Experienced Car Accident Lawyers in Charles Town, West Virginia
Founded by the youngest full brother of George Washington, Charles Washington, Charles Town is a city of about 5,000 people in Jefferson County, West Virginia. Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains within an hour of the D.C.-Baltimore metro area, Charles Town provides residents with affordable living and quality education in a safe environment. In addition, there is plenty to do in the area, with various historic sites, world-class gaming, the Cool Spring Nature Reserve, and various shopping and dining options downtown.
Unfortunately, Charles Town sees its fair share of motor vehicle accidents just like any other modern city. A serious car accident is invariably an overwhelming experience. After the chaos and confusion that victims experience at the scene, the last thing they should have to deal with is an insurance adjuster who is actively trying to deny or minimize their claim.
If you have recently suffered injuries in an accident, you should call an attorney immediately. By hiring your own personal injury lawyer, you can rest assured that your legal rights are being protected and focus on recovering from your injuries instead of haggling with an insurance adjuster who is actively working against you.
What Causes Charles Town Car Accidents?
There are many causes of auto accidents in the Charles Town area. What is important for victims is that when accidents are someone else’s fault, they can usually recover compensation for their losses. An at-fault driver is said to be “liable,” which means that he or she has a legal duty to compensate injury victims for the losses that he or she caused. This fact is why West Virginia and other states require drivers to carry auto insurance with liability coverage. There are many ways that drivers can be negligent and, below, we discuss some of the most common:
Common Traffic Violations
Many car accidents are caused by drivers who fail to simply follow the rules of the road. Some specific violations that can lead to serious accidents include:
- Failing to yield
- Improper turns
- Driving on the wrong side of the road
- Running stop signs or stop lights
- Following too closely
- Failing to signal turns or lane changes
Distracted driving has become a major public health risk in recent years. New technologies have given drivers more temptation than ever to take their eyes off the road. Smartphones, wireless devices, navigation programs, and built-in entertainment systems all compete to take a driver’s attention off the road. These newer distractions are in addition to the distractions that drivers have always faced: for example, pets, children, food and drink, the radio, and other drivers or events on the roadway. Distracted driving is negligent driving, and victims of distracted drivers can often recover compensation for their losses.
Drunk driving laws have been enacted, refined, and strengthened in recent decades. There are now clear blood limits and strict penalties for those who drink and drive. Of course, there are still drivers who choose to drive drunk, and they can be held accountable for the injuries they cause. Fortunately, civil claims against drunk drivers can help discourage others from drinking and driving in the future. It is also important to remember that drivers can be impaired by many substances other than alcohol. Street drugs, prescription medications, and even household substances can be used to get high. Impairment laws enact criminal penalties for drivers who get behind the wheel when impaired by these substances, as well.
What Should You Do after a Serious Car Accident?
If you have recently been involved in a car accident, there are certain steps that you should take to protect your legal rights. The most important of these are detailed below.
Seek Medical Care
You should always seek medical care after a car accident if you notice any possible symptoms of injuries or feel anything out of the ordinary. Not only is it important to ensure that your injuries are diagnosed and treated, but it is also critical that you develop as much documentation as you can about your injuries. When it comes time to make a claim, the insurance company will want to see medical records describing your injuries and your prognosis. If you cannot produce them, it may hurt your ability to recover for your losses.
Do Not Accept a Settlement Offer
As an accident victim, it’s important to understand that you only get one opportunity to settle your case. As a result, you should never accept a settlement offer before discussing your case with an experienced car accident attorney in Charles Town. A lawyer that regularly represents car accident victims will be able to review the facts of your case and determine how much compensation you should receive. In addition, an attorney will negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf, ensuring that you do not say or do anything during the claims process that may hurt your case.
Call a Lawyer Sooner Rather than Later
After a car accident, you should contact an attorney as soon as you are sure that your medical condition is stable. Insurance companies actively work to minimize the amount they pay out on each claim they receive and will not hesitate to take advantage of victims’ inexperience to settle a case for much less than it is actually worth. In addition, waiting to start your claim has the potential to result in the loss of evidence important for your case.
How Much Does a Charles Town Auto Accident Lawyer Cost?
As a car crash victim, you may be concerned about how much it will cost to retain an attorney to represent you. At Skinner Law Firm, we take all of our car accident cases on a contingent fee basis, which means we only collect legal fees if we collect compensation on behalf of our clients. Furthermore, since we offer completely free case evaluations, there is no risk in coming to talk to us to see if you have a valid claim. Using contingent fees allows us to ensure that anyone that needs quality legal representation has access to it, regardless of their ability to pay out of pocket.
Call Us Today for a Free Consultation with a Charles Town Accident Attorney
You don’t have to look all over to find the best auto accident lawyers in Charles Town. From our Charles Town office, we are able to serve clients in Jefferson County, Fredrick County, and eastward. Our local office is conveniently located in Downtown Charles Town at 115 East Washington Street, near American Public University and the Jefferson County Museum.