At any given time, there are thousands of commercial trucks driving on the streets and highways of Virginia. Commercial trucking has become a multi-billion-dollar industry, as well as a crucial part of interstate commerce. However, all of these vehicles on the road also mean the inevitable truck accidents, injuries, and deaths.
Due to their massive size, a commercial truck slamming into a passenger vehicle often means catastrophic injuries for the victims. Almost 5,000 people die each year in truck crashes. Victims of truck accidents may be entitled to significant injury compensation for the losses their injuries have caused.
Although truck accidents are similar to car accidents when it comes to the types of damages that a victim may be entitled to, they are often more legally complex. Determining which party or parties are liable can be challenging for someone who does not know how Virginia injury law addresses these issues. This is why victims should contact a skilled Virginia truck accident attorney if they have been injured in a truck accident.
Who Is at Fault?
In a passenger vehicle accident between two parties, there is usually one driver who is the negligent actor that is liable for the crash. But in a truck accident, there are often multiple factors besides the actions of the truck driver that affects liability. Trucking companies are required under federal and state laws to comply with multiple safety regulations and failure to adhere to these regulations frequently leads to commercial truck accidents.
For example, if the trucking company failed to properly secure the cargo the truck driver is transporting, this failure can have a significant effect on the driver’s ability to safely operate the vehicle. This can cause the driver to lose control of the truck and cause an accident. Debris can also fall off the truck onto the road and also cause a vehicle to crash.
There are other negligent – and often illegal – actions of the trucking company that can result in horrific crashes. One of the most common is the failure of a truck driver to adhere to the number of consecutive hours he or she is allowed to drive. Drivers are required to keep logbooks to document the number of hours they are behind the wheel and are not allowed to drive any more than 11 consecutive hours. There are also requirements for rest time.
Despite these regulations, there are trucking companies that pressure their drivers to break these regulations and falsify driving logs in order to meet unreasonable delivery schedules. This dangerous practice leads to fatigued drivers operating massive vehicles.
Other types of driver negligence that a trucking company can be held liable for include driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol, speeding, distracted driving, and erratic lane changes.
Contact a Virginia Personal Injury Attorney
If you or a loved one has been injured in a tractor-trailer crash, contact a skilled Virginia truck accident attorney to find out what your legal options may be against the at-fault party or parties responsible for the accident. Truck accidents often involve claims against multiple parties and can be more complex than other types of vehicle accident claims. The legal team at Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp has successfully represented many truck accident victims and their families and will aggressively fight to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve. Call us today for a free case evaluation.