Understanding how damages are determined in West Virginia

On Behalf of | Jun 26, 2024 | Personal Injury |

Did you know that where you live can determine what kind of compensation you’re able to seek if you’ve been injured by someone else’s actions or negligence? That’s because state laws vary. 

Let’s take a brief look at personal injury compensation in West Virginia. 

Modified comparative negligence

In many cases – particularly those involving vehicle crashes – one party isn’t solely at fault. West Virginia uses what’s called the 50% Modified Comparative Negligence” rule. This means an injured party can recover compensation as long as that party was no more than 50% at fault.

The percentage of your claim’s value that you can recover will depend on the disparity in fault between you and the other party(ies). Say that your damages are determined to be $50,000. If you’re found to be 50% to blame, you could get no more than $25,000 of that. If you’re only 20% to blame, you’d be entitled to seek $40,000.  

Non-economic and punitive damages

Not all damages are necessarily financial (economic), although these are typically the easiest to prove. Hospital and physical therapy bills and car repair invoices are generally clear evidence. 

West Virginia also recognizes non-economic damages. These are often referred to as “pain and suffering.” They include physical as well as emotional symptoms. They’re more difficult to document, but there are ways to put a dollar figure on them. 

Depending on the circumstances, it may also be possible to seek punitive damages. These are commonly sought if the at-fault party acted out of malice – for example if they intentionally ran into you in a fit of road rage. However, they can also be awarded if someone acted with “reckless and outrageous indifference to the health, safety and welfare of others.”

It’s a lot to think about when victims and their families need to focus on healing. Having experienced legal guidance can help you ensure that you get justice and compensation as you move forward.

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