When truck accidents in Charleston happen, it is often assumed that the size of trucks protects drivers from injury and death. While it is true that people traveling in smaller vehicles are more susceptible to injuries when a car and truck collide. Truck drivers can be injured and killed in accidents too. According to the National Safety Council, hundreds of truck drivers are fatally injured in accidents every year, and thousands more sustain non-fatal injuries.
If you are a truck driver who has recently been injured in an accident, you might be wondering how to obtain compensation for your accident. As an accident victim, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against the party or parties that caused the accident. If you were injured while working, you also may be able to pursue a workers’ compensation claim.
To learn more about how to obtain compensation for your injuries, reach out to Salango Law. We understand the complexities of truck accident cases. Our skilled personal injury lawyers can help you get the compensation you deserve. Call our office at 304-342-0512 for a free consultation.
Personal Injury Lawsuit
If you are a truck driver who has suffered an injury in a crash with another vehicle, you might be able to sue the other driver. To file a personal injury lawsuit against the person responsible for your accident, you must prove that the other driver was negligent, reckless, or acting in intentionally dangerous ways at the time of the crash. Four elements establish whether a driver can be held accountable for harm in a personal injury context:
- The other driver owed you a duty of care.
- The driver breached their duty of care to you.
- You suffered an injury.
- The other driver’s breach caused your injury.
Suppose the other driver sped through a red light and collided with your truck. As you shared the road with the other driver, they owed you a duty to exercise reasonable care and to drive safely. By speeding through the red light, they broke the law and breached their duty of care to you. The other driver’s actions caused your injuries. Therefore, you have solid grounds upon which to file a personal injury lawsuit.
Types Of Compensation Available
If you were injured in a collision, you could recover damages for your harm. Common personal injury damages include:
- Economic damages to repay you for measurable costs associated with the accident, such as medical bills and lost wages.
- Noneconomic damages to compensate you for emotional and psychological harm, as well as other financially subjective losses.
- Punitive damages that punish particularly egregious conduct (awarded rarely).
Can You Sue The Other Driver If You Were Partially At Fault?
In some instances, both a truck driver and another driver involved in an accident contribute to the cause(s) of their crash. West Virginia law permits truck drivers who contribute to the cause(s) of their own harm to file personal injury lawsuits against other responsible parties, provided that their situation meets certain criteria. Primarily, others must bear the majority of the responsibility for the accident. If the truck driver contributed to the accident, but the other driver was mainly culpable, then the truck driver can sue the other driver.
- If a truck driver is less than 50% responsible for an accident, they can seek damages from other responsible parties.
- A truck driver with more than 50% liability for a crash cannot seek damages from others who were partially responsible for the harm caused by the accident.
The law also provides that the amount of damages an injured truck driver receives must be in proportion to their contribution to the accident.
Workers’ Compensation Claims
If you are a truck driver who was injured in an accident while you were working, you might be able to pursue a workers’ compensation claim. West Virginia law requires nearly all employers to maintain workers’ compensation insurance for their employees.
West Virginians who are eligible for coverage have the right to workers’ compensation benefits when they sustain injuries on the job. Truck accidents might constitute work injuries (depending on the circumstances unique to each occurrence), entitling eligible truckers to workers’ compensation benefits as a result of the harm they’ve suffered.
Truckers injured in accidents while working may be able to secure workers’ compensation for their medical bills. In West Virginia, there are no limits on the amount of compensation injured workers can receive, nor is there a limit on the duration of that coverage.
Suppose a trucker gets injured in a work-related accident and incurs medical fees from a hospital stay. In that case, workers’ compensation insurance should cover the trucker’s medical fees.
Temporary Disability Benefits
When a workplace injury keeps employees out of work, they can receive two-thirds of their pay, subject to a statutory cap. Disability payments may be extended until employees can return to work or they reach a point wherein their conditions no longer improve. Regulations cap temporary disability payments at two years.
Permanent Disability Benefits
When workplace injuries prevent employees from ever returning to work, they can receive permanent disability benefits. The severity of a disability determines the amount of benefits a worker receives. If a worker sustains a total and permanent disability, the worker can receive benefits until they qualify for Social Security retirement. Workers with partial disabilities receive benefits in proportion to the severity of their disabilities.
Suppose a trucker gets into an accident while working and loses their arms. In that case, the worker has sustained a total and permanent disability and is entitled to permanent disability benefits until they reach the Social Security retirement age.
How To File A Workers’ Compensation Claim In West Virginia
If you have sustained a Charleston work-related injury, you should file a worker’s compensation claim with the Office of the Insurance Commissioner as soon as you possibly can. You can get a form online, or your employer can provide you with one. Submitting your claim as soon as possible can help you prevent delays. Also, if you wait too long to act, you may be barred from receiving rightful compensation.
Can You Get Workers’ Compensation If You Caused The Accident?
In West Virginia, workers’ compensation benefits are available to workers injured on the job—even if they caused their accidents. An employee must be injured during a job-related activity to receive workers’ compensation benefits.
Charleston Personal Injury Lawyer
If you are a truck driver who has sustained an injury in a trucking accident, you’ve likely incurred high medical bills, experienced lost income, and suffered emotionally. As an injured trucker, you might be able to secure compensation for what happened to you. West Virginia law allows injured truck drivers to file personal injury lawsuits in Charleston against other parties responsible for their accidents. Truckers injured while working can also receive workers’ compensation benefits.
To speak with a Charleston, West Virginia, attorney about pursuing compensation for injuries sustained as a result of a truck accident, reach out to Salango Law. Call 304-342-0512 or contact us online to request a free consultation.