West Virginia truck accidents happen for many reasons, some of which occur due to negligence on behalf of drivers and some of which happen due to the reckless actions and inactions of trucking companies. Truck drivers are expected to meet demands that are unlike many other careers. For instance, on average, semi-truck drivers will work about 60 hours a week, which means that they drive over 100,000 miles a year. There is no doubt that a truck driver could become drowsy or distracted at some point on our roadways.
The Unrealistic Schedules Truck Drivers Face
When trucking companies force a driver to engage in tight schedules and deadlines, the likelihood that dangerous actions are going to take place on our roads is greatly increased. For instance, a truck driver might speed, violate regulations that state how many hours a driver can spend on the roadway, experience fatigue, and more, all in order to complete their delivery as-scheduled. According to a recent study, approximately 73% of drivers said that, on behalf of the expectations put in place by the company they work for, their delivery deadlines were unreasonable and left them very little room to move.
Companies are completely responsible for ensuring that they are not pushing their drivers to their limits, making impossible schedules, or failing to abide by the law when they ask drivers to put in extra hours. A trucking company is versed with the task of ensuring that a schedule is not unrealistic and violates the hours-of-service rules, putting lives at risk when truck drivers are forced to make a delivery on time.
In some cases, it is found following a serious truck accident that a company actually told a driver to break the regulations put in place for them and drive over 60 hours a week to ensure that all deliveries are made on time. Though these actions happen most often around the holidays, they can happen at many other times as well, leading to unsafe road conditions as employers push truck drivers beyond their own limitations. Mix this with other aspects, such as poor weather conditions and undertrained drivers, and you have a recipe for disaster.
Who is Responsible When a Truck Accident Occurs?
If you have experienced a truck accident and suffered injuries as a result, your first thought might be to blame the driver who injured you. However, you might be surprised to find that there is another party who you might be able to name in your lawsuit due to their negligence: the driver’s employer. Employers are supposed to ensure that their employees are doing everything possible to prevent harm on our roads. If an employer is physically pushing a truck driver to a new level and an accident occurs as a result, you might have a claim against both parties for compensation for your injuries.
If you have been seriously injured in a West Virginia truck accident at the hands of a negligent driver or employer, you are enduring an experience that many other individuals go through every year on our roads. Because of this, it is imperative to have a personal injury attorney on your side who understands truck accident laws in West Virginia and can stand up for your rights in your time of need. At Katz, Kantor, Stonestreet & Buckner, we are dedicated to handling your claim from start to finish as you navigate the legal system and work toward results. Please contact us at (304) 713-2014 to find out what we can do for you.