Semi-trucks are massive vehicles that locals frequently encounter on West Virginia highways and streets. When not handled correctly, these trucks present unique and potentially catastrophic dangers to other drivers on the road. Because of their size and weight, semi-trucks can roll over, causing even more death and destruction.
If a truck rollover crash injured you or a loved one, you need a trusted legal advocate at your side. You may recover compensation from the negligent party, and your West Virginia truck accident lawyer may obtain the money you need to get better.
Rollover Accident Statistics
According to the Highway Loss Data Institute, pre-accident collisions cause 74 percent of rollover accidents, whereas a smaller yet surprisingly large number of rollovers (26 percent) result from no collision at all.
We cannot understate the fatality rate of rollover collisions. In a recent year, 28 percent of the total 36,609 vehicle crash deaths happened due to rollovers.
However, it’s not all bad news. Since 1978, the fatality rate of single-vehicle rollovers has gone down consistently across all different types of vehicles. Car companies have steadily increased the quality of their cars and particularly their safety features in response to the number of rollover fatalities, improving the quality of their roofs and the stability of the wheelhouses.
Causes of Truck Rollovers
Top-heavy tractor-trailers are susceptible to rollover crashes. If they don’t slow down entering a curve, the vehicle could topple over. Nearly half of all semi-truck rollover accidents happen for just this reason.
But another common cause of truck rollovers—lack of attention—is also a direct result of human error. Human error plays an outsized role in causing truck rollover crashes.
Lack of driver attention comes in many forms, including:
Another common reason that trucks rollover has nothing to do with the truck driver but instead with the company and employees who loaded the truck: weight distribution. If a trailer is loaded incorrectly or the load is not properly secured, that load can shift during transit and, when the truck enters a curve, can cause the truck to roll over.
Analyzing the cause of your truck rollover accident is key to ensuring that you file a personal injury claim against the right party or parties. While a lawsuit may be the furthest thing from your mind, it may be the only way for you to avoid financial hardship and having to cover your costly medical expenses.
To prove someone else caused your truck rollover crash, you’ll need to show:
- Someone else owed you a duty of care
- They breached that duty of care
- Because of their breach, an accident happened
- You suffered injuries
There could be many sources of negligence in a truck rollover crash. To find out for sure the exact cause of your accident, you may need the assistance of truck accident reconstruction experts. They comb through all of the evidence to determine the precise cause. You need a truck accident lawyer to file your claim against the right party or parties who played a role in causing the rollover crash that injured you.
The most obvious place to look after any vehicle accident is the drivers in the crash. Truck drivers are professional drivers with a responsibility to drive safely and avoid crashes.
But truck drivers often succumb to the same problems other drivers find behind the wheel.
- Drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Drive drowsy
- Text or use their phone while driving
- Drive too fast for the road conditions
Truck Driver’s Employer
When a truck driver is at fault for an accident, their employer may also be liable. Employers are liable for the negligent actions of their employees while the employee is on the job. So if a truck driver caused a rollover crash, they were likely working. That means the truck driver’s employer may be on the hook for at least some of your expenses.
Trucking companies are also required to take steps to only hire qualified drivers. If the company failed to conduct a thorough background check that would have uncovered prior driving violations, you may hold them liable for negligently hiring a driver who caused a crash.
The company that loaded the trailer may bear some liability. If the workers loaded the trailer incorrectly, placing too much load on one side or failing to secure the load, it could shift during transit, causing the truck to roll over.
Large trucking companies often have in-house maintenance technicians. But smaller companies often outsource the maintenance of their truck fleet to third-party companies. If these companies fail to properly maintain the truck or repair damage, you can hold them at fault.
Over 4,000 people tragically die in truck accidents every year. While not every truck rollover crash will result in death, this statistic shows just how serious these accidents can be, especially to people in other vehicles. Because of the sheer size and weight of semi-trucks, your injuries are probably severe and will require extensive medical care, which is not cheap.
But you should not need to pay for your medical expenses or other financial losses. That’s why you need a lawyer who can file your car accident claim on time. In West Virginia, you only have two years to file your claim. That may seem like a long time, but the longer you wait, the more evidence will go missing and witnesses will forget what they saw. Act fast and give yourself the best chance to make a full recovery.
Contact a Legal Advisor as Soon as Possible
The legal team you choose can make a difference in your truck accident claim. Partner with a trusted and aggressive legal advocate who can fight for you while you focus on getting better.