Virginia Truck Accident Lawyers Fredericksburg
Auto collisions are complicated enough but become even more so when a larger vehicle is involved. Interstates are commonly thought to be the safest roadways, but this is where most commercial vehicle and truck accidents occur. Large trucks account for a very small percentage of total registered vehicles, yet per unit of travel, these trucks are involved in more fatal crashes than passenger vehicles. Smaller vehicles are particularly vulnerable due to the sheer mass of larger trucks, often weighing 20 or 30 times that of passenger vehicles. According to the most recent 2016 report from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the number of accidents involving semi truck, tractor-trailer, and commercial vehicles is on the rise.
- 500,000+ commercial vehicles and large trucks were involved in accidents
- 100,000+ people sustained serious injuries
- 3,986 people died in large truck crashes
The personal and financial burdens that you and your family may face following a truck accident are difficult and sometimes come with lifelong repercussions. An experienced Virginia personal injury lawyer can help you navigate the legal landscape to recover any damages that may be owed to you. Contact Emroch & Kilduff today for a free consultation with one of our attorneys specializing in these cases.
Types of Truck Accidents
There are various ways to categorize an accident involving a large or commercial truck. Accidents involving large trucks could include vehicles such as delivery trucks, box trucks, or tractor-trailers. Commercial trucks include vehicles such as passenger buses, garbage trucks, and most commonly, semi-trailer trucks. Some of the following are common classifications for collisions with large trucks:
- Head-on collisions
- Rear-end collisions
- Underride or override accidents
- Jackknife or rollover crashes
- Rollover accidents
- Brake failure or Improper braking
- Blind spot accidents
- Wide turn accidents
Any and all of these categories of truck accidents can result in serious injury, disability or fatality.
As with most auto and truck accidents, there are considerations like road conditions, equipment failure, and driver performance that must be taken into account. You may have a claim against the operator of the vehicle and in commercial truck scenarios, against the operator’s employer. In order to recover for collisions with a large truck, negligence must be proved. Negligence is when the driver’s duty to operate with reasonable care is breached and in turn, caused the injury you suffered. In commercial truck cases, the employer can also be held liable for the driver’s negligence if the actions taken were within the scope of the driver’s employment. Any violation by a driver of Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations, state, or federal laws can also be used to prove negligence.
Often a dangerous situation may be avoided by the truck operator with proper care of the truck’s load and attention to the roadway. You may be able to recover financial compensation if one or more of the following conditions occurred:
- Driving distracted—Cell phone calls, texting, eating, or operating GPS
- Driving under the influence
- Length of a route or lack of sleep
- Excess speed, leading to braking too quickly or tailgating
- Poor weather conditions—wet or icy roads, high winds and other inclement weather
- Inadequate loading:
- Trucks cannot weigh more than 80,000 pounds
- Trucks cannot carry more than 20,000 pounds per axle
- Loads shifting en route affecting the center of gravity
- Dangerous materials spilling
Collisions with a large truck or commercial vehicle could leave you with various physical injuries and sometimes life-long disability. You may experience one or more of the following injuries:
- Bodily disfigurement
- Brain injuries
- Broken bones
- Internal bleeding or Organ damage
- Loss of bodily functions
- Soft tissue injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Permanent disability
- Wrongful death of a loved one
With such a wide range of injuries you may sustain, the short and long-term medical attention you may need can factor into the amount of recovery for your case. These physical complications may be compounded by damage to your property and personal long-term issues from a traumatic truck accident affecting your quality of life. Some of the damages you may incur are:
- Emotional distress and mental anguish
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Medical expenses—emergency room care, hospitalization, surgeries, treatments
- Pain and suffering
- Physical therapy
- Property damage and vehicle repairs
With multiple injuries and property damage that you may deal with following an accident of this kind, it is important to address the legal claims you may have against the liable parties. An experienced truck accident lawyer may be able to help you sort through the aftermath and recover the damages owed to you.
Truck Accident Lawsuit Overview
The legal process following a truck accident can be difficult and involve multiple parties. Some of the steps involved in the Virginia process include:
- Filing a complaint – Petition outlines your case and includes the demand for judgment explaining the damages you wish to recover.
- Summons – Document served on each defendant with a time period to respond.
- Discovery – All information related to the case gathered, including medical reports, photographs of the accident scene, eyewitness accounts, etc.
- Court motions – Issues brought before the judge prior to trial.
- Trial or settlement – If both parties cannot reach a settlement agreement the case will proceed to trial with a judge or jury determining the result.
Contact Experienced Truck Accident Lawyers in Virginia
If you or a loved one is in an accident involving a large truck or commercial vehicle, handling legal matters may only add to the stress of injuries and other damages you are dealing with. Leave it to the personal injury attorneys at Emroch & Kilduff to provide the support and representation you need to reach a favorable resolution and substantial settlements.
If you’ve been injured by a truck, tractor-trailer or commercial vehicle, you deserve to know your rights. Do not hesitate to call us at (804) 358-1568, contact us online, or visit one of our offices in Richmond, Petersburg, Tappahannock, or Fredericksburg for a consultation with an experienced truck accident injury attorney.