Ralph Young obtains a $5.35 million dollar verdict for our client.

» Read more recent cases

Contact Us Today:

Car crash

Auto Accidents & Personal Injury

Damages in Personal Injury Cases

Every personal injury claim has two basic issues—liability and damages. If you can prove that the defendant is liable for the damages you sustained, then our system of justice will award you monetary compensation for your loss. Such compensation includes lost income, future loss of earning power, and expenses for medical care. It also includes compensation for damages that really have no economic value, such as physical and emotional pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and permanent disability or disfigurement.

Of course, determining damages is an uncertain art, and the defendant usually comes up with a figure at the bottom of the range, while the plaintiff calculates a figure at the top of the range. To settle the case, lawyers will negotiate until they reach a compromise that they can agree on. If the case goes to court, the judge or the jury may take the calculations of both sides into account and consider the testimony of expert witnesses when making a decision on the appropriate amount of damages.

Contact Us

If you have been injured due to the fault of another person, please contact us for a free consultation by filling out our contact form or by calling us at (304) 574-2727. We look forward to hearing from you.

When Are Third Parties Liable for Personal Injuries?

A basic principle of personal injury law is that you may be able to recover money damages if you or your property have been injured by someone’s negligence. But what if the negligent person--let’s say the driver of a taxi that struck you—may not be able to pay the damages?

Vicarious liability is a concept the law has evolved to address this situation. Vicarious means “taking the place of another.” In the case of the cab driver, it means that the taxi company will probably be liable for the actions of its drivers if the injury occurred in the course of business and if there is a connection between the conduct and what the driver was employed to do.

Many may feel that this concept is unfair to employers, which have to insure against this liability. However, the concept is often justified because it helps secure fair compensation for victims, and gives companies every incentive to deter harmful conduct by maintaining high standards and having rigorous training programs and procedures to guard against these risks.

Besides vicarious liability per se, there are many other cases where someone besides the direct perpetrator of the injury may be liable to the victim. In these cases, the question is whether the negligence of the third person may have been a fundamental cause of the injury.

The question of whether third parties will be liable depends on the facts of each case, and your lawyer would be able to provide advice tailored to the specific circumstances.

The following questions will shed some general light on situations involving third party liability.

Contact Us

If you have questions about an auto accident or personal injury case, please contact us for a free consultation by filling out our contact form or by calling us at (304) 574-2727. We look forward to hearing from you.

Does Your Auto Insurance Include Medical Payments Coverage?

Medical payments coverage, commonly known as “med pay”, is an optional coverage which you can purchase with your automobile insurance policy. Medical payments coverage pays, up to the limits of the coverage, medical expenses incurred as a result of a person’s occupancy of the insured motor vehicle. In other words, any medical bill from an injury occurring in the insured automobile is paid without regard to who is at fault. Your medical bills are covered if you are in your vehicle and it is struck by another vehicle as well as injuries in a one vehicle accident, such as running off the road and hitting a telephone pole or even the car door slamming on your fingers.

Medical payments coverage is important even if someone else is at fault in the accident because the “at fault” driver’s insurance company does not have to pay your medical bills as you receive them. The “at fault” insurance company only has to make a full settlement with you after you have completely recovered. So, with med-pay, your medical bills can be paid by your own insurance company while you are waiting to settle with the “at fault” insurance company. Of course, at time of settlement you must reimburse your insurance company.

These days, doctors, hospitals, and other medical providers don’t want to wait until you settle your case, they want payment now. If you have no other health insurance and must look to settlement monies to pay the medical bills, you may find yourself in a financial position where you have to settle your injury claim early and for less than its full value just because there is no other way to pay the outstanding medical bills.

We have heard clients say in the past, “I don’t need medical payments coverage because I have good health insurance through my employer”. It may well be that a good health insurance plan would promptly pay medical bills arising from an automobile accident, but med-pay coverage pays medical expenses of any occupant of the vehicle regardless of whether they have health coverage. For example, if a grandchild or neighbor’s child slams their hand in the car door, that is clearly a “no fault” situation where liability coverage wouldn’t pay the bills. However, because the medical expenses were incurred as a result of occupancy of the vehicle, those bills would be covered by med-pay.

The no fault aspect of med-pay coverage is important if you are at fault for the injury. In a situation where the driver of the vehicle is clearly at fault and the driver or other passengers are injured, passengers may have a fault based liability claim against the driver, but the driver would have no such claim against himself, and the only way his medical bills would be paid is if he had med-pay coverage.

The medical payment insurance option is one of the cheapest optional coverages you can buy with your automobile policy. Look at the declaration page of your insurance policy to see if you have med-pay coverage. If you don’t , call your insurance agent and add such coverage to your policy. We recommend a minimum of $10,000 coverage, more if you can afford it.

Contact Us

If you have questions about med-pay coverage, please contact us for a free consultation by filling out our contact form or by calling us at (304) 574-2727. We look forward to hearing from you.