Front-End Accidents in West Virginia

An accident involving the front-end of your car hitting another vehicle might seem like your fault, especially if you rear-end someone else. However, a front-end accident can occur because of the behavior of another driver, entirely separate from your actions behind the wheel.

You can also suffer serious injuries because of severe car accidents, resulting in legal damages. Here are some of the legal basics of front-end accidents in West Virginia, and our seasoned car accident attorneys can provide in-depth and specific information about how you could recover compensation.

Causes of Front-End Car Accidents

Most people believe the driver whose front-end hits another vehicle is always responsible for any damage and injuries. Tailgating, road rage, and excessive speed by a driver can certainly cause an accident, but head-on crashes can also come from sources other than that driver.

The driver in front—the one whose car gets hit—might be responsible. A driver in front could cause an accident by:

  • Brake checking the driver behind them
  • Stopping short and suddenly
  • Changing lanes quickly without using a turn signal
  • Reversing into a following vehicle
  • Blocking or trying to block a driver from passing
  • Failing to maintain the vehicle—a tire blowout, a broken tail light, or other mechanical issue increasing risk of an accident

A driver who gets hit could also drive while distracted, drive while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or otherwise drive recklessly and cause an accident. If a rear driver in a front-end accident is injured as a result, they could sue for compensation under West Virginia law.

Establishing Liability for a Front-End Accident

West Virginia law puts responsibility on a person who is at fault for the injuries of another, defining “fault” as the actions or lack of action that cause the injury of another person under West Virginia Code § 55-7-13b. Rather than always blaming one driver in an accident, the law allows for investigation of who might have responsibility.

Generally, that responsibility comes from negligence—the behavior of a person that does not live up to the ordinary care that they should have taken. A driver who suffered injuries in a front-end accident would try to show the other driver was negligent in their driving and caused the accident. Showing this fault requires evidence of several elements:

  • The duty of the driver to not harm other drivers and pedestrians
  • Breach of that duty, such as the poor driving
  • Causation of the injuries through that breach
  • The injuries have associated costs, such as for medical treatment and lost wages

Importantly, just because an injured driver can show the fault of another driver in a front-end accident does not mean the injured driver’s own actions do not count.

Comparative Fault

Instead, West Virginia uses a system of comparative fault, which can reduce the damages recoverable by an injured driver. The law allows a judge or jury to assign fault to the injured driver, the allegedly responsible driver, and others, in the form of percentages, and it bars a plaintiff from recovering compensation if their own responsibility exceeds 50 percent.

Not only can an injured driver’s own level of fault decrease their recovery, but the opportunity for filing a lawsuit is restricted. A West Virginia driver injured in a head-on crash has two years from the time of the accident to make a claim, unless special circumstances extend the two-year window.

Learn More From a Head-On Auto Accident Attorney in West Virginia

When you suffered injuries in a front-end accident, you could hold the at-fault driver responsible, even if you hit another car from behind. Having an experienced Personal Injury lawyer can make all the difference in navigating liability, comparative fault, and the statute of limitations.

Discuss your case with Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law and get the answers to any questions you might have about front-end accidents in West Virginia. The consultation is free and you do not pay anything unless we achieve compensation for you.

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Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law

Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law
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