If you sustain an injury because of the negligent actions of another person or business, you may be able to file a West Virginia personal injury claim to seek compensation. To do so, you should obtain the help of a Clarksburg personal injury lawyer to assist you with filing and settling your claim.
Establishing Your West Virginia Personal Injury Claim
To have a valid case when filing a West Virginia personal injury claim, you must be able to prove the following:
- the defendant owed you a duty of care;
- the defendant did not fulfill that duty of care;
- the defendant's actions resulted in a breach of duty that caused your injuries; and
- you suffered damages because of the defendant's negligence.
The State of West Virginia has a 2-year statute of limitations during which you can file your personal injury claim. You should contact your Clarksburg personal injury lawyer as soon as possible to make sure you do not miss the deadline for filing your West Virginia personal injury claim.
Proving Fault and Negligence in a West Virginia Personal Injury Claim
The basis of a West Virginia personal injury claim is that the defendant's negligence majorly contributed to your injuries. Your Clarksburg personal injury lawyer will help you preserve the evidence of your accident to prove the defendant's fault.
West Virginia follows a modified comparative negligence rule with a benchmark of 50%. This means you can be up to 49% at fault for the accident and still receive 1% of the settlement. If you are 50% or more at fault for the accident, you can't seek any damages.
Settling Your West Virginia Personal Injury Claim
Most West Virginia personal injury claims are settled with insurance companies and never even go to trial. Even so, it's best to have a Clarksburg personal injury lawyer to help negotiate your settlement and advise you on a fair settlement offer. In some cases where a fair settlement cannot be reached, your Clarksburg personal injury lawyer may need to file a personal injury lawsuit to seek additional compensation.
When negotiating a settlement for a West Virginia personal injury claim, you may recover 2 types of damages: economic and non-economic.
Economic damages include:
- past, present, and future lost wages;
- medical bills resulting from the accident;
- predicted future medical expenses; and
- property damage.
Non-economic damages are known as "pain and suffering" and are awarded based on the loss of quality of life, emotional distress and family disruption. West Virginia has limits placed on non-economic damages, capping the award at $500,000.
A third type of damages known as punitive damages is also awarded in some West Virginia personal injury cases, especially when the defendant is a business. Punitive damages are not capped by the state, as they are designed to punish the defendant's wrongdoing and deter future incidents.
Help from a Clarksburg Personal Injury Lawyer
You don't need to act alone when you are looking to file a West Virginia personal injury claim. If you have been harmed because of somebody else's negligence, don't hesitate to seek justice. The Miley Legal Group will work with you to fight for the compensation you deserve and help you to move on with your life. Contact us today for a no-cost consultation - 304-326-1800.