Car and truck wrecks can be life-altering events. If you have been in a car wreck, you may be entitled to receive compensation for the injuries and lost wages that the negligent driver caused you. Here are three common questions we get from car wreck victims:
1) I was hit from behind and didn’t think I needed to go to the hospital at the time, but when I got home, I felt severe pain and discomfort in my neck and spine. What should I do?
Let us start by stating that we are not licensed physicians and this is not medical advice. Likewise, we suggest that you go seek medical attention from a licensed physician that can make a proper diagnosis of your medical condition. You may have whiplash or some other type of injury that does not always manifest immediately at the time of the accident like a broken bone or laceration would. Quite often, when your spine (neck, upper back, mid-back, lower lumbar) receives a violent jolt, your body’s natural defense is to absorb the energy by stretching. The immediate stretch isn’t usually painful. However, when the body begins to heal, the pain sets in.
So don’t ignore the pain or just believe that it will get better on its own. Go to a physician who can get you on a proper treatment plan. Make sure that you don’t compound your injury by ignoring it.
If you are worried about the medical bills or whether insurance (either your health insurance, state insurance, or the other driver’s auto insurance) will deny your claim and refuse to pay for the doctor visits, then don’t. Just call us at Wolfe, White & Associates 304-245-9097 and ask for Steven. We have been protecting injury victims by making sure big insurance pays for the benefits that you are owed.
2) I was a passenger in a car that was in an accident, am I still covered?
Most likely you are covered. If you were a passenger in the car that was not at fault, then you are most likely covered under either or both drivers’ insurance policies (Car 1 and Car 2). Additionally, if you were a passenger in the car that was at fault, you are still most likely covered (Car 2). In the rare circumstance that neither driver has insurance (which is illegal and may subject the drivers to criminal prosecution) then you may be able to make a claim under your own insurance policy.
As you can tell from our short answer above, it can be complicated. If you were the passenger in a car wreck and have made a claim to insurance, but are getting the run-around, then call us. Call 304-245-9097 and ask to speak with an attorney. We will set you an appointment for a free consultation to come in and speak with us about your injury case.
3) I have had to miss work (or have been fired) because I was in a car wreck. What does that mean for my claim? And what are my “damages” in my claim?
In most cases, if you have lost the ability to earn wages from your job due to the injury you received in a car wreck or truck wreck, then you can make a claim for the “lost wages” as part of the damages or compensation. This figure is added to the medical bills in most cases in a category of damages at trial called “special damages.” Special damages are the damages that you are allowed to ask a jury to award you specifically. So if your lost wages, medical bills, surgery bills, prescription medications, physical therapy, and hospital bills add up to “X”, then you may permissibly show that number to the jury and ask for that number specifically to be awarded as the compensatory damages.
Anything above that “X” figure the jury awards must be for “general damages” such as pain and suffering, annoyance and inconvenience, terror, emotional distress, aggravation, and mental anguish. Another category of damages is “punitive” or “exemplary” damages. These are rare and are meant to punish and/or deter the specific kind of conduct engaged in by the Defendant. Punitive damages require willful, wanton, malicious, or grossly negligent conduct. Entire treatises have been written on “damages” including “punitive damages.”
We represent car and truck wreck victims in Logan, West Virginia, Oceana, West Virginia, Matewan, West Virginia, Williamson, West Virginia, Madison, West Virginia, Gilbert, West Virginia, Man, West Virginia, Chapmanville, West Virginia, Harts, West Virginia and many places in between.
Steven S. Wolfe, Esq.