Learn More on Accident Claim Matters in West Virginia and Ohio
Many people ask us, “How long do I have to file an accident claim in WV or OH?” Throughout the Parkersburg region, a number of residents and businesses seek legal help for accident claims. If you are involved in an accident matter in West Virginia or Ohio, the state limits the amount of time you have to file your accident claim. Let’s take a few minutes to learn more about accident claim matters. What should you do in the event of an accident? What is the statute of limitations? And how does one file an accident claim with the courts in West Virginia and Ohio?
An accident matter could involve several different scenarios. One of the primary types that comes to mind is an automobile accident. A one-vehicle accident alone might cause damage to the driver, passengers, parts of the vehicle, and more. In a crash situation, depending on the severity of a roll-over or violence of the impact, injured people may require emergency assistance. If a truck or other commercial vehicle is one of those in the accident, additional concerns may apply, such as a roadway hazard. There are also work or job-related accidents that can cause personal injury or even death.
Transportation and material moving occupations and construction and extraction occupations had the highest number of workplace fatalities with 20 and 18, respectively. The majority of the fatalities within the transportation and material moving group were heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers (15). In the construction and extraction group, extraction workers accounted for seven fatal injuries, followed by construction trades workers with five fatalities.
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What to Do If An Accident Occurs
In the event of an accident matter in West Virginia or Ohio, one of the first things to do is to write down information. In the most immediate moments following an accident, the primary concern must be the safety of those involved. When making emergency calls for an ambulance or to loved ones, take time to record as much information as possible.
You may be hurt or feel overwhelmed right after an accident occurs. An accident victim could easily forget or be unaware of the sequence of events and other details in the hurry to seek aid. As much as possible, have the presence of mind to make notes. You might take photos of the scene, people, paperwork, conditions, or other important facts.
If you are too injured or unable to make notes, ask if someone else nearby might do it for you. There may be bystanders who can help describe what happened. Be sure to get their name and phone number. Make a report with the police to further document the severity of what took place. Be sure to mention such things as the damages or other circumstances surrounding the incident.
Recording important information after an accident enables you to speak with others with more assurance. You can give critical information to the police, insurance investigators, or your attorney. In fact, speaking with an attorney after an accident is another good idea.
Consult With a Local Attorney About the Accident
Another proactive step you can take is to speak with a lawyer. Consulting with a local attorney about the accident, especially if you have severe injuries, can help begin the healing and recovery process. Depending on the circumstances surrounding the incident, you may have many questions to ask someone with an active knowledge of the law.
- Who takes care of my hospital/doctor/therapy bills?
- Can I get workers comp for the time I may be out of work due to injury?
- Who pays for towing or repairing the damages to my vehicle?
- Can my employer be liable for the unsafe working condition that caused my accident?
- Am I responsible for property damage after my vehicle hit my neighbor’s house?
- My passenger suffered multiple injuries—will the truck company pay for their recovery?
For these questions and more, persons injured in an accident must seek to protect their rights. When injury occurs, establishing liability can be the key to receiving compensation or recovering damages. There are steps to take in filing a legal claim after an accident. These may include dealing with several types of agencies or insurance companies.
Much of the paperwork involved with filing an accident claim may appear straightforward. However, it is best to have a local lawyer advise you of what is proper. There are certain limits and restrictions on who to notify and when.
Statute of Limitations, or the Time Limit, for Filing an Accident Claim
Next comes the important part—making sure to file your accident claim in a timely manner. The definition of ‘timely’ may mean different things to different people. To the courts in West Virginia and Ohio, where parties may file accident claims in the Parkersburg area, both states maintain similar statutes of limitations.
For those who may not be familiar with the term, a ‘statute of limitations’ means the prescribed time limit for filing a claim. In both West Virginia and Ohio, this time limit is two years. This means someone hurt in an accident ten years ago is unable to file an accident claim.
Knowing there is a certain amount of time in which to file an accident claim makes record keeping even more critical. Having accurate information about the accident, the parties involved, and any potential witnesses will be a huge help. Having a police report, or records from an ambulance ride, hospital, or other medical records will also add proof. Reports of damages to vehicles or property, photos, and videos can be added evidence of conditions.
While many people involved in an accident seek to file a claim right away, a knowledgeable local attorney can advise you on other aspects. Seek an lawyer based on their experience, knowledge of the local court system, key players, and more. Working with an attorney may bring your claim greater success than attempting to file an accident claim on your own.
How to File an Accident Claim in West Virginia or Ohio
The attorneys and staff at Summers & Associates are here for area residents and businesses. During the COVID-19 health emergency, area courts and offices have additional safety limitations in place. If there can be any good news after an accident, it is that you do not have to go through filing a claim alone. Working with a local law firm is an effective first step in filing an accident claim in West Virginia or Ohio.
Summers & Associates serves residents and businesses in the Parkersburg region. If you or someone you know has been in an accident, remind them that they only have two years to file under the statute of limitations. Our office stands ready to consult with you and answer any questions you may have specific to your accident matter, so call or contact us today.
Summers & Associates is a law firm serving clients in the region of Parkersburg, West Virginia, for personal injury, criminal, and family law matters. Call our office today at (304) 420-0975, or contact us anytime via live chat on our website.