If you are involved in an accident with a tractor-trailer in West Virginia, settlement is based on two major components, although each component has many complexities.
Component No. 1: Why did the tractor-trailer crash into you or a family member, or why did it dump their load on your vehicle, or why did their brakes fail, resulting in it crashing into your house while you were in bed asleep?
The Segal Law Firm uses experts who understand federal regulations concerning how a truck should be loaded, inspected and maintained. They also determine how long the driver actually drove that day before the accident, whether he took the mandatory sleep break, what his log books look like, whether the log books match up with his fuel receipts, and where he checked loads or picked up loads. The sad truth is, a driver can write down anything they want to and their information must be verified.
Other determinations involve whether the driver was using drugs or alcohol and if the truck maintained properly. Obviously, an impaired driver or a poorly maintained truck that has bad brakes or bad equipment will result in a case that is worth more than where the driver simply made a mistake while driving responsibly and in a well maintained truck. Interstate tractor-trailer drivers are required to carry one million dollars of insurance, but sometimes the truck might be a coal truck, a pole truck or a timber truck with smaller amounts of insurance and we work diligently to find all insurance available in these instances.
Component No. 2: What is a tractor-trailer or truck case worth in damages?
You may have a case involving the worst driver in the world who is driving while on drugs and clips the side of your car, resulting in you getting a broken arm. Although this is still a strong case and one that Segal Law Firm would definitely handle, you most definitely can recover from your broken arm, so settlement would be less than if you were paralyzed or killed by a negligent truck driver.
The Segal Law Firm doesn’t feel that it’s fair to try and hand out averages to our clients. A little fender bender should have little bearing on a case where someone is mutilated or killed. We prefer to explain the trucking regulations to our clients as well as what police are able to find out through their own investigation, then we explain what the damage law here in West Virginia entails. After those explanations, then we can begin discussion on a realistic range of values for settlement purposes. We also like to discuss the actual amount of insurance carried by the tractor-trailer driver because it might be a “fly by the seat of the pants” driver who carries minimal coverages and who is working for himself. If there is no other insurance available, the case might be worth considerably less than it should be.
We at the Segal Law firm are willing and able to dig deep to come up with any and all available insurance and we will find the answers as to why the accident occurred. If you would like to find out more information concerning your tractor-trailer accident, click on the Contact Us tab at the top of the page or call 855-344-9100.