determined. Even a person who is partially at fault for the accident can still recover compensation for damages. A West Virginia personal injury lawyer in Clarksburg can help accident victims sort out liability.
West Virginia Negligence Laws
Each state has its own laws regarding accident liability, and West Virginia is no exception. West Virginia recognizes modified comparative fault – 50 percent rule. A person who is at least 50 percent liable for an accident cannot recover any compensation for damages.
However, if the person’s percentage of fault is at 49 percent or below, then he or she is able to file a lawsuit for recovery. The total amount of compensation is decreased by the percentage of fault. For example, someone who is deemed 10 percent liable for an accident will receive more compensation than someone who is 20 percent at fault.
Fault may be determined by the insurance company or, if the case is taken to court, a judge and jury. But a West Virginia personal injury lawyer in Clarksburg can help victims of these accidents present evidence that demonstrate fault to protect the victim from being barred from recovery.
Contact a West Virginia Personal Injury Lawyer in Clarksburg
If a person is injured in ATV accident and considered partially at fault, hope is not lost. Even partially liable parties may be able to file an injury claim and seek some portion of the damages incurred. Contact the Miley Legal Group at (304) 931-4088 for help establishing accident liability for an ATV accident.
Can I get any kind of diseases from a dog bite?
Diseases from a dog bite may still be contracted by victims of bites even if the dog is well-looked after and is not a stray. Dogs may carry a number of different diseases in their saliva that may cause infection. A dog attack attorney in Clarksburg can address any medical conditions and their treatment costs when filing a claim for dog bite injuries.
What are some possible infections or diseases from a dog bite?
Following a dog bite, it is imperative that you seek professional medical attention as soon as possible to lessen the chance of contracting one of these debilitating, and possibly life-threatening, diseases.
- Rabies – Rabies is the most well-known disease that may be contracted from a dog bite. It can cause fever, headaches, body pain, partial paralysis and seizures, though symptoms may not appear right away. There is no cure for rabies; individuals may be given a rabies shot after a dog bite as a precaution. The disease is usually fatal.
- Tetanus – Tetanus-causing bacteria is found in animal feces, dirt and dust. It may infect open wounds and can cause muscle spasms, stiffness, and fever.
- Staph Infection – When a dog bites and breaks skin, staphylococcus bacteria may enter the wound and could cause minor skin infections. If staph infects the bloodstream, it may cause serious complications, such as blood poisoning. It may also infect other areas of the body, such as heart and lungs.
- Sepsis – This is a condition marked by body-wide inflammation caused by the body’s immune response to an infection. The body may release chemicals to fight the infection, which can harm other organs and may ultimately lead to death in the most serious cases.
After you have seen a doctor, you may reach out to a dog attack attorney in Clarksburg for legal assistance to help pay for treatment and other complications resulting from dog bite injuries.
Bitten by a dog? Get Help from the Miley Legal Group
At The Miley Legal Group, a dog attack attorney in Clarksburg can take on cases involving dog bite injuries, including diseases from dog bites. Call us at 304-931-4088.
What is the personal injury claim statute of limitations for a truck accident in West Virginia?
The personal injury claim statute of limitations in West Virginia is two years from the date of the accident and injury. This is the timeframe in which a claim for a truck accident could be filed.
The collection of evidence, completion of paperwork and other aspects of the claims process can sometimes be lengthy, so it’s a good idea to get started as soon as possible. Consulting with a Clarksburg truck accident lawyer could help avoid running out of time.
Establishing Negligence in a Truck Accident Case
When deciding whether an injured party should proceed with a personal injury claim before the statute of limitations expires, he or she may speak with an attorney about establishing fault for the truck accident. Trucking companies will be quick to have legal counsel working on their behalf.
Therefore, efforts may be made to downplay any fault in the accident or to shift the blame onto the driver of the motor vehicle. This is yet another reason it would be helpful to seek legal advice with a Clarksburg truck accident lawyer.
One of the ways that a truck driver and/or the trucking company could be found negligent is when there is evidence of a federal rule violation. For instance, drivers are limited in how long they can operate a commercial vehicle.
If it can be shown the driver went over those limits (such as through a logbook or an onboard electronic recording device), liability could also be with the employer. But it may take time to acquire this evidence, which is why it’s important to get started on the case as soon as possible.
Negligence could also be established other ways, such as through photographs or testimony from witnesses. In order to avoid missing the opportunity to file a claim, seek help from a Clarksburg truck accident lawyer at The Miley Legal Group who can help collect evidence and file the personal injury claim before the statute of limitations runs out.
Can I be a beneficiary of a wrongful death claim for a family member if I was also injured in the accident and am filing my own personal injury claim?
Yes, an accident victim may file a personal injury claim and could be a beneficiary of a wrongful death claim. However, the victim and beneficiary, often with help from a Clarksburg wrongful death attorney, must prove that someone else’s negligence was the cause of the fatal accident.
Filing a Personal Injury and Wrongful Death Claim after an Accident
If an accident caused serious injuries to one person but took the life of a family member, there are options for seeking compensation. The first is a personal injury claim, which would address the specific injuries and losses experienced by the person who files the claim.
The following are examples of damages that may be recoverable in a personal injury claim:
- medical costs;
- lost wages;
- property damage;
- pain and suffering;
- permanent disability;
- reduced quality of life; and
Completely separate from a personal injury claim, an injured victim may pursue and be a beneficiary of the wrongful death lawsuit. Beneficiaries may include a spouse, children, and/or other dependents of the decedent. This claim could address similar damages as already mentioned. For instance, the medical expenses incurred as a result of the family member’s fatal injuries may be recoverable.
A claim for wrongful death could also provide compensation for lost wages. The difference however, is that more could be available in this type of claim because it may include earning potential.
Other costs that may be addressed in a wrongful death claim are reasonable funeral expenses. But there are also noneconomic damages that could be recoverable, such as the mental anguish experienced by the surviving family members. Or loss of consortium, which applies to the various types of losses suffered by a spouse, such as affection and companionship.
Legal Help with a Clarksburg Wrongful Death Attorney
Pursuing more than one claim can be complicated and time-consuming. To learn what legal options might be available, contact a Clarksburg wrongful attorney at The Miley Legal Group. We can evaluate the circumstances surrounding the accident and help determine what type of claim(s) could be filed and the kind of damages that may be recoverable by personal injury victims and beneficiaries or a wrongful death claim.
Can I collect a car insurance settlement from both my insurance coverage and the other driver's coverage?
Car insurance settlements may involve one's own insurance policy and that of another driver if the other driver is at fault for the accident. West Virginia is a fault insurance state, so drivers who are at fault for the accident are also responsible for any damages it causes.
However, initial car accident compensation may come from one's own insurance company, which may then seek to recover from the other driver's coverage. An attorney for car accidents in Clarksburg, W.Va., can help victims as they pursue compensation.
Reaching Car Insurance Settlements with Multiple Insurance Companies
West Virginia's minimum car insurance requirements are $20,000 for an accident with a single victim and $40,000 for an accident with multiple victims. Uninsured motorist coverage is also required in the same amounts to protect motorists in an accident with an uninsured driver or hit-and-run motorist.
For car accidents with catastrophic injuries, this amount may not be enough to cover the full extent of injuries. In this case, victims may seek help from an attorney for car accidents in Clarksburg, W.Va., to file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver.
However, even before car accident compensation is recovered from the negligent driver, some accident victims may turn to their own car or health insurance coverage to help pay for expenses related to the accident. If the other driver is at fault, one's own insurance companies may seek reimbursement from the negligent driver's insurance coverage through subrogation rights.
An Attorney Can Help Recover Car Accident Compensation
An attorney for car accidents in Clarksburg, W.Va., at The Miley Legal Group can help take the burden off your shoulders when it comes to pursuing insurance claims for a serious car accident. To schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys about reaching a car insurance settlement, call 304-931-4088.
Why should I save a defective product's packaging?
The defective product packaging could be very useful to Clarksburg personal injury attorneys when establishing which party is liable and what the cause of the defect was, depending on the circumstances. Almost any kind of physical evidence may potentially be helpful in a defective product claim.
Importance of Preserving Defective Product Packaging for a Claim
One of the most important elements when pursuing a defective product claim with Clarksburg personal injury attorneys is establishing the problem with the product that caused injuries. For instance, if an incorrect label was placed on the product, the packaging could help prove that lack of warning or mislabeling contributed to the accident and injuries.
Let’s say a product was designed for children over the age of three because of choking hazards. If that label wasn’t included and a two-year-old child was injured after swallowing an object, the packaging might show the cause of harm.
Another example is a product that should contain instructions on how to properly use the product. For instance, if a hunter were to purchase a deer stand and the instructions weren’t included or were incorrect, this could be used as evidence.
So if the deer stand was incorrectly installed because there wasn’t proper instructions and someone fell from it and was injured, those injuries may be attributed to this lack of proper instructions. The packaging would be a critical piece of evidence.
Failure to warn is another potential problem. A medication that has the risk of producing severe side effects should include a warning label. If it’s not included and someone is injured, the packaging would be helpful in establishing this.
In addition to the packaging, the product itself and any accompanying instructions or warranties might also be helpful. The more evidence that can be preserved, the better the chance of establishing what caused the injuries when pursuing a defective product claim with legal assistance from Clarksburg personal injury attorneys.
The other important element will be showing who is liable. So if it was a labeling problem, the party responsible for labeling could be named in a claim. In some cases, several parties involved in the chain of distribution could be at fault for improper practices regarding the defective product's packaging or labeling.
Can I be compensated for permanent disfiguring injuries resulting from a dog bite?
Yes, when someone has sustained permanent disfiguring injuries from a dog bite or attack, compensation might be available. It may be advantageous to speak with a Clarksburg dog bite attorney about the types of compensation that could be sought in this type of claim.
Types of Compensation Available for Permanent Disfigurement Injuries
In the case of permanently disfiguring injuries, victims may be affected in every area of life: socially, emotionally and even in the workforce. This is especially true if the injuries are visible to others.
When it’s the result of a dog bite and the owner is found to be negligent (if the dog is running at large or the dog is considered vicious, negligence does not need to be established), economic losses may be recoverable. These are the financial burdens placed on a victim’s shoulders such as medical costs and lost wages.
However, noneconomic damages could also be recoverable. These address the emotional and psychological harm suffered. Examples of compensation that may be available for injuries that are permanently disfiguring include pain and suffering as well as emotional distress.
Determining Worth of Damages in a Dog Bite Claim
Determining the value of damages is easier for the economic losses. This requires calculating the cost of medical care and treatment, along with the amount of time missed from work.
Working with a Clarksburg dog bite attorney can help ensure noneconomic losses are figured in a fair manner. For instance, pain and suffering might depend on the severity of the injury.
A victim who suffered a fractured arm is entitled to receive some form of compensation. But its worth would be much less than someone whose arm had to be amputated as a result of a dog bite. So each case would need to be individually evaluated.
The Miley Legal Group understands the financial, psychological and physical devastation dog bite or attack victims may experience. We can help injured victims who wish to file a claim for disfiguring injuries from a dog bite.
What are the truck driver cell phone laws regarding texting while driving?
Commercial truck driver cell phone laws prohibit texting and driving. In fact, drivers cannot use a handheld mobile device at all while operating a truck. Doing so could increase risk of causing an accident.
The Rules are Clear: No Texting While Driving!
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), research has shown that drivers who text while driving are 23.2 times more likely to crash or to experience an event that impedes safety.
It was also found that drivers took their eyes off the roadway for an average time of 4.6 seconds when texting, which, when traveling 55 miles per hour, meant traveling the approximate length of a football field. The rules don’t just apply to sending text messages, but reading them as well.
Additionally, a handheld device cannot be used to:
- make or answer phone calls;
- look at emails;
- access the internet; or
- any other form of communication except in emergency situations.
The penalties can be serious for violating truck driver cell phone laws. Drivers could be fined up to $2,750. If it’s discovered the employer required or allowed its driver to text, it can also be fined up to $11,000. A driver could also be disqualified from operating a truck.
Meanwhile, injured victims have legal recourse to recover compensation for damages if a distracted truck driver causes an accident.
If Injured, Talk to a Personal Injury Lawyer in Clarksburg, WV
If you believe texting and driving was the cause of your crash, contact a personal injury lawyer at The Miley Legal Group. We may be able to help prove a violation of truck driver cell phone laws: (304) 931-4088.