Virginia Truck Accident Lawyer
Being in an accident involving a truck is probably one of the scariest situations any driver can face. Injuries from truck accidents are often severe and many times life-altering, and usually involves totaling whatever vehicle you were in when the accident occurred.
At the time of the accident, it is hard to think about the steps you need to take to ensure your medical, vehicular, and personal financial needs are met legally because of this tragedy.
A truck accident lawyer in Virginia can assist you in gathering the information necessary to determine whether or not you will have to bring a lawsuit against the trucking company or the driver to receive the necessary accident compensation.
Regulatory agencies for trucking companies are the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and the United States Department of Transportation. In addition, every state has their own department of transportation whose regulations may be more extensive or more specific than the federal agencies. These agencies have regulations that must be followed. If one or more of these rules or regulations were not followed and your accident occurred as a result, chances are good you have a case.
Listed below are specific conditions that cannot be violated:
- The driver must possess a commercial driver’s license in order to operate a large commercial truck. There is a state-certification the driver must take and then pass to obtain this license. The driver, as well as the company he drives for, can be legally responsible if they do not possess a commercial license.
- Drivers are only permitted to drive a certain number of hours before the law mandates they leave the road and take a break from their route. The Hours of Service Regulation states a driver can drive up to 11 hours maximum after being off duty for 10 consecutive hours. A driver is not permitted to drive over 14 hours even if they have had 10 hours consecutively off duty. These rules apply to drivers carrying property, not passengers. Truck drivers must keep a log of their hours, so upon inspection, if the driver has violated this regulation, you likely have a case.
- A truck can only haul a certain amount of weight based on the size and structure of the truck. Weigh stations on highways were created to monitor and inspect the trucks to ensure their compliance with this regulation. Trucks that are overloaded or loaded incorrectly are extremely dangerous. The load can shift based on road conditions or when a driver makes a turn or even starts up or slows down for a traffic light.
- Federal and state agencies also inspect trucks for quality control and proper maintenance. If the truck you were involved with did not have the required inspections and repairs, you may have a case with the trucking company.
- If you were hit by a truck carrying hazardous materials, it must be ascertained that the truck was following the correct guidelines when you were hit. If not, your case may be against both the hazardous material company and the trucking company.