AUTOMOBILE & HEAVY TRUCK COLLISIONS

Injuries from car wrecks happen every day.  These injuries result in medical expenses, loss of wages and dramatic financial and emotional impacts upon people’s lives.  Depending on the specific situation, various insurance coverages may be applicable and necessary to recover just compensation.

 

While automobile collisions can be quite serious , those that occur with COMMERCIAL TRUCKS are usually DEVASTATING and often life altering.

 

When you hire counsel to handle an automobile or heavy truck collision case, your lawyer must be dedicated to learning how the collision happened, understanding the medical aspects of your claim, assessing the economic and emotional impact of your injuries upon you and your family in the past and future and determining the type and amount of each insurance coverage applicable to your case.

 

To obtain a just result, your lawyer must be PREPARED and EXPERIENCED.

 

TYPES OF INSURANCE COVERAGE

At Fault Driver’s Liability Coverage

All states REQUIRE automobiles to carry liability insurance coverage. Liability Coverage is payable to persons injured by the negligent conduct of someone else.  Your liability insurance coverage will NOT cover your injuries, the at fault driver’s liability coverage will.

 

Your Own Medical Payments Coverage

Your own automobile insurance coverage MAY provide this coverage.  “Med Pay” exists to provide a timely payment to you or your medical provider for medical bills incurred by you regardless of who is at fault. Although this coverage is not legally required, many people are sold this coverage as part and parcel of their automobile insurance coverage.  This coverage can be an important tool in your lawyer’s arsenal to keep medical bill collectors off your back while your lawyer prosecutes your case to obtain  money from the at-fault party.

 

Your Own Uninsured Motorist Coverage

Some states, including West Virginia, REQUIRE insurance companies to provide uninsured motorist coverage to their insureds. Uninsured coverage acts as a substitute for liability coverage when the at fault party has no liability insurance in violation of law.  We RECOMMEND that you purchase uninsured  motorist coverage  with the highest coverage limit that your insurance company will sell to you. 

 

Your Own Underinsured Motorist Coverage

Though all states require some level of liability coverage, the legally required level of coverage is often woefully insufficient given the cost of medical treatment and loss of wages. Some states, including West Virginia, require insurance companies to offer their insureds the OPTION to purchase underinsured motorist coverage.  Underinsured coverage serves to compensate you for damages that are in excess of the amount covered by the at fault party’s liability insurance coverage limits. Underinsured coverage premiums are relatively affordable and can be extraordinarily valuable should you be injured by a driver that does not have enough liability insurance.  We RECOMMEND that you purchase underinsured  motorist coverage  with the highest coverage limit that your insurance company will sell to you. 

 

DAMAGES AVAILABLE IN PERSONAL INJURY CASES

Special Damages

Those losses that have a specific monetary value. Special damages include: Medical Bills, Lost Wages, Loss of Earning Capacity, Loss of Household Services, and Property Loss.

 

General Damages

Unlike special damages, these damages are those that are not easily calculated.  General damages include: Physical Pain and Suffering, Mental Pain and Suffering, Scarring, Loss of Parental or Spousal Consortium, and Loss of the Ability to Enjoy Life.

 

Punitive Damages

Punitive awards are not applicable in many cases.  These damages are recoverable only when the at fault party acts willfully, wantonly or in reckless disregard of the law and safety of others. These damages are designed to punish bad actors and to deter them from future bad conduct. Examples of conduct warranting punitive damages are driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, allowing a dangerous condition to continue despite warnings of danger and a trucking company's knowing violation of federal motor carrier statutes.

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