Morgantown Truck Accident Lawyers
The Morgantown Truck Accident Lawyers at Slavey & Shumaker PLLC are known for aggressive settlement negotiations and diligent litigation in West Virginia Truck Accidents. Call us today at (304) 212-5791 to schedule a free initial consultation.
Large truck and commercial truck accidents are some of the most devastating accidents Slavey & Shumaker PLLC handles in West Virginia. In West Virginia, specifically, the cold winters, conditions/maintenance of the roadways, mountainous terrain, and narrowing bends and curves combined with the coal and gas industries provides a recipe for high rates of large truck and commercial truck accidents. Many of these crashes involve two or more passenger cars and can be severe, but when a semi-truck or big rig are involved, they can be deadly.
In most cases, an accident between a large 18-wheeler truck and a passenger vehicle will usually result in greater damage than an accident between two passenger vehicles. Due to the large amount of power and heavy weight of commercial trucks, when an 18-wheeler truck leaves the roadway, crosses into another lane, or rolls over, there’s a good chance more than one car will be damaged and the driver and passengers injured.
If you or a loved one has been a victim of a semi-truck collision in the state of West Virginia, you should know that you may have legal options. Our Morgantown Truck Accident Lawyers at Slavey & Shumaker PLLC can assist you getting the money you deserve to pay for your family’s medical bills and find the road to recovery. First, let’s go over some facts about large semi accidents.
Truck Accident Statistics
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), in 2016, of the 34,439 fatal crashes on the Nation’s roadways, 4,079 (11.8 percent) involved at least one large truck or bus. In addition, there were an estimated 7,242,000 nonfatal crashes, 537,000 (7.4 percent) of which involved at least one large truck or bus. 61 percent of fatal truck accidents occurred in rural areas and 27 percent occurred on interstate highways. There were 475,000 police-reported crashes where trucks were involved.
These are alarming numbers during an era where our cars, trucks, and other motorized vehicles come equipped with tools and devices that feature the technology to help keep drivers and their passengers safe. However, an even more alarming number of commercial trucking corporations remain behind in regard to technology and do not take advantage of many of these potentially life saving features, choosing profit over the well being of their drivers and other motorists.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents and Collisions in West Virginia
While a commercial truck collisions are common and happen for a wide variety of reasons, the most common cause is someone acting negligently. When a commercial truck driver fails to pay attention, is driving distracted, or ignores a safety measure for for one moment, they’re endangering the lives and safety of everyone on the road. Below is a list of some of the most common causes of West Virginia truck wrecks:
Truck drivers routinely drive long and hard hours to pick up and deliver their loads as quickly as possible, leaving them tired and stressed. These long hours and demanding schedule can cause them to fall asleep at the wheel, simply make mistakes due to fatigue, or take chances they know may be unsafe.
In many instances, trucking companies have guidelines set in place limiting the driving time and as to how often a truck driver must sleep or take a break. However, truck drivers do not always follow the guidelines because they are not usually monitored, leaving the driver free to bend or ignore the guidelines and drive while fatigued.
As with other drivers, when a truck driver is tired, their response time and reactions are diminished and may forget to use basic safe driving practices or can easily fall asleep at the wheel and swerve into the lane next to them or run off the road.
Unsafe Driving Techniques
There are numerous hauling and commercial truck crashes caused by unsafe driving techniques. For instance, a truck driver in a hurry may drive too fast for road conditions or design and cause an accident. They may also ignore stop lights or traffic signs or overload their cargo. Other vehicles on the road may also drive too quickly, follow too close to a truck, or drive in a semi-truck’s large blind spots.
Dump trucks and semi-trucks need more time and distance to slow down before they make a turn or stop. They generally take more time to switch lanes because of their additional weight and how fast they’re going. Truck drivers that do not allow for this additional time and space or properly signal could cause a serious trucking accident.
Speeding on West Virginia’s highways or country roads is dangerous for any type of vehicle, but tractor trailers, coal trucks, oil and gas trucks, and commercial dump trucks are at a higher risk of causing life-threatening and deadly collisions if they are driving over the speed limit. When traveling too fast, a tractor trailer can jackknife and the drivers may lose control of the trailer.
Other types of negligence can also lead to a devastating truck accident, such as:
- driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol,
- distracted driving,
- crossing the center line,
- traveling off the roadway,
- swerving into oncoming traffic,
- driving too fast for highway and/or weather conditions, and
- failing to obey traffic signs.
As you can see from the above list, negligent or reckless actions cause most hauling and commercial truck accidents.
Negligent, reckless, and careless truck drivers deserve to be held accountable for their actions. As do trucking corporations that fail to properly maintain or upgrade their trucks or require their drivers to be on the road for too many hours without taking a break. Fortunately, through the West Virginia legal system, the commercial truck accident lawyers at Slavey & Shumaker PLLC can hold responsible truck drivers and companies liable for the accidents they cause.
Commercial Trucks that Aren’t Properly Equipped for Safety
Although West Virginia commercial truck drivers must comply with Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) guidelines, truck manufacturers and carriers are not required to keep the technology in their trucks upgraded.
Tractor trailers and other commercial trucks often have maximum weight limits for what the truck can safely transport or haul. The cargo the truck is hauling needs to be within this weight limit and must be distributed to allow the truck’s axles to support it evenly. Failing to follow these guidelines can easily lead to the driver losing control of the truck or parts of the truck failing.
Dump trucks, 18-wheeler trucks, and other commercial trucks that are not properly maintained sometimes have defects that can endanger and cost lives when driven on a busy highway or county road. Proper up-keep and maintenance helps trucking companies identify and repair defects before they become dangerous.
Commercial hauling and trucking companies are responsible for making sure their vehicles are safe and road worthy. Hauling and trucking companies that knowingly or negligently put unchecked or unfit vehicles on the road are putting their drivers and everyone else on the road at risk.
Beyond hauling and trucking company or driver negligence, commercial trucking manufacturers may sell defective equipment that wears or breaks down over time. For instance, a driver who is alert and obeying the rules of the road may unexpectedly find that their brakes or steering has gone out or an engine may cause issues. These types of defective equipment problems can be deadly on West Virginia roads and highways.
No matter the reason, the attorneys at Slavey & Shumaker PLLC will find out what went wrong and hold the responsible party accountable for their actions or defective products.
Truck Accident Injuries
A commercial truck or 18 wheeler crash has the potential to cause terrible injuries that require immediate medical attention and care for long periods of time. In some instances, these injuries could cause chronic issues or make a change that drastically alters the person’s life.
- Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). Traumatic brain injuries can leave long-lasting impairments on cognitive ability like memory or communication.
- Neck and Spinal Cord Injuries. Injuries to the neck and spine can be extremely painful and have horrible consequences, such as paralysis. Even where permanent injuries are not present, someone who has suffered a spine injury can potentially have mobility complications in the future.
- Loss of Limb. A hauling and trucking accident may cause the loss of an arm or leg in the accident, or a limb may suffer so much damage it requires amputation.
- Broken Bones. The extreme force of a commercial truck crash can result in broken or shattered bones that require surgery, casts, and an extended time to recover.
- Death. The most sever and most unfortunate result of a commercial trucking accident is the death of an innocent party. However, due to the nature of truck accidents, it is not uncommon.
Some of these injuries can impair a person for the rest of their life or prevent them from returning to their job or even affect their ability to work at all. A truck accident injury can require intense medical care after the accident and in some instances may require expensive medical equipment and home health care treatment for the rest of their lives. These unexpected life changes are difficult to deal with physically, emotionally, and financially. That’s why the Morgantown Truck Accident Lawyers at Slavey & Shumaker PLLC will fight to get you the compensation you deserve.
Get Help from Slavey & Shumaker PLLC Today
When we file a commercial hauling or truck accident lawsuit, we are helping to hold the negligent truck driver or trucking company responsible while ensuring you get the financial compensation you need to move forward with your lives. Tractor trailer and other trucking accident claims may be difficult to win in court, but with the help of our attorneys, your case can make a world of difference.
At Slavey & Shumaker PLLC, we have a team of Morgantown Truck Accident Lawyers and tools you need to win your 18-wheeler or semi-truck accident lawsuit.
During our investigation of the accident, we can help determine whether a trucking company or manufacturer was at fault for your accident or if truck driver or company negligence or recklessness was the cause.
After investigating the truck accident, we process your claim and prepare to negotiate and litigate your case. Commonly, truck collision lawsuits take many months to complete, but if we show the truck driver or trucking company was negligent, you will be thankful you chose Slavey & Shumaker PLLC’s Morgantown Truck Accident Lawyers to represent your interests.
How Much Is My Truck Accident Claim Worth?
No attorney in West Virginia can guarantee a specific outcome for your case, as there are a number of factors that will determine whether your claim is successful and the amount of compensation you may recover.
These factors include:
- The cost of your medical bills;
- The cost of any future medical treatment you may require;
- Your time off from work and the amount of income you lost due to your injuries;
- Whether your injuries have impacted your ability to earn income in the future;
- Any modifications you have made to accommodate your injuries;
- The cost of repairing your vehicle and other property;
- Whether your injury caused permanent scarring, disability, or the loss of any bodily functions.
West Virginia’s Best Truck Accident Lawyers
The Morgantown Truck Accident Lawyers at Slavey & Shumaker PLLC handle commercial hauling and trucking accident cases on a contingency fee basis, which means you pay us nothing unless we get money for you. Our attorneys will work to get you the compensation and peace of mind you deserve. For more information or for a free, no-obligation case consultation, contact ustoday.