For society to function in an orderly manner, people need to act with a certain amount of responsibility not only for themselves but for others. Laws are in place to assure that as people go about their business they look out for each other so that everyone can remain safe from unreasonable dangers. When people fail to act in a reasonable manner and someone gets hurt as a result, the law says that the injured party may be compensated by the party that caused the injury.
Most injuries people experience are not intended by those who inflict them. Accidents will happen. Insurance is the primary way people cover themselves in case they become responsible for injuries to others. Most personal injury claims initially start with an insurance company. If a settlement can be reached with the insurance company, the claim ends there. If a settlement cannot be reached then a lawsuit may be filed and a jury will resolve the matter. It is preferable to settle a claim prior to going to court and most claims are settled before trial. Having the right attorney on your side can help your claim settle faster and with better results.
At Salango Law, PLLC, our Charleston personal injury attorneys are trusted advocates for those who have been injured and need help seeking compensation. We represent clients in matters of personal injury in West Virginia with over 50 years of collective legal experience.
Why Salango Law Is the Best Choice to Handle Your Personal Injury Claim
We have built our reputation on serving our community and being excellent at what we do.
- We are committed to getting you what you want – we understand your situation is unique and we take our responsibility to you seriously
- You always get our best efforts – we will use every resource available to get you the absolute best outcome
- We’ve been very successful on behalf of our clients – we have been able to collect over $100,000,000 on behalf of our clients
Charleston Personal Injury Resources & FAQs
- How a Charleston Personal Injury Attorney Will Help You Get the Best Recovery
- Types of Personal Injury Claims in West Virginia
- When to Make Your Charleston Personal Injury Claim
- You Can Still Recover if You Have Some Responsibility for Your Injuries
- Compensation Available In a Charleston Personal Injury Claim
- How is Fault Determined in Charleston Personal Injury Claims?
- Steps to Take After an Injury in Charleston Occurs
- Time Limit for Filing a Personal Injury Claim in Charleston
- Will Your Charleston Personal Injury Claim go to Trial?
- Affording a Personal Injury Lawyer in Charleston
How a Charleston Personal Injury Attorney Will Help You Get the Best Recovery
Generally speaking, the more serious your accident and injuries, the greater your need for the expertise of an attorney to make sure you receive fair compensation for all of your losses. An attorney experienced in handling the type of personal injury that you have suffered will know how that injury is likely to affect you and the kinds of compensation you are entitled to. A personal injury attorney is familiar with insurance contracts and the settlement process and will be able to effectively negotiate with insurance companies to get you greater benefits.
Types of Personal Injury Claims in West Virginia
Personal injuries in West Virginia are similar to those that occur elsewhere. Injuries result from motor vehicle accidents, failed medical treatments, workplace mishaps, and when those entrusted with the responsibility to care for vulnerable persons fail to protect them. One injury exposure somewhat unique to West Virginia is the state’s coal mining industry. West Virginia produces more coal from underground sources than any other state. Coal mining is dangerous work and injuries that occur can be severe.
Salango Law represents clients injured in certain types of accidents and who have experienced specific kinds of injuries.
- Motor vehicle:
- car accident
- motorcycle accident
- truck accident
- school bus accident
- Workplace – on the job
- Medical malpractice
- Coal mining
- Heavy machinery
- Nursing home abuse in Charleston
- Spinal cord injuries
- Brain injuries
- Birth injuries
- Wrongful death
When to Make Your Charleston Personal Injury Claim
For almost all types of injury claims, there is a specific time period you have in which to make your claim. It is important to consult an accident attorney so that you know the timeframe you have to exercise your rights. Most personal injury claims must be made within 2 years of the date the injuries occurred or were discovered.
You Can Still Recover if You Have Some Responsibility for Your Injuries
In West Virginia, if your responsibility for causing your injuries is 50% or less, you may recover the percentage of your losses that you did not cause. If you are 25% at fault, you may be compensated for 75% of your injuries. A good attorney will help you minimize any responsibility you might have for causing your injuries so your recovery is as large as possible.
Compensation Available In a Charleston Personal Injury Claim
You are allowed to be compensated for both the economic and non-economic consequences of your injuries. Economic compensation will be for specific amounts that have to be paid or that can be calculated with reasonable certainty. Non-economic damages are to compensate you for the unfortunate experience of being injured and how it has and will affect you. You may receive punitive damages not to compensate you but to punish the person who injured you.
- Medical expenses – including future
- Lost wages/income – including future
- Property damage
- Pain & suffering
- Mental anguish
- Diminished quality of life
- Loss of ability to contribute to a close personal relationship
In Charleston medical malpractice cases, non-economic damages are limited to $250,000 except when death or permanent injury occurs, the cap is $500,000 – adjusted for inflation.
Punitive damages can be awarded by a court and only in cases when the person responsible for causing your injuries has acted particularly badly – with an intention more evil than simply making an error in judgment. If punitive damages are awarded they are limited to 4 times the amount of the other damages you were awarded or $500,000 – whichever is greater.
How is Fault Determined in These Claims?
Determining fault after an injury occurs can be challenging, but the number one step is to gather as much evidence as possible. No two personal injury cases are exactly alike, and the types of evidence used to determine liability will vary depending on each particular situation. For example, the types of evidence needed to prove fault after a vehicle accident in Charleston, West Virginia, will look entirely different from the types of evidence needed to prove a slip and fall claim.
At Salango Law, PLLC, our team has extensive experience gathering the evidence needed to prove liability to insurance carriers or to a personal injury jury. This can include:
- Photographs taken at the scene of an incident
- Video surveillance of the injury incident
- Statements from any eyewitnesses
- Police or accident reports
- Vehicle “black box” data
- Mobile device data
- Company safety records
- Company training records
- Driver history records
- Vehicle inspection records
The entire goal of personal injury claims is to show that the other party (the defendant) was negligent in some way and that this negligence caused the injury. If necessary, an attorney will work with trusted investigators and accident reconstruction experts who can help determine fault in these cases.
Steps to Take After an Injury Occurs
There are various steps that you can take right after an injury occurs to help ensure that you have the best chance of recovering maximum compensation for your losses. This includes:
- Seeking medical care. You need to go to a doctor as soon as possible. Not only will this help ensure your well-being, but establishing a solid link between the injury and the incident is crucial for insurance carriers and a personal injury jury to see.
- Reporting the incident. Depending on the situation, you need to report the incident to the appropriate authorities. This could include property owners for premises liability claims or the police for vehicle accidents.
- Gathering evidence. If you are able to do so at the scene of an incident, you can begin gathering as much evidence as possible. We always suggest using a phone to take photographs of everything you see, including damages, injuries, causes of the injury, and more. If there were any eyewitnesses, please get their names and contact information.
- Calling an attorney. If you think your injury was caused by the negligence of another party, reach out to a skilled personal injury attorney in Charleston as soon as possible. An attorney can step in and get to work gathering all evidence and contacting other parties.
- Contacting an insurance carrier. If there is an insurance claim to be made, you need to at least report the incident to the insurance carrier within a day. You do not have to go into much detail when it comes to these initial claims, but they do need to know the incident occurred.
- Continuing medical care. We recommend that you continue all medical care until a doctor says you have reached maximum medical improvement. Discontinuing care could jeopardize your claim.
We understand that following all these steps in this exact order may not be possible in the immediate aftermath of an injury occurring. However, we encourage you to complete as many of these steps as possible and as promptly as possible to help ensure that you recover full compensation for your losses.
Time Limit for Filing a Personal Injury Claim in Charleston
It is very important that you file your personal injury claim as soon as possible. Overall, the personal injury statute of limitations in West Virginia is two years from the date an injury occurs. Failing to file a lawsuit within this two-year timeframe will likely result in you being unable to recover the compensation you are entitled to.
For personal injury claims involving insurance carriers, you must file your claim with the carrier as soon as possible. For example, vehicle insurance carriers typically have mandatory reporting deadlines, often within a day or two after the accident occurs. Failing to file a claim with the insurance carrier quickly could result in a claim delay or denial.
Will Your Charleston Personal Injury Claim go to Trial?
The vast majority of personal injury claims are resolved through settlements with insurance carriers in Charleston, West Virginia. If your case is resolved through an insurance settlement, this means that you will not have to go to trial. However, if the insurance carriers or at-fault party involved in the case refuse to offer a fair settlement or if they deny the claim altogether, then it may be necessary to file hey personal injury lawsuit in civil court.
When a personal injury lawsuit gets filed, this officially enters the court system but does not necessarily mean that your case will go to trial. There is an extensive process involved in these claims before a case reaches that point. In fact, most personal injury lawsuits that get filed are still resolved before they go before a jury. However, the time frame for how long it takes to resolve these claims will increase when a lawsuit gets filed. We strongly suggest that you work with your personal injury lawyer in Charleston who can help walk you through the benefits of settling a claim versus the benefits of filing a personal injury lawsuit. There is always a balance that has to be taken between expediency and the desire to secure maximum compensation for your losses.
Affording a Personal Injury Lawyer in Charleston
Affording a personal injury attorney can seem like a daunting task, but the team at Salango Law, PLLC has your back. We handle Charleston, West Virginia, personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis. This means that our clients will not have to worry about paying any legal fees until after we recover the compensation they need. There will be no upfront or out-of-pocket costs to contend with as you work to hold the at-fault party responsible for their actions.
Contact Our Charleston Personal Injury Lawyers
If you are looking for help making a claim for a personal injury you have suffered, Salango Law, PLLC is ready to assist. Our Charleston personal injury lawyers are compassionate counselors and ruthless advocates. We are the partner you can trust during this difficult time to protect your rights and pursue the best possible recovery for your injuries. We invite you to schedule a free consultation to discuss your claim with one of our personal injury attorneys. Click here to contact us or call us at (304) 342-0512.