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Measuring fault in a West Virginia auto accident

| Jan 24, 2018 | Blog |

Auto accidents can be traumatic experiences, both during and after the incident. To aid in relieving the stress, it is important that those affected understand the process, especially those who seek compensation for injuries from the accident.

Determining and showing fault are essential to any accident case. A few main factors aid in measuring fault in a West Virginia auto accident.

Evidence

The proper evidence is key to building and proving a court case. In regards to an accident case, there are several different pieces of evidence that parties may gather, including:

  • Accident reports
  • Driver information
  • Witness testimonies
  • Photos
  • Medical records

All these things work together to create a clear depiction of what happened. If a claimant is not able to collect all these types of evidence, it is important to gather as much as possible. They should try to fill in any holes to avoid ambiguity.

Comparative fault system

West Virginia’s personal injury laws help to establish how to determine award amounts for personal injury claims, along with the elements that may decrease those amounts, such as comparative fault. West Virginia’s modified comparative fault rule states that if a party is responsible in part for an accident, the court will deduct the party’s percentage of fault from the award amount. For example, if the judge determines a claimant is at fault for 20% of the accident, then the claimant only receives 80% of the total award amount. Claimants who are responsible for 50% or more of an accident cannot claim damages in an accident. This rule makes collecting the right evidence and presenting it clearly essential to receiving a proper award amount for a claim.

As you can see, there are a few important elements of auto accident claims. If you or a loved one plan to file a claim, make sure you understand the law and claim process so that you may know the best route to take.