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How can West Virginia truck accident lawyers help after a tractor-trailer accident? They can aid you in filing a personal injury claim. Settlements from truck accident claims can help accident victims recoup after serious injuries caused by large truck collisions. Compensation could include payments for medical expenses, property damage, emergency care costs, and more. Serious injuries from truck accidents may leave you devastated, but filing an injury claim can help you gain back some of what you lost. You can learn more today through LegalFinders, a network of top law firms and legal professionals.
Are you or a loved one facing catastrophic injuries after an accident caused by a truck driver’s negligence? You’re not alone, and you may have legal options. Even if you were in a commercial truck accident caused by another reason, such as the trucking industry’s failure to provide proper training for truckers, you may be able to file a claim against them.
When heavy trucks collide with other, smaller cars, like passenger vehicles, the result is often devastating for the truck accident victims. They may face lengthy recovery times, life-changing injuries like paralysis or loss of limbs, lost time at work, financial hardships, hefty medical bills, and much more.
Because of this, accident victims may have the right to pursue compensation through either a truck accident claim or truck accident lawsuit. A personal injury claim seeks compensation from an insurance company after motor vehicle accidents. A personal injury lawsuit, on the other hand, allows the accident victim to pursue the party responsible if the accident occurred due to driver error or some other form of negligence.
How do you know if negligence was involved in your accident, or if you even qualify to file a claim? This is where West Virginia truck accident attorneys can help, and LegalFinders can connect you with some of the best attorneys near you.
During a free consultation, a lawyer will thoroughly assess the details of your case. They may ask for related documentation, including proof of medical bills, the police report, pictures from the scene of the accident, and more.
Once they have reviewed this information, they can help you file your claim, name the liable party, and seek the appropriate amount of damages based on your injuries and other factors. Should you need to begin a lawsuit, your personal injury attorney will not back down from the insurance companies, trucking companies, or other involved parties.
They will work to help you gain maximum compensation, so you can get your life back on track after the accident, and they will ensure you understand what’s happening with your case every step of the way. In short, your personal injury lawyer will act as your legal mouthpiece, offering the legal advice, expertise, and communication skills that are so critical for your case.
You can find out more about how to get started on your claim during a free case evaluation when you connect with LegalFinders today.
In 2019, the most recent year for traffic crash data, West Virginia saw 247 fatal motor vehicle crashes, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). While the overall rates of auto accidents and fatal crashes in West Virginia were lower than that of many other states, the number of deaths per 100,000 population was 14.5, higher than the U.S. average of 11.0. Other facts for truck accident rates in West Virginia include:
Fatalities involving large truck occupants in West Virginia
accounted for 3% of all fatal crashes in 2019
In contrast, fatalities for car occupants (29% of all fatal motor vehicle accidents)
87 fatalities for occupants of pickups and SUVs (33%)
While alcohol is a reported contributing factor to many auto accidents in all states
West Virginia had the lowest reported rate of blood alcohol concentration (BAC)
The majority of motor vehicle crash deaths take place on rural roadways
in West Virginia
Motor vehicle crashes are the top cause of death among children and young adults
ages 5 to 24
according to the West Virginia Violence & Injury Prevention Program
Fatal crash data compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) from 2000 to 2019 shows that the most deadly highway in West Virginia is I-77, particularly the one-mile stretch that runs through Mercer County.
In fact, there were 11 fatalities on that stretch alone during this time period. While fatal truck accidents and car accidents can happen anywhere, there are some roadways which see worse rates of crashes and related fatalities and injuries than others. In West Virginia, some of the most dangerous roadways include:
Learn answers below to commonly asked questions regarding large commercial truck accidents and personal injury cases.
It’s true that people with serious injuries may be awarded the largest payouts in truck accidents cases. However, this does not mean that only life-altering injuries are awarded compensation.
If you were hurt at all in a truck crash involving a big rig or other commercial vehicle due to negligence, you may be able to file a personal injury claim to seek compensation. Personal injury claims are intended to help accident victims pay for accident-related costs, since victims should not be held responsible for injuries they didn’t cause.
Whether you sustained a traumatic brain injury like a concussion or lost a loved one in a truck accident (wrongful death), you may be able to start a case. Talk to a West Virginia truck accident lawyer to know for sure.
Truck accidents may be caused by any number of contributing factors. The truck driver must avoid driver fatigue, be well-trained, and obey all traffic laws to help avoid an accident. When they fail to perform these responsibilities, the results can be devastating.
Yet, in some cases, the collision is not the trucker’s fault. The large truck could have faulty maintenance issues, leading to tire blowouts, for example. This could be considered negligence on behalf of the truck driver or the trucking company, depending on whether the trucker is an employee of the company or self-employed as a contractor.
Or, the crash may have occurred due to faulty weather conditions, poor road conditions, or other extenuating circumstances, such as a passenger vehicle rollover accident taking place in front of the semi-truck.
While accidents may occur for any number of reasons, you may be able to file a truck accident claim if any of those reasons were due to someone’s negligence.
One important law that applies to truck accident cases in West Virginia is the statute of limitations, or the time limit within which you must file the claim. You have two years to file your claim from the day of your accident.
This is true in most cases, though sometimes the statute may be longer. If you do not see the depth of your injuries until months after your injuries, you may have longer to file. Only a truck accident lawyer can help you determine how long you have to file, though, so don’t delay in getting started.
West Virginia operates on an ‘at-fault’ principle for auto accidents, including large truck accidents. What does this mean? You can file a claim against the responsible party, such as the truck driver, after a truck accident.
In a no-fault state, each party files with their respective insurance company to be compensated for losses in a car accident. But in West Virginia, you can seek compensation from the negligent party, whoever it may be.
Because West Virginia is an at-fault state, you can still file an injury claim to cover medical costs, vehicle damages, and other accident-related costs after a truck accident. However, while you may file a claim, there is a limit to how much fault you may have in an accident and still receive compensation.
If you were 50% or more at fault for the truck accident, you may not receive compensation for your injuries in West Virginia, a principle known as modified comparative negligence. This is why it’s helpful to work with West Virginia truck accident attorneys, who will work hard to ensure you are not assigned more fault than is rightfully yours.
The most common types of damages awarded in personal injury claims for truck accident cases are compensatory damages, or those which directly compensate you for a loss. Two common types of compensatory damages are economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages can be considered those that have a specific value, such as medical bills, missed wages from work, or property damage to your vehicle. Non-economic damages are those that are harder to put a number on, like pain and suffering at the loss of your loved one.
In rare cases, a court may award punitive damages, which are meant to punish the responsible party to teach them a lesson. These aren’t awarded often, and have a cap of $500,000 or four times the amount of compensatory damages awarded, whichever is greater, according to the WV Code § 55-7-29.
To begin your injury claim, get in touch with an experienced truck accident lawyer for a free initial consultation. LegalFinders can connect you with top law firms in your area who only employ legal professionals with the skills and experience necessary to get the results you want.
During your consultation, your attorney may ask for documentation such as medical care records and any copies of medical expenses, eyewitness statements or contact information, a copy of the police report, if you have it, and more. It may help to have this information handy when you call. If you can’t gather this information, no worries — your lawyer will let you know everything you need to do to get started.
There is no guarantee that you will be awarded a settlement in a truck accident case, but there are steps you can take to increase the likelihood of your claim’s success. The most important of these is to hire and work with a reputable personal injury lawyer.
The best lawyers will have experience in practice areas related to your case, such as truck accident cases, will know the laws that apply, and will have the skill set to build a solid case. Another important step is proving negligence in your case, as all personal injury cases hinge on negligence.
Your lawyer must prove that the responsible party was negligent at the time of the truck accident, that this negligence led to your accident, and that the accident resulted in your injuries. An experienced lawyer will know the best ways to go about each of these tasks, and will build an airtight case to help you have the best chance at securing the compensation you deserve.
If you’re ready to begin your personal injury claim in Charleston, Morgantown, or elsewhere in West Virginia, allow LegalFinders to be your one-stop solution for finding quality legal representation. We can connect you with top-rated truck accident lawyers in your area backed by impressive track records, years of expertise, and the reputations to prove it. Get started now by reaching out for your free case evaluation.