Virginia Truck Accident Lawyer
If you have been in a collision with a large commercial truck, you may want to consider hiring a Virginia truck accident lawyer for legal advice and guidance. Road accidents happen each day, and they can happen when you least expect it. Truck accidents are some of the most devastating types of vehicle accidents.
Both private and commercial truck accidents often leave victims with moderate to severe injuries because of their sheer size and weight. Commercial trucks can include cargo trucks, dump trucks, garbage trucks, cement, and logging trucks, and many others. These multi-wheeled transporters often weigh between 50,000 and 80,000 pounds each.
When a collision happens involving one of these vehicles, the result is often catastrophic. Unfortunately, it is usually the driver and passenger of the smaller vehicle who are hurt, and in some cases, fatally injured. More often than not, smaller vehicles don’t have much of a chance to avoid the worst consequences of a truck accident.
Commercial trucks are difficult to control, and even the most seasoned and skilled truck drivers will have difficulty steering the truck in order to avoid an accident. Regardless of the circumstances of your accident, a truck accident lawyer in Virginia can advise you of your legal options during a free consultation. Call MartinWren, P.C. at (434) 817-3100.
VIRGINIA TRUCK ACCIDENT LAWYER
- TYPES OF INJURIES THAT MIGHT CONSTITUTE A CLAIM
- WHEN SHOULD YOU LOOK FOR A TRUCK ACCIDENT ATTORNEY?
- WRONGFUL DEATH CLAIMS
- WHY DO TRUCK ACCIDENTS HAPPEN?
- VIRGINIA TRUCK ACCIDENT LAW INFOGRAPHIC
- DRIVER INATTENTION AND FATIGUE
- REGULATION VIOLATIONS
- AVOIDING A TRUCK ACCIDENT: GOOD HABITS TO HAVE ON THE ROAD
- OTHER IMPORTANT HABITS & ACTIONS
- DRIVING IN BAD WEATHER
- SHOULD I HIRE A LAWYER?
- WORKING WITH MARTINWREN, P.C.
- TRUCK NO ZONES
- THE IMPACT OF TRUCK NO ZONES
- AVOID TRUCK BLIND SPOTS
- THINGS YOU SHOULD NEVER DO AFTER A TRUCK ACCIDENT
- FAQS ABOUT TRUCK ACCIDENT LAWS IN VIRGINIA
- LET US HELP YOU TODAY
Types of Injuries that Might Constitute a Claim
A Virginia truck accident lawyer is likely familiar with a broad range of accident-related injuries. They are familiar with the most common types of truck accident injuries and the approximate cost of compensation that victims can recover for them. Every case can be inherently unique because of the circumstances. Factors such as speed, size of the vehicles, and the direction they are coming from all affect how severe a victim’s injuries are. Even if the same type of vehicles were involved, the injuries sustained and the factors leading up to the accident will likely be different.
Some injuries could be mild to moderate and temporary, such as cuts, bruises, or fractures. They will likely heal in a few days or weeks. Others could be serious, even deadly, and result in the need to make significant adjustments in day-to-day living for the time being, or on a permanent basis. Broken bones, severe head injuries, and spinal injuries can take months of recovery, or they may even result in permanent disabilities. It is common for many truck accident victims to suffer moderate to severe injuries because of the size and weight of trucks combined with the sheer amount of force on impact. Regardless of how serious your injuries were after the collision, a Virginia truck accident lawyer may be able to get you compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering from those responsible. Some examples of injuries that could constitute a claim include:
- Broken bones, strains, and sprains
- Torn muscles or ligaments
- Lacerations and scrapes
- Burns (including chemical burns)
- Loss of any of the five senses
- Loss of limb(s)
- Head injury
- Neck and spine injury
- Nerve damage
- Brain damage
- Loss of life
The aforementioned is not exhaustive. A trusted and experienced truck accident lawyer Virginia trusts can review your medical records and let you know an estimated amount your claim might be worth. If you have not sought medical attention, now is the time to do so. The longer you put it off, the more you could lose. Some people choose not to get medical attention because they think their injuries are not severe or are worried about the cost of treatment. However, if you are injured in an accident and forgo medical help, you may run into a number of issues.
The insurance company may not believe that your injuries are severe enough to receive the compensation you deserve, or they may outright dismiss your claim. Receiving prompt medical attention after a serious truck accident is vital so that you have the necessary evidence to support your claim. A doctor’s medical report contains exactly what injuries you sustained. Providing this information is critical if you want to have an accurate list of damages and be properly compensated. Regardless of how you feel after an accident, it is best to be safe and get a medical evaluation right away.
When should you look for a truck accident attorney?
Our Virginia truck accident lawyer knows that for most people, hiring a lawyer is not something they typically do. If possible, most people would probably like to get through life without requiring the help (or the expenses) of an attorney. This is completely understandable. However, many people do not realize that without the help of an attorney, they could be leaving thousands of dollars on the table that they have every right to receive. To help determine when you should begin working with an attorney, you may want to answer these questions:
- Was the accident recent? Every state has laws regarding the statute of limitations. Hiring a Virginia truck accident lawyer sooner rather than later could allow you a better chance at recovering full compensation.
- Have you already started talking with the insurance company? You may think you can handle the truck driver’s insurance company. After all, a big truck ran into you and caused you to become injured. However, the insurance agents will be all too happy to twist what you say and try to push some of the fault on you. At this stage, it is best to have an attorney.
- What kinds of injuries do you have? Minor injuries may not mean you even need to take the truck driver to court. After all, if you only have bruises and you can go to work the next day, you are not dealing with losses. However, when you begin to accrue lost wages, have high medical bills, and have property damage, that is when you will want to bring a lawyer in.
Wrongful Death Claims
Unfortunately, many truck accidents result in death. When this happens, an experienced VA truck accident lawyer may be able to file a wrongful death claim against the driver, owner of the truck, parts manufacturer of the truck, a third-party driver, or another responsible party. A variety of recoverable damages may be available and include funeral expenses, lost wages, medical bills, lost companionship, grievance, and more. If you have lost a loved one after a truck accident, talk to a personal injury lawyer about assistance with filing a wrongful death claim against the parties involved.
Why Do Truck Accidents Happen?
There are endless reasons why truck accidents happen and as a Virginia truck accident lawyer can attest, each cause requires a different legal approach. Truck accidents are very different from car accidents because very often the injuries are far more serious. Hiring an attorney who focuses on truck accidents can help ensure you have the strongest case to take to trial.
Truck accidents can happen for a variety of reasons. When there is negligence on the part of the truck driver, some of the most common accident causes are:
- Overloaded or unsecured truck
- Drunk or distracted driving
- Negligent employer
- Driver fatigue or sleepiness
- Manufacturer issue
When a truck driver acts negligently or carelessly, they, as well as the trucking company might be liable for the accident. For example, when the victim’s attorney proves that the trucking company did not perform a background check or properly train the employee who caused the accident. They can be held accountable in what is called “vicarious liability”. The legal term refers to a type of strict liability where one party, such as an employer, can be held partially liable under the law for the actions of another party, such as an employee. A lawsuit can include more than one defendant, and your attorney from MartinWren, P.C. can determine who to name after looking into your case. A Virginia truck accident lawyer may suggest pursuing a lawsuit against the employer if they knowingly hired a driver with a history of reckless driving. That holds the employer responsible for the negligent hiring, training, or supervision of their employee. Trucking companies have a responsibility to the public to ensure they are hiring safe and responsible drivers and can be held accountable for violating this responsibility. If they fail to follow practices that ensure the public’s safety the company can be pursued under criminal law.
According to federal statistics, there are more than 100,000 victims injured in commercial truck accidents every year. Even more alarming is how the rate of fatal truck accidents continues to climb each year. This is despite all the regulations in place and the steps taken by both federal and state agencies to reduce those numbers. This leaves many people to ask: why are there so many large truck crashes?
At MartinWren, P.C., our truck accident lawyer has extensive experience in representing truck crash victims and their families and works diligently to get the financial compensation they deserve for their injuries and losses. As experienced lawyers, we understand the pain that our clients feel as they recover from their injuries or adjust to life with a disability. No victim should ever go through the experience of feeling helpless after such a terrible ordeal. That’s why our legal team is dedicated to ensuring that every client receives the quality legal assistance they deserve. At our firm, we see all kinds of reasons why truck accidents occur, however, there are certain factors that happen much more frequently than others.
Due to the nature of the job, truckers may be at a loss for proper meals and rest breaks. There are regulations set to keep truckers off the road when they are feeling tired. For instance, a trucker is not allowed to operate a truck for more than 11 hours in one sitting, and must then take a 10-hour break before the next round. Truckers cannot drive more than 60 hours in a 7-day period, or 70 hours within eight days. Despite these regulations, trucking companies and truckers may bend the rules in order to get to their destination faster.
Distracted Driving and Speeding
Distracted driving is dangerous and illegal, especially for truck drivers who are supposed to maintain control over such a large motor vehicle. These trucks can weigh upwards of 50,000-80,000 lbs when fully stocked. A trucker whose attention is pulled away for even a second or two may cause them to crash into another car, building, median, or pedestrians.
As a Virginia truck accident lawyer may explain, trucking companies may use speed limiters or trackers on their vehicles, but not every truck will have this kind of technology installed. Trucks are so much bigger compared to passenger cars and are slower to respond to quick changes, so truckers can easily lose control if they drive too fast.
Trucks are already stocked to carry large loads, so when they are over capacity, the safety of those nearby may be in grave jeopardy. Overloaded cargo can cause a tip-over when a trucker tries to change lanes or make turns because too much weight has to follow. When an accident happens because of overloaded cargo, it may be both the trucking company, truck driver, and those who loaded the truck that will be held liable in a victim’s injury claim or lawsuit.
Virginia Truck Accident Law Infographic
Driver Inattention and Fatigue
This has become one of the most common causes of truck accidents. Due to the nature of the job, spending long hours in the vehicle with nothing but open road and miles of white lines ahead, many truck drivers find it difficult to stay alert. Unfortunately, trucking companies are known to put undue pressure on drivers to meet almost impossible delivery schedules. This leads to exhaustion and fatigue as they struggle to stay awake.
In order to stay awake, a driver may start playing with the radio or CD player or some other activity which causes them to take their complete focus off the road. Between fatigue and/or distraction, the large truck they are driving suddenly becomes a dangerous object to anyone on the road around them.
Speeding is a common cause for both passenger vehicle accidents and truck accidents. The results when a passenger vehicle speeds can be devastating and often involves fatalities and/or catastrophic injuries. It is not different when a truck is speeding, although the damage can be that more intense. In addition, a speeding truck is more at risk of crashing because of the amount of time it takes for a vehicle that large to slow down or come to a complete stop, much longer than a passenger vehicle. It is that inability to be able to stop before slamming into another vehicle that causes the higher risk of crashing.
This is also one of the most common driving behaviors that spike the risk of a truck accident. When a vehicle gets too close to the rear of a truck and there is an impact, the damage done of the passenger vehicle – and any occupants inside – can be deadly because of the enormous size and weight of the truck. The crash can be even more compounded when it causes other vehicles to become involved, resulting in a multi-vehicle crash with numerous injuries and, potentially, fatalities. The federal government statistics have concluded that large trucks have triple the risk of being rear-ended than other types of vehicles.
A Virginia truck accident lawyer from our firm will be familiar with the many regulations placed on commercial drivers and their companies to ensure the safety of the public. These regulations and laws include the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations. Understanding all regulations and their relevance to the accident may be vital when constructing your case. If the driver did not have the proper license, meet the maximum weight, follow proper route requirements, or meet trucking insurance minimums, these and other details could establish liability in your lawsuit.
Avoiding a Truck Accident: Good Habits to Have on the Road
Having good habits on the road is paramount to avoiding an accident, especially a truck accident. Good and safe habits can help you to make the right decision when you are on the road and can help to keep you out of harm’s way. One of those good habits to form around trucks is to leave adequate spacing on all sides. When you are following a truck, it is important to leave quite a bit of space in the event that they have to brake hard or make a sudden turn. A sudden braking event or sharp, unexpected turn could force you to have to make a tough decision between swerving or rear ending the truck. Another crucial habit to form is making sure that when you are passing a truck that the truck driver can actually see you. Numerous truck accidents occur when the truck driver cannot see you. A common rule of thumb is that if you cannot see the truck drivers rear view mirrors, then they cannot see you. Those specific mirrors are the mirrors on the cab of the truck that the driver can see out of. A MartinWren, P.C. Virginia truck accident lawyer can help you out if you have been in an accident when a truck driver veered into your lane without seeing you, causing an accident.
Other Important Habits & Actions
Checking that the truck does not have any obvious signs of equipment malfunction or hazards coming from it is important. If you see fluids leaking or smoke from the tires, then this could mean that the truck is having some issues. Some common problems are blown tires that leave tread all over the road as well as faulty equipment like brakes or even doors not working properly. It is not common, but sometimes a truck driver’s rear door is not latched properly, and the inner contents and cargo of the truck could spill out. Take the utmost caution if you see a truck’s usually latched doors not latched. The cargo could cause major damage to your vehicle and bodily harm to you as well.
Driving in Bad Weather
Bad weather can be dangerous for cars and trucks alike. Slippery surfaces can lead to spin outs or unexpected veering into other lanes from hydroplaning. This is another thing to consider when driving around trucks in heavy storms. If the road has large puddles of water, the truck could splash that water onto your car making it exceedingly difficult to see. Wind gusts could also blow a trailer around on the road and in severe enough conditions, trailers and trucks have been known to completely tip over. Pay extra close attention in stormy weather when you are deciding to pass a truck. A Virginia truck accident lawyer can explain these things to you as well from MartinWren, P.C., and assist you if you have been affected by a truck that caused an accident.
Should I Hire a Lawyer?
The legal advice and guidance from a Virginia truck accident lawyer can dramatically increase the chances of winning your case. An experienced lawyer from our firm can develop a winning legal strategy that may result in a substantial settlement without having to go to court. A Virginia truck accident lawyer may be able to negotiate a settlement for the maximum compensation possible. It might include losses you’ve sustained including medical treatment, pain and suffering, and the loss of wages that may occur as a result of the accident. When choosing a truck accident lawyer Virginia has to offer, choose MartinWren, P.C.; the attorneys with experience who can make all the difference.
Working with MartinWren, P.C.
At MartinWren, P.C., we can provide you with a Virginia truck accident lawyer residents have counted on for decades. When you work with our firm we can give your case the focus and time it deserves. When looking for a truck accident lawyer in Virginia you will find dedicated lawyers who will passionately fight for you at MartinWren, P.C. Rest assured, we seek maximum compensation and are able to take cases to court if the at-fault party refuses to offer a fair settlement. If you want honest legal advice, compassionate support, and a tenacious lawyer who fights for justice, call MartinWren, P.C.
For a consultation with a Virginia truck accident lawyer at the firm of MartinWren, P.C. contact us today.
Truck No Zones
A truck accident lawyer in Virginia knows that, in terms of causing serious and potentially fatal injuries, truck accidents involving tractor trailers, 18-wheelers, and other big rigs are among the most unforgiving. Due to the large size and bulk of these trucks, automobile drivers have little to protect them in the event of a collision and are more likely to suffer injuries that are severe and life threatening.
While reckless driving and road, traffic, or weather conditions are all commonly acknowledged factors that lead to these accidents, many people are unaware of how dangerous truck blind spots can be. Referred to as ‘no zones’, these are areas in front, in back, and running alongside of trucks, in which other motorists disappear almost entirely from the driver’s view.
The Impact of Truck No Zones
With so many truck drivers on the road today, a Virginia truck accident lawyer understands how important it is for other motor vehicle drivers to be aware of how these big rigs operate and some of their potential limitations. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) warns motorists that in addition to requiring extra time for stopping or responding to changes in traffic conditions and increased space in making turns, trucks have extended blind spots which drivers should take care to avoid.
These blind spots are known among traffic safety officials and those in the trucking industry as no zones, due to the fact that they are areas in which other motorists should always steer clear of. No zones are located in the following areas surrounding a truck:
- In front, extending out 20 feet or more from the cab.
- In back, extending backwards for approximately 30 feet.
- On the left side, in the entire lane from the cab back through the midway portion of the truck.
- On the right side, which is the most dangerous place for motorists, in which blind spots extend the entire length of the truck and outward into multiple lanes.
Avoid Truck Blind Spots
Most motorists have become so accustomed to driving next to trucks during their commute or when on weekend trips that they do not give it much thought. To reduce accident risks, Virginia truck accident lawyers recommend motorists avoid no zones by following these tips:
- Avoid tailgating or following a truck too closely.
- When riding in front of a truck, give plenty of advance warning when braking or making a turn.
- When passing, make your move quickly, and allow plenty of space before getting back in the truck driver’s lane.
- Do not come up alongside a truck when they are attempting to make a turn.
Things You Should Never Do After a Truck Accident
1. Don’t Apologize To Other Drivers
No matter how sad you are that the accident occurred, don’t apologize to other drivers or the passengers of your vehicle. This gives the impression that you feel the accident was your fault, which can lead to several problems for your case and your finances. Instead, let a truck accident lawyer in Virginia handle communications for you.
2. Don’t Move Other Injured People
Truck accidents are devastating events that can cause significant injuries to drivers and passengers. In this situation, it’s understandable that you may want to help injured people. Generally speaking, avoid moving anyone. Instead, wait for emergency medical personnel to arrive so that you don’t make the victim’s injuries worse.
3. Don’t Avoid Going To the Hospital
Never shrug off a truck accident, even if you can’t see any visible injuries. These serious accidents can cause internal injuries and dangerous head trauma. Visit a health professional to rule out traumatic injuries and get necessary treatment. Medical records that detect underlying issues can help your truck accident lawyer in Virginia prove your case.
4. Don’t Leave the Site of the Accident Before Police Arrive
When anyone is injured in a car accident or truck accident, all drivers involved need to wait for police to arrive. In addition, the police report is a vital piece of evidence for your case. As long as it’s safe, you can use the time to take videos of the scene of the accident.
5. Don’t Give Your Insurance Company Too Much Information
When dealing with your own insurance company, you generally need to report the accident. Keep details as general as possible and the conversation as short as possible. At Martin Wren, P.C. Attorneys at Law, we can advise you on what you should and shouldn’t say to avoid damaging your case.
6. Don’t Talk to Other Insurance Companies About Your Accident
There’s absolutely no legal reason for you to speak to insurance companies of other drivers. They want you to do or say something that weakens your case. If you’re contacted, simply refer the adjuster to your truck accident lawyer in Virginia Martin Wren, P.C. Attorneys at Law. We can handle all negotiations on your behalf.
7. Don’t Sign a Settlement Offer Alone
Always speak to a lawyer before signing any settlement offers. Otherwise, you may accidentally give up your rights to a court case. Insurers often try to get you to accept a low settlement that doesn’t really cover your needs.
FAQs About Truck Accident Laws in Virginia
How Much Is Your Truck Accident Case Worth?
The specific amount of compensation you can get for a truck accident case depends on many factors. The first thing a Virginia truck accident lawyer does is sit down with you to understand the details of your accident. Here are some things that affect the overall amount of compensation:
- Medical expenses arising from the accident
- Lost wages from time off work recovering
- Pain and suffering
- Repair or replacement costs for your vehicle
- Permanent injuries that prevent you from working
- Emotional trauma from the accident
- Damages related to the death of loved ones
At Martin Wren, P.C. Attorneys at Law, we listen to your needs carefully before taking the next step. We focus on getting the compensation you and your family need.
How Can You Choose the Right Virginia Truck Accident Lawyer?
Getting legal representation right away after a truck accident is important to protect your rights and negotiate successfully with insurance companies. What should you look for in a Virginia truck accident lawyer?
- Experience: You want a lawyer with specific experience in truck accident law. That way you can get the right advice about what steps to take.
- Success: It’s impossible to predict how every case will turn out, but a good lawyer should have a track record with plenty of victories. At Martin Wren, P.C. Attorneys at Law, we tell you whether you have a strong case before you go to court.
- A Good Personality: One of the main reasons to hire a Virginia truck accident lawyer is to have guidance you can trust. Your lawyer should be someone you feel comfortable with and who answers your questions clearly.
Who Should You Sue for Commercial Truck Accidents — the Business or the Driver?
Depending on the circumstances of the accident, you may be able to take both drivers and trucking companies to court. Drivers may be directly responsible for causing the accident — such as when they fall asleep at the wheel — but the company that employs them may share a large part of the blame. For example, if trucking businesses don’t perform required vehicle maintenance, Virginia law can hold them accountable for the accident.
The challenge in these cases is proving liability, which requires sufficient evidence. Having a Virginia truck accident lawyer by your side is valuable. Your lawyer can gather the necessary evidence and records, in addition to representing you in court.
What is my truck accident case worth?
The circumstances of every truck accident are unique, and there is no set amount quoted for each victim. There are certain factors that are taken into account when calculating a potential monetary award in your case. During an appointment, a truck accident lawyer in VA may inquire about the following:
- Treatment for injuries that were not covered by your insurance
- Costs for medical care that came out of your own pocket
- The degree of your pain and suffering because of the accident
- How much it cost to fix or replace property
- Loss of wage or inability to generate income due to injuries
- Emotional distress due to the crash
How do I pick a lawyer best suited for my case?
If you are searching online for a local lawyer, there are probably pages and pages of law firms that may be able to help you with your case. However, not every lawyer has knowledge specifically in the realm of personal injury law. Your legal team should consist of professionals who:
- Understand the laws and regulations for truck accidents
- Has a record of successful trial experience
- Is someone who you feel comfortable around and confident in their skills
What if the truck company’s insurance adjuster wants to speak with me?
As your lawyer may forewarn, you may be contacted by the trucking company’s insurance adjuster in the days to follow after the accident. Unfortunately, this representative is not someone who will have your best interests in mind. An insurance adjuster will ask questions about the accident and may use your words in such a manner that it minimizes your claim. It is more ideal to speak with a lawyer and have them guide you through this conversation or handle it for you entirely.
Why do you need a truck accident lawyer?
In Virginia, it is the job of a trucking company to make certain their vehicles are working properly and within federal guidelines. In most cases, vehicles that transport goods for a living have little room for error. When negligence or carelessness occurs, accidents often happen quickly with serious results due to the size of the vehicle involved. A Virginia truck accident lawyer who has special knowledge in this area of law is able to collect evidence and determine who was responsible for the accident. Each trucking company has a set insurance policy in Virginia that covers accidents like these. It is in your best interest to hire an attorney and make sure you receive proper compensation for your damages.
What questions do I need to ask during the consultation?
You should be prepared with a list of questions to ask during your consultation. Your Virginia truck accident lawyer will answer them thoroughly and provide you with enough information to make a decision about how you want to proceed with your case. However, keep in mind that it is OK if you do not feel comfortable at the end of a consultation—you can always seek out another opinion or interview.
How does Virginia law affect my claim?
There are many Virginia laws that regulate the trucking industry, for both drivers and companies. This is to make sure everyone involved is accountable when negligence occurs on the roadways. A Virginia personal injury lawyer with knowledge in this area can explain how these regulations play a role in your claim.
How will a truck accident lawyer help me?
A truck accident lawyer in Virginia can help you determine if you need to hire an attorney or pursue your case on your own. They will explain the process and answer any questions you may have before taking legal action against another party. The truck law will also review the documentation provided by the trucking company, including their insurance policy, for errors that could invalidate your case. When truck accidents happen, you need a Virginia truck accident lawyer to help guide you through the process so that they can ensure you receive fair compensation for the injuries and losses you have suffered as a result of another party’s negligence.
A Virginia truck accident lawyer from MartinWren, P.C., can provide you with the legal guidance necessary to move forward after an accident and ensure that your case is handled properly and fairly so you receive what you rightfully deserve.
Let Us Help You Today
When truck accidents and injuries do occur, contact the Virginia truck accident lawyers at MartinWren, P.C. for help. If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident, it is critical to secure proper legal representation in order to protect your rights under the law. Contact us today to meet with a skilled Virginia truck accident lawyer. Our legal team will evaluate your case and determine what legal recourse you may have.
Our truck accident attorneys provide the legal representation you need in these situations. We can negotiate on your behalf with the truck driver, the trucking company they work for, and their insurance representatives, to assist you in getting the maximum amount of compensation you are entitled to. Call or contact our office online and request a free consultation with a Virginia truck accident lawyer today.
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