If you are looking for a Personal Injury Lawyer in Charleston West Virginia to fight your case, Miller Luzier, PLLC is here to help. At Miller Luzier PLLC we understand that going through a personal injury is a stressful time. Our personal injury lawyers will assist you in dealing with insurance companies and making a claim for your personal injury and fight your case. Our law firm has a proven track record of helping our clients fight their personal injury cases and receive the rightful compensation they deserve for their accidents.
About Personal Injury Cases
Personal injury cases often begin as a claim against an insurance company or the entity of the party accused of wrongful action. Oftentimes the other party will have their own attorney or even a team of attorneys to represent them. If the two sides are unable to settle out of court, the injured person will have to take civil action in the form of a personal injury complaint.
Personal injury law serves as a way to provide financial compensation for people injured through the actions or negligence of another party. The plaintiff is the person who has suffered from physical, emotional, or psychological injury or a combination of the above. The defendant is the person or organization accused of misconduct.
Personal Injury Claims Covered by West Virginia Law
Cases of negligence account for the greatest number of personal injury claims in West Virginia. In order to prove negligence, a plaintiff has to first demonstrate that the defendant broke the law or behaved in a faulty manner and second that the defendant’s actions resulted in damage to the plaintiff.
Many negligence cases involve the following:
- Motor Vehicle Accidents
- Motorcycle Accidents
- Automobile Accidents
- Commercial Vehicle Accidents
- Slip and Fall Accidents
- Trip and Fall Accidents
- Wrongful Death
For example, in motor vehicle crash cases, driving faster than the speed limit or failing to obey road signs may serve as proof of negligence that has caused damage to the plaintiff. In cases of work injuries, the plaintiff might have to prove that the employer did not comply with specific safety standards.
Personal injury claims will not be as straightforward and every case is unique and may present its own challenges. Rest assured that our personal injury lawyers stay up to date with the latest trends in personal injury law cases and utilize a wide range of legal strategies to fight your case to get the compensation you deserve!
Intentional torts refer to personal injury cases involving malevolent actions such as battery and assault. In these cases, the accused party may also face criminal prosecution.
The West Virginia statute of limitations imposes a shorter time limit on filing an intentional tort claim than a negligence claim, so the plaintiff will typically need to take legal action sooner.
Financial Compensation for Personal Injury Claims
Financial compensation for personal injury claims has two main goals:
1. Enable the wrongfully injured party to recover damages from the defendant
2. Discourage future misconduct and thus protect the community
As one may infer, compensatory damages compensate the plaintiff for the harm they suffered because of the defendant’s actions. Compensatory damages typically take into account loss of wages or reduced earning capacity, medical expenses, damage to the plaintiff’s health, reduced life expectancy, and psychological harm.
Sometimes, the court may award the plaintiff punitive damages as well as compensatory damages. This usually happens when the defendant is found guilty of gross, willful misconduct that puts human life or safety in jeopardy.
Punitive damages fall under a different category and are present to distinguish the wrongful deed as excessively heinous.
Many plaintiffs will realize that all cases relating to personal injury will not have this type of damage present within the overall matter. The aspect of punitive damages is not typical because the jury will not regularly find that the defendant should suffer further damages.
The plaintiff must show significant evidence to the jury that the defendant went above and beyond to create massive loss to the plaintiff with their actions.
What types of cases may see punitive damages? Examples of cases that would see punitive damages include those that entail extreme recklessness, like accidents that happen while one driver was under the influence of drugs and alcohol. Individuals may also see punitive damages appear in a situation where cases revolve around criminal assault.
Punitive damages are present to add another form of chastisement or retribution. The jury awards this type of damage to ensure that they make a statement when dealing with the defendant's actions. They are expressing that the defendant was undoubtedly wrong in the matter and should negate these actions in the future.
It is essential to note here that states can limit the portion of money a plaintiff can obtain for losses sustained in a personal injury lawsuit. West Virginia has its respective laws regarding the damage cap present on punitive damages.
While all states do not follow or implement this aspect of the law, states that implement it ensure to limit specific categories of damages and tend to do so in particular claims.
Again, West Virginia does ensure to place a limit with regard to punitive damages.
What is the West Virginia Punitive Damage Limit?
The state has been able to make several changes on punitive damages over the past decade. Many individuals may not know that the state did not limit punitive damages at one point in time.
The state made sure to delegate these aspects to the jury. They felt that it was best for the jury to look at it on a case by case basis and make up their minds when it came to assessing and stating punitive damages.
West Virginia took this approach because individuals present on a jury would have access to all of the details within a particular case and would know how to look at the situation and appropriately come to a reasonable conclusion. The expectation was that the jury would mete out justice with a firm, but steady hand as they looked at the losses sustained combined with the context of the defendant's actions.
The state decided to go in a different direction in 2015 and made a change to West Virginia’s Code 29 to place a limit on these damages. At the present moment, the punitive damages are up to $500,000 or 4 times the number of compensation.
The West Virginia legislature may have been looking toward previous Supreme Court cases that created a difference in state courts and punitive damages, adding more discretion to the punitive damage awards.
Were You Injured? Contact a Charleston WV Personal Injury Lawyer
Do you believe you have suffered a personal injury through another person's negligence? Are you wondering what your legal options are? If you have been injured in an accident, contact an experienced Charleston Personal Injury Lawyer without delay to learn about your rights, possible courses of action, and time limitations.
Contact us today for a consultation. At Miller Luzier PLLC our personal injury lawyers will work on your behalf during this stressful time to defend your rights under West Virginia Law. Our law firm has offices in Charleston and Morgantown, West Virginia. We look forward to working with you and getting you the justice you deserve for your personal injury!
GET IN TOUCH WITH OUR CHARLESTON, WV OFFICE
Contact our Charleston, WV office by calling 304-566-9818. We’re available Monday through Friday and by appointment on weekends:
|Mon||8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m|
|Tue||8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m|
|Wed||8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m|
|Thu||8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m|
|Fri||8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m|
|Sat||After hours and weekends by appointment|
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We look forward to representing your interests.