The risk posed by commercial vehicles and semi-trucks is too eminent to be ignored in all of Virginia, including Norfolk. Since semi-trucks are massive behemoths packing lots of momentum and are hard to stop in time, the damages done by a truck accident are severe in most cases.
Physically, emotionally, and financially – truck crashes can cause serious drains for the accident victims, often putting them in a permanent state of agony, living a joyless life thereafter. However, even if the damages were moderate, you still deserve to be compensated for your losses.
The injuries and financial drains caused by truck crashes are bothersome indeed but you can always seek justice and get compensated fairly for your economic and non-economic damages.
You should start by contacting an experienced truck accident lawyer to have your case evaluated and to develop a strategy specific to your situation.
Truck Accidents Are Unique
Firstly, it is indeed possible to get compensated for your losses incurred by a truck accident in Norfolk because the state laws in Virginia allow you to do so for a personal injury claim. However, seeking a financial settlement for your monetary losses and non-economic damages in a truck crash claim is not the same as for other motor vehicle accidents.
While all forms of auto accidents are covered by the personal injury law, the details of the cases and strategies involved in getting the clients compensated fairly are different for each type. For instance, truck crashes pose a higher level of physical risk to the motor vehicle accident victims simply because of the sheer disparity bet6ween the masses and momentum of the vehicles involved.
Moreover, since most trucks are commercial vehicles, such cases can have multiple liable parties. Having the fault smeared across the board on multiple responsible parties is not unique to commercial vehicle accidents but is more prevalent in such cases. For instance, in a general truck crash case, the following may be held liable for the damages:
- Owner/Trucking Company
- Freight broker
- Maintenance Company
Of course, that is not to say that all of these parties will be liable in your case or will have to pay for your losses but it is a possibility that at least more than one of these will have to share part of the fault. Usually, the driver and the owner are primarily held liable for the damages.
While having multiple liable parties means that your payout will be fair and adequate, it also introduces complications to the settlement negotiations. The different parties will not have the same insurance provider, and thus your lawyer will have to deal with several insurance companies for your case.
This extra work does not go without having the relevant expertise, patience, and steadfastness that such personal injury claims demand.
Lastly, the federal, state and local regulations for trucks, semi-trucks, and commercial vehicles are different from regular passenger vehicles and motorcycles. Thus someone knowledgeable about these regulations and the law regarding truck accident cases should be entrusted with your case.
In short, for a truck accident claim, you should only trust an experienced personal injury attorney to represent your case.
Causes Of Truck Accidents In Norfolk
Understanding the causes of truck accidents will take you halfway through establishing liability. If you know how a crash happened, you’ll be better able to point out at which stage the negligence of the liable party caused the crash and how it could not have happened if reasonable care was shown.
The most common cause of truck crashes include:
Visual, cognitive, and motor distracted driving causes of traffic accidents throughout the USA and in all forms. Using the cell phone, for instance, may seem like a trivial matter but it has resulted in horrendous crashes and has claimed a fair share of lives on the road too.
If the truck driver was distracted when the accident happened, your lawyer will be able to prove it and thus establish their negligence.
Driving Under Influence
Drunk driving and 18 wheeler tractor-trailers don’t form a good couple. However, it is not unheard of commercial truck drivers to have a little too much (although even taking a minor dose of alcohol dung duty hours is not acceptable) and then causing accidents.
Once again, the negligence will be clearly established.
Perhaps the driver was simply too tired to be able to concentrate on the road. If that is the case, then your lawyer might be able to dig into their work records to prove that they were overworked and thus drowsy at the time of the accident.
Losing attention on the road, even if only for a couple of seconds, can cause severe crashes.
Trucks are much bigger than most other vehicles on the road. This means that a semi-truck speeding above the proscribed limit will be much more dangerous than a passenger car doing the same because they pack greater momentum and are harder to stop.
Once again, the onus will be on the truck driver and their employer.
Manufacturing Defect/Maintenance Trouble
Perhaps the driver was indeed acting the best they could but still failed to stop the crash from happening. This may be the case if the vehicle had some manufacturing defect or if there was maintenance trouble that made the crash unavoidable.
If that was indeed the case, then the liability will be shared by all the negligent parties.
Types Of Damages Sustained In Truck Accidents
Now that you understand how negligence is established, now comes the damages calculation part.
As with any other type of personal injury case, truck accidents cause both economic and non-economic losses to the truck accident victims. Summing up the monetary value of these losses is important for seeking a fair settlement, however, there is a small problem.
While the economic damages are easily totaled (medical expenses, property damage, lost wages, extra expenses, etc.), it is the non-economic losses that will be trickier to figure out. There is no metric scale for pain and suffering because their intensity is partly reflected in the severity of the incident and partly in the sensitivity of the sufferer.
However, lawyers usually use the multiplier method to get a rough estimate for the non-economic damages. In this method, the attorney simply assigns a multiple between 1.5 and 5 to the sum of the economic damages; the resultant figure is the total of both economic and non-economic losses.
This is not a perfect method but you do get to claim losses for your pain and suffering based on their intensity, so it is better than most other ways.
The sum can be anywhere between a couple of thousand dollars to over a hundred thousand, and in some cases, even more!
How Do Truck Accident Attorneys Fit In The Picture?
Now that we understand how truck accident crash claims work out and what factors need to be scrutinized, let’s take a look at the role that lawyers play in this scenario. Ideally, you should contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after such an event.
Your lawyer should be the first person you discuss the case with, legally.
Avoid contacting the insurance company of the at-fault party at this stage and don’t give them any statement, instead, let your lawyer guide you through the process.
Here’s what an experienced attorney will do for you:
- Gather and document all the evidence and records of your losses, i.e. truck accident injuries, property damage, lost wages, pain, and suffering, etc.
- Explain to you your legal options and select a legal approach
- Establish negligence and point out all the liable parties
- Draft your demand for compensation
- Engage the insurance adjuster in settlement negotiations
- Try to settle for a favorable sum that pays your bills and covers non-economic damages
- File a lawsuit if the negotiations fail
- Prepare your case for trial and engage in pre-trial negotiations
As you can see, your accident injury lawyer will be instrumental in your fight against the liable parties for your case, so be sure to never delay calling them.
Call Us Today For Your Truck Accident Claim
Going through a personal injury incident, in general, is pretty tough, however, truck accident cases are on the extreme end of suffering and losses. It takes exceptional courage, willpower, and faith in justice to pull through such an ordeal.
Your top-most priority should be to seek legal representation from an experienced truck accident lawyer to maximize your compensation payout. We discussed in length how truck accident injury claims are resolved and how you can seek maximum compensation for your losses.
It all comes down to how strong of a legal muscle do you have, and we assure you that the lawyers at VACAIL personal injury accident law firm are more than ready for facing off against the liable parties for your case. Since we work on a contingency fee plan, you don’t have to worry about paying us anything upfront.
For more information and free initial consultation, call us today – no obligations!