At Desai Law, the experienced Morgantown auto collision attorneys excel in obtaining rightful financial restitution and protecting the well-being of clients who have endured personal harm as a result of vehicular incidents.
Morgantown, West Virginia, a lively college town with about 130,000 residents, hosts West Virginia State University, Mountaineer Field, WVU Coliseum, and various popular events such as the All-American Grand Bash, Mountain Fest Motorcycle Rally, Cupcake and Beer Fest, Monongalia County Fair, Wine and Jazz Festival, and Country Festival.
However, the influx of students and visitors leads to a surge in car accidents, endangering drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians due to others’ negligence.
In these scenarios, it is crucial for victims to seek medical attention and promptly consult a Morgantown car accident lawyer, like the empathetic attorneys at Desai Law, PLLC.
They can support clients with insurance claims, identifying responsible parties, and filing lawsuits, if required, to secure rightful compensation.
Don’t hesitate to seek assistance for your Morgantown car accident case.
- How Many Car Accidents Happen in Morgantown? – Find Out from Our Car Accident Attorneys
- Advice from Our Auto Accident Lawyers on What to Do After an Accident
- What Are Common Accident Injuries?
- Morgantown Car Accident FAQs
- When should you contact our Morgantown car accident attorneys?
- Areas Our Car Accident Lawyers Serve
- Contact Desai Law, PLLC
A multi-vehicle accident on I-68 near the Pierpoint Road exit resulted in the deaths of two people in Morgantown. The accident occurred when a vehicle allegedly entered the eastbound lanes while driving the wrong direction. The Chrysler 300 reportedly sideswiped an SUV before striking another vehicle head-on. A fourth vehicle was also involved. The driver of the vehicle that was sideswiped was ejected and died at the scene. The wrong-way driver in the Chrysler was transported to the hospital, where she later died of her injuries.
As horrific as the accident was, serious car accidents are actually not an uncommon occurrence in Morgantown and beyond. Nationally, around 143 million Americans commute each day, resulting in the deaths of around 40,000 people each year and injuries to hundreds of thousands more, necessitating qualified car accident lawyers.
In recent years West Virginia had 304 traffic fatalities and 1,063 serious traffic injuries. An older study showed that West Virginia saw 20.56 deaths per 100,000 people, compared to 12.38 deaths per 100,000 people nationwide. The vehicle miles traveled fatality rate was also higher in West Virginia during that time, with 1.89 fatalities per 100 million VMT compared to 1.27 fatalities per 100 million VMT for the nation. At the time of the study, Kanawha had the highest number of fatalities with 8.2 percent, while Monongalia had 4.2 percent.
Of the 55 counties in West Virginia, Monongalia—where Morgantown is situated—came in with fourth for the highest number of traffic accident fatalities. Berkeley, Raleigh, and Kanawha ranked third through first, respectively.
All West Virginia Traffic Fatalities
Your actions after an accident may depend on your injuries. If all you can do is call first responders, then do that—don’t assume that someone else will call. If able, check on other drivers, pedestrians or cyclists involved. If you can safely move without causing harm, take pictures of the accident scene. Be sure to get photos from all angles.
Get the contact information, driver’s license and registration information, and insurance information for anyone involved in the accident. Finally, get the contact information for any witnesses who saw the accident. Once the police release you, contact your insurance company to let them know your name, along with the date, time, and location of the accident.
Do not give the insurance company any other information other than your Morgantown car crash attorney’s contact information. The representative may try to twist your words in an attempt to later deny your claim or to justify a low-ball offer.
Remember, insurance companies are in business to make money. Any claim they have to pay out reduces their bottom line, so they will usually try to pay the least amount possible. If they think they can get away with denying your claim, they will do it. Don’t bother playing their game: Refer any insurers to your Morgantown car wreck lawyer as soon as possible.
The injuries you could suffer from a Morgantown car accident vary widely and depend greatly on the circumstances of the accident.
As our Morgantown car accident lawyers note, injuries could include:
- Bruises, cuts, and scrapes
- Road rash
- Strained, sprained, torn, or pulled muscles and other soft tissue injuries
- Simple and/or compound fractures
- Head, neck, and shoulder injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Back and spinal cord injuries
What Are Recoverable Damages?
West Virginia allows you to recover three types of damages: economic, non-economic, and punitive damages. The court orders the defendant to pay economic and non-economic damages in an attempt to make you whole again. If the court awards punitive damages, it does so as a punishment against the defendant, and only when the defendant’s actions were grossly negligent or intentionally malicious.
What Are Economic Damages?
Special damages, or economic damages, have a specific monetary value to them. The court orders the defendant to pay economic damages to reimburse you for any out-of-pocket expenses you have that are related to the accident.
Economic damages include:
- Past and future medical expenses, including expenses for ambulatory aids and accessibility modifications for homes and cars
- Past and future cognitive, physical, and psychological therapies
- Past and future lost wages
- Replacement and/or repair of destroyed or damaged property
- Funeral and burial expenses
What Are Non-Economic Damages?
General damages, or non-economic damages, do not have a specific value. The court also orders the defendant to pay non-economic damages to make you whole again. Although no amount of money can remove long-term or permanent disabilities caused by Morgantown car accident injuries, nor can it bring a loved one back, the money does go a long way in reducing financial stress and promoting a return to normalcy with the help of auto accident lawyers.
Non-economic damages often include:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of use of a body part
- Loss of use of a bodily function
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of consortium
Generally, the court only awards non-economic damages if you have long-term or permanent disabilities due to your Morgantown car accident injuries. Additionally, you might win non-economic damages when the car accident injuries exacerbate pre-existing disabilities. The Social Security Administration defines a long-term disability as one that doctors expect to last at least 12 months or to result in your death.
What Are Punitive Damages?
The court typically only awards punitive damages if the defendant’s actions were intentionally malicious or grossly negligent. Additionally, West Virginia caps punitive damages. Consult your Morgantown car accident lawyer to learn more about what damages might apply in your case.
Knowing the difference between an ‘accident’ vs. a ‘collision’
Under West Virginia law, the difference between an “accident” and a “collision” is significant. The term “accident” is often used to describe an unfortunate event that was beyond anyone’s control.
But if someone’s negligent conduct caused the collision and resulted in serious personal injuries, it’s crucial not to refer to it as an “accident.” Instead, the term “collision” should be used to indicate that a tragedy could have been prevented if there had been an exercise of proper diligence and due care.
Additionally, referring to a collision as an “accident” can limit legal liability and might reduce the chances of receiving compensation for damages.
Thus, this distinction is incredibly useful in high-traffic areas around the state, where residents are constantly exposed to road hazards and possibly negligent drivers.
In fact, the latest report from the Governor’s Highway Safety Program showed the trends in West Virginia’s “accidental” deaths, which include:
- Drivers whose blood alcohol content exceeded the legal limit (0.08) accounted for an estimated 28% of all recorded deaths;
- Speeding caused almost 22% of motor vehicle accidents.
What causes the most common car ‘accidents’ in West Virginia
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that around 40,000 people died in motor vehicle traffic crashes in 2020, a 7.2% increase from the year before that. This number is the most traffic fatalities since 2007.
There are a variety of reasons why car accidents happen in the state. It’s important to know that certain causes can be particularly dangerous, resulting in serious injuries or even death.
Based on the latest statistics, let’s take a closer look at the factors that contribute to these devastating outcomes:
According to the state’s Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV), over the last five years, 24% of the state’s total vehicle fatalities were alcohol-related.
To be considered “legally drunk” in West Virginia, non-commercial drivers that are 21 years old or more should have their blood alcohol level at .08 or more.
On the other hand, commercial drivers are considered “legally drunk” when their blood alcohol level is .04 percent or greater. This includes school bus drivers.
Meanwhile, underaged drivers, specifically those who are below 21 years old, are “legally drunk” when their blood alcohol level is at .02 or more.
Speeding is a major contributor to traffic fatalities and injuries. The National Safety Council revealed that in 2021, it was responsible for 29% of all traffic fatalities, claiming the lives of 12,330 people, or an average of over 33 fatalities per day.
The council said the impact of speeding on crashes can be explained by how it affects the driver, the vehicle, and the road. When drivers speed excessively, they have less time to react in dangerous situations, which can increase the likelihood of a crash.
It also increases the stopping distance of the vehicle, making it harder to avoid an accident, as well as reducing the ability of road safety structures to protect the passengers.
Distracted driving refers to any activity that shifts your focus away from driving, such as using your phone to talk or text, eating and drinking, chatting with passengers, fiddling with the stereo or navigation system, or anything else that takes your mind off the road ahead.
The latest NHTSA report on distracted driving said that almost 4,000 people died in 2021 because of it. And despite the fact that using cell phones while driving has been prohibited in West Virginia since 2012, it’s still causing a significant number of injuries and fatalities every year in the state.
And out of all these distractions, texting is by far the most concerning. The NHTSA said that when you read or send a text message, your eyes are off the road for a full 5 seconds, which is like driving the entire length of a football field while blindfolded.
We handle all car accident cases
At Desai Law, we understand that being involved in a car accident can be a traumatic experience, both physically and emotionally. We strive to provide our clients with the best service and will fight tirelessly to ensure they receive adequate compensation.
That’s why we make it our mission to provide exceptional legal representation for those who have been injured in car accidents, including:
Broken bones resulting from a collision
The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons said that broken bones, or what’s medically known as “fractures,” are caused by a traumatic event such as a motor vehicle collision.
This is especially burdensome since these injuries are very painful and may prevent a person from moving the injured area.
Additionally, a renowned-private clinic explained that when you’re riding a car at 45 mph, it isn’t only the car moving at that speed, your body is too.
And during a car accident, you continue to move forward at a speed of 45 mph even when the dashboard and seats in front of you have already stopped.
The clinic further explained that upon collision, you’re hitting the other vehicle at a speed greater than 40 mph, which can cause significant damage to your body. This is why impact is one of the leading causes of broken bones in car accidents.
Death from Collisions
Aside from broken bones, the most devastating and absolutely irreversible consequence of a collision is death. The emotional toll is compounded by the financial and practical difficulties that arise from the sudden loss of a family member.
Our team of personal injury lawyers understands the pain and trauma that follows a fatal collision, and we are here to help the family of the victim.
Our lawyers will investigate the cause of the collision and gather evidence to determine who was responsible. We understand that no amount of money can bring back a loved one, but we believe that the responsible party should be held accountable for their actions.
We pursue all available avenues of compensation on behalf of the victim’s family, including medical expenses, funeral costs, lost income, and damages for pain and suffering.
Our goal is to ensure that the victim’s family receives the justice they deserve and the financial support they need during this difficult time.
Drunk Driving (DUI) Collisions
According to a report from the state’s DMV, in 2022, there were almost 5,000 cases of DUI across all counties in West Virginia, holding it as one of the most common causes of injuries in car accidents and collisions.
And suffering because of a reckless and careless DUI driver can be a traumatic experience for victims and their families. Not only do they have to deal with the physical injuries resulting from the crash, but they also have to deal with the emotional and financial aftermath.
Because of the nature of the incident, these collisions can cause significant damage to property, and victims may have to pay for costly medical treatments and rehabilitation.
If you’ve been in a car accident and suffered foot injuries, you know firsthand how it can impact your daily life. The severity of the injuries can vary depending on the force of the collision and how your feet were positioned at impact.
Common injuries include fractures, sprains, and strains, which can lead to symptoms like pain, swelling, and difficulty walking or bearing weight.
In severe cases, you may even experience a loss of mobility. Recovering from these injuries can be a long and painful process, often involving physical therapy, surgery, and extended periods of rest.
Unfortunately, in some cases, these injuries can lead to lifelong complications that impact your ability to work and enjoy your daily activities.
One of the most dangerous types of car accidents is the head-on collision. It happens when two vehicles, traveling in opposite directions, collide.
The impact can create a significant force that can lead to severe injuries or even fatalities. Traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, broken bones, and internal injuries are some of the common injuries resulting from such crashes, which usually occur at high speeds.
Head-on collisions can be caused by various reasons, such as drunk driving, distracted driving, reckless driving, or failing to observe traffic laws.
If you become a victim of such an accident, you may be eligible for compensation covering medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. To ensure that you get the deserved compensation, it’s crucial to seek legal assistance from a personal injury attorney.
Multi-vehicle collisions, which are also known as pile-ups, involve three or more cars and can be extremely hazardous, leading to severe injuries or even death.
Much like head-on collisions, the impact can cause various injuries, including traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, broken bones, and internal injuries.
Poor weather conditions, distracted driving, speeding, or following too closely are some of the factors that can cause this type of incident.
However, determining who is at fault can be challenging as multiple parties may be responsible. If you or someone you know has been in a multi-vehicle collision, you must contact a personal injury attorney right away.
Parking Lot Accidents
It’s no secret that this type of incident happens frequently, and it can lead to serious property damage, injuries, or even deaths.
This can happen when you’re walking, riding a bike, or finding a place to park your car. While many parking lot accidents are low-speed collisions, they can still result in severe injuries.
However, determining fault can also be complicated, which is why it’s essential to document the accident scene and gather witness statements, as well as any available surveillance footage of the premises.
Car accidents and collisions often result in pelvic injuries, which can range from mild to severe, depending on the force of the impact and the position of the person at the time of the accident.
Some of the common types of pelvic injuries that can occur include fractures, dislocations, and soft tissue injuries. These injuries can cause significant pain, discomfort, and mobility issues and may even lead to long-term complications or permanent disability or death in severe cases.
Don’t hesitate to contact a personal injury attorney to help you recover compensation for your damages and losses.
When two cars collide from the back, it’s called a rear-end accident. This type usually takes place at intersections or in heavy traffic, where one car slows down or comes to a stop, and the other one fails to apply brakes in time.
In most cases, the driver of the trailing car is held responsible. These accidents can cause severe injuries to the head, neck, and spinal cord, and sometimes, they can even lead to wrongful death.
Due to the crash dynamics involved, they often result in whiplash and other soft tissue injuries. Insurance companies usually hesitate to pay claims for such injuries, but with the help of an experienced injury lawyer, you can fight for your claim.
Road Construction Worker Injuries and Death
As a personal injury law firm in West Virginia, we understand the risks that construction workers face while working on roadways. These areas can be highly dangerous because of the existence of heavy machinery, traffic, and other hazards.
Workers may encounter injuries caused by objects falling, moving vehicles, or other accidents. Such incidents may vary from minor bruises to severe head injuries, spinal cord injuries, or even death.
Roll-Over Vehicle Crash
Roll-over crashes occur when a vehicle flips over onto its side or roof, and are known to be highly dangerous, often causing severe injuries or fatalities.
The likelihood of a crash resulting in a roll-over depends on the shape of the vehicle and the speed of the car. These crashes can also be attributed to other factors, such as distracted driving, and overcorrecting the steering wheel.
Shoulder injuries are a common type of injury sustained in car crashes. These injuries can range from mild sprains and strains to more severe injuries such as fractures, dislocations, and tears in the ligaments and tendons.
The force of impact during a car crash can cause the shoulder to jolt or twist in unnatural ways, leading to injuries. Symptoms of shoulder injuries include pain, swelling, stiffness, and limited range of motion.
Sideswipe or Blind Spot Collisions
Sideswipe and blind spot collisions are some of the most common car accidents on the road. These accidents occur when one vehicle collides with the side of another, often due to a driver’s failure to check their blind spot or make a proper lane change.
While sideswipe collisions typically result in property damage, blind spot collisions can lead to serious injuries, including whiplash, broken bones, and spinal cord injuries, or even death.
When a vehicle crashes into the side of another vehicle at a perpendicular angle, it results in a T-bone collision, also known as broadside or side-impact collision. Negligent driving, such as running a red light or failing to yield at an intersection, can cause it.
Unfortunately, this type often leads to serious injuries or deaths, especially for passengers on the side of the vehicle that is hit.
The common injuries involve head and brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, fractures, and internal organ damage. The severity depends on the speed, force, size, and weight of the vehicles involved.
When it comes to T-bone collisions, figuring out who is at fault can be quite difficult, just like with many other types of vehicle accidents. The liability in such cases will largely depend on the specific circumstances of each crash.
Ridesharing Accidents (Lyft or Uber)
Ride-sharing services like Lyft and Uber have definitely revolutionized the way we travel these days. However, it’s essential to acknowledge that they also come with their own set of risks and accidents.
Did you know that the rise in popularity of ridesharing apps and ride-hailing services has resulted in an increase in motor vehicle accidents and fatalities? This is according to a study conducted by the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
According to the researchers, as convenient as these apps are to the public, ridesharing services like Lyft and Uber have contributed to a 3% increase in overall car accident fatalities.
So, in case of an accident, the liability can be complicated. This is because drivers for ride-sharing services are independent contractors in West Virginia, which makes it difficult to determine who is responsible for the accident.
Although, in most cases, the ride-sharing company’s insurance policy will cover damages and injuries caused in an accident. But, if the driver was acting recklessly, they could potentially be held personally accountable.
Thus, it’s crucial to gather evidence at the scene of the accident, including driver and witness statements, contact information, and pictures of the damage.
Contacting an experienced personal injury attorney can help you navigate this complex legal process to ensure your rights are protected.
Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Claims
These are a type of insurance coverage that protects individuals when they are involved in an accident with a driver who does not have enough insurance or no insurance at all.
In this situation, you can file a claim with your own insurance company to cover your damages and medical expenses.
However, filing an uninsured or underinsured motorist claim can be a complex process, and insurance companies may try to deny your claim or offer a lower settlement amount.
That’s why it’s important to work with an experienced personal injury lawyer who can help you figure out the claims process.
Whiplash and Neck Injuries
Car accidents, particularly rear-end collisions, are known to cause whiplash and neck injuries. The jerking motion of the head can result in damage to the delicate tissues in the neck, leading to stiffness, pain, and limited mobility.
A 2020 study has shown that around 900,000 traffic crash-related cervical spine injuries are seen in hospitals in the US annually.
Additionally, the same research said that annual counts of whiplash and spinal disk injuries likely exceed 1.2 million and 33,000 cases nationwide. Victims may also experience headaches, dizziness, memory problems, and nerve damage.
The immediate aftermath of a Morgantown motor vehicle accident can be chaotic and confusing. It is common for individuals involved in a car accident to have questions or feel uncertain as to what steps or actions to take following a car accident.
While your initial focus will likely be to address your injuries and damages, taking the right steps in the moments, days, and weeks following an accident can protect your legal rights and interests to help you seek the compensation you deserve for the damages you have sustained. Start by calling Desai Law’s Morgantown car wreck lawyers.
What actions should you take at the scene of a Morgantown car accident?
Car accident scenes are often messy and hectic.
Knowing what to do in the immediate moments after a car accident can help you be prepared to react in an informed and quick manner.
- Call for emergency medical care if needed – In the seconds following a collision, your immediate attention should be on evaluating whether you, your passengers, or other parties are injured and whether emergency medical services are needed. If you or another party have been seriously injured you must call emergency services for assistance.
- Gather evidence – If you can move around safely and have not suffered a serious injury, then try to collect evidence of the scene as soon as possible. Before moving vehicles out of traffic’s way, take a quick moment to photograph the scene with your mobile phone, and take note of the license plates as well as the makes and models of the vehicles involved.
- Exchange identifying information – In addition to taking down information related to the vehicles involved in the Morgantown car accident, you should also exchange basic information with the other driver, such as driver’s license numbers, insurance information, and passenger names. Try to do the same with any witnesses to the accident. Be aware and careful to not make declarations of fault to the driver or any other parties at the scene. You may not be aware of all the circumstances involved in the accident and stress can skew your perception of what actually occurred.
- Contact law enforcement – It is common for drivers to wonder if it is necessary to contact the police following a Morgantown car accident. The reality is that it is always in your best interest, and in most cases legally required, to contact law enforcement when there is a car accident. Even in circumstances where you may think there are no injuries involved, the reality is that many car accident injuries can often present themselves days or even weeks later. Calling law enforcement to the scene of the accident will allow them to conduct a preliminary investigation that will ultimately lead to an official report of the accident, which can help you seek compensation for your damages.
Should you contact your insurance company if you are involved in a Morgantown car accident?
In most instances, insurance companies require that they be notified of a car accident within a specified time frame. Check your policy information to find out if you have an obligation to inform your own insurance company that an accident has occurred.
While you may have an obligation to notify your own insurance carrier, you typically have no obligation to communicate with the opposing party’s insurance company. Take great care not to make statements or answer questions from the other driver’s insurance company without having first obtained guidance from an experienced car accident injury attorney.
What steps should you take if you were injured in a Morgantown car accident?
If you suffer serious injuries in a car accident, then you will likely be transported by an emergency medical responder to a hospital for further care and evaluation.
If you feel pain or unwell in any way following the accident, but are not taken by ambulance, ask a friend or family member to transport you to the nearest emergency department or urgent care center to seek medical attention.
Oftentimes, the rise in adrenaline combined with stress during and after a motor vehicle collision can mask the symptoms of some of the most common car accident injuries. For that reason, seek medical care within 24 hours after any car accident, even if you think you feel okay.
A doctor can perform simple tests that can spot hidden injuries that could turn deadly if left untreated. Then:
- Follow through with all medical treatments – Make certain that you follow the medical advice and treatment plan provided by the medical professionals charged with your care. Follow up with appointments and rehabilitation to help your recover from your injuries. This protects your health, and also insulates you against claims that you made your car accident injuries worse by not taking care of yourself.
- Document as much as possible – Many individuals involved in a Morgantown car accident think they will remember all of the details surrounding the accident, their injuries, and the statements or actions of the other parties. The more time that passes, however, the easier it becomes to forget details that could be vital to your case. It can help to document your recollection of the events preceding and following the accident, and to share them with your Morgantown car accident attorney as soon as possible.
Contact our auto accident lawyers as soon as you physically can after a car accident. The process of seeking and recovering compensation for your injuries and losses following an accident can feel overwhelming, confusing, and burdensome. Protect your legal rights and best interests by hiring an experienced Morgantown car accident attorney who can represent your interests and build the strongest possible case on your behalf.
Morgantown car accidents can lead to complex lawsuits with many competing interests and parties. Find a qualified and experienced Morgantown car accident attorney to handle your case, while you focus on regaining your quality of life and healing from your injuries. With the assistance of a skilled Morgantown car accident lawyer, you may have the ability to recover significant financial compensation.
At Wagner Desai, our Morgantown car wreck lawyers are dedicated to taking an individualized approach to your case. We are dedicated to serving you 24 hours a day, seven days week, because we know that accidents can take place at any time.
Our team not only operates as auto accident lawyers in Morgantown, West Virginia, but we also serve the surrounding cities in West Virginia including Fairmont, Uniontown, Clarksburg, and Bridgeport. We are also licensed in other areas such as Pennsylvania, Ohio, Maryland, and Washington, D.C.
If you are in any of the cities or states mentioned above and are seeking a car accident attorney, feel free to reach us conveniently by calling or texting the number mentioned below.
While Morgantown is a fantastic place to live, work, and visit, our community is also not immune from the constant risk of injury due to a reckless or irresponsible motorist. The compassionate associates at Desai Law, PLLC are here to ensure no member of the Morgantown community should suffer injury or loss without receiving justice.
If you suffer from car accident injuries or have lost a loved one in a car accident, contact Desai Law, PLLC at or email us through our contact page for a free consultation from one of our car accident attorneys.
Desai Law, PLLC
449 Fortress Blvd
Morgantown, WV 26508