Accidents often leave a trail of physical and emotional devastation in their wake. In the throes of such unfortunate incidents, it can be difficult for victims and their families to know where to turn for help and guidance. In West Virginia personal injury cases and wrongful death suits, it’s important to understand how WV comparative fault laws apply. A well-versed Southern WV personal injury attorney can guide you through this maze, but here’s a primer on how the law operates.
Who Is Liable in West Virginia Personal Injury Cases?
Comparative fault, a pivotal element in WV personal injury and wrongful death cases, refers to the extent to which fault is attributed amongst involved parties. It determines the degree to which each party is responsible for an accident, which impacts the damages awarded. In the context of Southern WV personal injury cases, the modified comparative fault laws under WV Code §§ 55-7-13a, 55-7-13b, 55-7-13c, and 55-7-13d provide a structural backbone for determining these liabilities.
WV Comparative Fault Laws
West Virginia’s modified comparative fault standard apportions the responsibility for an accident among all involved parties, considering how their actions or negligence contributed to the event causing injury or death. A crucial distinction to bear in mind is that under WV comparative fault laws, you may still recover damages even if you bear a portion of the fault, provided that your share doesn’t exceed 50 percent. In such instances, any money damages you receive will be reduced based on your level of fault.
WV Code §§ 55-7-13a to 55-7-13d details the dynamics of fault allocation and damage calculation. The statutes emphasize how an individual’s compensation might be diminished, yet not wholly forfeited, in proportion to their fault in an accident.
Applying the Comparative Fault Standard in West Virginia Personal Injury Cases
Consider a traffic accident where you’re hit by a car while walking across the street. Suppose the court determines the total damages (medical costs, lost wages, etc.) amount to $100,000. If you, as the pedestrian, were found to be 20 percent at fault (perhaps you were crossing against the signal), under the principles of WV comparative fault, your compensation would be reduced by 20 percent. Therefore, you could potentially recover $80,000.
If you were deemed to be more than 50 percent at fault, the modified comparative fault law in personal injury cases dictates that you would be ineligible to recover any damages.
How a Logan County Personal Injury Attorney Can Help
When you are dealing with the aftermath of an accident, it’s critical to connect with an experienced personal injury attorney, especially considering the complex nature of WV comparative fault laws. A skilled lawyer will not only assist in navigating through the complexities of comparative fault laws but also strive to ensure that your level of fault, if any, is accurately and fairly determined.
Your attorney can gather evidence, consult with experts, and formulate a robust strategy to substantiate your case, aiming to secure the maximum possible compensation for your injuries or losses.
Help for West Virginia Personal Injury Cases
Southern WV personal injury and wrongful death victims need an attorney who understands WV comparative fault laws, other laws that govern injury cases, the local court system, and the varied factors that can influence the outcome of a case.
Navigating the intricacies of comparative fault in a personal injury lawsuit in West Virginia demands a complete understanding of the state’s legal framework. While the road to recovery, both physical and financial, may appear daunting, aligning yourself with a seasoned personal injury attorney can illuminate the path, providing not just legal counsel and representation but also the reassurance of having a steadfast advocate by your side.
West Virginia personal injury cases require knowledgeable, aggressive legal representation. Jason Harwood is a Logan County personal injury attorney who serves clients in Southern WV and beyond. He will fight for your rights and the compensation you deserve. Reach out to schedule a consultation at Harwood Legal PLLC by calling 304-752-5015 or completing this online contact form.