West Virginia Truck Accident Attorney
Lawyers Serving Charleston and All of West Virginia
Commercial trucks and tractor-trailers are some of the largest and most inherently dangerous vehicles on the road. They are integral parts of the American economy and deliver millions of pounds of cargo every day. All drivers should understand the inherent risks these vehicles present on the road. When truck accidents happen, they typically cause significant damage and substantial economic losses to everyone involved. If you or a loved one recently suffered damages in a truck accident in West Virginia, contact Tiano O’Dell, PLLC to schedule a free consultation with a West Virginia truck accident lawyer.
WHY CHOOSE TIANO O’DELL, PLLC?
Hiring an attorney for a truck accident is a major decision, so you need to have confidence that the attorney you choose can handle the complexities of your case and guide you to a favorable result.
- Our attorneys have more than two decades of experience handling all types of civil claims for our clients in West Virginia.
- Our firm has the resources necessary to handle the toughest cases, and we are not afraid of trucking companies’ attorneys and insurance companies.
- We offer free consultations to potential new clients so they can better understand their legal options before committing to legal representation.
- Founding partners William Tiano and Tony O’Dell have earned recognition as Top 100 Trial Lawyers by the American Trial Lawyers Association and West Virginia Super Lawyers.
- We take personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis, meaning we only collect legal fees when we win, and we never charge any up-front costs to our clients.
Tiano O’Dell, PLLC has a strong reputation as one of the most successful personal injury firms in West Virginia thanks to our legal acumen and consistent dedication to helping our clients recover after suffering injuries from the negligence of others.
WHY HIRE A TRUCK ACCIDENT LAWYER?
A truck accident case may seem simple at first, but these accidents often involve more than one liable party, and an injured driver may potentially bear partial liability as well. An injured driver may believe that he or she can manage self-representation and secure compensation without hiring an attorney, but the average person with no legal experience will likely not have the time, resources, or energy to handle a lawsuit while recovering from injuries sustained in a truck accident. Hiring an attorney often means peace of mind; the victim can recuperate from his or her injuries while the attorney handles his or her legal issues.
A truck accident attorney can help an injured client build his or her case, represent the client in court, and even negotiate with insurance companies on the client’s behalf. Hiring an attorney typically means the client not only has a greater chance of successfully obtaining compensation, but also receiving more compensation than he or she could have secured without an attorney.
TRUCK ACCIDENT STATISTICS
Commercial and recreational truck accidents are responsible for thousands of injuries and deaths each year and the West Virginia truck accident attorneys at Tiano O’Dell, PLLC have seen the consequences of these accidents firsthand. Recent data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Association reveals the following:
- There were 19,000 people injured in large truck crashes in 2009 and 20,000 in 2010
- There were 732,000 people injured in light truck crashes in 2009 and 733,000 in 2010
- From 2009 to 2010 there was an 8.7% increase in deaths from large truck crashes
- In West Virginia, there were 357 vehicle deaths in 2009 and 315 vehicle deaths in 2010
If you were injured in an accident with an 18-wheeler, commercial truck, or a light truck that was caused by the negligence of the truck driver or another party, or if the crash was caused by mechanical failure, defective equipment, improperly loaded cargo or another reason, you may seek compensation for your injuries in a personal injury claim. It is advisable to obtain experienced, caring, and aggressive legal representation from a qualified West Virginia truck accident lawyer. Based in Charleston, Tiano O’Dell, PLLC represents injured truck accident victims and offers complimentary case evaluations (see below).
WHO CAN BE HELD LIABLE FOR A TRUCK ACCIDENT IN CHARLESTON, WV?
Commercial truck drivers, truck management companies, vehicle maintenance companies, cargo loading companies, and many other companies and individuals may all potentially be liable for their part in a commercial truck accident. While a seasoned West Virginia personal injury attorney experienced in truck accidents will be able to provide further insight regarding liability, the following is good to know:
- Commercial trucking companies are required to conduct in-depth background checks on their drivers.
- Truck drivers must complete specific training to become certified to drive.
- Drivers are permitted to drive only a specific number of hours per day and per week.
- Truck drivers and commercial vehicle operators must maintain thorough, accurate, and honest driving logs.
- Federal motor carrier safety regulations must be strictly followed.
Truck drivers and their employers owe the public a duty to drive according to specific rules and guidelines for safety purposes. Many accidents are caused when these rules are not followed. For example, if the truck driver drives more than the allowed number of hours, s/he may be fatigued. Driver fatigue causes many truck accidents. The accident attorneys at Tiano O’Dell, PLLC have a wealth of experience in Federal Regulations of Trucking Accidents and may conduct a thorough investigation to determine the cause of the negligence that contributed to your accident and consequent injuries.
COMMON CAUSES OF TRUCK ACCIDENTS
Truck accidents happen for various reasons. Any truck accident claim will entail a thorough investigation, and the cause of the accident usually determines liability for the resulting damages.
- Driver error. Trucking companies must ensure their drivers have the requisite experience before assigning them routes. Oversteering, negligent application of vehicle brakes, taking sharp turns too fast, or failing to signal lane changes and turns can lead to serious accidents. Truck drivers should know how to drive safely for conditions, manage changing road conditions, and navigate unfamiliar areas.
- Driver negligence. Truck drivers face demanding schedules, but they must not drive without adequate rest and regular breaks. Additionally, truck drivers have a higher duty of care than other drivers on the road due to the dangerous nature of their vehicles and must drive safely at all times. Aggressive driving, speeding, and moving violations can all cause accidents.
- Poor maintenance. Trucking companies must ensure their trucks receive appropriate regular maintenance. Failure to perform maintenance or inadequate maintenance can easily lead to catastrophic breakdowns and accidents. The party responsible for the truck’s maintenance would likely absorb liability for such an accident.
- Road hazards. Damaged road surfaces and debris can cause truck accidents, and liability typically falls to the government office responsible for the care and upkeep of the road where the accident occurred.
- Imbalanced cargo. Tractor-trailers and other commercial vehicles are larger and taller than typical passenger vehicles and therefore have higher centers of gravity. This makes these vehicles more vulnerable to tip-over and rollover accidents, especially if their cargo loads have not been properly balanced.
- Poor cargo security. Some commercial vehicles carry special types of cargo that cannot fit within standard trailers. Concrete pipes, construction supplies, timber, and smaller vehicles require specialized safety equipment or even specialized trailers. Failure to properly secure special types of cargo can easily lead to a catastrophic accident.
- Defective vehicles and parts. If a product manufacturer releases a defective part that causes an accident, anyone injured in the accident would likely have grounds for a product liability claim against the manufacturer.
- Negligent third parties. Aggressive drivers, drunk drivers, or speeding drivers can easily cause an accident involving a commercial truck and other vehicles, and liability for such an incident would fall to the negligent third party responsible for the accident.
The reality is that trucking accidents happen for various reasons, but the common denominator among all truck accidents is they generally cause significantly more damage than collisions between smaller passenger cars. Truck accident victims often sustain severe injuries and substantial economic losses.
POSSIBLE COMPENSATION FOR TRUCK ACCIDENT VICTIMS
After a truck accident victim identifies the party or parties responsible for his or her truck accident, a lawsuit against the liable party can potentially yield compensation to help the victim recover his or her losses. A truck accident victim can claim compensation for any and all damages resulting from the accident.
- Medical expenses. Truck accidents can cause severe injuries, some of which will require long-term treatment or result in permanent disability. The plaintiff in a truck accident lawsuit can claim compensation for immediate medical expenses like hospital bills, ambulance fees, or emergency airlift fees. A plaintiff can also secure compensation for future medical expenses resulting from the accident such as necessary physical therapy or other rehabilitative treatments.
- Lost income. A truck accident may leave a victim unable to work for a long time due to his or her injuries. A plaintiff in a truck accident lawsuit can claim compensation for lost income during recovery time, but it is also possible to secure compensation for lost future earnings if a truck accident leaves the victim completely unable to work in the future. The plaintiff’s attorney will likely call upon an expert witness with financial experience to testify to the plaintiff’s lost future earning potential.
- Property damage. A truck accident can easily destroy a smaller vehicle. Plaintiffs in truck accident lawsuits can recover compensation for vehicle repair or replacement costs as well as compensation for the value of expensive personal belongings damaged or destroyed in a truck accident.
- Pain and suffering. The justice system allows personal injury victims to recover compensation for noneconomic damages like physical pain, emotional anguish, and mental suffering. A truck accident can be a physically damaging and highly traumatic experience, and plaintiffs generally receive pain and suffering compensation that reflects the severity of their injuries and other damages.
- Punitive damages. In some cases, the defendant in a truck accident may have engaged in illegal or highly negligent behavior that extends beyond the scope of typical negligence. The jury may award punitive damages to further punish the defendant and discourage similar behavior in the future.
The right West Virginia truck accident lawyer can help an injured client recover his or her losses from a truck accident.
COMPLIMENTARY CONSULTATION WITH A CHARLESTON TRUCK ACCIDENT LAWYER
Tiano O’Dell, PLLC has received the distinction of the Preeminent Client Review Rating and Distinguished Peer Review Rating. These ratings are a respected mark of achievement and were earned by superior client service – and by getting results. If you were injured in a truck accident, it is vital to obtain the legal counsel of an aggressive and compassionate West Virginia truck accident attorney as soon as possible. At our Charleston law firm, our attorneys are plaintiffs’ rights lawyers and we firmly believe that you deserve to be compensated for your injuries. We also feel that the responsible parties should be held accountable for their negligent actions. There are no fees unless we win your case for you. We offer a complimentary consultation where you can ask questions and review possible options. To schedule your free case review, call Tiano O’Dell at (304) 720-6700 today.