Petersburg Truck Accident Lawyer
A collision with a commercial truck is not like a collision with a passenger vehicle. Although both types of accidents can have the same causes and lead to similar types of injuries, numerous factors separate truck accidents from car accidents. A few brief examples of these include the following:
Trucks weigh significantly more than passenger vehicles, sometimes up to 80,000 pounds. This affects how they stop, turn, and accelerate, and it requires them to be driven differently. Their huge weight also requires other motorists to take special care when sharing the road with them. Because of a truck’s size a power, a collision with one is more likely to cause severe injuries to passengers of other vehicles.
Tractor-trailers have risks that are different from other types of vehicles because of their articulated structure. Jackknifing is a type of accident specific to tractor-trailers.
Unlike motorists, truck drivers do not carry personal automobile insurance policies. Instead, depending on whether they are owner-operators or employees, truck drivers carry either motor carrier insurance policies or commercial vehicle coverage provided by their employers.
A truck accident can leave you severely injured. In some cases, victims die at the scene of the collision or subsequently in the hospital due to their injuries. If you have been involved in a collision with a commercial truck, seek medical attention for your injury as soon as possible after the accident. Once you have received treatment and you are in a stable condition, begin working with an experienced Petersburg truck accident lawyer to file your personal injury claim.
What Causes Truck Accidents?
Truck accidents, like car accidents, can be caused by many different issues. The exact cause of your accident will play a critical role in your personal injury claim.
Driver negligence on the part of the truck driver can result in a collision. Examples of truck driver negligence include:
- Driving while under the influence of alcohol or other drugs
- Driving while too tired to safely operate the truck
- Disregarding posted traffic rules, such as the speed limit or a stop sign
- Driving while distracted by a cellphone, tablet, or CB radio
- Failing to maintain control of the truck on difficult terrain
Another driver’s negligence can cause a truck accident as well. When a motorist makes one of the errors listed above, a truck driver may have to swerve or stop suddenly, causing a collision. In a case like this, the negligent motorist may be liable for the victim’s damages instead of the truck driver.
Vehicle malfunction on the part of the truck or another vehicle can also cause a collision. In cases like this, the negligent party may be the malfunctioning vehicle’s manufacturer, distributor, seller, or mechanic.
Sometimes, an accident is the result of a poorly designed or maintained roadway. Trucks have different needs than other types of vehicles, and certain road features that are non-issues for smaller vehicles can be hazardous for large trucks. One example of this is a sharp turn. Additionally, steep downhill roadways can cause a truck to accrue speed at an unsafe rate, potentially causing the truck driver to lose control of her vehicle.
Ways You Can be Injured in a Truck Accident
A truck accident can leave you injured in multiple ways. These include:
- Broken bones
- Head injuries
- Crushing injuries
- Spinal cord damage
In many instances, these injuries can become more severe if left untreated. For example, a traumatic brain injury can worsen if not monitored and treated promptly and properly. In other cases, injuries can lead to severe complications, such as temporary or permanent disability, paralysis, or even death.
Seeking Compensation for Your Damages Following a Truck Accident
If you are injured in a truck accident, you can seek compensation for your resulting financial damages. Such damages can compensate you for your medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
- Through your personal injury claim, you must demonstrate that:
- The other party—such as the truck driver, trucking company, or manufacturer—owed you a duty of care;
- That party breached the duty of care by acting negligently or recklessly in causing the collision;
- The accident caused you to suffer injury; and
- Your injury caused you to suffer financial damages as defined by Virginia law.
You will need to provide evidence to support each of these points in your claim. You can use documents such as medical bills, photographs of the accident scene, and documentation of your time spent off work as evidence. Other helpful evidence can include testimonies from expert witnesses discussing your diagnosis and a digital recreation of the accident. You can also use evidence of a truck driver’s violation of federal regulations. creates and enforces safety regulations for commercial truck drivers in the U.S. These regulations include mandatory breaks after a certain amount of driving time to prevent fatigue and regular inspections of the truck. Your lawyer can help you secure these and other pieces of evidence to support your truck accident claim.
Why Should I Work with a Petersburg Truck Accident Lawyer?
Your lawyer is your advocate. Although you can file your claim without a lawyer’s help, hiring a lawyer gives you the benefit of working alongside someone who knows the laws applicable to your case and has experience filing personal injury claims and negotiating to secure compensation packages for victims like you. Part of your lawyer’s job will be to ensure that your claim is filed within the statute of limitations, which, in Virginia, is two years from the date of your accident. Another part of this job is to negotiate with the negligent party’s insurance provider on your behalf to secure an appropriate compensation amount for your damages.
Work with Our Team of Experienced Petersburg Truck Accident Lawyers
You may have the right to file a personal injury claim to seek compensation for the damages you suffered in a truck accident. To learn more about what you can expect from this process and determine whether you have a personal injury claim, contact our team of experienced truck accident lawyers at Emroch & Kilduff, LLP today to set up your free, confidential legal consultation with a member of our firm.