Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) show that thousands of people in the United States die in truck accidents every year, and tens of thousands more are injured.
In 2017 in West Virginia alone, 47 large trucks and 351 other vehicles were involved in fatal large-truck collisions. These numbers do not account for the number of individuals, families, and loved ones whose lives have been forever altered by devastating truck crashes.
West Virginia drivers have to deal with trucks not only on busy roadways and highways but also on steep and winding mountain roads where visibility is limited and truck brakes may burn out.
Because tractor-trailers, 18-wheelers, and other commercial transport vehicles are so much larger and heavier than the other vehicles they share the road with, truckers are more protected in collisions with those vehicles.
So, it’s not surprising that the drivers and occupants of passenger vehicles are far more likely than truck drivers to be hurt or killed in a trucking accident.
In West Virginia, the party at fault for a vehicle accident is responsible for paying the costs of resulting damages, which may include a victim’s medical bills, automobile repair costs, lost wages, and more.
When a truck accident happens, the driver, trucking company and/or another party may be held accountable, especially if they violate federal regulations governing trucks and those who operate them.
If the truck was safely maintained but the driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol and had no record of prior incidents, the trucker can be held liable.
But if both a trucker and the company he worked for knew that a truck failed the inspection but put it back on the road, they may both be at fault and therefore liable for injuries and fatalities.
After an accident, trucking companies tend to move quickly to try to avoid responsibility. If it becomes obvious that the company contributed to the tragedy, the company may rush to offer a monetary settlement.
Under the terms of the settlement agreement, the victim would most likely be barred from pursuing future compensation from the company. Settlements, therefore, should not be accepted without first being reviewed by an experienced attorney.
If the at-fault party does not offer a fair settlement, a trial may be the best way to obtain justice.
A lawyer familiar with the particular complexities of truck accidents can work to calculate a compensation amount that is favorable for the victim — one that accounts for the expenses of ongoing medical care as well as pain and suffering.
Witness testimony, surveillance footage, police reports, maintenance reports, and medical records are just a few types of evidence used to build cases in support of accident victims and their loved ones.
The seasoned trucking accident litigators at Prim Law Firm, PLLC in Hurricane help West Virginia victims and their loved ones pursue the compensation they deserve.