If you go to your insurer asking for $100,000 or more, be prepared as they will surely put up a fight.
When they hear the word accident, most people think about a car or other type of motor vehicle crash. Indeed, car accidents account for the majority of cases accident lawyers in West Virginia handle. However, you’ll also need a good accident lawyer if you have a case involving accidents like slip and falls, medical malpractice, nursing home abuse or defective products, including prescription medications that turn out to be harmful.
When do you have to file a personal injury claim?
If you are injured in any type of accident caused by someone’s negligence you will have to file a personal injury claim to recover damages. In most cases, you’ll have to deal with the insurance company. When you consult an experienced accident lawyer in Charleston, WV, they will explain that the vast majority of cases, around 90%, are settled through negotiations with the insurance company. This is often a complex and arduous process and sometimes negotiations fail, so your only option is to file a lawsuit.
Do I need a lawyer for any type of accident?
Probably not. Minor accidents, such as a fender bender, do not require a lawyer. These are small claims and the insurance company is unlikely to give you any trouble.
However, if you or a loved one were involved in a serious accident causing severe injuries, you will have significant damages. If you go to your insurer asking for $100,000 or more, be prepared as they will surely put up a fight.
What does a personal injury claim imply?
In order to be awarded damages in a personal injury claim, your accident lawyer will have to prove it was a case of negligence. For instance, in a motor vehicle accident, your lawyer will have to show that the driver at fault failed in their duty of care. A driver running a red light is guilty of negligence as their failure to obey road rules put your life at risk. The same can be said of a business property owner who doesn’t clear the ice on the pavement, endangering the safety of their clients. Or if a loved one had a nasty fall in their nursing home, the staff should be held accountable if they failed to provide assistance to a vulnerable person in their care.
The next step is for your lawyer to prove causality, which means showing that your injuries were directly caused by that act of negligence. It is important that you keep all medical records. If you’re in a car accident, make sure to see a doctor right away and have them document your injuries.
As for the damages you can claim, your lawyer will help you calculate the value of the compensatory damages you deserve.
Economic damages refer to your medical expenses, including treatment or surgeries you might need in the future. Also, you are entitled to be compensated for your lost wages, past and future. If you are left with a disability you might never work again, and the party at fault or their insurer needs to pay for that.
Non-economic damages are meant to compensate you for your pain and suffering, both physical and mental.