In some car accident cases, determining who is at fault is straightforward. However, there are certain instances where the answer is not obvious. In such instances, it can be beneficial to you to understand how the West Virginia injury laws measure fault and how that may affect your personal injury case.
The judge determines fault utilizing the available evidence presented during the case. This includes a range of things such as photographs, skid marks, road damage, reports from law enforcement and witness statements. When trying to build a credible case, you should gather as much evidence as possible. Especially in complicated incidents, including left-turn and rear-end collisions, the right evidence may be essential in proving your case. Other documents such as medical bills and repair estimates help to determine and validate the settlement amount requested. A knowledgeable lawyer can assist you in compiling the evidence and determining the proper amount of a claim.
When deciding on the amount you plan to ask for, you will want to keep in mind the particular system of negligence that is in place. West Virginia courts use a modified comparative fault system. In short, if the court finds you at fault for part of the accident, it can limit your claim of damages. For example, if the court determines that you are 15 percent at fault, then the law may only entitle you to reimbursement for 80 percent of your losses. Under the 50 percent bar rule for liability, if you are at fault for 50 percent or more of the accident, then you are not entitled to damages.
Knowing these factors may help you in building a solid case. If you have any questions, an attorney may be of assistance in determining the best options for you in your personal injury case. With the right preparation, you may be well on your way to receiving just compensation for your pain and suffering.