How Often Do Truck Accidents Occur in Virginia Beach?

Trucking companies are extremely busy every day, sending their drivers with large vehicles loaded with goods across the US. They contribute a lot to the US economy. However, trucks also represent one of the major perils on roads on highways. Every day, commercial trucks cause serious accidents across the Commonwealth of Virginia. If you or a loved one was injured in a truck accident, you are facing a long period of expensive medical treatments, which may not restore you to full health. In this situation, you need to rely on one of the experienced truck accident lawyers at VACAIL to explain your legal rights and help you recover your financial losses, as well as non-economic damages, from the responsible parties.

Although the law is on your side, you are faced with a hard battle against big insurance companies representing the interests of trucking companies. They have armies of adjusters who work relentlessly to prevent you from filing a truck accident claim or lawsuit and deny you the fair compensation you deserve. This is why you need to start this battle well prepared, with the assistance of skilled truck accident attorneys who know how to fight back and protect your rights.

What Is the Frequency of Trucking Accidents in Virginia Beach, VA?

Unfortunately, truck accidents are on the rise across our state. The latest data released by Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles indicates a significant increase in fatal motor vehicle accidents involving large commercial vehicles. Thus, in 2020, 65 truck accident victims lost their lives, a 25% increase since the previous year.

Other relevant statistical data indicate that:

  • 4,296 truck crashes took place in the Commonwealth of Virginia
  • 1,695 such accidents involved injuries
  • 134 people suffered severe injuries.

Although the report does not contain specific data on trucking accidents for Virginia Beach, our city has seen a high rate of traffic accidents during the year – no less than 5,300 events leading to 2,629 injuries and 53 fatalities.

This data indicates that anyone in Virginia Beach may unfortunately become victim of truck accident, either as driver or passenger in a passenger car, as motorcyclist, bicyclist, or pedestrian. When you are hurt in a semi-truck accident, you will most likely require extensive hospitalization and expensive surgeries and treatments. A team of experienced truck accident lawyers will ensure that every accident victim in our city can file personal injury claims successfully or win their financial compensation in court, at the end of a truck accident lawsuit.

What are the Most Common Types of Truck Accidents?

Victims of truck accidents may suffer catastrophic injuries or even lose their lives due to the fault of the truck driver, the trucking company or another liable party. The most common reasons leading to accidents involving a commercial driver are:

Speeding

Many truck drivers drive at excessive speed either out of recklessness or because they have to meet tight delivery schedules. At a very high speed, it is extremely difficult to control a large commercial vehicle loaded with goods, weighing between 35,000 and 80,000 pounds. By comparison, the average passenger vehicle weighs only 4,000 pounds.

A speeding truck out of control can cause disaster on the road, hitting several vehicles and leaving behind injured persons with some of the most catastrophic types of injuries.

Drunk Driving

Drinking and driving should never mix. A person under the influence of alcohol is no longer in full control of their senses and their reflexes are delayed. When a drunk driver behind the wheel of a crashes into the flow of traffic, passenger vehicles and motorcycles have no chance to avoid it.

Aggressive Driving

Aggressive drivers tailgate others and change lanes frequently. When they are behind the wheel of a semi-truck or 18-wheeler, this unacceptable behavior can lead to serious accidents or even a fatal crash. Unfortunately, truck companies are not always careful with the background screening of their drivers. They usually have a negative track record of aggressive driving and breaking various traffic laws.

Distracted Driving

Texting and driving is the most frequent instance of distracted driving. When a driver is no longer focused on the road ahead, even a moment of inattention is enough to cause a tragedy. Hitting the brake at the last moment is not enough. Various tests indicate that a fully loaded truck traveling at 55 mph on dry pavement and with fully operational brakes needs 390 feet to come to a full stop. This is why many distracted truck drivers cause severe rear-end crashes despite claiming that they hit the brake.

Drowsy Driving

Driver fatigue is one of the leading causes of truck accidents. Although federal regulations impose strict hours of service for commercial drivers, many trucking companies force their drivers to skip sleep in order to deliver the goods on time. A fatigued driver may fall asleep without realizing it, leaving his vehicle practically without human control.

Vehicle Malfunctions

In some cases, the truck driver cannot control their vehicle, because it has a defective part – usually the brakes or the tires. It is not unknown for a truck company to skip maintenance in order to keep their vehicles on the roads for as long as possible and accumulate profits.

Poor Road Conditions

Inclement weather and poor roads (potholes, cracks) can be a major contributing factor to a traffic accident involving a truck. In this case, both driver error and outside conditions are involved, making your personal injury case more complex. However, experienced truck accident lawyers will be able to identify and pursue all the parties liable for your accident injuries.

Who Is Liable for Truck Accidents?

The trucking industry has a big part to play in accidents involving their vehicles. From lack of due diligence in screening drivers to poor training and lack of adequate maintenance and repairs to their vehicles, truck companies are liable for many types of accident injuries caused to third parties.

The legal principle is called vicarious liability and it means that employers are responsible for their employee’s actions when they are performing their job duties. However, as many accident victims find out, trucking companies are doing everything they can to avoid this responsibility. Some of them will go as far as saying that their drivers are not actual employees, but independent contractors.

This is a well-known tactic for personal injury attorneys and they know how to fight back and ensure that the companies are made responsible for accidents caused by their lack of duty of care.

Virginia Law on Contributory Negligence

One of the first things potential clients tell our truck accident lawyers is that an insurance adjuster told them that they have no case, because they were partly at fault for their crash. It is true that traffic accidents are rarely clear-cut at first view.

Also, the Commonwealth of Virginia is one of the few US states that still applies the contributory negligence principle in personal injury cases. This principle states that if a plaintiff is even 1% at fault for their accident, then they have no right to seek compensation for their damages.

This is why you need to hire a skilled truck accident lawyer to investigate your crash and establish what exactly happened.

Common Types of Injuries Sustained in Truck Accidents

A truck accident can cripple you physically, emotionally, and financially. Most accident victims need to stay in hospital for a long time, receive surgeries and specialized medical treatment and undergo rehabilitation and physical therapy when they are released back home.

The most common types of injuries in such crashes are:

  • bone fractures
  • loss of limb
  • spine injuries
  • neck injuries
  • traumatic brain injury
  • internal organ damage.

Many injured persons never make a full recovery and may need long-term life care, assistive devices (wheelchairs, walking frames), modifications to their homes and even to learn a new job. All these instances require a lot of money – which a personal injury attorney in Virginia can help you recover from the at-fault parties.

What You Must Do After a Truck Crash

In many cases, a potentially solid personal injury claim is lost because the accident victim did or failed to do several things that damaged their case. In order to avoid this type of outcome, we advise you to follow these steps, as closely as possible, starting with the first moments after your crash.

1. Seek Medical Attention

The first thing you need to consider is your own safety. Call 9-1-1 and ask for an ambulance, as well as a law enforcement team to investigate the accident scene. The police report will be a valuable piece of evidence at a later date when your truck accident lawyer prepares to negotiate your claim or take the case to court.

Also, you most likely need medical care. Even if you do not believe that you are seriously injured, you must go to the hospital as soon as possible. Some injuries like whiplash or internal organ damage may take hours or days to show symptoms. At the same time, insurance companies may claim that you were not as seriously injured as you claim, since you did not go to the hospital. It is in your best interests, from all points of view, to have a trail of paperwork on your injuries starting at the scene of the accident.

2. Document the Accident Scene

Do not rely only on evidence collected by the police. If you are able to do so without making your injuries worse, use your smartphone camera to take photos and videos of:

  • your injuries
  • the damage to your vehicle
  • the position of the truck and its license plate
  • any important detail (potholes, debris on the road, etc.)

Also, get the truck driver’s contact and insurance details and try to identify any eyewitnesses and ask them to give a statement describing what they saw.

3. Do Not Accept a Quick Settlement from the Insurance Company

In most cases, insurance companies know when they are likely to lose a case in court and try to reach a quick settlement with accident victims. They will send an adjuster to the hospital with an offer. They count on the fact that you are in pain, afraid and vulnerable and they can manipulate you into accepting the deal or saying something that may compromise your case.

The best policy is to refuse any deal and say nothing about the accident without a personal injury attorney present.

4. Reach Out to Experienced Truck Accident Lawyers

A truck accident attorney can put together a compelling case supporting your claim. They have the experience to evaluate your economic and non-economic losses and to identify all the pieces of evidence that will persuade either the insurance company or a judge and jury that you deserve to be compensated.

At VACAIL, we have the experience and knowledge of the law that allows us to tackle each case with confidence. We are not afraid to take big insurance companies to trial and to fight on your behalf until you win what you deserve – the maximum compensation for your physical injuries, emotional trauma, and various other financial losses.

Call us now to schedule a free case review with one of our experienced truck accident lawyers: 1-800-HURT-123!

Let's get started with your free consultation!





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