A driver who finds himself or herself in a car accident with a commercial vehicle may find a few obstacles in the way when establishing crash liability. Many companies have insurance adjusters on hand to visit the scene of an accident as soon as it happens in an effort to get you to settle, admit to fault, or somehow lower the amount of compensation you may be due.
At any given time, there are thousands of commercial vehicles on the road. From UPS and FedEx vans, to buses, to pizza delivery cars and taxicabs, commercial vehicles are everywhere. Whether it’s because of driver fatigue, errors within the vehicle’s design, or negligence on behalf of the driver, these collisions can cause serious injury and damage to those involved. For example, according to the Public Service Commission of West Virginia, there are designated for coal haulers in West Virginia and if the coal hauler ignored restrictions then you may be due compensation after an accident.
It’s important to contact a personal injury attorney in Clarksburg as soon as possible to determine who holds liability and to get the legal process started. There are certain areas that are especially dangerous for commercial vehicle crashes in Clarksburg, such as where I-79 and I-68 split.
Who holds crash liability?
When you’re in a car accident with a commercial vehicle, determining crash liability can be difficult. There could be a variety of different parties who hold some level of responsibility in your wreck.
Parties who could be liable include:
- driver of the commercial vehicle;
- employer of the driver or the transport company that owns the vehicle;
- manufacturer of the vehicle if defects of the vehicle played a part in the collision;
- distributors or retailers of parts of the vehicle if those parts contributed to the wreck; and
- government entities if improperly cared for or maintained roads or traffic signals played a role in the accident, or if a road’s poor design led to the wreck.
To determine which parties hold liability in your specific case, consult a personal injury attorney in Clarksburg. A lawyer will analyze your collision and accurately determine who owes you compensation for the damages and injuries you have incurred.
Increasing your Chances of Success
When you’re in a car accident with a commercial vehicle, it’s likely that you will be contacted very quickly by the driver’s or transport company’s insurance representative. In order to ensure the success of your case, and that you receive an accurate amount of compensation for your damages and injuries, exercise caution when speaking to these insurance adjusters.
If you say the wrong thing, it could be used against you in court, cause you to hold some of the crash liability, or undercut your compensation. Considering the fact that you are not a commercial vehicle driver, you need to protect your rights when involved in a crash with one, as they may have a strong legal team to protect their finances.
Specifically, you should:
- Avoid admitting any kind of fault. Do not say “I’m sorry,” “my mistake,” or something similar.
- Refuse to give a recorded statement. These can be used against you later in the claims process. Speak to your lawyer before giving any kind of statement
- Avoid signing anything or verbally agreeing to any settlement. First consult an attorney.
- Steer clear of sharing too much. Don’t give more details than necessary, and avoid embellishing or exaggerating. These can both come back to haunt you later in the claims process.
Contact The Miley Legal Group
Speak with a personal injury attorney in Clarksburg before speaking with any insurance adjuster.
An attorney can help you prepare a statement, gather evidence, determine crash liability, and ensure you get the compensation you deserve from your wreck.
Learn more about crash liability in a car accident with a commercial vehicle in our eBook, The 7 Biggest Mistakes that can Wreck your West Virginia Car Accident Claim. Call The Miley Legal Group at 304-931-4088 or 877-652-1031 to speak with a personal injury attorney in Clarksburg about your legal options if you are in a car accident with a commercial vehicle.