Trucking accidents are extremely common and occur on a daily basis throughout the state of West Virginia. Because tractor-trailers weigh thousands of pounds, they can cause serious damage to smaller vehicles in a crash, severely injuring their occupants. Truck drivers are supposed to take extreme caution when operating their vehicles due to the high injury risks involved in collisions. Unfortunately, this is not always the case.
Semi truck accidents are different than any other kind of motor vehicle accidents. Trucks for logging, frack water, and mining on West Virginia roads are often fully loaded and hauling several additional tons of weight which can lead to a fatal truck accident or tractor trailer crash.
Our trucking accident lawyer can help you receive every dollar you are due after suffering injuries from a tractor trailer wreck.
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DRIVER NEGLIGENCE CAUSES TRUCKING ACCIDENTS
Truck drivers must be constantly aware of their truck and the road, paying attention to everything that happens around them. The slightest mistake or hesitation can cause a truck to roll over, jackknife or collide with another vehicle. A driver’s duties extend to inspecting and properly loading a truck, as well as following all applicable regulations. Some of the most common forms of truck driver negligence include:
Drunk driving. In West Virginia and throughout the country, commercial drivers are limited to a blood alcohol content of 0.04%, though they should never drive under the influence of alcohol or any drug. Unfortunately, truck operators sometimes use illegal drugs to help them stay awake and work long hours.
Distracted driving. Drivers need to keep their eyes on the road. West Virginia has banned texting while driving, but many truckers still use their electronic devices while on the road. Sending an e-mail or playing a game while driving is extremely dangerous, especially when the driver’s vehicle is an 80,000 lb., fully loaded truck.
Fatigued driving. Financial pressures or orders from a boss frequently lead truckers to work more hours than they are legally allowed. They may falsify their daily logs, lying about how many hours they worked. When drivers over-work themselves, they get tired behind the wheel, slowing their reaction times and becoming more dangerous to everyone else on the road.
Our Trucking Accident Attorneys work with accident reconstruction experts to comb through evidence and determine exactly what caused a truck to wreck. Whether a driver, an owner-operator or a trucking company is responsible, we work to get our clients the compensation they need.
Trucking Safety Violations
Large tractor-trailers are subject to numerous safety regulations that do not apply to smaller trucks and passenger vehicles. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident involving a tractor-trailer, a key area of investigation is whether the trucking company or driver violated those safety regulations.
When a serious truck accident occurs, investigators from the trucking company’s insurance carrier are usually on the scene within hours. These investigators have one interest: protecting the insurance company from liability. This usually means looking for a way to blame the accident on you.
To ensure that your interests are protected, it is important to have investigators who are working for you. Our trucking accident lawyers work with experts to help us collect and preserve evidence of safety violations, including driver logbook violations such as driving too long without a required rest break, weight violations, lack of proper maintenance, unsafe passing, driver negligence, unqualified driver, drug or alcohol use by the driver & speeding.
Many trucks are equipped with GPS systems that can tell our investigators how fast the truck was traveling and what maneuvers, such as lane changes and braking, the driver made before the collision. Unless this evidence and other evidence is preserved, it can go missing in the weeks and months after the accident.
Most trucking companies are major corporations, with a team of investigators, personal injury lawyers and experts on their side. Following a truck crash, the company will immediately send a response team to the accident scene. We act quickly for you, too. Our legal team will preserve and gather important evidence before it becomes “lost” or otherwise inaccessible.
Additionally, we will make sure we get information that is in the trucking company’s possession. This includes information from the truck’s event data recorder, or “black box,” which typically includes the vehicle’s speed and brake use in the seconds just before the crash. We will make sure that the trucking company retains the hours of service (HOS) logs. We can also demand to see the trucking company’s vehicle inspection, maintenance and repair records.
NEED A LEGAL ADVOCATE FOR YOUR TRUCKING ACCIDENT CLAIM?
If you were injured in a trucking accident caused by negligence, you may be eligible for compensation to cover your injury-related expenses. The best way to pursue monetary damages is with the help of a qualified personal injury attorneys. Most insurance carriers will do everything they can to avoid full payment on a claim. With skilled representation, your chances of a favorable settlement are greatly improved. The personal injury attorneys at Shaffer Law in Charleston, West Virginia can represent you as your trucking accident attorney and make sure that your rights are protected, and you get the compensation you are entitled to. Let Shaffer Law fight for you. Contact Us today.