Were you (or someone you love) recently injured in an accident? If you’ve made it to our West Virginia personal injury blog, then it’s likely. Also, you’re probably wondering whether your injury and the circumstances of the accident make you eligible for filing a personal injury lawsuit. Well, there is technically no “eligibility” for a personal injury claim in Charleston, WV. Instead, if another individual was acting negligent or committing some wrongdoing, which led to the accident and your injuries, then you may be able to file a personal injury claim.
At the Love Law Firm, attorney Charles M. Love is one of the leading personal injury and nursing home lawyers in Charleston, West Virginia, and over the years, we’ve worked with many clients who were injured due to a wide array of circumstances. From speeding and negligent drivers to nursing home staff who abused you or your loved one, don’t let this accident ruin your life and get compensation by calling your local Charleston WV personal injury and car accident lawyer.
For a free consultation to see if you can make a personal injury claim, call our downtown Charleston law office today at (304) 344-5683.
The Statute of Limitations for West Virginia Personal Injury Claims
Before understanding whether or not you have a case, it’s always important to consider the West Virginia “statute of limitations,” which is a legal term referring to the time limit you have to file a personal injury claim. In some cases, the statute of limitations starts when you become aware (or should have become aware) of the injury.
In West Virginia, the statute of limitations for various accidents includes:
- Negligent based cases, such as car accidents, premises liability, tort or lemon law claims, etc — 2 years
- Assault or Battery — 2 years
- Defamation — 1 year
- Strict Liability — 2 years
- Products Liability — 2 years
- Wrongful Death — 2 years
If you have not filed your personal injury lawsuit within the time period, then your case may be “time-barred” and you’ll be unable to recover damages from the court system.
Who is Liable in Your Personal Injury Claim?
Although the statute of limitations is an important consideration for your claim, some of the fundamental factors in a successful personal injury claim include identifying the liable individual(s) and proving that individual’s negligence and/or fault. In general, this means showing the courts that:
- The accident was caused by another, specific person(s)
- The at-fault individual was acting negligent or committing a wrongdoing
- The at-fault individual’s negligence led to the accident
- Your injuries are a result of the accident and the other party’s negligence
Negligence is just one factor when seeking compensation for the injuries you sustained, as West Virginia also uses a legal doctrine known as comparative fault. This essentially means that the amount you are able to recover is dependent on your own level of negligence as well. For example, if you are speeding through an intersection and another vehicle runs a red light and hits you, then the court may find that speeding made you 20 percent at fault while running a red light made the other party 80 percent at fault. By seeking $10,000 through a lawsuit, for instance, the maximum you would be able to recover would be $8,000 (a reduction of the total lawsuit by your contribution of fault).
Filing a Lawsuit in West Virginia
Whether injured in a car accident caused by someone else’s carelessness or harmed by a negligent staff at a Charleston WV nursing home, a personal injury lawsuit can help you recover medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. By filing a complaint in the county where you were injured or where the incident took place, you can start the personal injury process. The individual accused in the complaint (the at-fault individual) has 30 days to file a response. One of the next stages, as the lawsuit moves through the court, is the “discovery” phase. This phase includes requests for medical records, documentation, and witness lists.
Personal injury lawsuits rarely go to trial and the vast majority are settled out of court, but it’s always essential to have an experienced and knowledgeable Charleston WV personal injury attorney who can guide you through this process, maximize the evidence showing fault, and vigorously litigate or negotiate on your behalf.
If you feel that you have a case and have questions, call the Love Law Firm today for a confidential and FREE consultation. You can reach us at (304) 344-5683, email or by filling out our online form by clicking here.