Martinsburg Attorneys Representing Victims of West Virginia Truck Accidents
The personal injury attorneys at Burke, Schultz, Harman & Jenkinson in Martinsburg understand the dangers posed by truck accidents in the eastern panhandle of West Virginia. Interstate 81 cuts across the entire eastern panhandle, including Martinsburg, for a total of 26 miles through Berkeley County. I-81 is a major route through the Appalachians from New York to Tennessee and is in heavy use as a trucking corridor, as semis and big rigs flock to I-81 to avoid the congestion on the I-95 whenever possible. Much of the truck traffic is picked up from I-70 in Hagerstown, Maryland and heads straight through Martinsburg.
Truck Accidents Can Cause Serious Injuries, Wrongful Death
Truck accidents are generally much more damaging than collisions between automobiles, often resulting in serious injuries or wrongful death. Trucks are so much heavier and more massive than any car, that even a relatively low-impact collision can seriously injure the occupants of the smaller, lighter vehicle. The size and weight of a tractor-trailer create other hazards as well. Car drivers are used to the quick response and easy handling of their automobiles and may not appreciate the increased stopping distance and reaction time necessary to control and maneuver a heavy-laden big rig. Also, blind spots for truckers extend both directly ahead and behind the truck for several car lengths, and even into the next lane or two lanes over. Driving with care and caution around semi trucks is a safe and prudent idea.
Regardless of the level of care of the automobile driver, however, truck driver error can still cause a serious accident. Truckers are under enormous pressure from the trucking companies to deliver their cargo as quickly as possible. Under federal regulations, workdays for truckers can be up to 14 hours long with 11 hours of driving time each shift in a workweek which can be seven or eight days long without any significant time off. Driver fatigue is a very real problem. To combat fatigue, truckers may take over-the-counter or illicit substances to stay awake, but often these drugs actually decrease alertness and reaction time. Reckless or aggressive driving by truckers can also cause accidents or force cars off the road or into collisions with other vehicles.
Seek Representation from Experienced West Virginia Truck Accident Attorneys
At Burke, Schultz, Harman & Jenkinson, our attorneys understand the serious nature of truck accidents and the long-term expenses that can be involved. Our lawyers also know how to properly investigate a trucking accident and determine a trucker or trucking company’s liability and damages, including obtaining and reviewing transportation logs and engaging in accident reconstruction where necessary. If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident along I-81 or anywhere in West Virginia’s eastern panhandle, contact our office for a free consultation with an experienced truck accident lawyer.