West Virginia is a fault state, meaning that the driver at fault is the one whose insurance pays in the event of a car accident. So in a rear-end collision, the driver who rear-ended someone is generally at fault. If you are receiving a settlement amount from an insurance company, how do you know if it's fair?
Here's how to tell.
- Total your special damages. Special damages are also known as economic losses. What have you paid for rehab, medical care, medications and other costs related to the accident?
- Total your lost income. Lost income includes time away from work as the result of the accident, even if you've been covered by sick time or vacation time. You wouldn't have had to use your time if you hadn't been in an accident, so that's a cost to you.
- Total your general damages. General damages include pain and suffering, and are an attempt to recoup intangible losses as the result of your accident. The general guideline for figuring these is to multiply between one and five times your special damages.
Add these totals together to get a ballpark figure for your settlement. If the insurance adjuster is offering you less, you need to counter with an offer that is in the range of these totals. If the insurance company says that number is too high, you may need to obtain documentation from your health professionals backing up your claim. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you get the right documentation and negotiate your claim.
At Bouchillon, Crossan & Colburn, L.C., our attorneys have more than 40 years dedicated to giving clients the attention, advice, support and empowerment they need to effectively meet their goals. We are committed to the principle that all persons shall have equal justice under the law. If you or a loved one has been injured and is seeking a qualified personal injury attorney, contact our Huntington, West Virginia office to speak with an attorney about your case, or call 304-523-8451.