A car accident can change the course of your life in an instant. From your physical health to your mental state to your ability to commute, an accident can have a far-reaching and sometimes difficult-to-measure impact on your life.
If you or a loved one has been impacted by a car accident, your best chance to get the compensation you are owed is by contacting an experienced personal injury lawyer. A lawyer will help evaluate your case, determine the damages you are owed, and fight for you every step of the way.
What Our Lawyers Look For
When the team at Skinner Law Firm gets a new case, we look at two things: what our client is owed and what we can prove. Victims often aren’t aware of the full extent of their potential compensation. We work to get our clients as much as we can prove they are owed. We start this process by evaluating fault.
West Virginia is a comparative fault state, meaning that if you are found to be less than 50% at fault, you are eligible for compensation. For every percentage you are found to be at fault, your compensation is reduced. Our lawyers work hard to investigate every aspect of your accident to maximize the amount you may be owed.
Damages You Could Be Owed
Accidents, whether with another car, a pedestrian, a bicycle, a motorcycle, or a truck, can lead to different types of harm. Lawyers call this damages. These can be split into three main categories: physical, emotional, and property.
Physical damages refer to physical injuries because of the accident. Some of the most common physical injuries caused by car accidents include whiplash, traumatic brain injuries, sprains, and facial injuries. Even prior injuries that were made worse by the accident may qualify for compensation. In order to prove physical damages, you will need to provide medical records and physician testimony.
Emotional damages are not always as obvious as physical damages, but are often more important. When a victim suffers emotional damages, their day-to-day life is impacted. The hardship can take many forms, including loss of enjoyment of life or pain and suffering. Emotional damages are proven through personal records and testimony from physicians and friends or family members who knew the victim before and after the accident.
Property damage is often easier to calculate than physical or emotional damage. Any piece of property with monetary value that was damage, including not only the vehicle itself, but also items that were inside it at the time of the accident. For instance, if you were carrying a box full of hand-cut crystal vases that were shattered, the party at fault could be responsible for covering the replacement of the vases. Unfortunately, this only covers things with probable monetary value and does not extend to items with personal value.
Steps to Take Immediately Following the Accident
If you have recently gotten into a car accident, you may feel stressed, overwhelmed, or even panicked. Future problems may be popping into your head left and right, but you need to push those aside and deal with the current situation. Here is what to prioritize after an accident:
Make sure you are in a safe place and out of traffic. Check yourself and anyone else involved in the accident for injuries. If anyone is injured, the first priority is to get them help. No matter what, you should have a medical examination as soon as possible after the accident.
All responsible drivers know that after an accident, they are supposed to exchange insurance, driver, and contact information. Unfortunately, not every driver is responsible. If the other driver refuses to stop or exchange information, recall everything you can about their car and their profile, writing it down if you can. If you can do so safely, try and get a picture of their car and/or license plate. Check out our auto accident questions & answers that covers some situations you may encounter after the accident.
Call the Police
The police should be informed of any accident. When you call them, they will want to know your location and basic details about the accident. Once they arrive on the scene, they will take your statement as well as the statements of the other driver(s) and any witnesses.
Take as many photos as possible. Take photos of the damage done both to your car and the other car(s). Also take pictures of the location of the accident and anything that you think might be relevant to your case. Even take photos of things that you don’t think will be obviously relevant. These photos will help your lawyer understand the situation and build your case. Make sure you don’t put yourself in danger by taking the photos.
Auto Accidents We Cover:
- Truck Accidents
- Distracted Driving Accidents
- Hit and Run Accidents
- Bus Accidents
- Motorcycle Accidents
- Drunk Driving Accidents
Contact an Attorney
After an accident, you will want an experienced attorney on your side as soon as possible. The earlier they can start working on your case, the better. Even if you think you don’t have a case, it’s good to speak with a law firm that can evaluate your situation. We do this evaluation for free, meaning there is no obligation if you call us.
If you have recently been in a car accident and wish to speak with an attorney, please don’t hesitate to contact Skinner Law Firm. Our attorneys have decades of combined experience in personal injury law and would be happy to help you evaluate your case. We have locations in Charles Town and Martinsburg.