Auto accidents are one of the most common causes of personal injury.
Serious accidents result in substantial pain, emotional distress, lost wages, medical expenses and property damage.
Insurance companies try to settle cases in as little time as possible — and for as little money as possible. As a result, this doesn’t allow you to fully assess the severity of your injuries, the necessary course of treatment or the wages you’ll lose.
Immediately After an Accident:
It’s important to know what information you need to collect after an accident and who you need to call. Thorough documentation will be crucial if you decide to sue the other driver in a car accident.
- Provided you aren’t injured, you need to exchange information with the other driver. Even if you feel overwhelmed and are struggling to process what happened, don’t apologize to the other driver — stick to the facts, and do your best to stay calm.
- Saying things like “I’m sorry” or “I didn’t see you” can imply your fault in the accident. Be cautious about your language, especially if you’re unsure about what happened.
- Call the police to the scene.
- While you are waiting, take photos of both vehicles before they are moved. If it’s safe to do so, get photos from multiple angles.
Get full insurance information from the other driver, including the company name and policy information. Additionally, make sure you know:
- The other driver’s full name and address
- Contact information and statements from any witnesses (the police should handle the statements)
A qualified personal injury attorney will always advise against talking to the insurance company without legal representation. An experienced lawyer can help you:
- Establish liability by preserving evidence and interviewing witnesses
- Ensure you have insurance matters in order so that you receive proper medical care and repair or replacement of your vehicle
- Help you understand the law, including statutes of limitations
- Collect necessary medical records and help you properly document injuries, helping you receive full compensation
- Ensure you receive the compensation to which you are rightfully entitled
- Negotiate a settlement that takes into account all future medical and financial needs
Uninsured Drivers and Underinsured Drivers
When your vehicle has been severely damaged in an accident, you assume that your insurance company or the other driver’s insurance company will cover the damage. But what happens if the other driver doesn’t have a valid insurance policy or doesn’t have enough insurance?
With an estimated 1 in 7 drivers being uninsured, you need to protect yourself. Even more drivers are underinsured, meaning they carry some coverage but not enough.
It’s important to hire an experienced lawyer who has worked on cases involving uninsured and underinsured drivers before. Often, uninsured and underinsured drivers don’t have a lot assets, meaning that even if you win the lawsuit, recovering damages may be difficult.
West Virginia Car Insurance Coverage
Liability and uninsured motorist coverage are two insurance coverages that are required in the State of West Virginia.
If a motorist is found to be driving without these coverages, there are consequences.
There are other types of insurance that a motorist could get to help protect him or her financially.
Commons types of other car insurance include underinsured motorist coverage, medical payments, comprehensive, collision and towing and labor.
- Underinsured Motorist Coverage will help protect you, the occupants of your car and your car, itself, in case you are involved in an accident caused by someone else who has some insurance, but not enough to cover all your damages. This is extremely important coverage, and it must be offered to an insured by the insurance company. If it is not properly offered, this violates the law, and underinsured motorist coverage could exist under the policy, even if it wasn’t purchased. Because this is very complicated, please see a lawyer for more details.
- Medical Payments will help pay for medical and funeral expenses that are a result of car accidents, for whomever is driving the insured car at the time, as well as any passengers.
- Comprehensive will help pay for damages to a motorist’s car that are not a result of a car accident such as vandalism, fire, hail, etc.
- Collision will help pay for damages to a motorist’s car from a traffic accident, which was the fault of the owner.
- Towing and Labor will help pay for roadside assistance in the event that a motorist’s car breaks down on the road or is involved in a wreck.
Once the different types of insurance are understood for what they are, what they cover and what they don’t cover, a policyholder is more likely to make an intelligent decision about insurance purchases. But there are many, many examples of where well-meaning policyholders buy the wrong coverages simply because they don’t understand what they are doing. And why should they? Not everyone is an insurance expert.
Distracted Driving Dangers
Distracted drivers not only put themselves at risk, but also everyone else on the road. Distracted driving can be very dangerous and can lead to terrible accidents. The consequences of distracted driving can range from minor vehicle damage to a totaled car and devastating injuries or possible fatalities.
Thousands of fatalities occur each year as a result of distracted driving, according to the Department of Transportation and distraction.gov, the official US website dedicated to distracted driving. Drivers are twice as likely to crash if they’re texting while driving than if they were paying attention.
Car crashes are the leading cause of death among teenagers, and studies have found that teenage drivers are especially tempted to use their phone to snap photos or text from the driver’s seat.
Talking to your child about the importance of being completely focused while driving is key. Reiterate that a few seconds of distraction can result in a terrible accident.
Many states have laws against distractions while driving, for example, texting and talking on a handheld cell phone while driving. By not doing these things, you are are making the road a safer place and not putting anyone at risk.
Using Cell Phones While Driving
From teenagers to parents, people are using their cellphones while driving. One in every four crashes involve someone using a phone. Unfortunately, texting is the most common form of distracted driving.
Don’t be a statistic. Your cell phone can actually combat distracted driving.
We outline four applications that one can use for a phone that can combat distracted driving. From rewarding users with points, limited calling and texting functions to making the phone voice activated–one of these apps could work for you or your loved ones: