Virginia Truck Accident Attorney Richmond
The Virginia Department of Transportation indicates that more than 2,300 crashes took place involving large trucks during 2016—that’s more than six each day. While these vehicles perform an essential function in the state’s economy, they are also capable of causing extensive damage to other vehicles and property and leaving accident victims with extremely serious injuries.
When the negligence of commercial truck drivers, trucking companies, or other parties involved in the industry injures people, the victims are often legally entitled to compensation for the losses they incur as a result of the crash. Unfortunately, however, trucking insurers are often reticent to pay victims, even when their claims are valid. Furthermore, even when they concede liability, they often do everything they can to frustrate victims into accepting settlements for far less than the damages they’ve incurred.
Emroch & Kilduff’s attorneys are committed to representing the rights of truck accident victims and do not hesitate to take on large trucking insurance companies. We are skilled negotiators who understand how to get insurance companies to settle and aggressive litigators who will readily take a case to trial should our clients’ best interests demand it. We offer completely free case evaluations and will not collect any legal fees unless we obtain you compensation for your losses. To schedule a consultation with one of our truck accident lawyers in Richmond, call our office today at (804) 358-1568 or contact us online.
What Makes Truck Accident Different?
Auto collisions are complicated enough, but become even more so when a commercial truck is involved.
We can classify most accidents involving large trucks (including delivery vehicles, box trucks, or tractor trailers) as head-on collisions, under-ride or override accidents, jackknifes, or rollover crashes. All of these truck accidents can result in serious injuries, disabilities, or fatalities.As with most auto accidents, truck accidents must take into account considerations like road conditions, equipment failure, and driver performance.
Interstates are said to be the safest roadways, but this is where most commercial vehicle and truck accidents occur. Large trucks account for a small percent of total registered vehicles, yet per unit of travel, these trucks are involved in more fatal crashes than passenger vehicles.
According to the most recent 2010 report from The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the number of accidents involving semi-truck, tractor-trailer, and commercial vehicles is increasing.
- 500,000 commercial vehicles and large trucks were involved in accidents
- 100,000 or more persons sustained serious injuries
- 5,000 or more persons died
Truck Accidents Are Often Caused by the Negligence of Truck Drivers
Driving a semi-truck or other large commercial vehicle is not like getting behind the wheel of your family sedan. These vehicles can weigh 20 or 30 times as much as a standard passenger vehicle and take up much more space. As a result, they handle much differently than anything that most of us have ever driven before. They are slower to accelerate, and need much more room to turn. They dramatically restrict visibility. In addition, driving a large truck involves using equipment that is simply not found on passenger vehicles, such as air brakes and coupling devices.
Because driving commercial trucks is so much different than driving passenger vehicles, commercial vehicle drivers are required to undergo specialized training and obtain commercial driver’s licenses to legally drive them. Unfortunately, commercial truck drivers continue to make mistakes and drive carelessly despite these measures, often resulting in catastrophic accidents. Truck driver negligence that often leads to accidents include:
- Distracted driving
- Impaired driving
- Failure to yield
- Following too closely
- Improper turns
- Failing to signal lane changes
- Driving on the wrong side of the road
Negligence can often prove hard to spot, so victims should always review the facts of their case with an attorney—even if the truck driver was not doing something obviously wrong at the time of the accident.
The Trucking Industry is Subject to Federal Regulation
It’s not just personal injury lawyers who know that large commercial trucks pose a risk to others on the road. The federal government also recognizes this, and agencies like the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) impose strict regulations on trucks, truck drivers, and the trucking industry in general. Government regulations restrict:
- The number of hours a truck driver can drive during a given period
- The number and placement of lights or reflective material on a truck’s trailer
- The health condition of drivers
- Drivers’ blood alcohol content
- The frequency with which trucks are inspected
- The weather conditions in which truck drivers may drive
These regulations are important for accident victims because failure to comply with them may establish liability on the part of a truck driver or the driver’s employer. As a result, anyone involved in a commercial truck accident should retain an attorney familiar with federal trucking regulations. Knowing the regulations is a prerequisite to identifying violations.
How Much Will a Truck Accident Attorney Cost?
In the aftermath of a serious, injury-causing accident, you are likely looking for ways to save money—not take on additional expenses. This logic often makes truck accident victims question the wisdom of retaining at attorney—after all, if the insurance company seems ready to settle, why just not handle the matter yourself?
Understand that you will incur no out-of-pocket costs from retaining the lawyers at Emroch & Kilduff. We employ a contingent fee arrangement with all of our personal injury clients, which means that we will not collect any legal fees unless we successfully recover compensation from the party or parties responsible for your injuries. If we do not secure a settlement or award on your behalf, you owe us nothing—period.
Secondly, as a victim, you should recognize that trucking industry insurers do not have your best interests in mind. If you are unrepresented by counsel, the insurance company may make you unreasonably low settlement offers to take advantage of your inexperience with truck accident litigation. If you accept such an offer, there is little chance that you may recover any additional compensation in the future, even as your medical bills continue to pile up.
Retain an attorney to represent you, even if the other party concedes liability. An attorney who is unable to come to a reasonable settlement arrangement with the insurance company may file a lawsuit on your behalf and represent you in court.
Remember, the trucking company probably has some of the best defense attorneys in the business on its side. You should, too. At Emroch at Kilduff, we take the time to fully evaluate your case and extensively document both your economic and non-economic losses to ensure that you recover as much compensation as possible. In cases of contested liability, we will conduct a thorough investigation into your accident to uncover any evidence of negligence that may exist.
Contact Experienced Truck Accident Attorneys
If you or a loved one was in an accident involving a commercial vehicle or tractor-trailer, you may face a difficult and overwhelming time. If a serious injury or fatality occurred, handling complicated legal matters just adds to the stress of an already complex and traumatic situation. Leave it to the personal injury attorneys at Emroch & Kilduff to provide the support and representation you need to reach a faster resolution and more substantial settlement or verdict.
If you were injured by a tractor-trailer or commercial vehicle, you deserve to know your rights. Do not hesitate to contact us, or visit one of our offices in Richmond, Petersburg, Tappahannock, or Fredericksburg for a consultation with an experienced truck accident injury attorney.