As we travel on the road, we are joined by large commercial trucks commuting across the nation to deliver products from the warehouse to the store. These trucks are crucial to the economy, ensuring people get the goods they need. However, when these trucks are not operated correctly, the trucking company forces tight deadlines on the driver, the trailer is not loaded correctly, hires a driver who is unsuited to drive commercial trucks, or a defective part is on the truck. As a result, it can cause a serious crash.
Because of the large size of commercial trucks, truck accident victims can suffer catastrophic injuries when something goes wrong and a collision ensues. If you have been injured, it’s important to know your options and take the appropriate steps.
At Cantor Grana Buckner Bucci, we want to make sure you understand your rights. This is why our Virginia truck accident lawyers work with you to prepare you for every stage of your lawsuit. Contact us today for a free consultation.
Trucking Regulations and Laws in Virginia
Knowing the laws and regulations that govern the trucking industry in Virginia is the first step to understanding how truck accident lawsuits work. These laws are in place to protect drivers and passengers on the road. Some of these laws include:
- Truck drivers must follow the hours of service regulations set forth by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). These regulations state how many hours a truck driver can be on the road daily and in a week.
- Truck drivers must also take breaks after driving for a certain number of hours.
- Trucking companies are also required to keep records of their drivers’ hours and drive miles.
Truck accident lawsuits can be complex, but an experienced truck accident lawyer will know how to navigate the laws and regulations that apply to your case.
Causes Of Truck Crashes
Next, you need to determine the cause of the crash, thus discovering the at-fault party. Some common causes of trucking accidents include:
One potential cause of a semi-truck crash is drunk driving. The driver violated federal regulations and should be held accountable in this case.
Another potential cause of a semi-truck accident is distracted driving. This can include texting while driving, talking on the phone, or eating while driving.
Driver fatigue is another common factor in truck crashes. Truck drivers are required to take breaks after a certain number of hours behind the wheel, but sometimes they ignore these regulations to meet deadlines.
Improperly Loaded Cargo
Another potential cause of truck accidents is improperly loaded cargo. If the truck’s cargo is not secured correctly, it can shift during transit and cause the truck to overturn or jackknife.
Lastly, inadequate maintenance can also lead to truck accidents. If a truck is not correctly maintained, it can break down on the road and cause an accident.
Who Is At-Fault in a Truck Accident Case?
When it comes to truck accidents, determining who is at fault can be tricky. The truck driver will be at fault for the accident in most cases. This is because they are the ones who are responsible for following the rules of the road. However, multiple parties may be liable for the injuries you sustained in other cases.
The Trucking Company
Truck Driver’s Hours of Service – One common example of a trucking company being liable for an accident is when the driver violates hours of service regulations. While the driver is responsible for stopping when they’re supposed to, the fault may also fall on the trucking company if they encourage the driver to continue driving to meet a deadline.
Truck Driver’s Logs – Another example of when the trucking company may be liable is if the driver’s logs are inaccurate. Truck drivers must keep track of their hours and miles driven, and if they do not, the trucking company may be held responsible.
Improper Maintenance – Lastly, if a truck is involved in an accident because it was not properly maintained, the trucking company may be held liable.
In some cases, the truck driver or company may not be the only one at fault. There may be third parties who are also responsible for the accident. For example, if a truck is carrying cargo that is not adequately secured and it causes an accident, the company that loaded the cargo may be held liable.
The Truck Manufacturer
The truck manufacturer may be at fault for an accident in some cases. This can happen if the truck is defective and caused the accident.
Damages You May Be Entitled To
The damages you recover in an accident lawsuit compensate you for the injuries and losses you have suffered from the accident.
There are two types of compensatory damages: economic and non-economic.
- Economic damages include medical bills, lost wages, and property damage.
- Non-economic damages include pain and suffering, emotional distress, and inconvenience and disfigurement.
Wrongful Death Damages
In cases of wrongful death, a spouse may recover damages for pain and suffering, funeral expenses, and loss of companionship.
Other Factors That Impact Your Truck Accident Lawsuit
The Statute of Limitations
It is important to be aware of the statute of limitations. This is the amount of time you have to file a lawsuit. In Virginia, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims is two years.
The Severity of Your Injuries
Any time someone is injured in a truck crash, the smaller vehicle occupants are the most likely to sustain the most severe injuries. This is because commercial trucks can weigh tens of thousands of pounds.
The severity of those injuries will directly impact the amount of damages you can recover. The more severe your injuries, the higher your medical bills and lost wages will be.
Contributory Negligence in Virginia
It is important to note that Virginia is a contributory negligence state. This means that if you are even partially at fault for an accident, you will not recover any damages from the other party. For this reason, it is crucial that you hire a lawyer who can help you prove that the truck driver or trucking company is at-fault for the accident.
Truck accident lawsuits can be complex, but an experienced truck accident lawyer will know how to navigate the laws and regulations that apply to your case. If you have been injured in a truck accident, contact our office today to schedule a free consultation. We will review your case and help you determine if you have a claim.
Filing A Truck Accident Claim In Virginia
The first step in filing a personal injury claim is contacting a truck accident lawyer specializing in these cases. They will review your case and help you determine if you have a claim.
The next step is to gather evidence. This can include things like photos of the accident scene, medical records, and witness statements. Your personal injury lawyer will use this evidence to build your case and prove that the truck driver or trucking company is at-fault for the accident.
Once your lawyer has gathered all of the evidence, they will file a claim with the trucking company’s insurance provider. The insurance company will then investigate the claim and may offer you a settlement.
If you do not agree with the truck accident settlement offered, your lawyer can file a lawsuit on your behalf. This is a complex process, so it is important to have an experienced lawyer by your side every step of the way.
Contact a Virginia Truck Accident Attorney Today
If you or someone you love has been injured in a serious truck collision, call Cantor Grana Buckner Bucci. We value the attorney-client relationship, and we know what it takes to hold the responsible party accountable to get the compensation you need and deserve.
Our Virginia truck accident attorneys aim to stand by your side every step of the way, and we are wholly devoted to making sure you can move forward in life with peace of mind knowing good hands are handling your case. Call for a free consultation today at (855) 936-1747.