Truck Accidents – Five Issues for You and Your WV Lawyer to Consider: Part I
West Virginia’s Truck Accident Attorney, in Charleston, WV, discusses the difficulties of lawsuits involving truck accidents. Successfully litigating a truck accident claim can be difficult, and there are seven important issues that can influence whether or not a truck accident victim recovers all that he or she deserves – recovering something is not the same as he or she recovering all that they deserve. Maximizing a truck accident claim and how these seven issues are resolved usually hinges on one important question – what lawyer the truck accident victim hires?
Accidents involving tractor trailers are generally more complex and difficult than truck car accidents involving only passenger vehicles. This series of posts addresses seven issues that often distinguish commercial truck accident claims from passenger vehicle accident claims, which if properly handled, may help you maximize your claim.
As in all vehicle accidents, the driver may be liable for an accident victim’s injuries. However, there are a number of other parties who may also be liable such as 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 accident 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 you for your injuries. The lawyer you hire should evaluate each potential source of recovery and be aware of the different theories of recovery available in truck accident claims.
Trucking companies often have a major advantage over truck accident victims. If you’re significantly injured in a truck accident, you likely won’t be able to hire a lawyer before the crash scene has been cleared and evidence destroyed. Most trucking companies, however, have law firms on retainer to investigate the scene of the accident and talk with witnesses and police immediately following an accident. An effective truck accident lawyer can minimize this advantage during litigation, which is another reason why hiring the right attorney is so important.
Another important consideration when hiring a truck accident lawyer is whether they expect you to pay them back your litigation expenses if they lose your case. In West Virginia, a personal injury lawyer must disclose to a client who is responsible for the cost of litigation if you lose your case. So, read any agreement you enter into with a personal injury attorney carefully.
Part II will follow shortly. I welcome your comments, suggestions, and questions.
Brooks West is a West Virginia personal injury lawyer who helps people who have been injured by negligence or wrongful conduct. He is the President and founder of West Law Firm and has been an attorney since 2005. Brooks is a Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum member and has been awarded the AV Preeminent Rating from Martindale-Hubbell.