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Charleston Truck Accident Lawyer

Charleston Truck Accident Lawyer

Corridor G, I-64, US-622, US-119, and MacCorkle Avenue.

These are just some of the accident-prone roadways in Charleston, WV, and the greater Kanawha County. Then there are Interstates 64, 77, and 79, along with the West Virginia turnpike, that see their fair share of crashes, too.

Many of these accidents involve trucks traveling in and around our state and into other ones. Whether you’ve been hurt in a crash on one of these roadways or any other, a Charleston truck accident lawyer can help you hold any parties responsible for harming you accountable for their actions.

We can’t get to work for you without meeting with you first. The sooner you reach out to us, the better chances we have of recovering evidence so we can build a strong case on your behalf.

Get in touch with our law office now to learn more about your rights and to ensure you put forward the strongest possible claim if you indeed have a valid one. That initial consultation is complimentary and is risk and obligation-free.

Types of Trucks That Cause Collisions

As you know, trucks come in all shapes and sizes to accommodate the different types of loads they carry. At Hendrickson & Long, PLLC, we have extensive experience handling cases involving the following types of trucks:

  • Logging trucks
  • Multi-car hauling trucks
  • Delivery trucks
  • Open-air trucks
  • Flatbed cargo-hauling trucks
  • Utility trucks
  • Box trucks
  • 18-wheelers
  • Tow trucks
  • Utility trucks

As you might tell from reviewing the list of different varieties of trucks above, they come in different potential weights and lengths. For example, a tractor-trailer can be as long as 72 feet and weigh anywhere from 35,000 to 80,000 pounds, depending on how loaded it is. In contrast, a small box truck used by a business for local deliveries, for example, might only be 18 to 26 feet long and weigh a maximum of 15,000 pounds.

If you don’t see the type of truck that struck you or your loved one on the list above, we will likely still handle your case. Contact us to discuss the specifics regarding your crash, and we’ll let you know how we might be of assistance to you.

Trucking Collisions We Handle

Just as there are many different types of trucks, the crashes they might become involved in can be starkly different.

At our law firm, some of the many different kinds of truck-involved accidents occurring in and around Charleston, WV that we have experience handling include:

  • Broadside collisions (also known as T-bone accidents)
  • Override crashes
  • Sideswipe accidents
  • Underride collisions
  • Lost load wrecks
  • Jackknife accidents
  • Loss of control collisions caused by tire blowouts
  • Front-end crashes and head-on accidents
  • Blindspot accidents
  • Rollover accidents
  • Rear-end crashes

And, since many of the wrecks above can not only result in physical injuries but also death, we feel it important to relay that we support surviving loved ones lost in fatal accidents as well.

Common Causes of Trucking Accidents in Charleston

With our attorneys’ combined decades of experience in practicing personal injury law, we’ve spent a lot of time evaluating crash reports and other evidence to pinpoint the causes of truck crashes.

Our experience is that some of the most common contributing factors that result in these trucking accidents include:

  • Substance abuse: Life can get lonely out on long haul trips that last several days, leading truckers to engage in abusing alcohol along with illegal or prescription drugs, resulting in drunk or drugged driving
  • Trucker fatigue: While drowsy driving can occur for a wide variety of reasons, it’s often attributable to federal Hours of Service violations
  • Roadworthiness issues involving the truck: This is often caused by failures to perform required pre-trip inspections, insufficient regular maintenance, or improperly fixed mechanical issues
  • Cargo loading issues: This category includes improperly secured loads or cargo imbalances, including overloading a trailer
  • Reckless driving: Speeding, including driving too fast for conditions, along with failing to yield to the right of way of others, are examples of this
  • Trucker inexperience: As veteran commercial driver license (CDL) holders have retired, new, less experienced truckers have come onto the scene who aren’t familiar with crash avoidance techniques like more seasoned operators are
  • Design and manufacturing concerns: Truck defects, caused by poor design or ineffective fabrication, can cause equipment failure issues, giving way to crashes
  • Operator errors: Reckless driving aside, carelessness or negligence, including incidents like leaving a dump truck’s bed up in the air or failing to properly tie down a load, can result in preventable and potentially deadly crashes
  • Passing issues: Passenger car operators may put themselves at risk of being struck by trucks if they linger too long in their blind zones instead of passing, and crashes can also occur because when they do pass, they cut in too tight that the trucker doesn’t have ample time or space to slow their vehicle to avoid the collision

If you believe another factor, other than the aforementioned, was responsible for causing your crash, reach out to share those details so we can advise you of your rights. Our law firm, Hendrickson & Long, PLLC, offers free consultations to truck accident victims so that they’ll know which legal remedies are available to them in their cases.

Injuries Caused by Truck Crashes

Since there are many different types of trucks and wrecks they cause, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the injuries that may result from them can be significantly different as well.

While the Charleston truck accident lawyer that you meet with for your initial consultation can certainly confirm whether they’ve represented clients who’ve suffered similar injuries or had a loved one who’s died, in our field, it’s, unfortunately, quite common for us to represent clients who’ve received:

  • Neck injuries: These can range from relatively minor whiplash and concussions to a broken neck and severed spinal cord
  • Head and traumatic brain injuries: Blunt force trauma injuries, such as a motorist’s head striking the car’s dashboard, can cause permanent brain damage, as can impaling injuries whereby a sharp object like glass, for example, penetrates the skull and brain
  • Internal organ damage: The force of a crash can put tremendous pressure on the body’s internal organs, like the liver or spleen, leading them to become severed or rupture, and the bleeding or release of toxic substances that occurs when this happens can cause rapid deterioration of a person’s health
  • Lower extremity injuries: The force of the crash can significantly impact whether or not the passenger compartment of a vehicle gets compromised, potentially fracturing ankles or feet and compressing the nerves and muscles in a person’s legs in the process
  • Spinal cord injuries: These can occur with almost any type of impact, such as a rear-end crash, and often leave someone with, at the very least, temporary, if not permanent, paralysis and associated functional impairments

A wrongful death is also an all-too-common result that stems from someone suffering cumulative injuries, whether multiple serious lacerations or a combination of the concerns listed above.

Compensation You Recover by Filing Insurance Claims

As you’ve likely discovered now that you’ve begun receiving treatment for your injuries or have begun grieving the loss of your close family member, the monetary losses caused by being hurt and not being able to work or not having the financial contribution from your deceased relative can make it hard to make ends meet.

This is why West Virginia law allows those affected by truck accidents to recover monetary compensation for their losses, including the following:

  • Economic losses: These types of damages are ones associated with tangible or documentable harm you suffered, such as medical expenses, lost wages, vehicle damage, or funeral and burial costs.
  • Non-economic losses: Damages like these include pain and suffering, mental anguish, loss of consortium, loss of enjoyment of life, and others.

In the case of non-economic damages, there is a cap that applies to how much you can recover in these cases. It currently sits at around $250,000 for most cases.

However, it increases to approximately $500,000 in ones involving catastrophic injuries or wrongful death. Just to be clear, we use the terms “around” and “approximately” in describing those recoverable amounts because they’re subject to annual adjustments for inflation.

Who You Can Pursue for Damages After a Tractor-Trailer Crash

Truck accidents are unique in that there are many more potentially responsible parties you can sue for damages you have after one of these wrecks, including:

  • Trucker drivers
  • Trucking companies
  • Truck manufacturers
  • Cargo loaders
  • Mechanics
  • Auto parts manufacturers

Don’t see the person or entity who you suspect caused your crash above? Reach out to our law office to discuss your suspicions and whether pursuing them for liability is a viable option in your case.

That call to speak with a Charleston truck accident lawyer doesn’t cost you a thing.

Proving Liability for the Wreck That Hurt You

Plaintiffs must prove the following elements of negligence if they want to be able to put up a strong claim that commands compensation for injuries, lost wages, and other accident-related losses. As far as those elements are concerned, you must be able to show:

  • The trucker or other potentially liable party owed you a duty of care to keep you safe
  • That person or entity breached their obligation to you
  • You suffered harm because they violated that duty they owed you
  • That harm you suffered has an associated monetary value, which you can document

Provided you can establish these elements of negligence, you likely have a viable claim.

However, since our state has a comparative negligence rule in place, if evidence shows that your own actions contributed 50% or more to causing the crash, West Virginia law may prohibit you from recovering compensation even if you can prove the elements above.

This is why it can be helpful to have an experienced attorney review the various aspects of your case to ensure you have one worth pursuing.

Evidence That Impacts Liability Determinations

The elements above clarify whether negligence occurred and, thus, if a defendant is liable.

Charleston truck accident lawyers like ours often painstakingly review countless pieces of evidence, including the following, to make liability determinations:

  • Police reports
  • Trucker driving records
  • Witness statements
  • Records showing regular truck maintenance occurred
  • Event data recorder (EDR) or “black box” records
  • Carrier operation records
  • Actual physical evidence, like potentially defective auto parts
  • Truck inspection checklists
  • Trucker cell phone data
  • Electronic logging device (ELD) data
  • Packing manifests, commonly known as bills of lading
  • Photos and videos
  • Medical records

The prospect of having to compile all of the evidence listed above may sound daunting to you; however, it isn’t to us as seasoned litigators. You can count on our legal team to use our years of experience in gathering all of the critical pieces of data to do the same in your case.

Whenever necessary, we have crash reconstructionists and medical experts at our disposal to aid us in identifying additional causes of crashes and evidence that may support those conclusions. This ensures no stone goes unturned as we look to build strong cases that command compensation for victims.

Building a Strong Case That Elicits the Compensation You Deserve

A crash with an 18-wheeler or other type of truck crash injured you and perhaps caused you to suffer life-altering injuries or took a family member from you far too soon.

While we would concur that it’s tragic and something no one should ever have to go through, you can’t reverse fate. You don’t have to let what happened stop you from picking up the pieces, moving forward, and living the best possible life you can with what remains.

And we can help you in that process.

West Virginia law sees the ability to file a civil lawsuit after preventable accidents such as truck wrecks as the ideal means of seeking justice. A plaintiff who is successful in filing suit is entitled to recover a monetary settlement for their losses, which our legal system sees as “making one whole” once again.

While we realize that it’s of little solace if your life is a shell of what it once was, our fighting aggressively for your rights can hopefully ensure you receive optimal medical care in the future or replace some of the financial contributions that you and your family lost.

Taking action can also deter others from repeating similar negligent actions in the future.

An initial case review session between you and a Charleston truck accident lawyer on our team is all it takes for us to start fighting for you. Get in contact with our legal team to discuss your case now.

We don’t charge anything to represent you unless we recover a settlement on your behalf.

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Call us or fill out the form on the right to tell us about your potential case. An attorney will get back to you as quickly as possible.