Home Vehicle Accidents How is Compensation Determined in a Car Accident Lawsuit in West Virginia?

How is Compensation Determined in a Car Accident Lawsuit in West Virginia?

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The victim’s attorney can also argue for less tangible damages that are tied to things like physical pain, mental suffering, and trauma associated with a collision.


When a crash happens, the victim will want to bring a car accident lawsuit to receive compensation for their injuries and other losses. West Virginia and other states have various laws that apply in these situations and affect how the victim may be paid and what kinds of compensation that they can ask for. In negligence cases, these types of compensation are referred to as damages. Anyone who needs specific advice about the damages available in their case should get legal advice from a West Virginia accident lawyer. 

What are damages?

Damages are the actual losses that a plaintiff can prove during their lawsuit. Damages are also the final element of negligence that the victim must show if they want to receive compensation. This means that the plaintiff must have some kind of evidence of losses to back up their claims. In most situations, victims of negligent drivers should be aware that their damages tend to increase with the severity of their accident and resulting injuries. 

Compensatory damages

A victim can ask for economic recovery for their proven losses. This will normally include things like property damage and repairs, medical treatment and recovery costs, lost income and wages, and other financial problems tied to their accident. In serious accident cases, the person’s medical bills alone can be substantial and a serious financial burden. 

Non-economic damages

The victim’s attorney can also argue for less tangible damages that are tied to things like physical pain, mental suffering, and trauma associated with a collision. These are normally called pain and suffering damages or non-economic damages. While the attorney has room to argue, an injury that causes physical pain, or other problems like permanent disabilities, disfigurement, and mental trauma can result in large amounts of compensation.

Woman in pain; image by Matteo Vistocco, via Unsplash.com.

Punitive damages

Although less common than the other types of damages, it is possible that a defendant may be forced to pay the victim as a form of punishment. When this happens, the judge will allow a punitive damage award because the defendant engaged in some kind of reckless behavior or willful misconduct. In car accident cases, this normally happens with drunk driving accidents. West Virginia law limits the amount of punitive damages that can be collected at the greater amount of $500,000 or four times compensatory damages. 

West Virginia auto accident attorneys

There are local lawyers available who assist clients in the state of West Virginia with all kinds of motor vehicle accident cases. Kaufman and McPherson is a trusted local resource for anyone who needs legal advice.



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