Truck accidents are frightening and catastrophic. They often leave victims with injuries requiring costly medical treatment and significant time away from work. Some truck accident victims even face lifelong challenges due to permanent disabilities or impairments.
At Robinette Legal Group, PLLC, our Bridgeport truck accident lawyers understand that navigating the aftermath of a truck accident is difficult. We can help by reviewing your case and helping you file a truck accident lawsuit or truck accident claim to seek compensation. Call our Bridgeport personal injury firm today or contact us online for a free consultation with a truck accident attorney.
What To Do After a Bridgeport Truck Accident
Taking the proper steps after you’ve been injured in a truck accident can protect your legal options for pursuing compensation. You should do the following after a Bridgeport truck accident:
- After seeking medical treatment for your injuries, follow your doctor’s treatment recommendations and keep all follow-up appointments.
- Get a copy of the police accident report, which provides a neutral assessment of the cause of the truck crash and can be valuable evidence in a lawsuit or claim.
- Gather evidence, including pictures of the accident scene and statements from eyewitnesses who saw the truck accident occur.
- Keep all receipts, invoices, and bills related to the medical treatment of your injuries and any other expenses you incur due to the accident.
Finally, speak to a Bridgeport truck accident attorney immediately after a crash to learn more about your legal rights and options for filing a truck accident claim.
Trucking Laws in West Virginia
Various federal and state trucking and truck accident laws apply in West Virginia. Some of the most critical regulations include the following:
- Size and weight regulations – The West Virginia Department of Transportation offers detailed information on truck size and weight limits in the state. For example, the maximum weight limit on interstate highways in West Virginia is 80,000 pounds.
- Hours-of-service regulations – Federal law prohibits truckers from driving for excessive periods without rest. Per the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), truckers may drive a maximum of 11 hours after 10 consecutive hours off-duty. In addition, they cannot exceed 14 consecutive hours after coming on duty. Instead, they must take a break. In addition, they must take a 30-minute break after driving eight cumulative hours without a break.
- Hiring requirements – Trucking companies in West Virginia must hire qualified drivers. For example, a trucker must have a commercial driver’s license (CDL).
Most Common Causes of Trucking Accidents
Truck accidents are often the result of driver errors. However, there are various causes. Some of the most common causes include:
- Driver fatigue – Truckers who don’t abide by hours-of-service (HOS) regulations may become too exhausted to operate their vehicles safely. Fatigue can affect one’s ability to safely operate a motor vehicle the same way alcohol does.
- Speeding – Truck accidents frequently result from drivers exceeding the speed limit or driving too fast for weather or road conditions. Truck drivers must adjust their speed in inclement weather, such as heavy rain, snow, or fog, and to account for potholes or debris in the road.
- Driver distraction – Operating a truck requires a driver’s full attention. Collisions may occur when drivers become distracted by their cell phones, GPS, eating, drinking, or grooming.
- Faulty parts or equipment – Defective parts such as faulty brakes or steering wheels can result in devastating collisions for which parts manufacturers may be liable.
A Bridgeport truck accident lawyer at our firm can investigate to determine what caused the accident and fight to hold the liable parties accountable.
Injuries Typically Suffered in Truck Accidents
Large trucks can inflict severe injuries due to their massive size. Truck accident victims may suffer the following injuries in 18-wheeler collisions:
- Back injuries or spinal cord injuries that may result in paralysis
- Broken or shattered bones
- Internal organ injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries that may lead to cognition problems or emotional disturbances
- Disfiguring injuries
- Wrongful death in fatal truck accidents
Who’s Liable in a West Virginia Truck Accident?
Who is liable in a truck accident? The trucking industry comprises multiple parties, so various individuals or companies could be responsible for truck crash injuries, including the following:
- Trucking company – A trucking company may be liable for a truck accident caused by its employee. Because the trucking company is responsible for hiring qualified drivers, it may be vicariously liable when its drivers harm others. The trucking company may also be liable if an accident resulted from failure to maintain its fleet.
- Truck parts manufacturers or designers – A truck manufacturer or trucking parts designer or could be liable if faulty design or equipment results in a collision.
- Other motorists: Other motorists could be liable for a truck accident if their reckless or aggressive driving caused the crash. For example, a driver who suddenly changes lanes or swerves in front of a truck driver, causing the truck driver to hit the brakes and start a chain-reaction crash, could be liable for injuries.
Compensation Available in WV Trucking Claims
Compensation in West Virginia truck accident claims and truck accident lawsuits may include money for the following financial and personal losses:
- Medical expenses, including hospital stays, surgeries, diagnostic testing, doctor’s appointments, medical mobility equipment, and medications
- Physical therapy, occupational therapy, and rehabilitation for injuries
- Lost income if injuries prevent a victim from working
- Loss of future earning capacity and benefits if the truck accident injury victims can no longer to work
- Incidental costs, such as mileage to and from doctor’s visits
- Physical pain and suffering due to injuries or medical treatment
- Emotional distress, including depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Loss of enjoyment of life due to permanent scarring or disfigurement
Talk to an Experienced Truck Accident Lawyer in Bridgeport, WV Today
At Robinette Legal Group, PLLC, we limit the number of cases we work on at any given time to ensure every client receives the personal care and attention they deserve during a challenging time. Our legal team will work tirelessly to seek the compensation and accountability that personal injury victims need after a truck accident. Contact our office today to speak to an experienced Bridgeport truck accident attorney during a free initial case review.