In West Virginia, drivers must buy liability coverage in case they injure someone else or cause property damage to another person's vehicle or possessions. The minimum coverage requirements are 25/40/10, which means $25,000 per person and $40,000 per accident in bodily injury liability coverage and $10,000 per accident in property damage coverage. Drivers also have to buy uninsured motorist coverage, just in case they become involved in a collision with a driver who has failed to buy the required minimum liability insurance. There are no additional coverage requirements, although motorists can chose to buy things like collision insurance so they have some coverage in case they cause an accident.
It is important for every driver to understand how insurance works and to understand how to report car accidents so they can maximize their chances of an adequate recovery. Knowing how to report a car accident can be complicated and you may wish to seek professional legal advice, especially in situations where you believe the other driver was responsible for causing your crash and thus should be responsible for compensating you for losses.
An experienced West Virginia car accident attorney should always be consulted in the wake of a collision that causes serious or fatal injuries. Consumers should rely upon neither the at-fault's insurance company, nor their own insurance carrier.
Reporting Your Car Accident
After a collision, the first thing you should do is make sure no one is hurt. If anyone has sustained serious injuries or anyone has died in the motor vehicle accident, calling 911 should be your first priority. Calling the emergency number will get EMTs out to you to try to save lives. Police should come to the crash scene as well, to write up a formal accident report.
If no one has sustained serious injuries, contact the non-emergency number of the police to report the crash. A law enforcement officer should be sent out to prepare an accident report. The officer may also issue tickets if the officer believes a driver broke traffic laws in a manner leading to the crash. You may need this accident report later on if you want to recover compensation from the other driver and the driver is not honest about how the accident happened.
When possible, you should call your insurance company from the location of the crash or as soon as practical after the accident. Your auto insurer should generally have someone available to initiate a claim at any time day or night. A claims adjuster should be assigned to you, and will be your contact person throughout the process of resolving your accident claim. You may be asked to submit information in writing to your insurer about the crash and about your injuries or losses. Be cautious about what you say or write down so you do not jeopardize your right to accident compensation.
The other driver(s) involved in the crash with you have the responsibility to provide notice to their own insurers. You may be in contact with their insurance companies if you are seeking to obtain compensation for your losses from their insurance provider. The other driver's insurer should pay for economic and non-financial damages in the event the covered policyholder was responsible for causing the motor vehicle accident to occur. However, it is important not to say or do anything to harm your case until speaking to an experienced personal injury law firm.