The law of personal injury in West Virginia is predominated by the principle of negligence. When one who owes a duty to another negligently causes injury to that person, the injured party is entitled to collect according to the damages provided by state law. Car accidents make up a significant portion of personal injury claims in the state.
The plaintiff in a car accident claim is entitled to collect from the wrongdoer(s) the amount of medical expenses and lost wages incurred. Where there is a permanent disability, either partial or total, the plaintiff can collect the present-day value of his or her losses, computed for the period of his or her remaining life expectancy. Pain and suffering is also an element of basic personal injury damages. Other damages elements are potentially obtainable depending on the facts of the case.
One example of a common car accident is reflected in a lawsuit filed recently by three women and a minor against a man who is alleged to have gone through a red light on westbound U.S. 460. The complaint alleges that the errant driver crashed his car into the one occupied by the plaintiffs. In this case, the proof of negligence will be easier because the investigating officer indicated on the traffic accident report that the man failed to stop at the light.
The plaintiffs have claimed damages for pain, suffering, emotional distress, impairment of ability to do housework, loss of enjoyment of life's pleasures and lost wages. Of course, the main damages claimed on behalf of the minor are mostly for pain and suffering without any lost wages claim. When minors are injured by negligent drivers in West Virginia car accidents, a parent or natural guardian generally files the claim on behalf of the child. The court will examine closely the terms of a settlement on behalf of a minor to assure that the matter has been handled fairly and in the minor's interest.
Source: wvrecord.com, "Three complaints filed against man for car accident", Kyla Asbury, July 11, 2017