A SEMI ACCIDENT LAWYER VIRGINIA TRUSTS EXPLAINS HOW TO FILE A TRUCK ACCIDENT CLAIM
Drive down any highway in this country and we can see just crucial the trucking industry is to getting goods from manufacturers to the public. However, the more trucks that are on the roads, the more trucking accidents occur. In fact, government data shows that there was a more than 60 percent increase in the number of truck accidents in a six-year period between 2009 and 2015.
At MartinWren, P.C., our Virginia semi accident lawyers can attest to that increase by the number of truck accident cases our firm handles. We have extensive experience successfully fighting for truck accident victims and their families in getting them the financial compensation they deserve for the horrific losses these accident cause. Our attorneys have extensive experience in the dealing with the complexities of truck accident cases, including investigating, obtaining evidence, and determining who the liable parties are. To find out more, contact a semi accident lawyer from our firm today.
Negligence and Liability in a Truck Accident
In the majority of passenger vehicle accidents, there is usually one at-fault party who caused the crash. That driver likely was negligent in some way, (i.e. texting and driving) and that action caused the crash. This makes the driver liable for any damages that an injured victim suffers. Truck accidents are different in that there is usually more than one party who is liable for damages and this can sometimes be difficult to determine, especially for someone who has never had to deal with the trucking industry in this manner.
In a truck accident, a semi accident lawyer must first determine what the negligent act was that caused the crash. Using the same example as above, let’s say the truck driver was texting while driving and caused the crash. Again, this was negligent behavior on the truck driver’s party. So this makes the truck driver the at-fault party who caused the crash. However, it becomes more complicated in determining who is liable for the victim’s damages.
A Virginia attorney must determine if the truck driver was an employee of a trucking company, was a contractor driver for the company, or if he or she was self-employed. That will determine who is liable for the damages.
This can become very complicated, depending on the circumstances of how the truck driver came to be behind the wheel of the truck, especially if there were different contractors and subcontractors involved, as well as actual ownership of the vehicle. There could multiple liable parties that a semi accident lawyer will name in any legal action pursued on behalf of the victim.
Damages in a Truck Accident Case
A semi accident lawyer will gather all of the victim’s actual expenses they have sustained because of their injuries, as well as any future expenses the victim will have. This includes all medical expenses, loss of income, including future loss of income if they have been left disabled, and any costs associated with the injuries. This can include transportation to medical appointments, construction needed to make the victim’s home handicap accessible, and other services they may need.
A semi accident lawyer Virginia clients depend on will also calculate what the financial compensation should be for the non-economic losses the victim has suffered. This can include pain and suffering, emotional anguish, disfigurement, scarring, and permanent disability. Depending on the circumstances of the accident, there may even be punitive damages sought. These are damages that seek to punish the at-fault party for egregious acts that caused the crash, such as a drunk driving crash.
Frequently Asked Questions About Semi Truck Accidents in Virginia
If you have been involved with a truck accident, it is important to call a trusted Virginia semi accident lawyer and learn all you can. Being informed is the best way of protecting yourself, so we at MartinWren, P.C. have compiled some frequently asked questions about truck accidents to keep you in the loop as much as possible.
Are Truck Accidents Common?
Unfortunately, yes. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, large truck accidents account for 8% of all fatal crashes and 3% of injury and property crashes. While this may not seem like a large number, that equates to 29 truck accidents per every 100,000 cars out on the road.
Why Are Truck Accidents More Dangerous Than Normal Car Accidents?
This is because of their sheer size. Semi-trucks, or tractor trailers, are usually around 53 feet long, eight and a half feet wide, and can weigh up to 16 times more than the average personal vehicle.
Are There Any Specific Reasons Why Commercial Trucks Get Into More Accidents?
Larger trucks have different characteristics and performance abilities that can get in the way compared to a typical car. For example, it takes a long time for a truck to break and accelerate and they have very large blind spots. More often than not, a smaller car will be in the truck’s blind spot without the truck driver realizing, and because they cannot easily break, an accident can sometimes be inevitable. As a rule of thumb, if you cannot see the truck’s mirrors when you are driving, you are in their blindspot.
Are There Different Kinds of Truck Accidents?
Yes. Any accident involving a big rig truck is considered a tractor trailer accident. This includes:
- Rear-end collisions
- Head-on collisions
- Broadside collisions
- Lane change collisions
- Collisions due to losing control of the vehicle
- Jack-knife collisions
How Is Fault Determined in a Truck Accident?
To accurately determine fault, a semi accident lawyer for Virginia will need to compile eyewitness testimony, truck mechanics, a police report, and conduct an investigation of the scene of the accident. A semi accident lawyer serving Virginia can help you as they can lead the way in investigating the driver, the trucking company, and what exactly went wrong right before the accident. It is important to note that your actions will be investigated during this time, so using a lawyer can be a great way to have a legal representative and voice present for you during questioning.
Who Will Be Held Responsible, the Driver or the Trucking Company?
If a court of law proves that the fault is not yours, both the driver and the trucking company can be held responsible. Your Virginia semi accident lawyer will look into if there was proper training, how long the driver was working for that day, when their last break was, who owns the vehicle, and even if there was something wrong with the truck itself. Or, if they both have been deemed responsible, the judge will determine who will pay out what in the settlement.
If you have any additional questions about truck accidents and how to protect your rights, do not hesitate to reach out to a professional semi accident lawyer at MartinWren, P.C. in Virginia today!