Truck Accident Lawyer West Virginia

Millions of automobile accidents happen every year, and of these incidents, truck accidents can particularly be dangerous and may require a call to a West Virginia truck accident lawyer. You’re entitled to compensation when you’re a trucking accident victim. Besides initial medical expenses and property damages, this compensation can cover factors like pain and suffering. 

West Virginia Truck Accident Lawyer

West Virginia Truck Accident Laws

In the intricate legal landscape governing truck accidents in West Virginia, our West Virginia truck accident lawyer can be an invaluable aid. Understanding the specific state and federal laws governing these incidents is crucial. If you have been injured in a truck accident in West Virginia, contact Hayhurst Law PLLC today and schedule an appointment with our team of seasoned truck accident lawyers.

Important Trucking Regulations In West Virginia

West Virginia enforces strict trucking regulations to ensure safety on its roads. These regulations align with federal standards set by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and importantly include Hours of Service Regulations, Weight and Load Regulations, and Maintenance and Inspection Requirements.

Hours of Service Regulations limit the number of hours a truck driver can operate without rest breaks. For instance, drivers are typically required to take a 30-minute break after 8 hours of driving and are limited to 11 hours of driving within a 14-hour window.

Weight and Load Regulations govern the loads that trucks can carry on roadways. West Virginia adheres to federal weight limits for commercial trucks, which is generally 80,000 pounds. Overloaded or improperly secured cargo can lead to accidents and increased liability for trucking companies.

Maintenance and Inspection Requirements are meant to ensure that the trucks themselves are kept in a condition that is safe for both the driver and other motorists. Regular maintenance and safety inspections of commercial trucks are mandatory. Failure to comply with these standards can result in accidents due to mechanical failures.

Understanding these regulations is vital, as violations can significantly impact liability in a truck accident case. If a violation of one or more of these regulations has occurred in your accident, you have a right to receive compensation. Our knowledgeable West Virginia truck accident lawyer can investigate whether any regulatory violations contributed to the accident.

Comparative Negligence In West Virginia Truck Accident Cases

West Virginia follows the comparative negligence system in determining liability in truck accidents. This means that each party involved in the accident can be assigned a percentage of fault. The compensation awarded to the victim will be reduced by their percentage of fault. For example, if a victim is found to be 20% at fault for the accident, their compensation will be reduced by 20%. This system necessitates a meticulous investigation to accurately assess fault, a task well-suited for an experienced truck accident lawyer. A lawyer will also fight to ensure that undue fault or over-estimated fault is not placed on you in your accident.

Filing Deadlines For Truck Accident Claims In West Virginia

The statute of limitations for filing a truck accident claim in West Virginia is two years from the date of the accident. This time constraint underscores the need for prompt legal action following a truck accident. A delay in seeking legal counsel can jeopardize the right to pursue compensation as well as make it more difficult to gather evidence and craft a compelling claim.

Pursuing Damages In West Virginia

Victims of truck accidents in West Virginia can seek compensation for various damages, including medical costs, lost income, property damage, and pain and suffering. In fatal accidents, the victim’s family may file a wrongful death claim. The complexity and potential value of these claims require the experience of a West Virginia truck accident lawyer to ensure comprehensive compensation.

Navigating Insurance Claims

Trucking companies operating in West Virginia are mandated to carry substantial insurance coverage. The claims process with these insurers can be complex and adversarial. An experienced lawyer can provide crucial support in dealing with insurance companies, advocating for the victim’s rights and fair compensation.

Common Reasons Why Trucking Accidents Happen

Trucking accidents can occur for various reasons, and we’ll explore some of the most common reasons why they happen: 

A Truck Driver Was Under the Influence

Unfortunately, truck drivers can sometimes drink or use illegal substances while on the job. While drinking sometimes occurs, driving under the influence often happens due to truck drivers using substances like meth or cocaine. These drugs let drivers stay up all night and help them battle driver fatigue. Being a truck driver is hard work; some drivers are expected to drive ten hours or more on the road with little to no breaks.

Driver’s Fatigue 

Doing any activity while tired can produce unfavorable results. Being tired can greatly reduce your concentration and ability to handle certain activities. Of course, when operating heavy machinery like a truck, being tired can result in accidents and may require you to call a West Virginia truck accident attorney.

Bad Weather Conditions 

Truck drivers often don’t have the luxury of staying home during a massive winter storm. Instead, they’re out on the open road delivering everything we need as a society. Like any vehicle, however, a semi-truck or delivery van can get swept up in a rain or snowstorm. While a car losing control on an icy road is scary, a semi-truck losing control can result in a massive accident, affecting several vehicles at once.

Poor Road Conditions 

While most automobile accidents happen in urban areas like the city or the suburbs, the most deadly accidents tend to occur in rural areas. Many factors can explain why this happens, but one factor is due to poor road conditions. Rural roads tend to be more outdated. Besides crumbling infrastructure, a road can also have poor or no road signage. Getting stuck behind a truck when they suddenly have to turn or when there’s a massive pothole can cause a dangerous situation. Furthermore, determining who’s precisely at fault can become a legal challenge. For example, it’s the government’s responsibility to maintain public roads, so the government itself might be liable.

Faulty Parts

Automobiles, including trucks, have many measures in place to ensure they’re operating correctly. A driver may see their check engine or brake light come on if there’s a potential issue. However, truck drivers often don’t own the trucks they drive and, instead, use a company’s truck which can vary daily. Therefore, it’s often the company’s responsibility to ensure their trucks operate correctly. It’s also possible for a part to malfunction at the time a truck is manufactured. When this or other issues occur, it’s best to call Hayhurst Law PLLC to speak with a West Virginia truck accident attorney

West Virginia Truck Accident Infographic

5 Common Reasons Why Trucking Accidents Happen Infographic

What You Need to Do After an Accident

Being in an accident can be an overwhelming experience, especially if you need help from a West Virginia truck accident lawyer because you have been injured or your vehicle has been damaged. It’s important to know what to do after an accident so that you can take the necessary steps to protect yourself and your rights. After understanding what needs to be done after an accident, contact an attorney at Hayhurst Law PLLC for help.

Check for Injuries

In the event of a truck accident, it is absolutely essential that you check yourself and any other occupants in your vehicle for any injuries. This is the very first step to take immediately after an accident. Even if there are no visible signs of an injury, pain may surface later on. Don’t hesitate to seek medical attention right away if you are in any discomfort. Be sure to assess your own safety before attempting to move or help others who may be involved in the accident. If your injuries are serious, it is best to remain still and wait for medical personnel to arrive on the scene.

Move to Safety

If possible, move your vehicle off of the roadway and onto the shoulder or a nearby parking lot. If your vehicle is inoperable, turn on your hazard lights and remain in the car until help arrives. Moving to safety protects you and other drivers from the risk of further injury. It also helps first responders access the scene quickly and safely. It is important to remember that you should never attempt to move an injured person unless they are in imminent danger. Once you have moved to safety, be sure to contact law enforcement and wait for them to arrive.

Exchange Information

It is important to exchange information with the other driver. This includes your name, contact information, insurance information, and license plate number. Make sure that you write down any other relevant details such as the make, model, and color of the other vehicle. Additionally, you should collect contact information from any witnesses or passengers who may have seen the accident. This can help you later if you need to prove that you were not at fault for the accident with the help of a West Virginia truck accident lawyer. Be sure to be polite when exchanging information with the other driver and do not admit any fault.

Seek Medical Attention

Seek medical attention as soon as possible. Even if you do not feel any physical pain or experience any visible injuries, it is important to be checked by a medical professional in case of any delayed symptoms or underlying medical issues. You should also make sure that any of your passengers are taken care of and receive the appropriate medical attention. If the accident was severe and you were injured, it is important to document all medical treatment, including doctor visits and medications. Doing so can help you with any future legal cases. It is also important to keep all of your receipts and other documents related to your medical treatments.

Contact a Lawyer

Once you are safe and have received medical attention, you should contact a lawyer. They will be able to determine fault, work with insurance companies, and negotiate settlements to help cover the costs of the accident. Reach out to a West Virginia truck accident lawyer at Hayhurst Law PLLC today!

Prepare for Your Consultation

If you’ve been in a truck accident and are getting ready for a consultation with a West Virginia truck accident lawyer, there are several steps you should take. First, gather all of your medical records, including any doctor’s appointments, prescriptions, and emergency room visits, as well as a list of financial losses related to the accident. Obtain the first and last names, along with contact information of witnesses. Take photographs of the scene and visible injury. Then contact us at Hayhurst Law PLLC for a consultation.

When you meet with your lawyer, they will likely ask you questions about the accident, your injuries, medical treatment, and financial losses. Based on your answers, they will assess your case and determine whether you have a valid claim. Your lawyer can negotiate an insurance settlement or lawsuit if needed.

In addition to the tips mentioned above, there are a few other things you can do to prepare for your consultation with a lawyer after a truck accident:

  1. Write down your questions: Before your consultation, write down any questions you have for your lawyer so that you don’t forget anything during the meeting. This can help ensure that you get all the information you need.
  2. Bring any relevant documents: In addition to your medical records, bring any other relevant documents related to the accident, such as the police report or any correspondence with insurance companies.
  3. Take notes during the meeting: It can be helpful to take notes during the meeting so that you can refer back to them later. This can help you remember important details and instructions.
  4. Don’t be afraid to ask for clarification: If you don’t understand something your lawyer says, don’t hesitate to ask for clarification. It’s important that you fully understand your legal options and what to expect from the process.

By following these additional tips, you can help make sure that your consultation with a lawyer after a truck accident is as productive as possible. The more details you have for your West Virginia truck accident lawyer, the more our team at Hayhurst Law PLLC can assess your situation and help you get fair compensation.

West Virginia Truck Accident Lawyer FAQs

Truck accidents can result in devastating injuries and significant financial burdens for victims, which is why you need a qualified West Virginia truck accident lawyer in your area. Understanding your rights and the legal process is critical for seeking compensation and recovering from the aftermath of a truck accident. You should also learn to  separate fact from fiction to make informed legal decisions. Below, we’ve debunked five common myths regarding truck accidents so you can avoid making any mistakes in your own truck accident case. Learn more about these, and then contact HayHurst Law PLLC for help.

Are Trucking Companies Not Liable for Accidents?

One prevailing myth is that trucking companies cannot be held liable for accidents involving their vehicles. However, under the legal doctrine of “respondeat superior,” employers can be held responsible for the negligence of their employees that occurs within the scope of their employment. In truck accident cases, if the truck driver was working for a company at the time of the accident, the trucking company may be held liable for the driver’s actions and the resulting damages.

Do Truck Accidents Follow the Same Rules as Car Accidents?

Another common misconception is that truck accidents are subject to the same rules and regulations as car accidents. However, truck accidents involve various additional factors, such as federal regulations governing the trucking industry. These regulations include limitations on hours of service, weight restrictions, maintenance requirements, and driver qualifications. Understanding these unique regulations is crucial in building a strong case against the responsible parties.

Is Insurance Coverage Sufficient for Truck Accident Claims?

Many truck accident victims believe that the insurance coverage carried by the trucking company or the truck driver will be sufficient to cover all their damages. However, due to the severity of injuries and the extensive property damage that often occurs in truck accidents, insurance coverage may not be adequate to fully compensate victims. In such cases, seeking legal representation can help ensure that all responsible parties are held accountable and that victims receive fair compensation for their losses.

Is Identifying Liability in Truck Accidents Straightforward?

Some individuals mistakenly assume that identifying liability in truck accidents is a straightforward process. However, truck accidents can involve multiple parties, including the truck driver, the trucking company, vehicle manufacturers, maintenance contractors, and others. Determining who is at fault and to what extent requires a thorough investigation, often involving accident reconstruction experts, witness statements, and other evidence. It’s essential for truck accident victims to consult with an experienced West Virginia truck accident lawyer who can navigate the complexities of liability determination.

Do Truck Accident Claims Take Too Long to Resolve?

A common misconception is that truck accident claims are lengthy and drawn-out processes. While some complex cases may require additional time for investigation and negotiation, not all claims take an excessive amount of time to resolve. Each case is unique, and the duration of a truck accident claim depends on various factors, such as the complexity of liability, the extent of injuries, and the willingness of the parties to negotiate. Having a skilled attorney by your side can help expedite the process while ensuring that you receive the maximum compensation you deserve.

When you work with a dedicated West Virginia truck accident lawyer, you are ensuring the fact that you can navigate your accident case with confidence. It’s too overwhelming to handle this process alone, and don’t hesitate to contact HayHurst Law PLLC today.

Choosing Legal Representation

Our team of truck accident lawyers is adept at navigating the state’s trucking laws and regulations. We are committed to providing thorough and compassionate legal representation, ensuring that our clients’ rights are protected throughout the legal process. If you or a loved one has been involved in a truck accident in West Virginia, timely and knowledgeable legal representation is vital. As your lawyer, we are ready to offer the guidance and support you need. Contact Hayhurst Law PLLC today for a consultation, and let us advocate for your rights and the justice you deserve.

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