According to statistics, West Virginia is one of the top 10 states for the most fatal truck accidents. Due to the fact that these trucks are so large, there is no question as to why these accidents tend to end in catastrophic and even fatal results to those involved, and some of our most vulnerable parties. Many of these accidents happen due to inexperienced drivers, defects, improperly loaded cargo, and many other reasons. Luckily, truck accidents do not happen as commonly as other types of accidents. In fact, out of approximately 34,000 fatal crashes that happened in 2014, only around 4,000 of those involved a large truck or a bus.
When you have been involved in a truck accident on West Virginia roads, you might say to yourself, “The truck driver acted negligently and caused my accident” and have an idea in your mind that this is how you will move forward with your claim. However, any experienced attorney who has handled truck accident cases will tell you that liability is not always as clear as it seems in these cases.
Liability in Truck Accident Cases
Many truck accidents will be independently investigated after they take place. This is a requirement that is put in place to protect you when you contact an attorney to handle your case, as many truck companies have been known to, unfortunately, destroy critical evidence that can help in the midst of your claim. Here are some of the parties who might be responsible for your truck accident:
Driver: A truck driver is probably one of the first parties you consider when determining liability in your truck accident case. There are many reasons why truck drivers cause accidents every year, from losing control when they become distracted to the possibility of falling asleep at the wheel. In some cases, truck drivers are held fully accountable due to these actions and, in other cases, they do not stand alone.
Trucking Company: The truck company is typically also liable as long as the truck driver is an actual employee and not an independent contractor. If the company hired the trucker and the accident happened during work hours, they might be liable. Trucking companies are known for pushing drivers to meet high demands, which could cause chaos to break out in one of these accidents.
Truck Owner: Sometimes, a different owner owns the vehicle. This means that they hold responsibility in checking the engine, doing inspections, and keeping up with work on the truck. This also means that they could be liable.
Manufacturer: If parts on a truck malfunction and cause the driver to lose control and cause harm to another party, there is a good chance that a manufacturer could be held responsible for one of these accidents.
Speaking with a Truck Accident Attorney
If you have been seriously injured or a loved one has lost their life in a truck accident case in West Virginia, our experienced attorneys at Katz Kantor Stonestreet & Buckner are here for you every step of the way. From the moment you have been injured and start working on medical treatment to speaking with insurance adjusters or starting negotiations, we have what it takes to make the most out of your claim and help you receive results you can rely on. Our personal injury attorneys understand you are going through one of the most difficult times of your life, so please do not hesitate to contact us for more information at (304) 713-2014.