West Virginia Fatal Car Accident Lawyer
The award-winning lawyers at Warner Law Offices, PLLC, have served clients for over 20 years in and near West Virginia. Our legal specialties include car accidents, trucking accidents, and motorcycle accidents. Combining compassionate service with extensive legal expertise, our attorneys work hard to be the best lawyers around. If a loved one was injured or killed in a crash, you can find a trusted West Virginia fatal car accident lawyer at Warner Law Offices.
Losing a loved one in a car accident is a trauma that affects your life forever. On top of the financial impact and tumultuous emotions of a fatal car accident’s aftermath, legal recourse can feel like an insurmountable obstacle.
If you have recently lost a loved one in a car crash, we want to express our deepest condolences for your loss. At Warner Law Offices, we believe that no family should have to endure the grief and trauma of a fatal accident alone.
Our attorneys and staff dedicate themselves to streamlining the legal process and fighting for our clients. Contact us and share your experience with our empathetic team and we will patiently help you through the next steps.
How Can a Fatal Accident Attorney at Warner Law Offices Help?
Serving the state of West Virginia and surrounding areas for more than 20 years, the fatal accident attorneys at Warner Law Offices are well-versed in representing the families of victims who have died in car crashes. We have unmatched expertise in wrongful death suits stemming from car accidents, including those caused by distracted or drunk driving and more. In addition, we are widely known as trusted, compassionate legal partners for families during such a difficult time.
Our Clients Come First
Considered a highly recommendable firm and “phenomenal” lawyers in our reviews, we are there day and night for our clients. We know that taking the first step to seek legal help after a tragedy can be nerve-wracking, and our attorneys and staff work to ease every step of the legal process for you. Combining skillful and strategic litigation with values-based relationship building, we are a legal team every client can trust.
Our Accolades Demonstrate Excellence
With our attorneys included in West Virginia SuperLawyers® for multiple consecutive years, our dedication to being the best for our clients defines the firm. We have been listed as a Newsweek Top Premier Law Firm, and are included in both The National Trial Lawyers Top 100 Trial Lawyers and America’s Top 100 Attorneys, among other awards.
This proven track record of hard work and excellence is a reflection of our continual emphasis on providing exceptional service to clients.
We’ve Won Millions for Our Clients
While every case is different, our attorneys have achieved notable multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements for clients through diligent, skillful representation. Top results for our clients include the following:
- $13 million in an auto accident case
- $12 million for an injured worker
- $9 million in a wrongful death lawsuit
- $7 million for a work injury
What Are the Causes of Fatal Car Accidents?
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has found that three main behaviors lead to traffic accident fatalities. They are the following:
- Speeding: More than 11,000 fatal crashes involved at least one driver charged with speeding or police documentation of racing in 2020, up 17 percent from the previous year.
- Drinking and Driving: Accidents in which at least one driver had a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 or above caused more than 11,500 accidents in 2020, up 14 percent from 2019.
- No Seatbelt: Fatalities involving one or both drivers not wearing their seatbelts rose 14 percent from 2019 to 2020, playing a role in almost 11,000 deaths.
Out of almost 36,000 fatal crashes in the U.S. in 2020, more than half involved at least one of these three behaviors. More than 1,500 fatal crashes involved all three behaviors.
Car Accident Lawsuits Versus Wrongful Death Lawsuits
If you seek legal recourse for a loved one’s death from an accident caused by another driver’s negligence, you may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit in civil court. While typical non-fatal car accident lawsuits focus on physical, emotional, and economic damages to the victim, a wrongful death suit focuses on the economic and emotional effects on the surviving family members.West Virginia Code, Sec. 55-7-6 specifies the damages available in a wrongful death lawsuit. These include sorrow and mental anguish, funeral expenses, and economic losses for dependents of the deceased. The court or jury also decides how these damages will be distributed among multiple representatives of the family involved in the lawsuit, such as spouses, children, siblings, and dependent parents.
Types of Compensation for a Fatal Car Accident
Every case is unique, and the amount of damages each client can receive varies greatly depending on the circumstances. However, the types of compensation that the surviving loved ones of a car crash victim may collect include the following:
- Victim’s medical expenses
- Funeral expenses
- Vehicle repair costs
- Lost wages and loss of future projected earnings the victim would have provided to surviving dependents
- Loss of the services, care, assistance, and protection the victim provided to their loved ones
- Emotional distress experienced by the victim‘s loved ones
- Loss of companionship and guidance for the victim’s loved ones
While it’s rare to receive punitive damages in a car-accident-related wrongful death case, it’s possible in cases involving drunk driving or other intentional and egregious acts.
To receive damages, your attorney must prove through a preponderance of evidence that the other driver was at fault for the accident. That means that negligence by the defendant was more likely than not to have caused your loved one’s death.
West Virginia is a comparative fault state. Thus, you can recover damages even if your loved one’s behavior partially contributed to the cause of the accident, as long as they were not more than 50 percent to blame. Damages will be reduced in proportion to your loved one’s share of the blame. For example, if your loved one shared half the blame for the accident, the total damages recoverable are reduced by 50 percent.
What is the West Virginia Statute of Limitations for Wrongful Death Lawsuits?
West Virginia imposes a deadline for filing a wrongful death lawsuit, called the statute of limitations. That deadline is generally two years from the date of death.
However, preparing a wrongful death lawsuit takes time. Two years can go by faster than you think. Additionally, the evidence becomes more difficult to obtain the longer you wait. We encourage you to contact us as soon as possible so we can build a strong case and preserve vital evidence.
Fight for Justice With the Attorneys at Warner Law Offices
The untimely loss of a loved one in an automobile accident is a tragedy no one should have to face. At Warner Law Offices, PLLC, we know a lawsuit and compensation will not even begin to fill the void left by losing your loved one. However, seeking justice and holding the responsible party accountable for their actions is still important. That can help make West Virginia’s roads safer and perhaps prevent others from going through a tragic loss like you are experiencing.
If your loved one died on a West Virginia road because of someone else’s negligence, the award-winning lawyers at Warner Law Offices, PLLC, will fight for your family. Work with our experienced legal team to get the closure you deserve.
We represent clients across West Virginia and surrounding areas, providing compassionate client service and relentless advocacy in and out of the courtroom.