In 2014, there were a total of 3,744 fatal accidents involving large trucks in the United States. The state of West Virginia accounted for 25 of these accidents. That is at least 25 fatalities that drivers may have avoided with proper attention to the roadway. The majority of truck accidents come from negligence – truck driver error, poor vehicle maintenance, or mistakes the trucking company makes.
If you’ve been involved in a truck accident in West Virginia, with or without injury, you may not know the proper steps to take. You must report the accident, call your insurance company, and explore your rights as an injured victim with a West Virginia truck accident lawyer. Negligence-related truck accidents may be grounds for personal injury lawsuits. Keep this list in your vehicle to know what to do in the event of a truck accident.
Call the Police
In a major or minor crash, it is important to call the police and report what happened. An official report of the accident can prove that it actually occurred, and note important details such as the other driver’s information in a permanent record. If you fail to report an accident, you may have trouble receiving compensation in the future. When speaking to the police, do not admit fault for the accident. State only known facts, such as the directions both vehicles were traveling at the time of the collision.
Even if you believe you were responsible, there may be elements you are not aware of, such as the truck driver’s contributory negligence or a roadway hazard that contributed to the crash. Admitting fault can potentially bar you from collecting damages, or lessen your recovery in the future. Be as detailed as possible in your police report while the information is still fresh in your memory.
Seek Medical Attention (with or Without Injuries)
After a truck accident, head to a doctor and tell him or her what happened. Seek medical attention after a crash even if you do not feel injured. You may have sustained an injury with delayed symptoms, such as a minor concussion, slipped disc in your back, or internal bleeding. Waiting to see a doctor can affect your chances of compensation for your injuries. The defense could allege that your injuries must not have been very serious if you delayed medical treatment. Your safety and health are most important after an accident. Seek medical care as soon as possible to maximize your chances of healing.
Report the Accident to Your Insurance Company
Do not skip this step or unnecessarily delay your call to your insurance company, as it could negatively affect the outcome of your case. Many insurers require immediate reporting to cover damages. Tell your representative you were involved in a truck accident, and answer his or her questions as honestly and accurately as possible. Follow your representative’s directions for the next step, such as taking your vehicle to an approved auto shop for an analysis of damages.
Speak to the Truck Driver’s Insurance Company
Accidents involving commercial trucks will most likely involve conversations with the trucking company’s insurer. If the truck driver was at fault, the trucking company’s insurer may offer you a settlement over the phone. Keep in mind that it is the insurance claims adjuster’s job to minimize the amount of money the insurance company loses in a claim. In most cases, your accident is worth more than the insurer’s first settlement offer. If you do not feel confident negotiating a settlement on your own, contact an personal injury attorney in West Virginia.
Contact a Truck Accident Lawyer in West Virginia
After a negligence-related truck accident, you have the right to file a claim against the driver, the trucking company, and/or a third party. Talk to an attorney during a free consultation to discuss the potential merit of your case as a personal injury lawsuit. A lawsuit could result in compensation for your medical bills, pain and suffering, property damage, and more.