The distribution of goods and services is a major factor in West Virginia’s economy. According to the West Virginia Trucking Association, in 2017 there were 35,810 jobs in the trucking industry. That’s equivalent to one in 15 jobs in the state. Nearly 84% of communities in the state depend exclusively on trucks to move their goods. It’s estimated that 65,448 tons are transported by trucks in the state on a daily basis.
While the trucking industry benefits millions of people, lives are forever changed when accidents happen. If you’ve been in a crash you believe should have been prevented, a Wheeling truck accident lawyer can help. We have years of experience representing accident victims, and we’ll do the same for you. Through a thorough investigation and the claim building process, we’ll determine who’s to blame for your accident. We’ll also calculate how much you’re owed for your losses. A major part of the damages you incur is likely related to the injuries you sustained during the crash.
Truck Accident Injuries
The injuries a person sustains in a crash vary significantly depending on the type of accident, the speed at which the crash occurred, and the age and health status of the victims. Significant costs are often associated with treatment and recovery, which is why filing a claim is so important. Some of the most common injuries our clients deal with include:
- Head and Brain Injuries. Depending on the severity of a head or brain injury, the consequences can be significant. While a mild head injury like a concussion is likely to get better in days or weeks, serious traumatic brain injury can impair a person’s cognitive abilities.
- Spinal Cord Injuries. The trauma from a truck accident can damage or injure the bones, muscles, or nerves in the spinal cord. Different types of paralysis, including partial, temporary, and complete, are possible. Even if the injury is not permanent, it can cause severe pain and disability and require extensive and complex rehabilitation.
- Burns. Burns are not uncommon in accidents involving trucks and passenger vehicles. This is because many commercial trucks carry hazardous, flammable materials. In addition to that, the heightened risk of damage increases the chances of the fuel tank erupting. Burn injuries are among the most painful to recover from.
- Neck and Back Injuries. Injuries to the neck and back are common in all types of motor vehicle collisions because of the force exerted on the body. But the severity changes depending on the types of vehicles involved. The structures in the neck and back are sensitive and complex, so recovery can be challenging.
- Lost Limbs. While lost limbs are rare, they are a possibility when a semi is involved in an accident. Arms, legs, hands, or feet can be severed during impact, or amputation may be necessary after being crushed or burned.
- Internal Injuries. The blunt force trauma of a collision can cause internal injuries to the bladder, spleen, liver, pancreas, or kidneys.
- Death. In the event negligence caused the accident and the injuries were fatal, the surviving family may have the right to file a wrongful death claim.
Understanding Trucking Industry Regulations
Depending on the cause of your accident, state and federal trucking regulations could play a significant role in proving fault. The laws the trucking industry are supposed to follow are in place for the safety of everyone on the road. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) establishes the federal regulations for trucking companies, truckers, how long drivers can be on the road, and vehicle requirements.
The West Virginia Department of Transportation has adopted parts of the federal trucking regulations. The laws regulate the trucks only running in West Virginia. As soon as interstate travel is involved, the federal regulations apply. The adopted laws include those revolving around driver qualifications, hours of services, and what truckers are required to carry while operating a truck.
Your lawyer will have a comprehensive understanding of the laws that apply to your claim. Doing so will help prove if any violations contributed to your accident. Violations could include driver error or fatigue, improperly loaded cargo, inadequate truck maintenance, or driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Recover Your Losses Today
At DiPiero Simmons McGinley & Bastress, PLLC, we’re proud to represent the residents of Wheeling. If you or someone you loved was injured in a crash with a tractor-trailer, our Wheeling truck accident lawyers are here to help you recover what you’ve lost.
We recognize the challenges of determining and proving liability for a truck wreck, especially when considering the fact that multiple parties could be involved. We’ll thoroughly investigate your accident to determine what happened and why. Whether the trucker was reckless, the trucking company was negligent, or the manufacturer sold a dangerous vehicle, we’ll get to the bottom of your crash and ensure all your losses are accounted for.
The personal injury claim process takes time. In order to maximize your chances of receiving the compensation you’re owed, it’s best to get in touch with an attorney as soon as possible. Contact our office today to schedule a free case review.