Charleston Truck Accident Lawyer
No one expects a truck accident to happen. Not only are they devastating physically, but also emotionally and financially. After a truck accident, the victims are faced with severe injuries, high medical bills, property damage, insurance claims, and forced time off of work. If you or a loved one has been in a truck accident, our Charleston truck accident lawyers at the Joel Bieber Firm are prepared and well-equipped to help you and recover from the truck accident.
Interstate 81 only traverses through West Virginia for 26 miles, in the far eastern part of the State. However, according to research, it is where the highest concentration of truck accidents and fatalities occur per mile. In 2020, West Virginia was ranked as the 5th highest rate of fatal truck accidents per capita against all 50 states.
Not only do you need to be careful while driving, but if you are involved in a West Virginia truck accident, our truck accident lawyers are well-versed in handling complicated truck accident cases. We will work with you through this difficult time and guide you on how to proceed.
Trucks are heavy, large vehicles that are much harder to operate than cars. Truck drivers work long hours and they are motivated by their employers to cover long distances in a short period of time. While there are laws and regulations in place to ensure safety, it is up to the truck driver whether or not to abide by them.
At The Joel Bieber Firm, we have a winning reputation for handling truck accidents. Truck cases require specific knowledge of commercial driving license laws and our truck accident lawyers know these regulations at a detailed level. We are prepared to help serve your needs.
Steps You Need to Take Immediately After a Charleston Truck Accident
The steps that you take after a truck accident are extremely important. Trucks can cause extreme harm during and following an accident. Follow these steps immediately following an accident to ensure you are setting yourself up for a successful truck accident claim:
- Move to a safe and secure area away from the vehicles in the accident: Immediately following an accident, it is important to secure a safe location if you are not too injured to move. By moving to a safe location, you are preventing further damages and protecting your best interest. Ensure others in your vehicle are safe and confirm their condition.
2. Call the Police: Once you get to safety, call the police immediately so that they can get to the accident scene as soon as possible. The police officers will be able to file an accident claim and act as a resource moving forward with resolving your truck accident claim. While the police will document the accident scene and gather information, do not rely on their report for your own accord of the accident.
3. Exchange information with all those involved and document the accident scene: If you are able, it is extremely important to gather information from the other drivers, such as their vehicle registration, contact, and insurance information. We highly recommend that you take pictures of the accident scene, any vehicles involved, the surrounding areas, and gather the contact information of any witnesses.
4. Seek medical attention and document your injuries: Even if you think your injuries are minor, you should consult with a doctor as soon as possible after any serious vehicle accident. Continue to keep monitoring your health as some symptoms of injuries, such as headaches, dizziness, or pain, do not appear for hours and even days following a crash. If your injuries are visible, have a loved one or friend take photos of them as soon as possible after the accident and as you recover.
5. Call the Charleston truck accident lawyers at The Joel Bieber Firm: As soon as you contact our Richmond truck accident lawyers, we will evaluate your claim and work to ensure that your rights are protected. We will work with you to determine the best course of action that works for your unique situation. Contacting your Richmond truck accident lawyer as soon as possible after your accident will help to ease your burden of managing your claim.
Determining Truck Accident Liability
Like most motor vehicle accidents, truck accidents are typically preventable. A preventable truck accident is one that occurs because the driver failed to take the precautions to prevent it. There are several potential parties that are responsible for a truck accident. Some of those include:
- The Truck Driver
- The truck driver is the most expected liability holder for a truck accident. Truck drivers have specific rules and regulations surrounding the number of hours a truck driver is allowed to drive, as well as other stipulations. Additionally, if they were distracted while driving or acting negligently, they are liable for the accident.
- Trucking Company
- If the truck driver is not an independent contractor, they are likely working for a trucking company at the time of the accident. If the cargo load was not properly secured or there was a brake failure, the truck accident would be the trucking company’s fault.
- Government Entities
- If the road was in a dangerous or unsafe condition, the local government entity that oversees the road will be responsible for the accident. Trucks are large vehicles that require their drivers to pay special attention to the road. If a road is dangerous, it may put the truck driver and others in harm’s way.
Different Types of Truck Accident Lawsuits
- Negligence: Lawsuits filed to recover compensation for injuries sustained in a truck accident will often be based on the truck driver’s negligence. To prevail in a negligence lawsuit, the injured will have to show the truck driver had a duty of care to other vehicles on the road, the driver breached this duty through some action or failure to act, an injury was sustained, and the breach of duty caused the injury. In some instances, the owner of the trucking company and manager, the owner of the truck, the employer of the driver, and they’re respective insurance companies may be liable after a crash. Some common indications of negligence include:
- Lack of truck driving experience
- Overloading trucks
- Operating oversized trucks on narrow roads
- Failure to see other vehicles due to the truck’s large blind spot
- Failing to obey traffic laws
- Driving for too long without taking a break
- Failure to monitor the driving hours of the truck driver
- Not keep the tractor and/or trailer in a safe, working condition
- Hiring an unqualified or unfit truck driver
- Failure to properly supervise the truck driver
- Failure to properly train the truck driver
- Selecting an unqualified or unfit truck company
- Product Liability: If a defect in the truck or one of its components contributed to the accident, there may be a viable claim against the product manufacturer(s). Product liability suits may also be sought under strict liability where proof of negligence is unnecessary; however, claimants must prove the defect originated in the manufacturing process to prevail. This will require analysis, testing, and testimony by experts. Product liability lawsuits based on manufacturer’s negligence will require the injured party to show:
- The defective truck or a particular part was “unreasonably dangerous”
- The truck was being operated as the manufacturer intended
- The truck’s performance had not changed since its initial purchase
- Wrongful Death: Unfortunately, it is all too common that a truck accident is so severe that the victim does not survive the crash. The victim’s family may bring a claim on behalf of their loved one to recover compensation for their losses. Wrongful death claims require the family to prove the same facts as the deceased, had they survived and pursued a claim on their own. Our Charleston truck accident lawyers can help family members recover economic, non-economic, and sometimes even punitive damages for the loss of their loved one.
What Happens if My Truck Accident Case Requires A Court Hearing?
Our Charleston truck accident lawyers will try to grant you a settlement outside of the courtroom. Unfortunately, that cannot always be completed because trucking companies rarely offer fair compensation to victims.
In the event that we must bring your truck accident case to court, we are prepared to advocate on your behalf. At The Joel Bieber Firm, our truck accident lawyers will prepare your case from the start, in the event that your case does require a court hearing. We understand the complex nature of truck accidents, and we work hard to ensure you are set up for success in your truck accident claim.
Contact Our Charleston Truck Accident Lawyers Today. We Are Here To Help You.
At The Joel Bieber Firm, our Charleston truck accident lawyers take pride in our ability to guide our clients throughout their truck accident claims. Part of our duty to you is to be a counselor who will advise you based on our legal experience in and out of the courtroom.
Contact an experienced Charleston truck accident lawyer at The Joel Bieber Firm today for your free initial consultation. Please fill out the form on this page.