Most people understand what it’s like to be in a car accident. However, not everyone has experienced an accident with a commercial truck.
Accidents with large, heavy vehicles happen more often in West Virginia for two reasons. First, West Virginia has a large number of winding roads, frequently through mountainous and rural areas. Secondly, the Mountain State has many industries that require big trucks:
- Natural gas
- Chemical and pharmaceutical manufacturing
Major transport is vital to these industries both inside and outside of the state. Unfortunately, accidents do happen throughout West Virginia with big commercial trucks.
No matter what a commercial truck driver is carrying, anyone in a passenger vehicle is in serious danger in the event of a collision. Being hit by a truck that weighs 35,000 pounds empty and 80,000 pounds fully loaded leads to much more serious injuries than even a bad car accident. Fatalities are much more likely—and common—in accidents with commercial trucks.
Large commercial vehicles are as much as thirty times larger than a standard passenger vehicle, including a ¾-ton pickup truck. They behave much differently than passenger vehicles, both in motion and during and after a crash. Even if you’re driving one of the safest cars available, it can’t withstand the force of a huge vehicle.
Any number of causes can be the reason for an accident, including:
- Driver error
- Unsafe driving, such as texting and under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol
- Unfamiliar routes and roads, especially when the driver is required to take an alternate route
- An improperly maintained vehicle
- Equipment failure
- Defective equipment, such as tires or brakes
- Incorrectly loaded cargo
- Weather conditions
- Road hazards
Trucking companies that skimp on maintenance and drivers that skimp on pre-trip inspections run an increased risk of causing a crash.
Who Do You Sue?
Unlike a two-car crash, a commercial truck accident has an increased number of parties involved. Even if the driver was responsible, there could be other entities as well.
Frequently, the commercial truck is driven by one person but owned by another individual or company. Parties involved in a lawsuit can include:
- The driver of the tractor-trailer
- The owner of the tractor-trailer
- The company name on the side of the vehicle
- The company responsible for loading the truck
- The vehicle’s manufacturer
- The company responsible for the manufacture of individual parts that failed and caused a crash, such as tires or brakes
- Municipalities responsible for the road conditions that caused the accident, such as cracked asphalt or potholes
If you are the victim of a commercial truck accident, you will have two years from the date of your accident to file an accident claim. The sooner you file, the better.
An attorney who understands the extent of these injuries and the complexities of the case will also engage with an expert in accident reconstruction to determine exactly what happened and who is at fault.
Don’t Talk To Anyone Before The Love Law Firm
Never speak to a representative from any insurance company or trucking company if you’ve been harmed in a commercial truck accident. Trucking companies are aggressive in both defense and settlement. They will erase evidence, deny everything, and will fight hard to avoid paying even a dollar to settle your case. That’s where we can help you.
We emphasize that you don’t say anything to anyone about your accident until you speak with attorney Chad Love first. Let us handle the investigations, negotiations, settlement talks and if necessary, the court case. Literally, anything you say can ruin your chances of getting a fair settlement for your injuries and losses.
We’ve been helping Virginians for over 25 years with commercial truck accidents. If you’ve been involved in a Charleston truck accident and need help, contact us at The Love Law Firm, or call us at (304) 344 5683. Your consultation is free, and we only collect if we win your case.