Careless driving is a widespread problem. Car crashes can cause serious injuries that not only inflict physical pain but also result in financial costs. Fortunately, though, people injured in car accidents are often able to recover compensation from a driver or another party that caused their harm. If you were hurt in a crash, the West Virginia car accident lawyers at Rich & Gutta can advise you on your options for seeking compensation and fight to protect your interests. We work hard to help ordinary people pursue justice in settlement negotiations and the courtroom, and we have a strong history of success in personal injury cases. We know that victims may be concerned about the cost of hiring an attorney, so we do not charge our clients fees for our services unless we recover compensation for them.Typical Causes of Car Accidents
Many factors can cause or contribute to a car accident. In some instances, a vehicle will have a latent issue, such as a defect in the brakes or tires. Usually, however, collisions are caused by the unsafe actions of one or more drivers. For example, a driver might get distracted by a text message or make a poor decision to drive while intoxicated, which can cause serious injuries. Unsafe traffic maneuvers, such as speeding, following too closely, failing to yield, or turning or changing lanes without adequate clearance, can cause collisions as well. Our car accident attorneys help West Virginia victims gather evidence to show what caused their crash.Elements of a West Virginia Car Accident Case
A person seeking compensation for a car accident in a personal injury lawsuit must prove both liability and damages. Generally, car accidents are caused by unintentional acts. As a result, a plaintiff in a case arising out of a collision will typically aim to prove liability via a negligence claim. In West Virginia, proving negligence requires a plaintiff to show that the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty and that the defendant acted in a manner that constituted a breach of the duty. In most cases, the duty owed is the duty to act with ordinary care, which is the care that a reasonable person would employ under similar circumstances. In some cases, a duty will be specifically imposed by a traffic law. After the plaintiff demonstrates that the defendant breached the duty owed, he or she must then show that the breach caused the plaintiff’s harm. In other words, the plaintiff and our West Virginia car accident attorneys must prove that the defendant’s acts or omissions were one of the reasons in bringing about the accident that caused the plaintiff to suffer injuries.
The plaintiff’s damages must be measurable. Usually, to prove damages, the plaintiff will produce evidence of medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and any other costs that can be traced to the accident. Frequently, a plaintiff will have suffered damages that are not as easy to quantify, such as suffering, pain, and mental distress. In these instances, the testimony of the plaintiff and the plaintiff’s loved ones, as well as medical providers, may be used to demonstrate the plaintiff’s harm. A plaintiff sometimes may need to provide expert testimony to explain any complex issues.Meet With an Experienced West Virginia Attorney
Motor vehicle collisions occur throughout West Virginia, but they are almost always avoidable and usually happen because someone failed to drive in a safe manner. If you were harmed in a crash, you should meet with a car accident lawyer at our West Virginia firm to discuss your potential claims. At Rich & Gutta, we are committed to assisting injured people in pursuing every dollar that they deserve. We can be reached at our Morgantown office by calling (304) 924-7001 or using the online form to set up a free and confidential meeting.Steps to Take if You or a Loved One is Involved in a Car Accident
- Contact 911 immediately and seek roadside assistance and medical treatment for all involved.
- Insofar as you are safely able to do so, identify the other parties involved and exchange information. Take as many photographs of the scene as possible. Take photographs from various angles and photograph the roadway, surrounding area, debris, license plates and vehicle damage.
- Do not speak with an insurance company or provide any written statement to an insurance company without first talking to Rich & Gutta, PLLC.
- Call Rich & Gutta, PLLC, as soon as possible.
Regardless of whether you sustain severe injuries or minor injuries, it is imperative that you seek medical treatment immediately after your accident. A doctor will properly evaluate your condition and check for internal injuries that might not be immediately apparent to you. Your doctor will then provide a medical report that will be essential in building your case.Why You Should Call Rich & Gutta, PLLC Immediately
Preservation of evidence is paramount. This means that time is of the essence and you need an experienced legal team to ensure that, among other things, witnesses are identified, medical and police records are obtained and other evidence is properly gathered. If you or a loved one were involved in a trucking accident, call Rich & Gutta, PLLC at (304) 924-7001.Tips for Safe Driving
- Never use your phone or any other device while driving. Focus solely on driving.
- Never drive when tired or ill. Be aware that certain medications can make you drowsy.
- Always travel at a safe distance from other vehicles. Do not tailgate.
- Always travel at a safe speed. Take into consideration your ability to react in an emergency situation.
- Be cognizant, especially in West Virginia, of deer and other animals while driving. Deer season can be particularly dangerous.
- Be cognizant of other drivers that are driving recklessly. Maintain a safe distance from those that are weaving in and out of traffic.
- Practice safety at all times. Your life and the lives of others depend on you being aware and expecting the unexpected.