If you have a car accident in West Virginia, you cannot file an insurance claim until after fault has been determined. The driver causing the accident must use their insurance to pay the claim of the driver that they hit. Some states like New York have what’s called “no-fault” laws regarding accidents. This means that in the event of an accident, each driver files a claim with their own insurer for reimbursement. West Virginia doesn’t fall as a “no-fault” state
West Virginia requires drivers to have at a minimum, car insurance that covers:
• $25,000 liability coverage for property damage (per accident) caused by the owner and/or driver of the vehicle insured by the policy
• $25,000 liability coverage for bodily injury or death of one person in an accident caused by the owner and/or driver of the vehicle insured by the policy
• $50,000 liability coverage for total bodily injury or death liability in an accident caused by the owner and/or driver of the vehicle insured by the policy
However, these insurance limits do not apply to your own injuries if you are at fault. That requires an additional type of insurance.
Collision is the insurance that covers your own vehicle repair and/or replacement after an accident. It’s usually a requirement for vehicles that are under any type of financing agreement.
West Virginia Code §55-7-13a describes the situation in which a person is assigned a percentage of fault for an accident.
A party may be charged with 100% fault if found to be completely responsible. However, that’s not always the case, and sometimes both parties share fault. In this case, a percentage is assigned.
For instance: if an accident was partly caused by one driver ignoring a stop sign or running a red light, they may be assigned 25% of the fault. The other driver would not have hit them had they stopped where it was indicated. Therefore, the other driver would be assigned 75% of the accident’s fault. This percentage is up to the police officer, or to the insurance adjuster involved in the accident.
Advantages Of At-Fault
• Tort insurance is generally less expensive than insurance coverage in at-fault states
• As long as you are determined to be less than 50% responsible for the accident, you can collect damages from the other driver
• You can also sue the other party for a range of different damages, including pain & suffering, lost wages, punitive damages, and medical expenses that exceed the other party’s policy limits.
West Virginia does have a two-year statute of limitations on filing your claim against the at-fault driver.
Let The Love Law Firm Help with Your Accident
If you’ve been involved in a car or other type of accident, don’t speak to anyone until you talk with the experienced accident attorneys at The Love Law Firm first. We can investigate your case, determine who is at fault, and work to help you receive the maximum amount of compensation. Chad Love has been representing West Virginia accident victims for more than 24 years. Our contingency fee arrangements mean that you’ll only owe a fee when we win your case.