Truck accidents often have life-altering or fatal consequences. Learn how dangerous a Virginia Beach truck accident can be, common injuries sustained, and the steps to take.
You do not need to be an expert to know that truck accidents cause significant losses when compared to accidents involving smaller cars. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reports that 4,119 people died in truck crashes in 2019. The report states that the 2019 figures were 31% higher than the 2009 figures.
The report also reveals that only 16% of the deaths from these accidents were occupants of the truck. The majority (67%) were occupants of other cars and other passenger vehicles, and 15% were pedestrians, bicyclists, or motorcyclists. As Virginia Beach truck accident lawyers, we frequently represent accident victims whose lives have been negatively affected by a truck accident. This could be in the form of property damage, catastrophic injuries, traumatic brain injuries, or spinal cord injuries.
We’ve created this guide to show how dangerous truck accidents are.
Common Injuries Sustained in a Virginia Beach Truck Accident
A commercial truck accident will frequently lead to severe injuries and in many cases, death. Some common types of accidents include neck injuries, spinal cord damage, internal organ damage, etc.
Why Are Truck Accidents Dangerous?
All accidents are dangerous. While a slip and fall may look minor, some people have lost their lives or become victims of permanent disability as a result. On the other hand, many people intuitively know that the risk of injury is higher in a truck accident but not many understand why.
We explain some of the reasons for this below.
Strict Delivery Schedules
Most businesses use trucks for their delivery services. With trucks powering the logistics industry, any delay could cost the trucking company money. Consequently, it is not uncommon to find commercial truck drivers who drive for long periods of time suffering from truck driver fatigue.
Such a situation makes them prone to getting involved in accidents. For example, a tired driver who is driving on a bad road or in terrible weather conditions would find it difficult to react to an incident.
Poor Maintenance Practices
Trucks need to be properly maintained to keep them roadworthy. When these maintenance practices are not observed, the result is defective trucks that could get faulty while on a trip, endangering the lives of motorists.
A truck’s weight is a major determinant of its ability to cause accidents. For example, a truck’s weight could make it harder for the truck driver to apply the brakes. This could also get worse in terrible weather conditions. Therefore, it is important that heavy trucks are loaded with the right amount of cargo.
Commercial trucks often carry dangerous cargo such as heavy objects or combustible cargo. As a result, they are highly dangerous in the event of an accident. On the other hand, some companies load trucks with extremely heavy cargo which could cause the truck to fall over. Such arrangements put other road users with smaller vehicles in danger.
Commercial trucks have areas where they cannot see clearly. This is usually called a blind spot and is a result of their size. Therefore, truck drivers must be careful while driving or they could miss other drivers or pedestrians, causing an accident.
Fatal truck accidents can be prevented or reduced if the necessary steps are taken. For example, driving hours can be allotted in a way that ensures each driver gets adequate rest. This could also mean that rest breaks are encouraged. Safe driving habits should also be taught and encouraged.
What To Do if You Are in a Virginia Beach Truck Accident
If you or a loved one have been involved in a truck accident, you are probably seriously injured. In extreme cases, you may even be mourning the loss of a loved one. In such times, you may be unclear on what to do. This section provides some answers for you.
If you are still conscious after a truck accident, your priority should be to get help. Do not waste any time calling 911 as you may be able to save your life or prevent more severe injuries by getting help fast.
Usually, when you call 911, the police will also be informed. This is good for you as the police will prepare the accident report. Police reports could be used by your lawyer to determine who is liable for the accident.
Collect Evidence From the Accident Scene
Legal disputes can only be settled with the help of evidence. Without evidence, your lawyer will be unable to get you fair compensation. This is regardless of how severe your injuries are. Collect evidence from the accident scene if you can. Where you are unable to do so, you can ask someone else to do it for you. Take pictures of the scene from different angles and write down any details you remember.
Ask Eyewitnesses for Their Contact Information
Your case will be boosted if you have eyewitnesses that can confirm your story. Before you leave the scene of the accident, get the contact information of anyone who witnessed the accident. Ask for their names, email addresses, or phone numbers.
Talk to a Virginia Beach Truck Accident Lawyer
You need to speak to a truck accident lawyer as soon as you can. Insurance companies usually like to be in control of things so you should expect them to send an insurance adjuster to you. Do not speak to them without your lawyer. Additionally, you should not admit to anything as they could use the things you say against you.
Draft a Demand Letter
After you hire a lawyer, they will investigate your case before making a decision. If they decide to take on your case after reviewing all available evidence, they will then draft a demand letter.
A demand letter contains details of your injury and the amount you are demanding for a settlement. Depending on the terms contained, an insurance company could accept or reject your demands which would determine the outcome of your truck accident claim.
If they reject it, your lawyer can help you file a truck accident lawsuit. However, you may also need to determine if you want to continue pursuing the suit. You may have to settle your case out of court like so many personal injury cases.
Hire a Virginia Beach Truck Accident Lawyer
All accidents can have disastrous consequences on the lives of victims but truck accidents can be particularly damaging. The sheer size of trucks means that the damage is almost guaranteed to be greater than that of any other vehicle.
You should not be worrying about how to ensure you get fair compensation following a truck accident. Instead, your focus should be on healing and returning to your life. The experienced truck accident attorneys at VACAIL are experienced and competent. We also work on a contingency fee basis which means that you only pay if we win your case. We offer a free initial consultation, so give us a call today.