You may be considering filing a personal injury lawsuit in Martinsburg, WV if you sustained injuries in a car accident due to the negligence of another party. If so, you are probably curious about the amount of financial compensation you will receive if you’re successful in suing the other party.
An especially important thing to understand about personal injury lawsuits is that their purpose is to financially compensate the victim for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other areas of loss. It differs from a criminal trial that seeks to punish someone for wrongdoing. You have two years from the date of the accident under West Virginia law to file a personal injury lawsuit.
Categories of Compensatory Damages You Could Receive
Determining your financial losses in a car accident injury case is much simpler than putting a dollar figure on emotional impact and other categories. Some of the categories considered in terms of financial loss include:
- Past, present, and future medical expenses you incurred due to the accident.
- Lost wages, including the loss of future earning potential. If your injuries forced you to retire or take a less demanding position, you would receive the difference between your new and old pay rates from the lawsuit payout.
- Damage to property, including your vehicle and any personal items stored inside of it.
Since non-economic losses are up to the discretion of a judge and jury, it’s in your best interest to retain a Martinsburg, WV auto accident lawyer to fight for your right to fair compensation. It can be challenging to estimate the future cost of medical care and lifetime lost wages, and you need an experienced personal injury attorney to argue for maximum compensation.
Even if your case doesn’t end up in court, it takes an attorney with strong negotiation skills to procure a favorable settlement from the other party’s insurance company. At The Riddell Law Group, we use our strong negotiating skills to reach settlements whenever possible. However, we are just as prepared to aggressively represent your interests in court if necessary.
Some losses are not financial but devastating nonetheless. The award amount you receive often depends on your ability to make an emotional appeal to the jury. Some categories here include:
- Pain and suffering: You’re entitled to compensation if the accident causes you ongoing physical pain.
- Emotional trauma: This compensates you for the fact that you must deal with stress, anxiety, depression, and other overwhelming emotions due to the accident caused by the other party.
- Loss of enjoyment of life: A severe accident can limit your ability to enjoy life in the same way by making it impossible to engage in hobbies, have meaningful relationships, or travel without restrictions.
Modified Comparative Negligence in West Virginia
When it comes to collecting compensation in an auto accident or other personal injury case, each state sets its own rules regarding the fault of each party. Three possibilities exist, including pure comparative, pure contributory, and modified comparative. West Virginia enforces modified comparative negligence in these cases, which means that an injured driver can still collect damages even if he or she bears 99 percent of the responsibility for causing the accident in the first place. This is opposite of Virginia where a driver even one percent at fault can collect no damages at all.
Assigning a percentage of blame to each driver is a subjective practice at best. Hiring an attorney from The Riddell Law Group ensures that the insurance adjuster or jury hears your version of events and that you have the legal proof to prove your claims.
Contact Us to Discuss Your Car Accident Case Today
If a car accident has turned your life upside down making it difficult to work or enjoy everyday activities, you have the right to seek financial compensation from the other party. We invite you to contact our Martinsburg, WV law firm today to request a free initial consultation. A car accident attorney will give you a better idea of whether you have a viable case and a general idea for what you might receive in compensation with a successful outcome.