Fox Law Office in Hurricane, WV, Can Help!
When you get in your car to take a drive, the last thing many of us expect is an auto accident. Whether you planned a brief trip to run errands or for a scenic outing, no driver wants to tangle with a tractor trailer. Yet, car-versus-tractor trailer accidents happen regularly in West Virginia.
Commercial vehicles like tractor trailers operate throughout the Mountain State. Major roadways see a lot of truck traffic, and cars can sometimes be at the mercy of fate. Auto accidents, major and minor alike, can result in injury and accidental death. This is where the legal team at Fox Law Office can help!
Why Are There So Many Tractor Trailers on the Road?
The commercial trucking industry continues to thrive across the United States. Tractor trailers continue to be the method of choice for transporting a variety of goods. Consider some of the many types of tractor trailers that drivers may see in any given day in West Virginia:
- Mail and package delivery
- Groceries and perishable goods
- Oil, gas, and logging
- Furniture and appliances
- Construction equipment
- Auto parts and supplies
While average citizens may not know the number of tractor trailers on the road, too many drivers get into accidents with them. The type and variety of accidents may vary, but whether the accident is minor or major, we cannot avoid talking about the dangers. Injuries from auto-versus-tractor trailer accidents have a significant impact on many lives.
Auto Accidents with Tractor Trailers Cause Damage and Injury
When two cars experience a “fender bender,” most times drivers and passengers can exchange information and drive away. However, when an auto accident occurs with a tractor trailer, it is rarely a minor occurrence. When cars and commercial vehicles collide, the result is most often severe damage and injury.
Cars and other smaller vehicles may require extensive repair following a tractor trailer accident. Drivers and passengers may experience personal injury that require treatment or ongoing therapy afterward. Often, insurance companies may be slow to investigate and settle claims for an auto accident involving tractor trailers due to the large number that occur. From 1996 to 2000, West Virginia reported 181 fatal crashes involving combination trucks.
Tractor Trailer Crash Injuries Requiring Follow-up Care
When a tractor trailer crashes into a car, many of us fail to think about such things as disfigurement and death. Drivers and passengers may experience these types of car crash injuries frequently in an auto accident involving a commercial vehicle. Beyond damage to the vehicle, drivers and passengers may require some amount of follow-up care.
There are many pieces and parts that go flying when a tractor trailer hits a car in an accident. Shards of glass, pieces of headlamps, and other debris can leave serious scars. If the accident involves an injured or broken arm or leg, these limbs may also require surgery and subsequent therapy to regain use. In extreme cases, the most severe injuries can result in loss of life, leaving loved ones devastated.
The Legal Sides of Auto-Versus-Tractor Trailer Accidents
Commercial tractor trailers often carry heavy loads and can sometimes travel at excessive speeds. Combined with various road conditions, this can result in rollovers, jack-knifing, sliding on the road, and other unexpected outcomes. The impact of an auto-versus-tractor trailer accident often requires the expertise of insurance or legal investigators to discover who is at fault.
Although accident scenes may include obvious circumstances that may point to the cause, there may be more than meets the eye. Often, it takes an experienced investigator to uncover the full picture of the crash. This can include looking beyond the scene, at reported blind spots, driving/medical/toxicology records, truck repairs, and more. Other records may indicate how the trailer’s cargo was loaded and secured for transport.
Safety Advocacy and Protections for the General Public
Tractor trailer operators frequently work long shifts with irregular schedules. An untreated common medical condition, such as sleep apnea, can result in higher driver fatigue and crash rates.
Ignoring the threat of fatigued truck drivers is particularly dangerous at a time when annual truck crash fatalities are comparable to a major airplane crash every other week of the year. In 2015, crashes involving large trucks led to the deaths of 4,067 people and left 116,000 more injured. Moreover, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), fatalities in large truck crashes have increased by 20 percent since 2009, and large truck crash injuries have increased by 57 percent over the same time period.
Truck safety advocacy groups seek to screen tractor trailer operators to help lower these risks to the general public. By enforcing clear rules to the industry, drivers and doctors alike can know the best way to deal with this safety risk.
Legal Help from Fox Law Office for Tractor Trailer Accidents
West Virginia drivers or passengers who need legal help after a tractor trailer accident can turn to Fox Law Office, PLLC. Our team will help determine the parties responsible for sharing liability and work diligently to seek the maximum compensation for injuries and other damages.
As with any type of accident or injury matter, time is of the essence. Insurance companies have lawyers working for them, so it is important for individuals to have that same level of expertise. Working with an attorney like Fox Law Office serves to protect your rights after a tractor trailer accident. We get results for our clients!
For a convenient phone consultation with our attorneys to discuss your tractor trailer accident, call Fox Law Office toll-free at 1-855-324-3684. You may also contact us online for a prompt response. Revisit our blog regularly for future updates, and follow us on Facebook.