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Navigating Commercial Truck Accident Claims

Expert legal guidance for truck accident claims in West Virginia. Contact Kaufman & McPherson for skilled representation. Call now for a free consultation.
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    Insights from West Virginia’s Top Truck Accident Lawyers

    Accidents involving large trucks, such as delivery trucks, tractor-trailers, 18-wheelers, tanker trucks, and other types of large commercial vehicles are more common than anyone would like to think. To make matters worse, multi-vehicle accidents involving large trucks are more likely to be fatal than passenger vehicle accidents due to the size of these trucks. They can weigh up to 80,000 pounds, making them hard to maneuver and stop before hitting a motor vehicle.

    Most accidents involving trucks are caused by negligent behavior. According to the Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), driver error causes 87% of all trucking accidents. 

    Finding Fault in Commercial Truck Accidents

    Even if the driver is not at fault, the trucking company could still be responsible. Some trucking companies may have been negligent when performing maintenance to their vehicles, which can result in faulty brakes, truck tire problems, and even cargo shift issues. Sometimes, these companies will force their drivers to haul more weight than the rig can handle, making it hard for the driver to maneuver and even stop a large truck before the accident happens.

    Truck accidents in West Virginia that involve large commercial trucks can be devastating for the victims. The driver of a passenger vehicle can be seriously injured in a semi-truck accident, many times suffering life-threatening injuries.

    When you are involved in a semi-truck accident in West Virginia, you have to deal with more than an insurance company. The trucking industry has several layers of protection. You will be dealing with a trucking accident claim instead of dealing with another driver and their insurance company. If you are injured by a large truck, you can expect to face the trucking company that employed the driver, the employees involved in loading the cargo on the truck, insurance companies, and attorneys. It is a complicated and arduous process.

    Accidents involving a commercial vehicle are very different from regular vehicle accidents, and trucking companies even have their own investigators, whose job it is to be at the site of the accident and gather evidence that minimizes the liability of the driver and the trucking company.

    Collecting Compensation

    West Virginia law allows truck accident victims to collect compensation for their medical expenses,, lost wages, loss of future earnings and earning capacity, loss of life, and the resulting pain and suffering from the injuries. If you have been the victim of a trucking accident and can prove negligence, West Virginia law says you are entitled to compensation. However, navigating these laws is complex. Successfully navigating them requires the help of an experienced semi-truck accident lawyer in West Virginia to get you the compensation you deserve. 

    Dealing with a trucking accident case is much more complicated than handling a simple auto accident lawsuit. Your commercial truck accident attorney will have to deal with complex legal issues specific to the trucking industry when you are involved in a West Virginia truck accident. You need an attorney who has experience dealing with this type of accident in West Virginia. 

    How Trucking Companies Have the Upper-Hand

    Trucking companies in West Virginia and other parts of the country try their best to establish an early advantage over the victims of these accidents. 

    Gathering Evidence

    Trucking companies typically already have lawyers and private investigators on call who are in charge of talking to witnesses and police immediately after a truck accident. An efficient and experienced West Virginia truck accident lawyer can help lessen this advantage during litigation by ensuring no evidence is destroyed or misplaced.

    This is why we offer free consultations and only get paid if you successfully win your case and get compensated. Our attorneys have state-wide experience navigating a wide variety of complex truck accident lawsuits. 

    More Resources

    Another advantage a trucking company has over a regular passenger vehicle is the number of resources they have access to. After a truck accident, most victims don’t have the resources to cover medical bills or litigation costs. Trucking companies know this and take advantage of this fact.

    Trucking companies can be large multi-million dollar corporations that hire experienced attorneys specializing in semi-truck accidents in West Virginia. Aside from their legal teams, they also keep investigators on retainer. You need someone to help you offset this unfair advantage, which is where the law office of Kaufman & McPherson can help. 

    Free Case Evaluations

    We have ample experience and expertise in personal injury cases that involve commercial trucking accidents in West Virginia and have the necessary resources to litigate these complicated and sometimes expensive cases. While sometimes an out-of-court settlement can be negotiated that gets you the best result possible,  we are ready to go to trial for you if that is what it takes to get you justice. Don’t delay. Contact us today.

    Lawyer Discussing Written Case to Client in the Office

    Establishing Liability

    The biggest issue when dealing with motor vehicle accidents is determining who was responsible for the crash. A negligent driver may be found responsible for all the injuries incurred during West Virginia motor vehicle crashes, which means they would be subject to covering all expenses regarding medical bills, loss of income, etc. 

    However, there are a large number of parties who may be found liable in trucking accidents: for example, there may be negligence by the driver’s employer, the company that owns the load being transported by the truck driver, the company that dispatched the load, the entity that loaded the trailer, the manufacturer of defective equipment, or others. It requires experience, dedication and hard work to sort all this out.

    Underinsured Companies

    A serious issue that can arise during a truck accident claim is when both the truck driver and the trucking company were underinsured, meaning that the truck driver’s insurance is not enough to compensate the person they injured fairly. 

    An experienced truck accident lawyer will know how to assess each potential source of recovery and will be familiar with the different options of recovery available in West Virginia.

    Trucking Company Policies

    Most trucking companies have policies with which their drivers must comply. These policies regulate all aspects of the driver’s job, like inspections (before and after the trip), substance abuse issues, and what to do when a tractor-trailer needs repairs. 

    An experienced West Virginia truck accident lawyer will obtain a copy of these policies and be able to determine if these policies were followed appropriately or not. When you are involved in a truck accident, you need to contact a West Virginia trucking accident attorney capable of obtaining these documents on time and using them to benefit your case.

    Driver Records

    An unfortunate cause of semi-truck accidents is driver fatigue. Driver fatigue happens when a truck driver stays on the road too long. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations specify how long a driver can safely stay on the road and how much rest and sleep they should be getting. Unfortunately, the need to make more money and the fear of losing their job can prompt a driver to stay on the road longer than the law allows and cause an accident. 

    Trucking companies are supposed to keep logs of how long their drivers stay on the road. However, there are unscrupulous companies who will falsify these records to keep their drivers on the road for longer periods than the law allows. 

    Work Injuries May Be Caused by Trucks

    Sometimes people are involved in a trucking accident in West Virginia because of a dangerous work environment, for example, a place that violates industry standards or safety regulations. In this case, the victim may also have a work injury claim aside from the trucking accident claim. 

    These are all factors that can complicate the case. Victims will require the assistance of an experienced and efficient West Virginia truck accident lawyer to ensure the victims get fair compensation that will cover all of their medical bills, pain and suffering, loss of income, rehabilitation, etc.

    Being involved in an accident of this magnitude is devastating, but our attorneys at Kaufman & McPherson are ready to help. Our firm has decades of experience and an excellent success rate. We have recovered millions of dollars for our clients. 

    We have access to a network of experts who will help us ensure you get the maximum amount of compensation you deserve. Our lawyers are well-versed in matters of dealing with insurance and determining liability and are fully prepared to pursue all the responsible parties that contributed to the accident.

    Working With Us

    Our West Virginia truck accident lawyers are experienced and successful. We have the resources to handle large, time-consuming, and expensive trucking accident claims. We have the resources to ensure you get the compensation you and your family will need to cover your expenses after an accident. If you have been involved in a truck accident in West Virginia, contact us now for a free consultation.

    The West Virginia Personal Injury Law Firm at Kaufman & McPherson PLLC in Bridgeport

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    About the Editor

    Picture of Kevin Kaufman
    Kevin Kaufman

    A 1977 Bridgeport High School graduate, received multiple scholarships including a National Merit Scholarship. He went on to earn a BS in Business Administration, an MBA, and a law degree from West Virginia University.

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