Category Archives: Multiple Occupants

Multiple injury claims in one auto accident case

Many times you have multiple passengers injured in one auto accident.  This can complicate matters, but fortunately most good insurance policies are prepared for this situation.  Most policies will have a maximum amount of insurance available, say for example $300,000.00.  That policy will then put a limit of $100,000.00 per person.  So if you have three passengers injured in the other vehicle (where the driver was not at fault) each have $100,000.00 in available bodily injury insurance available to cover their insurance claims.

Each claim is separate, but they share the common set of facts when it comes to who was at fault in the accident.  Of course, each claim is different when it comes to damages: how much each individual is entitled to be compensated from that insurance policy.  This depends on a number of factors which is best determined when working with an experienced and successful West Virginia Auto Accident Attorney.  We always meet with people for free, whether or not they end up hiring us, and frequently assist people in coming up with a fair amount of compensation deserved.


I Was a Passenger in a Car Accident, Can I Sue The Driver?

This is a common question for many car accident victims. The answer, in West Virginia anyways, is yes – if the driver was negligent. The driver of the car owes a duty to any passengers in the vehicle, a duty not to drive negligently or recklessly. If the driver breaches that duty and ends up crashing the vehicle, either in a single vehicle accident or with another car, then he or she is liable to any passengers, as well as occupants of the other vehicle. This means that the driver’s insurance will be liable for any personal injuries sustained up to the policy limits.

There are other issue however, that need to be examined thoroughly by a West Virginia car accident attorney, such as: are there any other insurance polices that could provide coverage, such as the passenger’s vehicle insurance or underinsured driver’s coverage? Another concern is that if there have been several people injured, there may be insufficient coverage for all of the injured persons. Each situation must be examined individually and will bring unique issues, all of which should be quickly addressed by a West Virginia car accident lawyer.

– John H. Bryan, West Virginia Car Accident Attorney.

3-Vehicle Wreck in Beckley Sends Five People to Hospital

from the Register-Herald today:

On April 29, a man had just dropped off one of his children at Beckley Elementary School and was traveling south on Eisenhower Drive (U.S. 19) when the driver of a pickup truck lost control, entered the center lane and struck the man’s Jeep.

The Jeep was pushed into the northbound lane and collided with a third vehicle head-on. After the head-on collision, the Jeep left the roadway, crashed through a fence and came to rest on the property at 503 Eisenhower.

A witness said he saw the Jeep cross Wilkes Road, smash through a fence and travel through the yard of a home, accelerating at a high speed, and that when it came to rest, the wheels were still spinning.

Fortunately, a guardrail stopped the vehicle from going into a nearby creek. Guardrails can be either a blessing or a curse depending on the particular circumstances. In this case they were apparently a blessing, as there were two young girls in the vehicle and the driver was left unconscious.

Read the full article here.

– John H. Bryan, West Virginia Car Accident Attorney.

3 Killed Due to Reckless Driver

From the Huntington Herald-Dispatch:

3 killed in fiery car crash in Lexington

Mar 28, 2008 @ 10:43 AM
By The Associated Press

Three people have died in a fiery car crash in Lexington.

Police say the driver of the vehicle was traveling at a high rate of speed northbound on Russell Cave Road about 1:40 a.m. Friday when the vehicle drifted off the left shoulder just beyond Huffman Mill Road.

Authorities say the driver was thrown from the vehicle when it struck two trees and burst into flames. The driver and two occupants of the vehicle died at the scene.

The names of the victims have not been released.

DUI Driver Kills Passenger in Brushfork Crash

From the Bluefield Daily Telegraph:

Crash kills one

Police charge Va. man with DUI causing death


Bluefield Daily Telegraph

BRUSHFORK — A Bluewell man died early Friday morning following a single-vehicle accident on Airport Road near Bluefield.

Justin Keith Matusevich, 21, of Bluewell, a passenger in the vehicle, died at Bluefield Regional Regional Medical Center shortly after the 4 a.m. crash, according to a report by Sgt. Stan Cary of the Mercer County Sheriff’s Depart-ment.

Cary said a vehicle operated by Paul Joseph Quesenberry, 21, of Falls Mills, Va., went off the road to the right, overcorrected, flipped and landed in the parking lot of the Airport Tavern. Matusevich was ejected from the vehicle, according to the report.

Cary said Quesenberry was arrested and charged with DUI, DUI causing death and possession of a controlled substance following the accident.

Quesenberry was taken to the hospital following the crash, but later released, a sheriff’s department spokeswoman said.

Quesenberry was arraigned on the charges Friday before Magistrate Jerry Flanagan, who set bond at $5,000. Quesenberry was released on bond, according to a magistrate court clerk.

Flanagan set a preliminary hearing in the case for March 20.

Cary was assisted in the investigation by Deputy W.R. Rose and Senior Deputy W.C. Wilborn. Further details were not available Friday.

Four Teens Killed in Upshur Wreck

From the Charleston Gazette:

Four teens killed in Upshur wreck

By The Associated Press

BUCKHANNON — Four teens were killed and one was injured Saturday when their vehicle lost control and struck a tree, according to the Upshur County Sheriff’s Department.

Hannah Laurel Browning, 18, of Rock Cave and Buckhannon residents Anna Rae Wamsley, 17; Lindsey Jenell Rose, 19; and Shasta T. Rutledge-Andrick, 18 were killed when their 2004 Ford F-150 pick-up truck struck a tree, according to Upshur County Chief Deputy M.R. Kelley.

Kelley said he would not identify the surviving 17-year-old female, who was flown to Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown for treatment. She was reported to be in stable condition late Sunday, Kelley said.

The incident, which occurred on Gaines Road at approximately 4:31 p.m., remains under investigation.

Some of the victims were students at Buckhannon-Upshur High School, said Kelley.

“We are suffering a great loss and although this community has suffered losses before, this is the greatest for the high school,” said Upshur County Superintendent of Schools Charles Chandler. “We are trying to offer every opportunity for these young children and adolescents to receive counseling and lean on each other.”

All schools in the county will operate on a two-hour delay to give students some time to grieve.

Devastating Crash Near Martinsburg

From The Journal:

Family mourns crash victim

Dawnelle Hutzler, 27, died Saturday, and her sister, Sarah, is still in the hospital.

By EDWARD MARSHALL/Journal staff writer

MARTINSBURG —The name of the victim of Saturday’s fatal traffic accident was released Monday by police along with the name of a second woman, her sister who remained in intensive care at a hospital in Virginia.

According to a press release issued early Monday, the victim was identified as Dawnelle Hutzler, 27, of Inwood. The four others injured in the accident were identified as 23-year-old Ricky L. Corbin, of Bunker Hill, Erik W. Arthur, 26, of Kearneysville, a 17-year-old juvenile and 24-year-old Sarah Hutzler, of Bunker Hill.

Sarah Hutzler, the sister of the deceased victim, remains in critical but stable condition at Winchester Medical Center while the others were transported to local hospitals.

The accident happened shortly before 3:24 a.m. in the 1500 block of Hatchery Road in Inwood. According to police the driver of a red Dodge Durango was traveling east when he lost control of the vehicle for unknown reasons and struck a tree. The vehicle caught fire after the crash.

According to police, the investigation into the crash is ongoing, and police say they determined who was driving the vehicle at the time of the accident.

Meanwhile family members are mourning the loss of Dawnelle Hutzler and are asking the public to pray for the recovery of Sarah Hutzler, the mother of a 2-year-old daughter.

“We’re holding up as best as we can. It all came at us so quick,” said the women’s sister, LeeAnn Gates. “We ask that the public pray for Sarah and her little girl. She needs all the prayers she can get right now.”

Dawnelle Hutzler is survived by her parents, as well as her three sisters, two brothers and her 6-year-old son, Marino. She was preceded in death by her daughter, August Angel Star.

“She was a good mother,” Gates said. “She was very bubbly. She was a very bubbly person. She loved to smile a lot and laugh a lot. She’d help anybody that needed help.”

Memorial services for Dawnelle Hutzler are scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Thursday at the Brown Funeral Home South Berkeley Chapel in Inwood. Interment will be private.

Memorial contributions can be made to First United Bank & Trust, c/o Marino K. Britner Education Fund, 100 South Queen St., Martinsburg, WV, 25401.