Accidents involving trucks are often serious, leading to debilitating or permanently disabling injury. Victims may suffer injuries like broken bones and concussion, or trauma to the neck or spinal cord. The laws of West Virginia allow victims of commercial vehicle accidents to collect compensation for their injuries to cover medical expenses, lost wages, loss of life quality, and even the pain associated with your recovery. These laws are complex and navigating them successfully requires the assistance of a truck accident attorney.
The truck accident attorneys at the Manchin Injury Law Group, PLLC have been helping victims of truck accidents in Fairmont and throughout West Virginia sue at-fault parties for 37 years. We treat every client who walks into our doors like a member of the family. We also treat your case with utmost attention, respect, and dedication. While many of our cases ultimately settle out of court, we presume and prepare as if your case is going to trial – we collect forensic evidence, review police reports, identify logbook violations, and gather eyewitness testimony to strengthen your case for a jury. If you or a loved one sustained injuries in a truck accident, including tri-axle trucks, natural gas trucks, or logging trucks, contact us to arrange a free initial consultation and review your legal options with our firm.
Click here to jump to West Virginia Truck Accident Statistics
Click here to jump to Common Truck Accident Injuries
Click here to jump to Common Causes of Truck Accidents
Click here to jump to Your West Virginia Truck Accident Attorneys
If you were recently involved in a commercial motor vehicle collision, you might assume that collecting payment for your injuries is as simple as filing a claim with the insurance company. Unfortunately, the laws surrounding commercial motor vehicles are complex, and you might be losing your right to full compensation if you pursue these claims yourself. There are several reasons why you need the experienced hand of a truck accident attorney:
You might know that you can collect compensation for your medical bills, but did you know there are several other damages available to you under West Virginia law? Your claim might be worth more than you think – you may be entitled to collect reimbursement for lost wages, the cost of your therapy, or even your physical pain or emotional anguish. If a truck accident leads to yours or a loved one’s incapacity, your family members may be able to collect damages for ongoing medical expenses or skilled nursing care as well.
Attempting to negotiate a settlement with an insurance company yourself might lead to a low-ball offer. Insurance companies are committed to paying out as little on your claim as possible – they might even try to intimidate you into signing papers that don’t reflect the full extent of your injuries. The truck accident attorneys at the Manchin Injury Law Group, PLLC have been negotiating with these companies for decades and know exactly what your claim is worth.
Truck crashes can be a matter of both state and federal law. Commercial motor vehicle drivers, owners, and operators must follow strict guidelines set forth by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Commission. Failing to follow these rules could result in violation of federal law and is usually grounds for negligence. Retaining an attorney familiar with these rules is essential to protecting your right to compensation.
The majority of truck accident cases settle out of court, as this is a speedier and less costly solution. However, large corporations and trucking companies might not want to budge on their initial offer, which means you can take your case to court and let a jury award damages in your case.
Filing a truck accident claim requires that you follow certain filing procedures within certain time limits. If you fail to adhere to these administrative rules, you could lose your right to file a lawsuit altogether. To avoid this scenario, we recommend meeting with a personal injury attorney as soon as possible following a truck accident.
Commercial motor vehicle accident claims have noticeable differences compared to accidents involving passenger vehicles:
West Virginia has 549 miles of interstate and 37,277 miles of public roads. Commercial vehicle operators from all over the country use these roads to deliver goods and take other away, driving our local economy. Unfortunately, this activity also leads to fatalities and injury. Hospitals and other medical responders reported 51 fatalities in West Virginia in 2015 from truck collisions. There were also 957 non-fatal truck accidents that year. The majority of these accidents (88%) occur on West Virginia’s rural roads, with just 11% occurring in urban areas.
Around 5,000 trucks are involved in fatal traffic collisions each year, and tractor-trailers are the most common source of accidents. Over half of West Virginia’s truck crashes involve carriers who operate out of the state. This means that filing a commercial motor vehicle accident claim involves interstate and federal laws.
Truck accident injuries are often serious and can be fatal. While injuries run the gamut from whiplash to permanently disabling afflictions, some accidents are more common than others. Here are a few of the most common injuries we see from truck accidents.
Motor vehicle accidents are the most common cause of fatal brain injury nationwide. Injuries affecting the brain and spinal cord can result in paraplegia or quadriplegia, loss of sensation or movement, paralysis, or more. These injuries often require long-term medical care and assistance.
Broken bones can be complex and require surgical repair. Breaking large bones requires hard casting that may keep you from your livelihood while you recover.
The force of a truck accident impact can lead to internal system damage like collapsed lungs, organ bruising, or perforation, which can be fatal without immediate medical intervention.
Unfortunately, burns are more common in truck accidents than they are in crashes involving passenger vehicles. Trucks may carry volatile materials, and there is also a greater risk of rupturing a car’s fuel tank from the impact, which can lead to vehicle fires. Burns require a long recovery time and can be extremely painful.
You’re much more likely to survive a truck accident when using safety measures like airbags and seatbelts. Unfortunately, the sheer force of these collisions can lead to injuries caused by these devices. Airbag deployment can cause concussions, and seatbelts can cause injuries to the shoulder or torso.
Unfortunately, crashes involving commercial motor vehicles are more likely to result in fatality. The massive force of the impact, potential for fire, and other factors greatly increase the risk for catastrophic or fatal injury. West Virginia law considers such incidents as “wrongful death,” and the victim’s family could be eligible pursue a claim on the deceased’s behalf.
The majority of truck accidents are due to driver error, though there are often many factors at play. The following may play a role in a serious truck accident:
Drivers of large trucks are ten times more likely to be the main cause of a truck accident than any other factors like inclement weather, vehicle performance, or road conditions, according to a recent study from the FMCSA. In fact, a driver’s action or inaction was responsible for a whopping 88% of all reported truck crashes.
Some of the most common culprits leading to driver error include abuse of prescription or non-prescription drugs, violating traffic laws, distraction, and unfamiliarity with the geographical area. However, the leading cause of truck accidents due to driver error is fatigue, according the FMCSA.
The second leading cause of truck crashes is equipment failure. This is a broad category that can include mistakes in manufacturing (such as defective tires prone to blowout) to maintenance. These failures can be a simple matter of oversight (failing to check tire pressure or adjust brakes) or gross misconduct (removing front brakes to go faster, but leads to jackknifing). Some of the most common types of equipment failure include:
If you or a loved one recently suffered harm in a crash with a commercial motor vehicle, you may be able to collect compensation for the full extent of your medical costs, lost wages, and loss in life quality. The truck accident attorneys at the Manchin Injury Law Group, PLLC are committed to helping victims of negligence find peace of mind and financial security. To schedule a free initial consultation with our firm in Fairmont, please contact us.