The statistics about commercial truck accidents paint a clear picture of heightened risk. Due to the size and weight of large trucks and 18-wheelers in West Virginia, the consequences of a crash can be immense. A collision with a commercial truck typically leaves a car unusable, and the crash victims often experience injuries that require long recovery times and sometimes result in permanent disability.
These facts leave accident victims facing high medical bills. Death is also a distinct possibility. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration calculates that approximately 3,000 to 5,000 people die in trucking accidents each year. Sometimes, these fatalities prompt survivors to file wrongful death lawsuits.
Due to the potential of truck accidents to inflict pain and suffering, trucking companies must maintain insurance policies that can accommodate high levels of financial damages. Their policies might provide coverage that is almost 50 times more extensive than insurance for a passenger vehicle. The possibility of paying large settlements, however, motivates these insurers to defend themselves vigorously from accident claims.
A person wondering how to file a claim for damages after a truck crash might want the support of an accident lawyer. Legal counsel could investigate the accident and look for signs of trucking company negligence. Familiarity with the complex regulations that apply to the trucking industry might aid a lawyer in identifying evidence that could convince an insurer to pay an adequate settlement. For example, a lawyer could look for irregularities in a driver's log book hours to detect documentation of truck driver fatigue. Similarly, the attorney might discover that maintenance records reveal a lack of compliance with regulations.