WV Trucking Accident Attorney
Due to the size of large semi-trucks and other commercial vehicles, accidents involving these trucks can result in significant damage and injuries. Trucking companies, insurers, and operators involved in these collisions may find themselves facing litigation and significant financial risk for injuries suffered in the crash. An experienced WV trucking accident attorney like M. Andrew Brison can help develop and implement strategies to reduce or avoid exposure for liability in these cases.
Common Cases a WV Trucking Accident Attorney Handles
Most of the cases a Charleston, WV trucking accident lawyer like M. Andrew Brison handles are based on a theory of negligence. To establish negligence, the injured party must show that the defendant—such as the driver, trucking company, or commercial truck owner—owed the plaintiff a duty, breached their duty, and the breach resulted in an injury and actual damages. A company named in a negligence case can be held liable in the following situations:
- An employee/driver is negligent in the driving of a vehicle
- The employer was negligent in hiring the truck driver involved in the accident
- The employer failed to maintain the vehicle involved in the accident
- The employer allowed hours of service violations
- The employer failed to adequately train employees
An employer faces a lawsuit for any of these actions has the right to defend itself and establish that it is not liable for the injuries and damages sustained. By working with an experienced WV trucking accident attorney, you can reduce or avoid your risk of liability for damages in trucking or commercial truck accidents.
A WV Trucking Accident Attorney Can Work to Establish Another Party’s Share of Fault
In commercial trucking accidents, the trucking company owner or employer maybe be able to shift liability onto another party in some cases. Under WV Code § 55-7-13a, recovery is determined by comparative fault, also called comparative negligence. under which one party to an accident may reduce exposure to liability by demonstrating that one or more others involved in the accident bear some fault for it. According to WV Code § 55-7-13c(c), a plaintiff who bears some fault for the accident can have their recovery reduced in proportion to their fault or eliminated if their fault exceeds the combined fault of all other persons responsible for the total amount of the damages, if any, to be awarded.
A trucking company or truck owner may also be able to reduce its liability in another way. A defendant can also establish that a third party’s negligence contributed to the accident and that third party should share in the fault. If evidence supports that theory, the trucking or insurance company’s liability may be reduced accordingly. If neither party knows the third party’s identity, WV Code § 55-7-13d(a) allows a defendant to shift fault to an unnamed party in the lawsuit, thus reducing their liability.
Shifting blame to a third party takes a thorough understanding of the law, extensive investigation, and building a strong defense, all skills possessed by experienced WV commercial trucking accident lawyers like M. Andrew Brison.
Types of Damages Sought in Trucking Accidents
Trucking companies can be on the hook for a plaintiff’s economic and non-economic injuries arising from an accident. The amount of damages depends on the severity of the plaintiff’s injuries and the impact the injuries have on daily activities.
Economic damages compensate the plaintiff for all monetary losses stemming from the accident. Common financial losses in a trucking accident include the following:
- Medical costs (past and future)
- Loss of earning capacity
- Past and future lost wages
- Cost of domestic services
The non-economic damages may include the pain and suffering the plaintiff arising from the accident injuries or compensation for the plaintiff’s loss in quality of life. Quality of life is measured by comparing the activities a plaintiff could perform before the accident to those afterward, including daily activities and engaging with family and friends.
With the potential to be responsible for considerable damages, it is essential to have a skilled West Virginia trucking accident lawyer to minimize your financial exposure.
Avoiding Liability under the Statute of Limitations
Under WV Code § 55-2-12, a West Virginia plaintiff only has two years to bring a lawsuit for personal injuries. Unless an exception to that time limit applies, a plaintiff who fails to initiate a lawsuit within two years of the date of the accident is barred from pursuing damages for their injuries. If your trucking company or driver is facing a claim arising from a semi or commercial trucking accident, you need an experienced accident attorney to prevent untimely claims from proceeding.
If your trucking company is facing a lawsuit arising from an accident, you need experienced counsel to develop an appropriate strategy to protect your interests. Contact The Law Office of M. Andrew Brison, PLLC to speak with an experienced WV trucking accident attorney by calling 304-397-8225 or completing this online contact form to schedule a consultation.