How is Fault Measured in a West Virginia Car Accident?
If you suffer injuries in a car accident in West Virginia, you should understand the state's fault laws as well as how fault is determined. The more you know about these issues, the better you will grasp the steps that your West Virginia car accident attorney takes on your behalf in order to seek maximum compensation for you.
West Virginia's Modified Comparative Fault System
First, you should know that the state of West Virginia maintains a modified comparative fault system of negligence. In a modified comparative fault state, each party is liable for their degree of fault. For example, if you are in a car accident, and you are 10 percent at fault, then you would be responsible for 10 percent of your damages. So, you could file a claim against the other party, but the other party would be liable for only 90 percent of your losses.
West Virginia also maintains a 50 percent bar rule for liability. Under this rule, if you are 50 percent or more at fault for your injuries, you cannot seek damages. However, if you are 49 percent or less at fault for your injuries, you can still seek damages. However, your damages would be reduced in proportion to your degree of fault.
How Fault Is Determined in West Virginia
Who is at fault for an accident and the extent of fault are important issues in West Virginia car accident cases. Those issues determine how much you can potentially recover in a personal injury lawsuit. So, in order to maximize your compensation, it will be important that you gather the necessary evidence to prove the fault of the other driver.
Some types of evidence that can be helpful in determining fault in a car accident include:
- Pictures of the accident scene, damages, and injuries
- Witness statements
- Police reports
- Video footage
- Skid marks
- Road damage and debris.
Working with an attorney can be helpful when it comes to both gathering evidence and knowing how to use that evidence to establish your claim and improve the outcome of your case.
At Mani Ellis & Layne, PLLC, we have helped our clients to prove fault in a number of complex cases. We can help you to answer questions such as:
- Who is at fault in a car accident involving a lane change?
- Who is at fault in a T-bone (or side-impact) crash?
- Who is at fault in a car accident that involves a rear-end collision?
- Who is at fault in a car accident that occurred at an intersection?
It can be difficult to determine fault in a car accident. Left-turn collisions, rear-end crashes and intersection crashes are some of the most complicated and serious accident types, and they require the help of a professional to determine who is to blame.
The knowledgeable attorneys of Mani Ellis & Layne, PLLC, have the level of experience you are looking for in a law firm. If you have questions about how to determine fault or want to learn more about how we can help you to prove fault, do not hesitate to contact us for a free consultation.