West Virginia family sues company over auto accident

A West Virginia company is being sued in connection with a September 2013 traffic accident that left two children injured. The case is scheduled to be heard in the Wayne County Circuit Court. The parents of the injured children are seeking undisclosed punitive and compensatory damages.

According to the lawsuit, the father of the injured children was proceeding on Piedmont Road in Huntington in his personal vehicle with his wife and two children at the time of the accident. The family claim in the litigation that their vehicle was struck from behind as it slowed to make room for a vehicle joining Piedmont Road from a side street. As a result of this collision, the parents say that they and their children suffered serious, permanent and painful injuries.

The lawsuit alleges that the accident may have been avoided if the driver of the company's vehicle had been more vigilant and had not been driving too fast for prevailing traffic conditions. The general contractor is blamed for not properly training the workers allowed to drive company vehicles and failing to ensure that they obeyed traffic laws.

Lawsuits stemming from auto accidents often involve a situation where both parties may have been negligent drivers, and personal injury attorneys are sometimes drawn into arguments about how much of the blame lies with their clients. West Virginia law has a comparative liability standard, which means that the damages awarded to the plaintiff in a personal injury case will be reduced according to their degree of fault. In addition, plaintiffs are unable to recover any damages in cases where they are found to be more than 50 percent at fault. Attorneys may review accident reports and conduct their own investigations if necessary to establish degrees of liability when these questions arise.

Source: The West Virginia Legislature, "House Bill 2002", accessed on Jan. 15, 2016

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