Experienced Semi Truck Accident Injury Attorneys
No matter what you call them – semi trucks, 18-wheelers, tractor trailers, big rigs, etc. – large commercial trucks are a common sight on the roads around Morgantown and throughout West Virginia. When fully loaded, these trucks can weigh up to 80,000 pounds. As a result of the massive size and weight, collisions between passenger vehicles and semi trucks often result in serious injuries.
A truck accident can throw your life into chaos. You may be facing significant medical expenses, damage to your property, and other losses. Even worse, you may have lost a loved one in an accident with a tractor trailer.
Pursuing compensation after a truck accident is not easy. Multiple parties may be at fault, each of which will deny that they are responsible. The insurance companies for the at-fault parties will attempt to limit the amount they have to pay.
With all of this in mind, it is important to work with an experienced truck accident lawyer who can act in your best interest and pursue the full compensation you deserve. The attorneys at Colombo Law have been serving clients in trucking accident claims for over 20 years.
If you have been hurt or a loved one was injured or killed in a truck accident, Colombo Law is here to help. Please call (304) 599-4229 today for a free consultation. Our lawyers serve clients in Morgantown and throughout West Virginia.
How a Truck Accident Lawyer Can Help You
After a truck accident, it is important to realize the following: Until you hire an attorney, no one is looking out for your interests. Large trucking companies and insurance carriers hire investigators who respond to accident scenes at all times, day or night. The goal of their investigation is to limit their employer’s liability for the accident.
Most truck accident victims are taken immediately to the hospital. As a result, you will likely miss out on the opportunity to collect crucial evidence after the accident.
An experienced truck accident lawyer can help you overcome some of the major obstacles you face after being hurt in a crash with a big rig. The trucking accident attorneys at Colombo Law can help you by:
- Investigating the accident. The first step in any accident claim is determining how it happened and who is responsible. Our team will respond to the scene of the truck accident immediately to document relevant conditions through photos and videos. We will obtain copies of accident reports from local law enforcement, the West Virginia State Police, and any other agencies that investigated the accident. We will identify witnesses to the accident and interview them to find out what happened in the moments before, during, and after the crash.
- Identifying all of the liable parties. One of the key goals of any truck accident investigation is to determine who is at fault. Through investigation of trucking company records, electronic data from the “black box” on the 18-wheeler, examination of the semi truck, and more, our team can ascertain the various factors that caused the crash and, thus, who is responsible.
- Calculating the damages in your claim. Truck accident victims who hire an attorney tend to recover much more in compensation than those who don’t have legal representation. One of the reasons for this is that people who are unfamiliar with personal injury law don’t know all of the types of compensation they may be entitled to after an accident. Our experienced truck accident lawyers will fully evaluate the evidence and hire experts to assess the nature of your losses and determine their monetary value.
- Negotiating with the insurance companies. Insurance adjusters are trained to get people to settle their accident claims for less than they are worth. Given the severity of injuries in most truck accident cases, victims who settle may lose out on tens of thousands of dollars they need to take back their lives. At Colombo Law, we know the strategies used by trucking and insurance companies. We steadfastly protect our clients’ rights in the face of these companies’ efforts to deflect responsibility and underpay or deny legitimate claims.
- Taking your case to trial. If the at-fault parties and their insurers refuse to compensate you fairly, Colombo Law will never hesitate to go to court on your behalf. Our attorneys are experienced negotiators and litigators. We prepare every case as though it will go to trial, and we will aggressively advocate for your right to full compensation in court.
In addition to handling the legal elements of your case, a qualified truck accident lawyer can provide you with valuable emotional support and peace of mind amid the difficult aftermath of the crash. At Colombo Law, we pride ourselves on the quality of service as well as the verdicts and settlements we achieve for our clients.
Causes of Truck Accidents
The injuries suffered in a truck accident are generally more severe than those seen in car accidents, but both kinds of crashes are typically caused by some form of negligence. Some of the most common causes of truck accidents are because drivers:
- Fall asleep at the wheel
- Engage in distracted driving
- Fail to obey traffic signals/signs
- Drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Fail to take current weather conditions into account
- Violate trucking laws
- Drive aggressively
- Fail to yield right of way
In order to determine why a truck accident occurred, it is important to investigate the crash promptly and thoroughly. An experienced trucking accident attorney will examine the behavior of the truck driver and the role of other parties to determine who is at fault.
Who Is Liable for Tractor Trailer Accidents?
As you can see, most truck accidents are the result of truck driver negligence. However, there are other parties that can play a role in causing an 18-wheeler crash.
For instance, the company that employs the truck driver could be found negligent for:
- Forcing the driver to work too many hours
- Imposing tight deadlines
- Hiring inexperienced or improperly trained drivers
- Failing to keep up with maintaining the truck’s vital systems
- Failing to investigate the truck driver’s background
- Overloading their trucks
Another example of third-party negligence might include the company who manufactured the truck or its parts. Defects, imperfections, or recalls could indicate that the truck was unsafe to operate. However, if the manufacturer fails to notify consumers, the company or companies involved in the design, manufacture, and/or distribution of a faulty vehicle or part could be liable for the accident.
Truck accidents can be one person’s fault or it could be the fault of multiple parties. As a result, truck accident claims require a lot of work and can be difficult to handle successfully.
The Morgantown truck accident attorneys at Colombo Law have extensive experience with complex claims involving 18-wheelers. We help you navigate your legal options and pursue maximum compensation for your injuries.
Proving Negligence in a Truck Accident Claim
In order to recover the compensation you deserve, it is crucial to identify how the truck accident occurred and who is responsible. After a truck accident, there is a wide range of evidence that can strengthen your claim.
Our lawyers will do the hard work on your behalf to collect:
- Camera footage
- Witness statements
- Expert testimony
- Police reports
- Phone call information
- Electronic logging device data
- The trucker’s driving logs
- The trucking company’s maintenance and weigh-in records
- Historical information on the truck, the driver, and the company
- Information on trucking law violations
- Criminal records
- Manufacturer recall and defect information
Experience is key in truck accident litigation. Our trucking accident lawyers know how to investigate the liable parties and determine how their negligence resulted in the crash. Based on the evidence, we pursue the full damages to which you are entitled.
Common Injuries in Truck Accidents
Severe and catastrophic injuries are common in trucking accidents. The worst-case scenario, fatalities, also occur with alarming frequency in these crashes.
At Colombo Law, we have helped clients and their families with truck accident claims involving a wide range of injuries, including:
- Brain injuries
- Injuries to the face
- Neck and back injuries
- Spinal cord injuries (including paralysis)
- Broken bones
- Soft tissue damage
- Burn injuries
- Internal bleeding
- Organ damage
Serious injuries often require lengthy recovery. Diagnosis, treatment, and ongoing care are all very expensive. Victims may be unable to work, and their families’ lives may be turned upside down by the time and the costs involved.
If you were seriously injured in a truck accident that was not your fault, or your loved one died in a collision with an 18-wheeler caused by negligence, you and your loved ones deserve compensation.
Further reading: Types of Tractor Trailer Accident Injuries.
What Can I Be Compensated For After a Truck Accident?
The compensation you may be able to recover in your claim depends on the specific losses you suffer as a result of the truck accident. Our lawyers will pursue all of the compensation you are entitled to for damages such as:
- Medical bills
- Loss of income
- Loss of future earning capacity
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional anguish
- Disfigurement and scarring
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of quality of life
If your loved one was killed in a truck accident, you and your family may be able to recover compensation through a wrongful death claim. Multiple family members may be entitled to damages in a wrongful death claim. However, West Virginia law limits the individuals who can take action.
Why Should I Hire a Truck Accident Lawyer?
The answer is simple: Hiring a truck accident lawyer is the easiest and safest way to ensure you’ll be treated fairly by the people who hurt you. After an accident, you’ll be contacted by the trucking company, their insurance adjusters, and their lawyers. You may even be offered a settlement. It’s important to remember that these people are not interested in helping you, and the settlement they offer you is probably far less than you deserve. This is a tactic used to keep you quiet, avoid going to court, and pay you as little as possible.
The Morgantown truck accident lawyers at Colombo Law advocate for you. Our attorneys protect your rights and your interests in preparing your case, during settlement negotiations, and at trial. We use our years of experience and legal resources to obtain evidence to build your claim and pursue the compensation you deserve.
Contact Our Morgantown Trucking Accident Attorneys Today
If you have been injured or a loved one was killed in a collision with a semi truck, it is important not to try to handle your case alone. The truck accident lawyers at Colombo Law have decades of experience helping victims and their families recover the compensation they deserve after crashes involving big rigs.
Please call (304) 599-4229 today for a free consultation. Colombo Law serves clients in Morgantown and throughout West Virginia.
Truck Accident Lawyer FAQ
How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Truck Accident Lawyer?
At Colombo Law, we handle truck accident claims on a No Fee Promise. Also known as a contingency fee agreement, you pay us nothing upfront. If we successfully resolve your case through a settlement or jury verdict, you pay us a percentage of the recovery.
Your initial consultation is free, so you don’t have to worry about any legal bills when you meet with one of our lawyers or while we work on your case.
How Long Does It Take to Resolve a Trucking Accident Claim?
A number of factors will influence how long it takes to resolve your case after a truck accident. These factors include the seriousness of your injuries, the damages you are seeking, and the willingness of the at-fault parties and their insurance companies to negotiate.
Ultimately, it may take months for your truck accident claim to proceed through settlement negotiations and, if necessary, the courts. Some claims take years to resolve. When you meet with a truck accident attorney, ask for an estimate of how long your case may take.
Further reading: How Do Truck Accident Lawsuits Work?
How Much Time Do I Have to File a Truck Accident Claim?
In West Virginia, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims (including those involving truck accidents) is 2 years. Wrongful death claims are subject to the same time limit.
With such a small window to pursue compensation, it is important to speak to a truck accident lawyer as soon as possible. You and your family will be barred from recovering compensation if you don’t file a claim within 2 years of the accident.
What Should I Do After Being Injured in a Truck Accident?
After being hurt in a collision with a big rig, your first priority is to get treatment for your injuries. You may be taken directly to the hospital from the scene of the truck accident. If not, you should go to the emergency room as soon as you leave the scene.
If you are not badly hurt, take time to take photographs of the accident, speak to witnesses, and exchange information with the truck driver and anyone else involved in the crash. You should also consider contacting a lawyer as soon as possible.
Why Are Truck Accident Claims So Complex?
Ultimately, the complicated nature of truck accident litigation boils down to money. Trucking companies, product manufacturers, and other parties frequently at-fault in tractor trailer accidents are often large corporations with a lot of money, and their insurance carriers are in the business of paying as little as possible for accident claims.
In addition, truck accidents generally result in serious and catastrophic injuries. The medicine behind these injuries is complex, and the injuries themselves may require advanced care. As a result, the losses in a truck accident claim are typically much higher than cases involving other types of motor vehicle collisions.
Finally, semi trucks and other commercial vehicles are subject to extensive federal and state regulations. The truck accident attorney you hire must know these rules and how they apply in your case.
How Do I Choose a Truck Accident Attorney?
Experience, results, and client testimonials are a few of the main qualities to consider when you’re looking for a truck accident lawyer. However, for many clients, the decision to hire Colombo Law comes after the initial meeting with our team.
Clients are impressed not only by our knowledge and the verdicts and settlements we have achieved, but our commitment to doing what’s right. We handle “The Big and The Bad” cases because that is where our experience lies, and those are the clients who need our help the most.
Further reading: How to Choose a Truck Accident Lawyer.