Experienced Charleston, WV Truck Accident Lawyers Ready to Assist You to Win Your Fight
In today’s busy world, many of us are on the highway every day – often multiple times each day. Doing so usually means sharing it with any number of other vehicles at any time of day, including semi-trucks and 18-wheelers. As everyone knows, these vehicles are large, powerful, and capable of causing significant damage if involved in an accident. The unfortunate truth of the matter is truck accidents occur often and cause thousands of injuries and deaths across the country each year. If you have been in an accident, please contact our Charleston, WV truck accident attorneys.
Large semi-trucks and eighteen-wheelers can often weigh as much as thirty times as much as a car, so a collision can have devastating consequences. The trucking industry has strict standards and rules in place, to ensure that large trucks and other vehicles can share the roadways safely. Unfortunately, these safety practices are simply not always followed.
All too often, accidents involving these large vehicles are caused by truck driver negligence, which can include:
- Driver fatigue – Most commonly caused by demanding schedules with little time for rest;
- Illegal drug usage, often for the purpose of staying awake while driving;
- Drunk driving;
- Medication use, either prescription or over-the-counter, both of which can impair judgment and/or reaction time while driving;
- Failure to properly store and contain cargo;
- Inadequate vehicle maintenance;
- Drivers who are not properly trained; and
- Violation of speed limits or other road rules.
Unfortunately, any of these negligent acts can lead to an accident that may have devastating consequences for you or for a loved one. Truck crashes are often deadly, and in most cases, it is not the truck driver who suffers the casualty.
Common Types of Truck Accidents
Truck accidents differ from passenger vehicle collisions in many ways. Certain types of accidents occur only with large 18-wheeler trucks. Some of the most common large truck accidents in Charleston, WV include:
- Head-on and rear-end collisions, including ones where large trucks hit a passenger vehicle head-on while attempting to pass other motorists;
- Jackknife accidents, which happen when a truck brakes quickly, causing the trailer to swing out 90 degrees;
- Underride accidents, which happen when a truck stops quickly and the vehicle behind gets stuck under the trailer;
- Rollover accidents, which are common in trucks with trailers that are overloaded; and
- Tire blowouts, that can occur if the tires need replacing or don’t have enough air.
Any type of truck accident can be fatal, especially those involving jackknifed trucks and rollovers. You could be entitled to receive compensation for your injuries and damages, provided you can prove liability.
Determining Liability in a Truck Accident
If you or a family member has been the victim of a truck accident in West Virginia, you will need a team of skilled and experienced Charleston, WV truck accident lawyers who understand the law to fight aggressively on your behalf. Negligence should be assigned to the responsible party so that you can receive the compensation you rightfully deserve. Our Charleston, WV truck accident attorney is here to do exactly that.
Determining the “responsible” party in these cases is an important step towards recovering the compensation you rightfully deserve. At Campbell & Smith, PLLC, our thorough understanding of the complex law applicable to truck accidents can help you determine the liable party with respect to your particular circumstances.
Many who are involved in a truck accident think only of the driver. But in fact, if there is an existing employment relationship between the driver and the company, the trucking firm may be held liable. Depending on the circumstances, the truck manufacturer that prepared a defective part or a government agency that failed to properly mark a road hazard, may also be responsible for an accident. Here at Campbell & Smith, PLLC, our trusted Charleston truck accident lawyers will help you correctly identify the responsible party and the type of compensation you deserve.
Essential Evidence in Truck Accident Cases
Proving liability in a truck accident case happens only when you have the right evidence. Truck accidents are different from collisions involving two passenger vehicles. It’s important to know what types of evidence your Charleston, WV truck accident lawyer will be subpoenaing. Examples of essential evidence in a truck accident claim can include:
- Police report;
- Scene photos;
- Witness statements;
- Electronic logging device from the truck;
- Dashcams and any other video evidence;
- Truck’s electronic control module;
- Truck’s maintenance, repair, and inspection history;
- Truck driver’s logbooks;
- Truck driver’s personnel file;
- Phone records;
- Traffic cam footage;
- Weigh station reports;
- Medical bills and reports;
- Loss of earnings support;
- Vehicle repair estimates; and
- Expert testimony.
Depending on the circumstances of your loss, there may be additional evidence that is relevant to your case.
Understanding First- vs. Third-Party Insurance Claims
It’s essential to understand the differences between first-party and third-party claims. A first-party claim would be one that you make against your own insurance policy. Examples can include uninsured motorist or underinsured motorist claims, collision claims, medical payments coverage, etc.
Third-party claims are ones you file against another party, like the at-fault truck driver. You could have a third-party claim against the insurance companies that cover the driver, their employer, and maybe even an automotive parts manufacturer.
Truck Accident FAQs
At Campbell & Smith, PLLC, we know that you may have several questions after being involved in a truck accident. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions we get from potential clients about truck accidents in West Virginia.
Do Truck Drivers Have Limited Driving Hours?
Yes. In fact, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulates the amount of hours truck drivers may spend on the road. For example, truckers may only drive for a maximum of 11 hours after a 10-hour break. In addition, truck drivers can’t drive for more than 60 hours on seven consecutive days or 70 hours on eight consecutive days.
Unfortunately, trucking companies often ignore these regulations if they have tight deadlines. That’s why it’s always important to be cautious around any large truck you see on the road. At Campbell & Smith, PLLC, our Charleston truck accident attorneys know the ins and outs of FMCSA regulations and how they may be violated.
Do Truck Drivers Have to Pass Drug and Alcohol Testing?
Before a company hires a truck driver, they must administer tests for drugs and alcohol. However, trucking companies also test their drivers randomly throughout the course of their work. If a truck driver refuses to be tested, their employer may bar them from driving. Despite these efforts to curb DUIs and DWIs, truck accidents involving a drunk or drugged driver still happen every year. If you get into an accident with a truck driver under the influence of drugs or alcohol, our Charleston, WV truck accident attorneys can help pursue the compensation you need to recover.
What Are the Most Common Part Defects that Lead to Truck Accidents?
Brake failure is one of the most common causes of truck accidents in the country. The United States has strict regulations regarding the braking force on large vehicles. Another common cause of truck accidents is flat or ruptured tires.
How our Charleston, WV Truck Accident Lawyers Can Help
Those who have been victims of truck accidents should be aware that the trucking company has its own legal team with the objective of limiting the trucking company’s financial liability. This, of course, is in direct opposition to your best interests. Our skilled Charleston, WV truck accident attorney will fight for your best interests.
Because of our extensive experience in handling truck accident cases, we understand how severe the consequences can be. We know that there are expenses for medical treatment immediately following the accident, but we realize that there may be expenses for medical treatment needed for a significant time afterward as well. We also understand that compensation may be needed for lost wages, ongoing pain and suffering, job retraining expenses, and more. There are many possible scenarios for which you might need financial assistance, and our Charleston truck accident lawyer will be able to think through those possibilities with you. We will then be able to craft a strategy to aggressively and passionately pursue your right to that compensation.
Contact Our Trusted Charleston, WV Truck Accident Attorneys Today
Our 18-wheeler and semi-truck accident legal team is here to fight for you. We care deeply about the people of West Virginia, and that includes you. The quality, knowledge, and experience of your legal representation have everything to do with the final outcome of your case.
Our highly-skilled injury legal team also offers a wide variety of legal services for people seriously injured in various ways, including auto vehicle accidents, negligent error malpractice, sexual abuse, nursing home negligence, and wrongful death claims.
At Campbell & Smith, PLLC, our Charleston truck accident attorneys are proud to be recognized as a leading personal injury law firm in Charleston and the surrounding area. Whatever your story, we want to listen to find out how we may be able to help. If you’ve been the victim of a truck accident, contact our legal team today. Our dedicated Charleston, WV truck accident lawyers want to put our knowledge and experience to work on your behalf and fight for the justice you deserve.