Car Accident Lawyers in Charleston, WV
Driving cars is part of almost everyone’s daily life, and despite your best efforts to be a safe driver, you may, unfortunately, find yourself the victim of a car accident. Over 2.5 million people are injured in motor vehicle crashes each year in the United States. Oftentimes the consequences of a car crash can reach farther than just personal injury, but into financial hardship as well.
If you or a loved one has been in a car accident, contact our Charleston, WV car accident lawyers at Kaufman & McPherson PLLC today to find out if you are entitled to financial compensation. While money can never erase the effects of an accident, compensation can greatly alleviate the strain of paying for the aftermath of a crash.
How Can a Charleston, WV Accident Attorney Help?
Hiring our law firm to help you with your car accident case can make the difference between receiving a small and ultimately inadequate settlement from an insurance company and receiving substantial compensation that covers all the costs of the car accident.
For instance, you are entitled to seek compensation for medical bills long-term medical treatment, or therapy if necessary, and in the worst-case scenario, the end-of-life bills of a loved one who has been killed in a car accident.
Additionally, you may be compensated for intangible losses, such as loss of income or loss of ability to earn future income, pain and suffering, emotional and psychological distress, loss of enjoyment of life, and loss of consortium. Here is where our personal injury lawyers can help you live a regular life despite your accident.
When it comes to your insurance claims, your insurance company will not reimburse you for most of these damages, so you should contact a car accident attorney as soon as possible after a car accident, and certainly before making any statements or saying anything that could be construed as an admission the fault driver. We will also help you work out the best deal with your insurance adjusters.
Why Choose Kaufman & McPherson?
At Kaufman & McPherson, our Charleston attorneys have years of experience handling car and personal injury cases and a success rate to prove it. We have helped car accident victims secure compensation after all different types of car crashes. Additionally, we offer free consultations and case evaluations and all of our cases are handled on a contingency fee basis, which means that you do not have to pay anything unless we win the case for you.
Our attorneys have taken on all sorts of entities in car accident cases, including:
- Government agencies
- Insurance companies
- Automobile manufacturers
- Other drivers
- Commercial vehicle companies
If you’ve been in a car crash and experienced serious injuries, wrongful death, brain injury, broken bones, property damage, or required medical attention don’t wait. Get in touch with our law offices today in order to secure the highest amount of compensation possible for your hardship.
Charleston, WV Car Accident Lawyers
We are happy to assist you over the phone at (304) 842-4300 or you can contact us anytime online. We will get in touch with you as soon as possible to set up your free case review and advise you on how to handle the immediate aftermath of your car accident.
Charleston, WV Auto Accident Statistics
Looking specifically at our capital city of Charleston, let’s now dive into some statistics about car accidents. In 2016, there were eight fatalities from eight different crashes within the city limits, which was an increase from seven fatalities in 2015. Of the eight fatalities in 2016, seven of them were male, and four of the fatal accidents involved alcohol. I-77 and US-60 were the deadliest roadways, with two fatalities apiece in 2016. However, in 2017 there were seven fatal accidents but none of them involved alcohol.
Strangely enough, from 1975 to 2017, the month of November has by far the fewest car accidents with an average of nine, whereas all other months range from 18 to 26 accidents on average. Saturday evenings have proven to be the most dangerous time of the week, with the most accidents recorded during that time in the same data period of 1975 to 2017.
The year 2000 was a particularly bad year for fatal accidents in West Virginia specifically with more than 30, which far outstripped the surrounding years as well as the state average at the time. Fortunately, the average remains much lower than that at present levels.
Most Common Crash Types in Charleston
Car accidents can happen in many different ways, and the severity of the crash and the related injuries is often directly correlated with the nature of the accident as well as the speed at which the involved vehicles were traveling. Other contributing factors include whether the occupants of the involved vehicles were wearing seatbelts at the time of the crash and what size and type of vehicles were involved.
Fortunately, we at Kaufman & McPherson have experience handling all types of accidents. A few of the most common types of accidents in West Virginia are:
Head-on collisions occur when two vehicles that are moving towards one another crash directly into each other. This type of accident, fortunately, does not happen with extreme frequency, but the consequences can be particularly devastating because of the compounded force of the two vehicles moving in opposite directions. Head-ons collisions result all too often in fatalities.
A rear-end accident happens when the front of one car collides with the back of another vehicle. This usually happens when the second vehicle is following too close to the car in front and the following driver is unable to stop or slow in time when the front driver stops or slows. A rear-end accident at a slow speed can be a minor incident, but high-speed rear-end accidents can be very dangerous and even fatal. Almost 500,000 people are injured in rear-end accidents each year across the United States.
T-bone collisions (also called broadside or side-angle collisions) occur when the front of one car strikes the side of another car in a perpendicular fashion. These types of motor vehicle accidents are very dangerous for occupants sitting on the side of the car that is struck by the other vehicle since structural protection and safety features are minimal in that part of most vehicles. Your car also has a greater chance to roll over in this type of accident.
A sideswipe accident is when the side of one vehicle collides with the side of another vehicle, often as the result of a driver drifting out of their lane or changing lanes without adequately checking their mirrors and blind spots. As isolated incidents, sideswipe accidents are often not critical, but unfortunately, they can cause chain reactions of disastrous events, especially when the accident happens at high speeds.
Chain Reaction Crashes
Speaking of chain reactions, these types of crashes involve more than two vehicles. They usually start as a collision between two vehicles, but the force of that collision causes the involved vehicles to hit other vehicles around them which compounds the damage and severity of the crash. On a freeway, a chain reaction crash can involve several or in some cases even dozens of vehicles, which can also be called a pileup accident.
Single Vehicle Accidents
In a single-vehicle accident, one car hits a non-vehicle obstacle or the driver loses control so severely that the vehicle flips or rolls. Examples of non-vehicle obstacles include medians, guardrails, utility poles, wildlife, and even pedestrians or bicyclists. Single vehicle accidents account for more than half of all motor vehicle crashes throughout the nation.
The 7 Most Common Causes of Car Accidents in Charleston, WV
Most car accidents in West Virginia are caused by human error, although there are some crashes that are caused by vehicle malfunctions or defective parts. Here are some of the most common causes of car accidents in West Virginia:
Speeding is the most common and generally one of the deadliest causes of accidents. The faster a driver is going, the less time they have to see and react to obstacles on the roadway, other drivers, and traffic slowdowns. It is also much easier to lose control of a vehicle when one is driving at high speeds and it increases a vehicle’s stopping distance significantly.
Additionally, speeding does not only mean exceeding the posted speed limit – it can also mean driving too fast for the current road conditions. For example, if the highway is icy, driving at the posted limit of 60 miles per hour would be much too fast for safety. Excessive speed also reduces the effectiveness of vehicle safety features like seat belts, airbags, and so forth.
2) Distracted Driving
There are three different ways to be distracted while driving: visual distraction, or something that takes the driver’s eyes from the road; cognitive distraction, or something that takes the driver’s attention from the task of driving; and manual distraction, or something that causes the driver to remove their hands from the wheel. Texting is a particularly serious driving distraction since it involves all three types.
Other potentially distracting activities include eating or drinking, using the stereo or GPS, interacting with passengers in the vehicle, other cell phone usage besides texting, and looking at distractions along the roadway, like wildlife, billboards, other vehicles, or a previous crash.
3) Alcohol Impairment
Throughout the country, there are roughly 10,000 fatalities every year as a result of drunk driving. All of the skills necessary for safe driving – quick response time, the ability and coordination to steer and brake, the ability to track moving objects visually – are greatly impeded by alcohol intoxication. Drunk drivers are one of the leading causes and most avoidable causes of death.
4) Fatigued Driving
Driving while fatigued or drowsy can be almost as bad as driving while drunk. The worst-case scenario of falling asleep at the wheel is a primary cause of both head-on collisions as well as single-vehicle accidents since it usually results in the vehicle leaving its lane of travel.
5) Confusion or Getting Lost
When drivers realize they have made a mistake like missing their turn or some other navigational error, they often become flustered which makes them more prone to making additional mistakes in an attempt to correct their first one. For instance, a driver who nearly misses their exit on the freeway may veer through lanes of traffic without adequately checking their mirrors, causing an accident. Lost drivers are also more prone to turning the wrong way onto one-way streets and are often further distracted by attempting to use their GPS to orient themselves.
6) Defective Car Parts
Car manufacturers occasionally do make mistakes, and a failed part may be the cause of an accident. Or, they can make an unrelated accident more severe, such as if a seatbelt breaks in the course of a crash.
7) Lack of Maintenance
Vehicles that are not regularly maintained can become quite dangerous. One of the biggest concerns is tire blowouts, which can cause devastating single-vehicle accidents or massive freeway pileups. Tire blowouts can also startle other drivers nearby because of the usually loud noise, which can cause them to overreact and cause secondary accidents. Other maintenance concerns that could potentially cause accidents include bald tires that cause a driver to lose traction and skid, unaddressed engine problems that cause a sudden lack of power while driving and dangerously low brake pads which can cause a driver to not be able to stop in time.
Driver Error and Vehicle Crashes
As we’ve outlined above, driver error is overwhelmingly the cause of most car accidents. If someone else’s error caused a crash that you were involved in, you can certainly hold them responsible for their actions and seek recompense. If the driver is properly insured, their insurance company will generally be the one paying out compensation on their behalf.
Important Statistics About Distracted Driving
In 2018, 2,841 people were killed by distracted driving across the nation. That number included 1,730 drivers, 605 passengers, 400 pedestrians, and 77 bicyclists. Even just to check a text message, a driver’s eyes may be averted from the road for five or more seconds, which, when traveling at highway speeds is equivalent to driving the length of a football field with one’s eyes closed. Driving requires one’s full attention, and any non-driving activity that takes a driver’s eyes from the road may have devastating consequences for the driver themselves, their passengers, and the people around them.
Free Legal Advice & Case Evaluation
If you have been involved in a car wreck involving another motorist don’t get bullied or intimidated by insurance companies out of getting your settlement – contact Kaufman & McPherson PLLC today for a free consultation and legal advice today!