West Virginia is known for a lot of things, from its raging rapids to its gorgeous mountains to Mountaineer football. It is also a key transportation hub, with millions of tons of freight being moved through the state annually. While this may be an economic boon, it also creates a danger for drivers throughout West Virginia.
Truck accidents are far too common on the highways and roads around Beckley, WV. A collision between a big rig and a passenger vehicle can cause serious, life-threatening injuries. In these situations, an experienced Beckley truck accident attorney can fight for your right to full compensation.
The legal team at Johnstone & Gabhart is dedicated to helping injury victims get the money that they deserve for their losses. We offer free initial consultations and never charge a fee unless we recover money for you. Reach out to our law firm today to schedule an appointment with a WV personal injury lawyer.
Why Truck Accidents Are Different
There is a common misconception that motor vehicle accidents are all the same. Unfortunately, that isn’t the case when it comes to crashes that involve a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) and a passenger car, truck, or SUV. These collisions are far more complex than a typical car accident – and often cause serious injuries.
CMVs can weigh up to 80,000 pounds – compared to 2,000 to 4,000 for a passenger vehicle. Given the size differential, it isn’t surprising that truck accidents are often associated with catastrophic injuries. Our law firm has handled cases involving serious truck accident injuries, including:
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Spinal cord injury and paralysis
- Puncture wounds
- Internal organ damage
- Crushing injuries
- Broken bones
These types of injuries can happen in any accident but are more commonly seen in truck accidents. When a person suffers life-changing injuries, it is incredibly important to have a skilled Beckley truck accident lawyer to fight for full compensation.
Truck accidents also present more complex legal issues. Commercial motor vehicles are governed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). This agency regulates everything from truck maintenance to the length of time that drivers can be on the road without a break to drug testing. Understanding FMCSA rules is particularly important in a truck accident case, as a violation may demonstrate liability.
These types of cases may also involve various defendants (at-fault parties). Depending on the facts of the case, this may include the truck driver, the trucking company that employs them, a truck or part manufacturer, a company that performed truck maintenance, or a loading company. A skilled Beckley truck accident lawyer will thoroughly investigate the accident to determine who may be responsible for your injuries.
Filing a Lawsuit for a Beckley Truck Accident
If the truck driver – or another party – was at fault for your truck accident, you may be able to file a lawsuit against them. These lawsuits are usually based on a theory of negligence, or carelessness. In some cases, such as drugged or drunk driving accidents, the case may be brought on a theory of reckless or intentional conduct.
There are many different potential causes of a truck accident. The underlying reason for the accident may be the basis of a lawsuit. For example, if a truck’s cargo was improperly loaded, causing the truck to jackknife, then whoever was responsible for loading the cargo could be found liable for the crash.
Other potential causes of truck accidents include:
- Driver fatigue
- Driving under the influence
- Distracted driving
- Tire blow-outs
- Reckless driving
If you were hurt in a truck accident, then you will generally have the burden to prove that the at-fault driver (or other entity) was responsible for the crash and your injuries. A seasoned Beckley, West Virginia truck accident lawyer can work with you to put together a strong claim for compensation.
Compensation in a Truck Accident Lawsuit
In any West Virginia personal injury claim, you may seek damages (money) for your full scope of losses. In most cases, this will include economic and non-economic damages. In some cases, you may also seek punitive damages.
Economic damages are designed to compensate an accident victim for their direct financial losses. Examples of economic damages include property damage, lost wages, reduced earning capacity, medical expenses, and future medical treatment.
Non-economic damages pay for intangible losses. While these losses may be harder to quantify, they are no less important than economic damages. Examples of non-economic damages include pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, emotional distress, scarring, and disfigurement.
Finally, punitive damages may be awarded in cases where the truck driver – or another party – acted intentionally or recklessly. Punitive damages are meant to punish someone who acted wrongfully, so they aren’t available in cases involving negligence (carelessness). An example of a truck accident case where punitive damages may be awarded is one where a crash was caused by a driver who was using drugs at the time of the crash.
How Our Law Firm Can Help
Truck accidents can cause devastating and even fatal injuries. If you have been hurt in a truck accident, you may be able to seek compensation through a lawsuit. Our law firm will advocate for your right to full compensation.
Based in Charleston, Johnstone & Gabhart represents injury victims throughout West Virginia. We have a track record of success and work hard to help our clients get the money that they need to move forward with their lives. To learn more or to schedule a free initial consultation with a Beckley truck accident attorney, give us a call at 304-343-7100 or fill out our online contact form.
How Long Do I Have to File a Truck Accident Lawsuit?
The statute of limitations for motor vehicle accidents in West Virginia is 2 years. With few exceptions, this means that you have 2 years from the date of a truck accident to file a lawsuit. If you don’t file a claim within this time period, then your case may be thrown out of court.
2 years may seem like a lot of time, but it can go quickly when you are going to doctor’s appointments and dealing with your recovery. The sooner that you consult with a Beckley truck accident lawyer, the faster the claim process can start. Reach out to Johnstone & Gabhart today to schedule a consultation with a member of our legal team.
How Much Is My Truck Accident Case Worth?
It depends. The value of any claim is based on a few factors, including the severity of your injuries, whether you will have a permanent disability, if you were partially responsible for the accident, and the limits of the at-fault party’s insurance policy. For example, if you suffered a minor broken bone and were distracted at the time of the crash, then you will probably recover less than a person who was paralyzed in a truck accident and was not responsible for it in any way.
During a free initial consultation, your attorney will give you a ballpark estimate of the value of your case. Over time, this number may increase or decrease. In Beckley, West Virginia, call Johnstone & Gabhart to schedule a free initial consultation.