Truck Accidents (WV)
The NHTSA (National Highway Transportation Safety Administration) in the U.S. reported that almost 700 truck occupants were killed in large truck crashes in 2013, and that nearly 3,000 people in other vehicles were killed in these same accidents, as well. That tells us that truck accidents are probably something that trucking companies worry about all of the time. After all, if a single company was involved in less than a quarter of all of those incidents, it would still represent hundreds of fatalities and probably tens or hundreds of millions of dollars in liabilities.
The trucking companies, their insurance carriers, and even the drivers are all well aware of the threats posed to them by truck accidents, and yet they still occur each year. The causes behind them vary quite widely, and though the drivers of passenger vehicles can be just as much to blame for the incidents, it can also be due to a long list of violations, negligence, and wrongdoing on the part of the trucker or the trucking company. This is usually why, within minutes of any accident, the “risk management” division of a trucking company or insurer is going to be investigating the incident.
Now, imagine what that means for your chances of proving that the liability is not yours but the driver’s. Imagine how hard it is going to be to effectively obtain compensation from that trucking company if they have been able to take every possible step to reduce their liability to you. A single misstep, even a spoken statement at the scene when you are still terrified and upset from the accident, can end up reducing the company’s liability – or in some cases, eliminating it.
This is why the very first thing to do following an accident (if you are able to) is to get in touch with an attorney familiar with truck accidents in WV (West Virginia). Whether you are someone who is injured or you are the family of someone killed or harmed in such an incident, you must get a qualified legal expert on your side as quickly as you can.
The Reasons and the Proof
Remember that anyone seeking to obtain compensation from a trucking company may become a plaintiff in a court case. That will mean that the burden of proof is on you. In other words, you must prove how the trucker or the trucking company is liable to you. The longer you wait to gather evidence, the less likely you will be able to find it. So, getting in touch with an attorney immediately after an accident is going to help you prove any sort of violations on the part of the driver or the firm, or prove that a product liability issue exists, as well.
After all, a trucking company may not be the actual reason for an incident. A flawed brake line, a faulty tire, or some other systematic failure could be at the heart of the matter, and you may need to prove that as well.
So, if you have been involved in one of the truck accidents in WV this year, don’t hesitate to contact an attorney with a background in such cases. They are going to be able to help you understand what sort of claims you might pursue, how to do it, and then get you started. Heavens Law has ample experience with such cases and is glad to consult with you for free about the matter. They can help you to decide how to pursue any compensation due to you after a truck accident and will work with you for the best possible results.
Important Steps to Follow After a Truck Accident
If you’ve ever been in an accident involving a large commercial truck, you know it’s one of the scariest things one could imagine. The size and weight of these commercial vehicles can be terrifying. The increased size and weight and the very physics of being involved in an accident with a large truck often means that they end in tragedy for the occupants of the smaller vehicle. These situations can feel overwhelming. But despite how overwhelming these situations can be, it is critical that you take certain minimum actions to protect and ensure your own well-being. Following a crash, it is very common for people to be shaken up or not thinking clearly. We understand that it’s difficult to shift gears and go from being scared and shocked, to even thinking of the consequences of all this. As the injuries and pain continues, it is not unusual for days – even weeks – to pass following a truck accident before people start to consider what they must do to protect themselves. So, here are some things to consider following any accident involving a commercial motor vehicle that has caused injury:
1. Make sure you are okay. First, make sure you are okay. If you are, and only if it is possible and safe to do so, check on others and make sure they are okay as well. Call emergency personnel and remain there until they arrive.
2. Seek medical attention immediately. Following the accident, make sure that you and everyone else involved gets appropriate medical attention. Get help as soon as you possibly can so that your injuries are properly treated and you can make the best recovery possible. Sometimes pain or injuries will not manifest until after the fact. So even if you think you are okay, it is probably still a good idea to go get medical treatment to be safe. Immediate medical attention can greatly improve your prospects of recovery.
3. Get a copy of the police report. After you and others involved have treated for any injuries and you have rested, take the necessary steps to obtain a copy of the police report. You can call the responding law enforcement agency to find out how to do this. These resources will also help you: Spolation letter Free guide: 7 things to know after a truck accident
4. Gather information. Lots of relevant information can be discovered once you obtain the police report. Find out the truck driver’s name and insurance information, the insurance information for whoever owns the truck and trailer, and find out if there are any witnesses.
5. Do not admit fault. When you are speaking to police or the truck driver, simply report the facts of the collision. Do not assume fault or speculate about what happened. Be honest of course, but just stick to the facts and do not guess or make assumptions.
6. Contact your auto insurance company. As in all accidents, it is good practice to let your insurance company know immediately about the crash. Be honest about your injuries, and do not guess. Do not speculate. Just tell the truth and state the facts.
7. Do not talk to the trucking company’s insurance agents. The company’s insurance representative may contact you. They will come across as concerned, friendly, and helpful, but always remember: They work for the trucking company. It is easy to be lulled into believing that they have your interest in mind, but it is their job to act in the best interest of the trucking company. It’s best to avoid them entirely so that you do not accidentally say something which might jeopardize your rights or otherwise land you in trouble. Also, do not sign any materials or sworn statements they might give to you.
8. Consult an experienced trucking attorney if you have suffered personal injury. The rules surrounding truck accidents are very complicated, and they are very different from other types of motor vehicle cases involving cars or motorcycles. You may need help navigating through murky waters. Before going into any meetings with insurance representatives, or otherwise communicating with them, you should consult an attorney who can look after your interests and make sure your rights are preserved. It is a good idea to have somebody on your side.