West Virginia Tractor Trailer & Commercial Trucking Accident Lawyers
Crashes involving commercial trucks, often weighing 80,000 pounds or more, frequently cause serious injury and sometimes wrongful death. In fact, large truck accidents cause over 4,800 fatalities and 100,000 injuries each year in the U.S.
Many of these crashes were caused by truck drivers or trucking companies who broke safety rules. For example, trucking companies sometimes fail to replace tires or breaks as required by law in an effort to make more money. Or sometimes trucking companies require drivers to haul too much weight making it difficult for truck drivers to stop when driving behind other vehicles.
If you or a loved one has been injured or died as a result of West Virginia trucking or automobile accident, West Law Firm can help. We invite you to call us today for a FREE consultation at 1-877-943-9378. There’s also No Fee unless and until you win.
West Virginia Commercial Truck and Tractor Trailer Accident Involve Complex Legal Issues
Recovering full and fair compensation after being injured by a tractor trailer or other commercial vehicle typically requires the help of a lawyer experienced in handling the complex issues unique to the trucking industry. Large truck accident claims are very different than car accident claims and many if not most lawyers do not have the experience to effectively deal with these issues. At West Law Firm, we do have the experience, resources and skill to help you recover all the compensation and benefits you deserve. Below, are some of the issues involved in most large truck cases.
1. Evidence from the Scene of the Truck Accident
Trucking companies, in and out of West Virginia, often have a major advantage over truck accident victims. If someone is significantly injured in a truck accident, they likely won’t be able to hire a lawyer before the crash scene has been cleared and evidence has been destroyed. On the other hand, most trucking companies have lawyers and private investigators on retainer to investigate accident scenes and talk with witnesses and police immediately following a truck accident. An effective truck accident lawyer can minimize this advantage during litigation and seek to secure evidence before it is lost or destroyed, which is another reason why hiring the right West Virginia lawyer is so important.
2. Who is Liable for Your Injuries?
As in all West Virginia auto accidents, a driver may be liable for all injuries and economic losses caused by his negligence. However, in a commercial truck accident, there are a number of other parties who may also be liable, including the driver’s employer, the company whose load was being hauled by the truck driver, and the company whose truck license placard is placed on the tractor and trailer. Also, under a product liability theory, the designer, manufacturer, seller, and/or distributor of any faulty parts that may have led to the automobile crash may also be liable, as well as any entity responsible for the maintenance and repair of the truck.
This is often a critical issue when the truck driver and trucking company is underinsured. A truck driver is underinsured when he doesn’t have enough insurance coverage to fairly compensate the person he injured. An effective trucking accident lawyer should be able to evaluate each potential source of recovery and be aware of the different theories of recovery available under West Virginia law.
3. Trucking Company Resources
Another advantage that a trucking company often has over West Virginia truck accident victims is virtually unlimited resources. A truck accident victim often does not have sufficient resources to cover their medical bills and almost always not enough to cover the costs of litigating a complex track accident lawsuit. On the other hand, trucking companies are often multi-million or multi-billion dollar corporations that employ the best truck accident defense attorneys and investigators available.
To offset this disadvantage, West Law Firm never recovers an attorney’s fee unless and until we recover money for you. We also advance and cover the costs and expenses of litigation unless and until a recovery is made. Litigating a trucking accident claim can be expensive, especially if you were seriously injured.
That’s why another important question to ask any truck accident lawyer you’re considering is whether they will expect you to pay them back your litigation expenses if they lose your case. Under West Virginia law, a West Virginia attorney must disclose to the client who is responsible for the cost of litigation if you lose your case. If no money is recovered for you, West Law Firm pays for all costs and expenses associated with your case.
4. Falsified Truck Driver Records
A common cause of tractor trailer accidents is truck driver fatigue, which is often caused by a truck driver staying on the road too long. For this reason, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations limit how much time a trucker can spend driving without sleep and rest. These regulations also require that truck drivers keep a log of their driving time. However, greed, profit, fear of losing their job may motivate a driver and/or trucking company to falsify records so that they can keep the truck on the road longer than allowed by law.
An experienced truck accident lawyer may be able to recognize inconsistencies in the records produced by the truck driver and trucking company during litigation. An effective attorney may also be able to elicit testimony from witnesses to help prove the truck driver or trucking company falsified records. Proving that the truck driver or trucking company falsified records can significantly help resolve a West Virginia truck accident claim and may justify punitive damages.
5. Trucking Company Policies
Trucking companies usually have written policies that its truck drivers must follow. These policies address most aspects of a trucker’s job including pre and post-trip tractor trailer inspections, substance abuse issues, and what to do in the event that a tractor trailer needs repaired. A skilled West Virginia lawyer will obtain and review these policies to determine whether they were followed by the truck driver and the trucking company. Promptly consulting with a West Virginia lawyer after a serious truck accident can help prevent destruction of documents that might be helpful to your case.
Get a Consultation with an Experienced West Virginia Truck Accident Lawyer
If you or a loved one has been injured in a tractor trailer accident, hiring an experienced West Virginia injury lawyer who is aware of the above issues is likely the most important thing you can do to ensure you are fully compensated for your injuries and losses. People injured in truck accidents are often at a disadvantage in regards to resources, truck accident litigation experience, and time spent at the accident scene. Hiring an experienced, skilled lawyer like those at West Law Firm will help level the playing ground.
For a free consultation with a West Virginia tractor trailer accident lawyer, we invite you to call us toll free at 1-877-943-WEST (1-877-943-9378).