Negligence is a huge part of any personal injury claim. You need to demonstrate that the other party’s negligence led to your injuries in some way in order to make a successful claim for your related medical bills, lost wages and more.
A West Virginia court will award compensation based on the evidence and the severity of your injuries. Under this state’s modified comparative negligence law, you must show that the other party is 50% or more responsible for your injuries to collect any damages. In addition, your compensation will be reduced according to whatever percentage of fault for the accident is assigned to you.
What sorts of things can help you establish negligence and fault after a wreck? Consider these:
Evidence from the accident scene
You can obtain some of the most crucial evidence for your case from the scene of the accident. Such evidence may include:
- Visual evidence from the accident scene, including photos of skid marks, the positions of the vehicles and so on
- Photos of the traffic situation, weather and general road conditions
- Eye witness statements from passengers and bystanders who witnessed the wreck
When the police respond to the accident scene, they will likely conduct a preliminary investigation and write a report on the circumstances of the accident. A police report can provide an unbiased third-party overview of the accident and help you argue your case during the trial. You can also ask the law enforcement officer who wrote the report to testify on your behalf during the trial. If the other driver was cited for their mistake, that also supports your claim.
Sometimes, you may need expert testimony to support your case. For example, multi-car wrecks often need the testimony of an accident reconstruction expert to show what order collisions occurred and who was struck first, second and afterward.
If you’ve been injured in a car wreck or another accident, don’t try to guess what you need to make your case. Experienced guidance can help you assert your legal rights.