West Virginia Driving Laws: What Do I Need to Know?
Traffic collisions are one of the most stressful events that anyone can experience. When you have been involved in a car accident, it is normal to feel stressed and overwhelmed.
Accident victims usually experience more than just the physical repercussions of their injuries. In fact, many injured people experience mounting medical costs, lost income, and other financial consequences.
You may wonder if you can file a personal injury claim to recover compensation from the person who caused your accident. The good news is that you can pursue financial recovery with the help of a skilled personal injury attorney.
But the laws regarding car accident claims are different in each state. When you need the West Virginia driving laws explained, reach out to the skilled legal team at Morgan & Morgan.
As America’s largest personal injury firm, we are familiar with the driving statutes in every locality, including West Virginia. Having the West Virginia driving laws explained to you will ensure that you fully understand your legal rights and options.
Do not hesitate in the aftermath of a car crash. Reach out to the accomplished legal experts at Morgan & Morgan.
Our firm offers no-cost case evaluations to new clients. Fill out the contact form on our website to arrange your legal consultation today.
West Virginia Driving Laws Explained
There are many driving laws that are unique to West Virginia. But other traffic statutes are similar to other states.
In West Virginia, the Division of Motor Vehicles maintains a point system. This system is intended to identify and track drivers who present a risk to others.
The state keeps ongoing records of residents’ driving conduct. They begin keeping the record after the first date of a moving violation.
These driving records display the nature of each violation and the date that it was committed. Depending on the severity of the violation, different point values are assigned.
If your record contains at least six points, the Division of Motor Vehicles will send a notice of warning. After twelve points, your driver’s license will be suspended.
This type of system can be confusing. If you are facing a license suspension, you may need the West Virginia driving laws explained.
Fortunately, there is a way to decrease the number of points on your license. If you complete a defensive driving course, three points will be removed from your record.
This training class lasts eight hours. Only those with eleven points or fewer are eligible to participate in the defensive driving course, and drivers can only participate once every other year.
Different traffic law violations result in different points. A few examples of pointed violations include:
- Illegally passing a school bus–6 points
- Driving recklessly–6 points
- Hit and run resulting in property damage–6 points
- Fleeing the scene of a crash–4 points
- Failure to yield–3 points
- Passing violations–3 points
- Speeding (5 mph-9 mph over)–2 points
- Failure to use a turn signal–2 points
These are only a few examples of violations that result in points on the driver’s record. When you need other violations of West Virginia driving laws explained, contact a skilled legal professional.
The legal team at Morgan & Morgan has years of experience protecting the interests of West Virginia drivers.
Proving Negligence in West Virginia Car Accident Cases
It is important to have West Virginia driving laws explained in the aftermath of a collision. If another person’s careless or dangerous actions caused you to sustain an injury, you have the right to seek compensation.
A trustworthy personal injury lawyer will collect evidence in your car accident case to fight effectively for you. Most car accident claims in West Virginia revolve around the legal concept of “negligence.”
There are four elements needed to prove negligence in any traffic accident claim:
Duty of Care
To recover compensation, the claimant must show that the at-fault party owed them a duty of care. This is a legal duty to act in a reasonably safe manner.
Drivers have a duty of care to others on the roadways. They have a responsibility to operate their vehicle in a legal and safe way.
Breach of Duty of Care
Another element of negligence is breach of duty. In a successful negligence lawsuit, the plaintiff must prove that the other party breached their duty of care.
In the case of car accidents, this may mean that the at-fault driver operated their vehicle carelessly or recklessly. Making illegal turns or maneuvers counts as a breach of duty.
The relationship between the at-fault driver’s breach of duty and the plaintiff’s damages must be causal. In other words, it must be the case that the liable party’s actions resulted in harm to the claimant.
If something else caused the plaintiff’s damages, then the defendant cannot be shown to be negligent.
Lastly, the plaintiff needs to show that the defendant’s breach of duty resulted in actual harm. If a driver makes a careless maneuver and no one is harmed, they cannot be held liable through a negligence lawsuit.
The state can hold drivers accountable when they violate traffic laws. But no private party can seek financial compensation unless they have suffered actual harm.
Having the West Virginia driving laws explained will help you to understand the viability of your car accident case. To discuss the specifics of your injury claim, reach out to the seasoned legal experts at Morgan & Morgan.
Our West Virginia attorneys know how to recover the money that traffic accident victims need.
Typical Damages in West Virginia Injury Cases
In the aftermath of an accident, you may wonder what types of compensation you can recover through a personal injury claim. The term for monetary payments in a personal injury or accident case is “damages.”
The types of damages you can secure will depend on the unique circumstances of your case. Typically, victims are awarded two types of damages in West Virginia traffic accident cases.
The primary types of damages are “economic” and “non-economic.”
These payments are intended to compensate the injury or accident victim for the direct monetary losses stemming from their collision. Victims usually face more than just the physical and emotional turmoil caused by their injuries.
Mounting financial expenses often follow a car accident. Claimants can seek recovery for these costs.
Some common examples of economic damages include compensation for:
- Repairing or replacing damaged property (including vehicles)
- Lost income and wages due to missed workdays
- Current medical bills and expenses
- Anticipated future medical costs
- Long-term loss of earning capacity
Any type of direct monetary loss can be claimed as economic damages in your personal injury case. When you consult with a knowledgeable attorney at Morgan & Morgan, they will examine the facts of your case thoroughly.
Most injury victims underestimate the total economic damages from their accident. It is important to take everything into account so that you do not agree to an inadequate settlement.
Not every type of loss is financial. Some of the most challenging consequences of an injury are not monetary in nature.
For instance, many injury victims have long-term medical issues. If you have sustained a back injury, you may not be able to sit or stand comfortably.
If you have suffered a traumatic brain injury, you might have problems with cognition or memory. These harms are very real, even though they do not involve the loss of money.
Through a car accident claim, you can seek compensation for these intangible losses. Some of the most typical examples of non-economic damages include:
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional difficulties and stress
- Mental trauma and distress
- Inability to engage in enjoyable activities
- Decrease in quality of life
In some cases, car accident injuries are fatal. When someone is killed in a West Virginia traffic collision, the surviving family can seek compensation through a wrongful death case.
This type of tort claim allows grieving families to recover burial expenses, funeral costs, and more.
No matter what the circumstances of your car accident claim in West Virginia, it is vital to contact a legal expert. Specific driving laws in West Virginia can influence the strength of your case in many ways.
The team at Morgan & Morgan will ensure that you understand the statutes that could influence your claim. When you need the West Virginia driving laws explained after an accident, look no further than the firm of Morgan & Morgan.