Trucking accidents are more common than you may think. When an accident takes place with a semi-truck the consequences are often disastrous for the occupants of the car. If the accident was caused by the truck driver, you should definitely speak to an experienced trucking lawyer in Richmond, VA . Rest assured, VACAIL law firm has a semi-truck accident attorney that is aggressive and wins cases. Contact VACAIL today and ask to speak with our truck wreck lawyer for a FREE case evaluation with our Richmond truck accident lawyers.
Call Christian direct at 1-800-HURT-123 . Believe it or not, car accidents happen every couple of minutes in this country. Sometimes they are mild fender benders. Other times, they are more serious. They usually involve two cars. Sometimes they may involve a motorcycle accident . Usually, the more serious types of car accidents involve semi-trucks. Consulting a seasoned truck accident lawyer ca give you a clue how to proceed.
- What Should I Do At The Scene Of A Truck Accident?
- Virginia Attorney for Trucker’s Accidents Knows the Law
- Why Should You Call a Trucking Lawyer?
- How Can A Truck Wreck Lawyer Help You?
- How Are Truck Accidents Different From Car Accidents?
- How Is Compensation Determined Following A Truck Accident?
- How is Negligence Established Following a Truck Accident?
What Should I Do At The Scene Of A Truck Accident?
It is always tough to do, but in the aftermath of an accident it is essential to keep a cool head. Some truck accident victims lose their tempers, so try to avoid doing so. Turn on your hazard lights and, if it is safe to do so, remain in your car as you call emergency services in Richmond. Have yourself examined by the EMT and paramedics as they arrive. Even if you feel your injuries are very small, you should get a full medical inspection both for yourself and any passengers with you.
Do not under any circumstances, flee the scene of the accident in Richmond before you have gotten all the information you need to pursue a case. This will include the names and contact information of everyone involved including eyewitnesses.
As the police officers arrive on the scene be sure to take note of their names and badge numbers. You will also need as many snapshots and photographic evidence of the incident. Take pictures of both vehicles from several wide angles around the cars. Then take some close up shots of the points of impact and any other aspects you feel might be important. These can be crucial to truck accident claims in Richmond.
Don’t inadvertently take responsibility for the accident by saying anything seemingly innocuous like “sorry” and don’t discuss what you “believe” happened with anyone but the police officer and the insurance agent from your policy providers –– you aren’t obligated to speak with the insurance agents of the truck driver.
Virginia Attorney for Trucker’s Accidents Knows the Law
There are over 2 million trucks on the road at any given time. It’s no surprise then that there are 500,000 truck crashes every year. Over 5,000 people are killed in these truck accidents. Statistics show that almost 100 people in Virginia are killed in truck accidents every year, making them one of the deadliest motor vehicle accident categories in Richmond.
Because trucks are so much bigger than cars, they are more dangerous. In fact, in accidents involving a truck and a car, the car passenger was killed 97% of the time.
A car simply doesn’t stand a chance against a big rig. The tractor-trailer is likely to have the advantage in that collision.
An 18 wheeler overturned after a truck accident in Richmond, Virginia Our Virginia truck accident lawyer knows these statistics. And we also know the law. We will review your case and see how severe your injuries were. We will demand your compensation and work hard to make sure somebody pays your damages.
Why Should You Call a Trucking Lawyer?
Our truck injury lawyer knows how to handle a client. He has seen more than his share of tractor-trailer accidents. Some of the most common causes of truck accidents are:
- Driver fatigue Distracted driving
- Excessive speed
- Careless and reckless driving
- Carrying too large a load Drunk driving
- and driving while using drugs Truck drivers are no dif-ferent from vehicle drivers. The difference is that they are on the job. You would hope they wouldn’t be drinking and driving while at work. But, it happens. So does driving while under the influence of drugs . Our truck accident lawyer sees it all the time. An innocent victim is hurt or killed because of truck driver negligence.
Tractor-trailer accidents in Richmond can happen in a number of ways. Truck drivers don’t wake up in the morning and decide they are going to get in an accident. Often, with the exception of the reasons above, it is not intentional. Some of the most common types of truck accidents are:
- Jackknife tractor-trailer accident
- Overturned truck
- Overloaded truck accidents
- Rollover accidents
- Bad weather accidents
All of these types of accidents are highly dangerous. Believe it or not, commercial truck drivers are usually okay inalmost every type of accident. His cab is separate from the freight part of the trailer. This offers some cushion against any impact. The driver of the vehicle that the truck hits isn’t so lucky.
How Can A Truck Wreck Lawyer Help You?
You may ask what a personal injury lawyer can do that you can’t do yourself. That is a fair question. It is more a matter of what we represent. The personal injury attorney for the trucking company have unlimited resources. They can stall your settlement for years. Or, they can just refuse to pay your personal injury claims outright. They are not intimidated by an individual.
If you have an attorney, we can negotiate with the company and its insurance company. We can find out what coverage the commercial driver’s policy offers. Our attorney’s try to settle within a range agreeable to both sides. We may even have handled cases against the other party before.
The other thing we do is take the pressure off of you. If you’re in a truck accident, your injuries are probably serious. They may even be life-threatening. We’ve dealt with many clients suffering from traumatic brain injury or spinal cord injuries that left them unable to attend trials. The last thing you need is to deal with a ruthless attorney or insurance company. You need to focus on recovering. You need to get better so you can get back to work.
We can help you with filing your truck wreck claim and making sure it has all the important information. We will also conduct an investigation of the incident immediately after your first consultation. This is an important task because gaining traction in any settlement of the litigation process will depend on the quality of the evidence brought to the case. Losses will be calculated based on evidence presented. Our decades of experience come in handy here, because it lets us know what to look for. The evidence we provide will be critical to establishing evidence to determine the at-fault party.
As part of this investigation, we may also:
- Employ an expert to reconstruct the incident
- Review the photographic evidence and police reports on the scene of the accident
- Review the driving experience and work history of the truck driver
- Conduct interviews with any eyewitness that was present
- Identify any faulty components of commercial trucks involved in the incident
Things aren’t always as they seem at first, it may be necessary to investigate the possibility that more than one party is to blame for the accident. It may be that the driver, as well as the trucking company and possibly other parties also share in the fault. An experienced truck accident attorney will know what specifics to review and identify the correct culprits.
How Are Truck Accidents Different From Car Accidents?
Commercial semi-trucks, also called freight trucks or big-rigs, can weigh over 80,000 lbs. which is the combined weight of 20 regular passenger cars. While there are regulations that dictate the amount of time a driver of a commercial freight truck can drive in a day (10 hours) there are many financial reasons that a driver will exceed this limitation and impinge upon the safety of other motorists.
Larger Insurance Policies
Truck drivers have insurance policies in place to cover any accident, however, these policies are typically worth 50X the regular passenger vehicle accident policy and are often worth millions of dollars. For these reasons, insurance providers named in such a lawsuit will be meticulous and resourceful in avoiding liability. Seasoned insurance providers will use a variety of techniques to avoid full payout. They may even offer you a settlement, but this is usually much less than what your case actually deserves. A commercial vehicle accident has a higher chance of payout.
Our truck accident lawyer will help you see through the ploys and tactics of insurance carriers and make the entire process easier to understand.
Increased Property Damage
As mentioned, a commercial 18-wheeler freight truck represents a ponderous amount of matter in motion, far more than a typical passenger vehicle. This, combined with the sheer size of a freight truck, will mean that damage to the surrounding area will be far greater than a collision between two regular-sized vehicles. Truck accident litigation takes these factors into account when determining fair compensation in these motor vehicle crashes.
More Serious Injuries
Much in the same way, the injuries that would normally be sustained in a car accident will be far more severe if caused by a freight truck and possible require greater medical attention and recovery. From lacerations, whiplash, broken bones and fractures, the injuries sustained from a freight truck are always far greater and potentially life-threatening. Motor vehicle drivers are at higher risk of death or injury.
Much Larger Medical Bills
With a greater chance of serious injury, recovery from such accidents can involve longer stays in a hospital. A truck accident victim may also be unable to resume their regular work and this can have financial implications as well. Having a trusted truck accident attorney, like an experienced lawyer at Morgan & Morgan, means you will have a better idea of how much time, pain and suffering your ordeal is worth so your compensation from responsible parties will be commensurate.
Greater Chance of Death
Accidents involving large semi – trucks or big-rigs are also going to result in a higher fatality rate than your standard passenger vehicle accidents. According to statistics by the (FMCSA), truck accidents claim anywhere from 3000 to 5000 lives each year.
Considering this staggering statistic and the resources available to trucking companies and their insurers, a trusted truck accident attorney is really the only hope of getting a fair shake. A no-cost assessment of your case would be the important first step in choosing to retain the services of a lawyer or not to deal with settlement for your truck accident injury.
How Is Compensation Determined Following A Truck Accident?
Like most personal injury cases the types of damages that can be compensated will be economic damages and non-economic damages. The traumatic impact of an accident may lead to loss of enjoyment of certain activities, which may factor into the final settlement. Liable parties are required to pay for damages caused that may imapct the victim’s quality of life.
Compensation for economic truck accident damages covers some of the specific financial damages, like:
This can include the fees for visiting the emergency room, undergoing surgery, hospital care, treatments and consolations with approved medical professionals. This includes future rehabilitation and all other ongoing medical attention.
Covering any wages lost from the time of the accident to the conclusion of the lawsuit.
Loss of Earning Capacity
If the victim has been impaired to the point that their regular work operations are negatively impacted, there is compensation for this as well. The loss of income amount will be equal to what the victim would have earned had the accident not taken place.
Non-economic damages will compensate the victim and their family for all intangible or non-financial losses.
Pain and Suffering
This includes coverage for pain experienced due to the accident. Some factors that will affect the overall amount include the extent of pain, nature of the injury, and the amount of time the victim is expected to recover.
There is also compensation available for emotional pain and anguish brought on by the accident itself. This can include embarrassment, emotional distress, grief, worry, fear, nervousness and more.
Loss of Consortium
Compensation can also be awarded the surviving children, parents, or spouse of the victim to cover the loss of services, aid, society or assistance provided.
How is Negligence Established Following a Truck Accident?
If you or any of your loved ones got injured in a commercial truck accident and you want to go to court to receive your deserved compensation, you need to prove that the truck driver or other parties were negligent while driving. Federal trucking regulations have guidelines in place to help keep drivers and others on the road safe. We will have to establish the duties of the truck driver and also demonstrate that he/she breached their code of duty that eventually led to the accident, injuries, and other significant damages. Some of the common examples that you need to keep in mind when it comes to the negligence of truck drivers are speeding, texting while driving, falling asleep while driving, or running a red light. There are federal regulations relating to some of these problems that your lawyer may be able to use.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has strict regulations because of the high-risk job of truck drivers:
- Documenting rest breaks and total hours of service.
- Adhering to all the legally-mandated maintenance requirements and working schedules.
- Safely loading cargo, including hazardous materials.
- Not driving under the influence of alcohol or controlled substances.
- Driving a maximum of ten hours per workday to avoid truck driver fatigue.