West Virginia Trial Lawyers


Free Consultation

Charleston Car Accident Lawyer

Charleston Car Accident Lawyer

With a population of almost 49,100, Charleston is the bustling capital of West Virginia, located at the confluence of the Elk and Kanawha rivers. Due to the convergence of many interstates and highways, expansive suburbs, and the nearby West Virginia International Yeager Airport, it’s no wonder that our historical city sees its fair share of vehicle collisions.

On December 21, 2023 alone, four motorists were killed on U.S. 119 (Corridor G) during an 8-hour period in Kanawha County and nearby Boone and Lincoln Counties.

If you or a loved one has been hurt or killed in a crash, especially due to the actions of another driver, you have legal recourse available. A qualified Charleston car accident lawyer from Hendrickson & Long, PLLC, will look at your case and discuss your best next steps.

Vehicle Wrecks Our Office Handles

Vehicle crashes often happen in the blink of an eye, often with little to no time to react, and what makes these accidents all the more dangerous in Charleston is the range of drivers and vehicles on the road at any given time.

In addition to collisions involving smaller cars, our attorneys have experience in handling a variety of other wrecks.

With multiple major highways like I-79, I-77, and I-64 crisscrossing through Kanawha County, truck accidents are more likely to occur. Large trucks, such as 18-wheelers, delivery vans, box trucks, construction vehicles, and more, travel these highways, transporting goods within the city and across the country or working on interstate improvement.

The rolling hills and beautiful vistas around Charleston make for excellent road trips, but winding roads with blind curves can often lead to unexpected incidents. Motorcycle accidents are on the rise, with data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) showing 38 motorcycle fatalities in West Virginia in 2020.

What You Should Do After an Accident

Any vehicle collision, no matter how minor, can be a jarring and traumatizing experience. You may be confused or emotional and not know what you’re supposed to do. In the immediate aftermath of your involvement in a car accident, try to remember these basic steps:

  • Call the police: Even if there are no visible injuries, it’s always a good idea to call 911 to the scene of an accident. They will help direct traffic if damaged cars are blocking the road and will make a report of the accident, which you may need later when you begin your claim.
  • Get information: Collect contact and insurance information from the other driver(s) involved in the accident, as well as the contact information for any witnesses who may be on the scene.
  • Collect evidence: Take as many pictures and video of the scene and the vehicles involved as you can, both before and after the accident is cleared by emergency personnel.
  • Seek medical attention: Get checked out by a doctor as soon as you can. Even if you think you are unhurt, many injuries don’t present themselves on the outside or until a later time. It’s always a good idea to see a medical professional after any crash you are involved in.
  • Contact Hendrickson & Long, PLLC: Call our office and talk to our esteemed lawyers about your case so that we can start the process of your claim as soon as possible and handle all the legal details of your case so that you don’t have another thing to worry about.

We know how stressful a car accident can be, but trust that our lawyers are always here to help you.

Understanding Fault and Responsibility

West Virginia, just like every other state, has its own unique set of laws regarding car accidents, insurance, and how to determine fault after a crash.

We are in an “at-fault” or “tort” state, meaning that if the other driver is found to be at fault, they are responsible for the damages and injuries that occurred due to their actions. The at-fault driver’s insurance will cover the costs of repairs, injuries, or other damages the victims have experienced.

West Virginia is also a “shared fault” state. This means that if it can be proven that the actions of both or multiple drivers contributed to the accident, everyone who was involved may be held partially responsible. Being partially at fault does not prevent any injured party from pursuing compensation, which leads us to comparative negligence.

What Is Comparative Negligence?

Also called comparative fault, comparative negligence is a rule that allows individuals to file a personal injury claim, even if they share fault for the accident that caused their injuries. Under the comparative negligence rule, it doesn’t matter what percentage of the fault has been assigned to you.

As long as you share fault, you can file a claim for damages.

However, in our Mountain State, we have a modified comparative fault rule, which restricts the filing of a claim depending on the percentage of fault you have been assigned. If you are involved in a vehicle collision, have shared fault, and can prove that you were less than 51% responsible for the crash, you can still claim compensation.

But, your awarded compensation will be reduced by the percentage of fault assigned to you.

For example, if you are found to be 30% at fault for the accident, your total recovery amount will be reduced by 30%, meaning that you will only receive 70% of the compensation you might have otherwise received.

How Much Compensation Should You Expect?

Most lawyers will tell their clients that there’s no real way to know exactly how much compensation you may receive from your car accident case. And that’s true because every case is different and an estimated payout depends on if you share fault in the crash.

What your attorney can tell you is what type of damages you may be awarded compensation for, based on common damages in previous cases. These are generally broken down into two categories:

Economic Damages

Economic damages are awarded to accident victims to assist with the financial burdens they face after their crash. These could be any or all of the following:

  • Medical bills (including doctor’s visits, prescriptions, surgeries, etc.)
  • Lost wages (current and future)
  • Therapy or rehabilitation
  • Long-term treatment or in-home nursing assistance (if the victim is now disabled)
  • Property damage
  • Funeral and burial expenses

In the event that someone you know was killed either during the accident or later on due to injuries they suffered, you may be able to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit, which your Charleston car accident lawyer can discuss with you.

Noneconomic Damages

Noneconomic damages are awarded to accident victims to help with any unexpected life changes or trauma they experience due to the crash, different than economic in that it may not be as easy to pinpoint their monetary value. Those are:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Scarring or disfigurement
  • Emotional distress
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Loss of quality of life
  • Loss of consortium

Because noneconomic damages may be trickier to assess, it’s best to have a skilled lawyer on your side to fight for the most compensation possible.

Why You Should Hire an Attorney

Attempting to handle a car accident claim on your own can be a daunting task. There are so many nuanced laws and rules, not to mention filing deadlines, also known as the statute of limitations.

In West Virginia, the statute of limitations for car accident cases is two years from the date the accident occurred. Your lawyer will know this and also will be very familiar with state accident laws and what information is needed to strengthen your case.

If you’ve been involved in a vehicle collision, even if you may have some percentage of responsibility, don’t try to fight for your case alone. Reach out to our office either online or by phone and talk to a Charleston car accident lawyer today.

Our lawyers at Hendrickson & Long, PLLC, have the necessary skills to get you the best possible outcome for your case and the most compensation the law will allow.

Free Consultations


Call us or fill out the form on the right to tell us about your potential case. An attorney will get back to you as quickly as possible.