An Overview of Fault Car Insurance in West Virginia

When it comes to car insurance law, states fall into two general categories: “fault” car insurance states and “no-fault” car insurance states.

“No-fault” car insurance states, of which there are a dozen, have laws in which your own car insurance policy pays for your crash-related damages and injuries regardless of who was at fault for the accident. In no-fault states, you may not file a personal injury claim unless your losses exceed a certain amount.

West Virginia is a “fault” car insurance state, in which you can file a third-party car accident claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. Unlike no-fault car insurance states, which limit your options for recovering damages after an accident, fault car insurance states give accident victims three options for filing in the wake of their crash and injury:

  • You can file a car accident and injury claim with your own insurance company. This first-party claim is the best option if you were at fault for your accident, or if no other parties were at fault for your accident.
  • You can file a third-party claim with the insurance company of the at-fault party. This is the best option if you have good evidence that your losses were someone else’s fault. Depending on the circumstances of your accident, you could file a claim against the person driving the car you occupied, a driver of another car involved in the collision, or the employer of the at-fault driver, to name a few.
  • You can file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault party or parties in order to collect compensation for damages. This option may be best if the at-fault driver’s insurance company is denying your claim, delaying your claim, or offering you less than you deserve.

How Do You Determine Fault After a Car Accident?

In order to either file a third-party car insurance claim or to successfully win a personal injury lawsuit, you must clearly prove fault. Determining fault may be very easy, for example, if the other driver openly admits they were in the wrong. However, it can also be very complex if there were multiple vehicles involved, if there were multiple factors at play, or if a commercial vehicle was involved.

Ultimately, determining fault lies with an examination of the evidence, which can include:

  • The official accident report.
  • Images or video of the accident and accident scene.
  • Driver and witness statements.
  • The state of the vehicles and roadway involved.
  • Medical records and bills.

West Virginia Car Insurance Minimum Requirements

Different states have different minimum insurance requirements. In West Virginia, the minimum requirements for every car are:

  • $20,000 per person for their injuries.
  • $40,000 per accident, when more than one person suffers physical injuries.
  • $10,000 per accident for property damage.
  • $20,000 per person for uninsured motorist coverage.
  • $40,000 per accident for uninsured motorist coverage.

Of course, motorists may choose to buy more coverage in case they are involved in a serious accident.

If your car insurance company or a third-party insurance company is refusing to approve your claim or is offering you less compensation than you believe is just, you may wish to speak with a car accident lawyer in West Virginia.