West Virginia Truck Fatigue Accident Lawyer
Truck accidents often lead to devastating results for the passengers of involved vehicles. The aftermath of personal injuries sustained during the accident can be life-changing, leaving victims to grapple with difficult adjustments.
Many truck accidents are preventable. This is particularly true for one of the leading causes of truck accidents—driver fatigue. Unfortunately, many trucking companies push their drivers to work long hours, often violating federal requirements and putting everyone on the road at risk.
Seeking legal guidance is essential if you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident. Our experienced West Virginia truck accident lawyers at Warner Law Offices, PLLC, can help you recover the compensation you deserve. Contact our office for a free consultation.
How Warner Law Offices Can Help You After a Truck Accident in West Virginia
Commercial vehicle accidents can be devastating, and seeking legal guidance to help you secure reparations can be intimidating.
However, trucking companies and insurance carriers often have multiple defense attorneys. Thus it is crucial to enlist the help of an experienced West Virginia truck fatigue accident lawyer to ensure you protect your rights.
At Warner Law Offices, we’re dedicated to helping people like you recover compensation for truck accident injuries. We have over 15 years of legal experience and a formidable track record of successful verdicts and settlements.
Our attorneys are well-versed in representing victims of truck drivers who fall asleep or lose alertness behind the wheel. We will do the following:
- Analyze state and federal investigation results of the accident
- Examine the circumstances surrounding the accident
- Investigate thoroughly to collect vital information
- Gather crucial evidence to construct an impenetrable case, including logbook data, black box data, mileage records, fuel and toll receipts, evidence from the scene, and witness statements
- Work closely with truck accident experts and forensic specialists
- Determine the cause of the crash, how it could have been avoided, and who is at fault
- Prepare to defend against allegations that you are partly to blame for the incident
- Field settlement negotiations on your behalf
- Provide sound legal guidance and advice to help you determine if or how you want to settle the case
- Assertively represent you in court and passionately fight on your behalf to secure the settlement you deserve
Our attorneys at Warner Law Offices are some of the best in West Virginia and can help you hold the at-fault parties accountable. If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident in West Virginia, contact our office for help with your case.
Why Do I Need a Lawyer?
Accidents involving truck driver fatigue can be complex, so enlisting the help of a top-rated truck accident lawyer is essential. Multiple parties can hold a degree of liability, so determining liability often requires a thorough investigation.
Parties that may be liable for a truck accident case include the following:
- Truck driver
- Trucking company
- Truck manufacturer
- Maintenance team responsible for the truck’s upkeep
- Loading company
- Third-party driver
In most cases, police accident reports only scratch the surface, determining whether the accident resulted from a criminal offense. If the report finds evidence of such, civil cases associated with the accident become easier to navigate.
However, truck accident cases are rarely this simple and often require an independent investigation to reveal who is responsible and prove it in court. This is where a top-rated truck accident lawyer comes in. They can handle the legal aspects of the case, from the initial investigation to representation in court, if necessary.
Proving Fault in Truck Accident Cases
Determining the at-fault party in a truck accident fatigue case is often complicated. Generally, proving fault requires an in-depth investigation to examine all aspects of the case.
Our team at Warner Law Offices will collect the following information:
- Fuel and toll receipts
- Time logs
- Driver logbook
- Black box data, which contains information about:
- The truck’s speed
- Whether the driver applied the brakes
- Other essential info
- Mileage records
- Dashcam footage, if available
- Witness statements
- Physical evidence from the scene
We piece together this information to recreate the incident, as each data fragment helps paint a detailed picture. Meticulously combing through the data helps us determine essential factors in the case, including the following:
- Possible physical or mental exertion
- Whether the driver was following off-duty regulations or legal speed limits
- Whether the driver had enough sleep
Rest and Truck Driving Laws
Driver fatigue, distracted driving, intoxicated driving, and speeding are among the most common causes of truck crashes. While these accidents still happen, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration outlines specific regulations for truck drivers to promote the safety of all drivers.
These regulations are essential, as they reduce the likelihood of a truck driver experiencing fatigue. Truck drivers often become fatigued if they have driven for too many hours or have not gotten enough sleep, for example.
Drivers in trucks weighing over 10,000 pounds must take a 30-minute break during the initial eight hours of a shift. Beyond that, drivers cannot drive more than:
- 11 hours after 10 consecutive hours off duty
- 60 hours in seven consecutive days
- 70 hours in eight consecutive days
Under federal law, drivers must log the hours they drive each day to ensure they do not exceed these limits. Unfortunately, trucking companies often push drivers beyond these limits to pad their bottom line.
Other times, drivers push their limits to maximize their paycheck, as many trucking companies pay by the mile, meaning drivers aren’t paid for breaks, mandatory checks, and other on-duty non-driving tasks. This push creates a higher risk of accidents resulting from fatigue.
Types of Accidents Caused By Truck Driver Fatigue
Fatigue can cause drivers to sway between lanes, drift off the road, and accelerate or decelerate due to unconscious pressure on the gas pedal. Truck accidents resulting from truck driver fatigue include the following:
- Head-on collisions happen when the driver drifts into an opposing lane of traffic.
- Rollovers often happen because of abrupt swerves, as trucks have a higher center of gravity and can become unbalanced.
- Rear-end collisions occur when the driver fails to stop in time, causing the truck to collide with the back of the vehicle in front of them.
- Sideswipe accidents occur when drivers drift into other lanes or abruptly overcorrect lane positioning, causing the truck to sideswipe another vehicle.
- Underride accidents happen when the driver brakes suddenly, causing the vehicle behind them to slide underneath the trailer, often tearing the top off the smaller vehicle.
T-bone accidents occur when the tractor-trailer collides with the side of another vehicle.
Types of Injuries Resulting from Truck Accidents
On the low end, commercial trucks often weigh around two times the weight of a passenger vehicle. However, heavily loaded trucks, such as log trucks, can weigh up to 30 times more than passenger vehicles. Given the sheer size and weight of commercial trucks, auto accidents involving these trucks can quickly become deadly.
Common injuries include the following:
Contact Our Top-Rated Attorneys for Help With Your Case Today
The prospect of facing powerful trucking companies or insurance giants to recover compensation after a wreck can be intimidating. Let our experienced team of West Virginia truck fatigue accident lawyers represent you and fight for the compensation you deserve.
You’re not alone in this. While you focus on healing, we will hold those responsible for the incident accountable. Contact our team at Warner Law Offices to start with a free consultation today.
Bobby has received many accolades throughout the years from both his peers in the legal community, as well as the media. The National Trial Lawyers association named Bobby a Top 100 Trial Lawyer and he has been selected as a Member of the Nation’s Top One Percent. Additionally, he has been named a Best Attorneys of America by Rue Ratings, which also named Warner Law Offices to its Best Law Firms of America.
We represent clients across West Virginia and surrounding areas, providing compassionate client service and relentless advocacy in and out of the courtroom.