Fredericksburg Truck Accident Lawyer
The most populated roads in Fredericksburg are Interstate 95 and US-1, which provide access from Fredericksburg to the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. In addition to these two, a variety of other roads in the area, such as Route 3 and Route 301, are also used by drivers of passenger cars and large trucks alike.
There is no doubt that large trucks, such as semi–trucks and tractor-trailers, serve an important role in today’s economy. But because these trucks often weigh up to 80,000 pounds, they are also inherently dangerous, especially when moving at high speeds.
If you have been involved in a truck accident in Fredericksburg and suffered serious injuries, or if you have lost a loved one in a truck accident, our law firm is here for you. Our experienced Fredericksburg truck accident attorneys know how to pursue truck accident claims that result in fair settlements for our clients.
Why Truck Accidents Occur
Large truck accidents typically occur because of human error. In most cases, truck accidents could be avoided but for acts of negligence—the failure to act with a reasonable degree of care. These collisions cause not only to crashes, but also tragic injuries. Some of the most common causes of truck accidents include:
- Truck driver errors. Truck driver errors may include taking a turn too fast, speeding, driving aggressively, improperly changing lanes, following a car too closely, driving while intoxicated or impaired, driving while overly fatigued, or driving while distracted.
- Passenger vehicle driver errors. The truck driver is not always at fault in a truck accident; in many cases, the drivers of passenger vehicles do not operate their vehicles safely, either. Cutting off a driver, following too closely, driving in a truck driver’s blind spots, or engaging in “squeeze play” can all lead to accidents.
- Cargo shifts. Sometimes, a truck accident may occur because of a shift in the hundreds or thousands of pounds’ worth of cargo that the truck is carrying. A cargo shift may occur because the cargo was improperly loaded or improperly secured. This is usually the fault of the cargo loader.
- Truck defects. Truck accidents may occur because something goes wrong with the truck, such as failure of the brakes or a tire blowout. These types of accidents are frightening, as they can be impossible for a truck driver to predict, prevent, or correct. When a defect of the truck a component of the truck is to blame for an accident, getting to the bottom of exactly what went wrong is important. In some cases, the truck part manufacturer may be to blame for designing or manufacturing a defective and dangerous part. In other cases, the trucking company may be at fault if the defect would not have occurred but for its improper maintenance or repairs.
The above list is not exhaustive—defects in the road, improperly marked construction zones, improper signage, and other errors can also lead to accidents. So, too, can a truck driver’s failure to follow federal regulations. is an agency within the U.S. Department of Transportation that promulgates safety regulations for the U.S. trucking industry. Its regulations, intended to decrease the large numbers of trucking accidents that occur each year, include limitations on the amount of time a trucker can drive without taking a rest and the number of inspections a driver must make on the truck. If a commercial truck driver violates these FMCSA regulations, such violations may be used as evidence against the driver in a truck accident case.
Helping You Recover
Our lawyers understand the severity of truck accidents. When truck accidents are not fatal, they may leave victims with injuries such as:
- Loss of limb and amputation
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries and paralysis
- Fractured bones
- Back and neck injuries
- Soft tissue injuries
- Internal injuries
These injuries have numerous consequences, such as causing pain and limiting a person’s mobility and ability to do the things that she enjoys the most. They are also expensive to treat, can require lifelong in-home care, and may force the person to stop working, which inhibits her earning capacity. At the law offices of Emroch & Kilduff, LLP, our Fredericksburg truck accident lawyers work hard to help you recover:
- Economic losses. Economic losses are damages for your actual financial losses, such as the total value of your medical expenses, any property damage you suffered, and the value of your current and future lost wages.
- Noneconomic losses. Noneconomic losses are your intangible and immeasurable losses, such as the value of your pain and suffering, emotional distress, psychological injury, and loss of quality of life.
- Punitive damages. We can help you seek compensation for punitive damages when your accident was caused by the malicious, intentional, or egregious conduct of the at-fault party.
It Is Important that You Act Now
One of the biggest mistakes that those who have been injured in a Virginia truck accident make is failing to act as soon as possible. If you wait too long to file your claim, hire a lawyer, or file a lawsuit for damages, you will forfeit your right to compensation. Virginia’s statute of limitations requires that you file a personal injury claim within two years of the date of your accident. If you wait longer than the two-year window, you will be barred from seeking damages.
We Work on a Contingency Fee Basis
One reason truck accident victims often hesitate to seek legal counsel is that they are worried about the cost of hiring an attorney. We want to make it clear that a consultation with us is both confidential and free, and that we work on a contingency fee basis. This means that if we don’t recover damages for you, we will not charge you a single fee. If we do recover damages for you, then our fee will be based on a percentage of your winnings; you never have to pay us out of pocket.
Fredericksburg Truck Accident FAQ
While Fredericksburg is best known as a historic port city, it’s also a major thoroughfare en route to Washington, D.C., which brings with it a large number of semi-trucks transporting goods to the nation’s capital. With large trucks comes the risk of truck accidents. If you sustained injuries in a truck accident in Fredericksburg or the surrounding area, read on for more information. Below, we answer some of the most frequently asked questions that we hear from our clients.
If you have additional questions, contact Emroch & Kilduff to speak with an experienced truck accident attorney about your situation.
Who is responsible for a truck accident in Fredericksburg?
Truck accidents can prove quite complex. Multiple factors may come into play when attempting to determine the cause(s) of the accident. Truck accidents can stem from poor driver choices, attempts to meet unrealistic timelines that cause drivers to speed, fatigue, distraction, and inadequate training. Furthermore, truck drivers drive when drowsy or fatigued much more frequently than drivers of other vehicles.
Drivers need to possess a valid commercial driver’s license (CDL) that ensures they are qualified to drive a big rig, which is not the same as driving a car! Currently, the U.S. is in the midst of a severe truck driver shortage, which may tempt companies to not check or ignore a lack of qualifications.
Accidents may occur due to inadequate inspection, maintenance, or repair of the truck. Malfunctioning equipment or worn equipment, such as tires and brake pads, are sufficient issues to cause an accident as well. Trucking companies, or their designees, are mandated by law to periodically inspect, maintain, and repair their vehicles.
Larger trucking companies often subcontract out inspection, maintenance, and repair work. If inadequate performance of these duties causes a truck accident, those parties may bear responsibility.
Finally, accidents may also stem from improper packing and loading of cargo. Cargo that becomes loose in a truck can fly out of doors that have been improperly closed (or fly out as a result of an accident that punctures the truck). Cargo can pose an accident-causing obstacle both to the truck itself and to other drivers and passersby on the road.
Cargo that is improperly loaded can cause truck imbalances that spur accidents, especially on curves or if the driver is going too fast.
Truck companies that pack and load cargo can bear responsibility. Here, too, though, companies often subcontract out these functions. A subcontractor can also exhibit responsibility.
Finally, defective or faulty components and the truck itself can cause accidents. If that’s the case, manufacturers bear responsibility.
In sum, parties responsible for truck accidents include:
How can I tell who is responsible for the injuries caused by my Fredericksburg truck accident?
Most commercial motor vehicle accidents are investigated by Federal authorities, primarily because the potential causes are so complex.
If you or a loved one suffered injuries in a truck accident, it’s crucial to get a copy of the accident report filed by law enforcement. Police accident reports are the first line of evidence about the causes of an accident.
These reports are not definitive, however, as an investigation may reveal different sources of fault. A lawyer can assist you.
Other potential sources of evidence about how an accident occurred (and thus who or what bears responsibility) include:
- Images, either pictures or video
- Surveillance footage
- Forensic analysis of the crash site
- Doctor and other medical reports and diagnoses
- Forensic analysis of injuries
- Eyewitness reports
Why is determining responsibility for my Fredericksburg truck accident important?
It’s always essential to know who bears responsibility for an accident in which you’re injured. Why? Because the responsible entity is liable (i.e. financially responsible) for any injuries that result from the accident.
Virginia is a fault state for accidents. Accordingly, in Virginia, injured individuals can seek damage compensation, which is financial payment for their injuries, whether economic or non-economic. (In no-fault states, by contrast, injured people are expected to first seek compensation from their own insurance companies.)
To seek damage compensation, you need to know the responsible parties. Once you’ve determined that, you can either approach the at-fault party’s insurance carrier or bring a Fredericksburg truck accident lawsuit in civil court. The experienced legal team at Emroch & Kilduff can help you determine the best course of action given your specific situation.
What types of compensation are available after a Fredericksburg truck accident?
Injured individuals can seek the following in damage compensation:
- Medical bills, both current and future – For emergency treatment and transport, doctor’s visits, hospitalization, surgery, prescription medication, diagnoses, physical therapy, and more
- Income lost from work – If you need time off work for medical treatment and recuperation
- Lifetime value of earnings – If you become disabled and can’t work
- Personal property – For damaged or lost personal property
- Pain and suffering – For physical, mental, or emotional pain and suffering
If future medical bills are likely, your lawyer may call expert witnesses to estimate the anticipated cost of treatment. The same is true for future wages from work or estimated lifetime earnings. Our Fredericksburg truck accident lawyers can work with experts to arrive at a reasonable figure.
What’s the standard damage compensation for a Fredericksburg truck accident?
Damage compensation amounts aren’t standard. The amount of compensation one receives depends on the type of injury and the effect it has on the injured person’s life.
Medical costs are added up. If future medical treatment is likely, your lawyer will consult experts to provide a forecast of expected medical treatment and its costs.
Income lost from work is also computed mathematically, by multiplying the period of time you’ve lost at work by your existing pay. If you expect to need more time off in the future, experts forecast the amount of time and multiply it by your wages.
Expected lifetime earnings are estimated based on your income, your position, and your age.
Property damage equals the replacement value of the property lost or damaged.
Pain and suffering, on the other hand, is more difficult to calculate, as it’s subjective. As a result, you’ll want our help to make certain that the insurance company doesn’t shortchange your pain and suffering compensation.
If you need more information, contact Emroch & Kilduff without delay.
Contact Our Law Firm Today
A Fredericksburg truck accident can change your life. If you have been in a truck accident and know that your future has been altered, contact us to learn more about your options and how our lawyers can help. Contact our experienced truck accident lawyers today, who care about helping you recover at the offices of Emroch & Kilduff, LLP. Stop by or call us today.
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