Being hit by an 18-wheeler can cause catastrophic injuries. The size and weight disparity between massive trucks and regular passenger vehicles often result in severe damage and trauma. 

If you or a loved one has been injured by an 18-wheeler in West Virginia, you may be entitled to significant compensation. However, obtaining a fair recovery is challenging without legal guidance. 

Below, we explain key issues in truck accident claims and how an 18-wheeler accident attorney can help you seek maximum compensation.

The Severity of Your Injuries Makes a Major Difference

One of the biggest determinants of potential compensation is the type and severity of your injuries. Minor cuts and bruises usually warrant smaller payouts, while major, permanent injuries like amputations, brain trauma, paralysis, or fatalities can result in substantial damages, given the lifelong implications.

Some specific injury factors that may increase compensation include:

  • Long hospital stays and rehabilitation – Extended medical treatment and therapy programs tend to increase case value.
  • High medical bills – The total costs of all accident-related medical care, from the ER to surgery to medications.
  • Lost limbs – Amputations often result in prosthetics, home modifications, and ongoing medical needs.
  • Chronic pain – Injuries causing permanent, debilitating pain may warrant larger payouts.
  • Disfigurement or scarring – Severe lacerations and burns resulting in scarring or loss of function can increase damages.
  • Traumatic brain injuries – Moderate to severe TBIs often require extensive, lifelong treatment and assistance.

The more severe your injuries and higher your costs, the greater your potential truck accident settlement may be.

Lost Income Factors Into Your Recovery

In addition to medical expenses, lost income is another key element of economic damages in a truck crash case. This can include:

  • Missed work immediately after the crash – Your lost wages while recovering in the hospital and at home.
  • Future lost earning capacity – If disabilities prevent you from returning to work or require a lower-paying job.
  • Loss of benefits – Health insurance, retirement contributions, tuition reimbursement, and other job-related benefits lost.

Documenting lost income with pay stubs, tax returns, employment records, and vocational assessments can help ensure fair compensation for your past and future financial losses.

Pain and Suffering Warrants Significant Compensation

Unlike economic damages, non-economic losses like pain and suffering do not have a clear dollar amount attached. However, they can still make up a sizable portion of your total settlement. Pain and suffering compensation is intended to account for all the ways an injury affects your life, including:

  • Physical pain from the injury itself
  • Emotional trauma, anxiety, depression
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Disruption to family relationships
  • Inability to participate in favorite activities
  • Lower overall quality of life

While more difficult to quantify than medical bills, experienced West Virginia truck accident lawyers know how to fully demonstrate your pain and suffering damages and fight for maximum compensation.

Multiple Parties May Share Liability

While the truck driver is often primarily responsible for causing the crash, multiple parties can share liability in an 18-wheeler accident case. This includes:

  • The trucking company – For negligent hiring, training, or maintenance practices
  • The shipping company – If improper loading caused issues
  • Vehicle manufacturers – For defective parts that contributed to the crash
  • Other motorists – Additional drivers who may have contributed to the collision

Identifying all potentially liable parties can increase your options for obtaining fair compensation after a trucking crash.

Don’t Delay – Time Limitations Apply

It’s important to take action promptly, as West Virginia law limits how long accident victims have to pursue compensation:

  • For insurance claims – Typically 1-3 years from the crash date
  • For lawsuits – Generally 2 years in West Virginia

The sooner you consult an attorney after a trucking collision, the more effectively they can start building your injury claim and help you recover both physically and financially.

A Truck Accident Attorney Can Navigate the Claims Process

The world of insurance claims and injury lawsuits can be convoluted and intimidating after a traumatic accident. An experienced West Virginia truck accident attorney can help by:

  • Gathering police reports, medical records, and other evidence
  • Dealing with insurance companies and negotiating fair settlement offers
  • Filing a lawsuit if a satisfactory settlement cannot be reached
  • Representing your best interests every step of the way

Having a knowledgeable lawyer in your corner can take much of the burden off your shoulders so you can focus on healing. They understand how to maximize compensation in truck accident cases by thoroughly documenting damages, establishing liability, retaining expert witnesses, and aggressively negotiating with insurers.

Get a Free Consultation From a West Virginia Truck Accident Law Firm

If an 18-wheeler injured you or a loved one in West Virginia, take action now to protect your right to compensation. Contact Miley Legal for a free case review. Their experienced attorneys are here to help you recover.