Falls Church does not see many truck accidents. Most of them occur outside the city, on the highways where speed and negligence are common. The few accidents that take place in town have devastating consequences. They cause severe injuries, even wrongful death, and huge property damage. Obtaining compensation for such losses is a challenge even for a Falls Church truck accident lawyer.
At Commonwealth Accident Injury Law, we love challenges. We embrace them and do not rest until we obtain rightful compensation for our clients. We make sure the party at fault or their insurer reimburses every single loss and expense. Our work is usually easier when clients call Christian direct at 1-800-HURT-123 from the accident scene.
When possible, our Falls Church, VA, truck accident lawyer goes to the scene immediately. He advises our clients on the steps to take and they conduct the necessary investigations. Obtaining compensation takes solid evidence. Most of this evidence is only available at the accident scene. The claimant has to prove how the accident occurred and who was at fault. They also have to document the injuries and damages they incurred. When present, the lawyer takes over these endeavors. Another important mission for a lawyer is to prevent their clients’ from making mistakes.
- What Are Common Mistakes to Avoid After A Truck Accident?
- What Are Common Causes Of Truck Accidents?
- How is Negligence Established Following a Truck Accident?
- Who May Be Found Liable In A Truck Accident?
- How Is Compensation Determined Following A Truck Accident?
- How Do Truck Accidents Differ From Car Accidents?
- How Can A Truck Accident Lawyer Help My Claim?
- Get The Help Of A Virginia Truck Accident Lawyer
What Are Common Mistakes to Avoid After A Truck Accident?
In order to maximize your truck accident claim avoid making these mistakes:
Apologizing or Expressing Regrets
Many accident victims do this in an attempt to express sympathy and solidarity. They do not realize their words could qualify as an admission of guilt. Just like during arrests, anything car accident victims say could be used against them.
Admitting Fault for the Accident
In Virginia, claimants who shared fault for their accident cannot recover their losses. Once admitted, any form of contributory negligence could make the compensation claim useless.
Refusing Medical Assistance
It is important to diagnose injuries and establish their cause as soon as possible. If the victim refuses a medical exam and complications occur, they will be liable for them. At CAIL, we advise all clients to see a doctor immediately after the accident.
Accepting Early Settlements
Many accident victims are tricked into signing documents without reading. That is the worst thing anyone can do. It is better to consult a Falls Church truck accident attorney. They will assess the claim and negotiate a favorable settlement.
Failing to Gather Evidence
Details like truck position, brake marks, fluid leaks, and cargo position matter. They can help establish the cause of the accident and who was responsible for it. They should be photographed or recorded as soon as possible.
Make sure to take pictures of the scene of the accident.
What Are Common Causes Of Truck Accidents?
The most common causes of the truck accidents our personal injury lawyer sees include:
Truck drivers often have to cover huge distances in record time. To succeed, they skip rest and sleep breaks. Fatigue sets in and diminishes their attention span and reaction speed. Some drivers even fall asleep behind the wheel.
Seeing the same scenery for hours or days is not easy. It gets truck drivers into a trance-like state and slows down their reaction speed. It takes an experienced Falls Church truck accident attorney to prove highway hypnosis.
Many truck drivers speed in order to meet delivery deadlines. At high speed, trucks become difficult to stop or turn. They get on the other lanes, off the road, or even roll over. They often sweep everything in their path. Unfortunately, truck drivers are not the only ones who speed to destinations. Other traffic participants do too.
Overweight and Improperly Secured Cargo
Most trucks carry tons of goods. The weight of the cargo sometimes exceeds the truck’s capacity. When improperly secured, the cargo tilts or moves back and forth, affecting truck stability. Its weight also impacts the truck’s response to the driver’s maneuvers. When accidents occur, this increases the extent of damages.
Due to the huge wear and tear they experience, trucks need periodical maintenance and repairs. If they do not receive it, they can break down. Think of tire explosions and malfunctioning breaks. An experienced Virginia truck accident lawyer will check the truck’s maintenance schedule.
Most truck mirrors do not allow full view of the rear. If the truck does not have a camera or the camera breaks down, drivers are left in the dark. Some forget about their blind spot and end up hitting the cars in it. Sometimes, the cars in the truck’s blind spot make dangerous maneuvers.
Some truck drivers act as if they own the road. Since their vehicle is bigger and more powerful, they feel no harm can come to them. They speed, tailgate, and rarely signal their maneuvers in traffic. If they cause an accident, they should answer for it. A truck accident attorney near Falls Church will make sure that happens.
Alcohol is a driver’s worst enemy. It delays driver reactions and diminishes their attention span. It makes controlling the vehicle more difficult. If a drunk truck driver causes an accident, they should answer for its consequences.
These accident causes show that truck drivers are at fault for many accidents. The FMSCA admits they cause over half of the accidents involving them. However, other parties may be liable for a truck accident as well.
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. 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.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has strict regulations because of the high-risk job of truck drivers:
• Maintaining a logbook for the number of hours the driver worked.
• 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.
Who May Be Found Liable In A Truck Accident?
Some common liability scenarios for truck accidents include:
Trucking Company Liability
Perhaps the trucking company forced the driver to speed or skip breaks. They may have hired an inexperienced or unqualified driver or skipped maintenance intentionally.
Service Providers’ Liability
Perhaps the trucking company ordered maintenance, repairs, or part replacements. Unfortunately, not all service providers live up to their responsibilities. Many report and charge for repairs and maintenance operations they never perform.
Cargo Owner Liability
Truck drivers transport cargo from one place to the other. Cargo owners may fail to inform them about the specifics of the goods. Their employees may overload the truck or fail to secure the cargo.
Some accidents occur because of other drivers’ negligence. Others are the result of the road administrators’ negligence. No matter the case, the party at fault or their insurer should answer.
How Is Compensation Determined Following A Truck Accident?
The type and amount of compensation that you are eligible for depends on a couple of factors, similar to what you usually see in personal injury cases. First, there are economic damages, and second, there are non-economic damages.
Your compensation in an economic truck accident will cover various monetary costs, such as:
This will include all fees for hospital care, emergency room visits, assistive devices, surgery, and appointments with medical professionals. It will go beyond your current expenses covering any future costs your injuries may incur.
This covers lost wages between the time of the accident and settlement of the case.
Loss of Earning Capacity
In order for the victim to get full compensation, they should have evidence to accurately demonstrate what happened at the time of the accident. The defending party will want to calculate the amount that the victim could earn if the accident did not occur.
Some of the non-economic damages resulting from the accident related to intangible losses and non-financial expenses include:
Pain and suffering
This will include the compensation for all your physical suffering resulting from the injury after the crash. The way the accident happened, the extent of your injury, the period that you may expect to suffer – the lawyer considers everything to calculate your compensation.
Apart from physical pain, the victim also suffers emotionally after a truck accident. This includes embarrassment, worry, nervousness, fright, grief, and various other types of emotional distress.
Loss of Consortium
In addition to the victim, compensation is also granted to parents, minors, and spouses. The offender will also have to pay additional compensation if the victim is deceased after the accident.
Keeping economic and non-economic damages aside, there can also be punitive damages if the lawyer finds that the offender tried to cause the accident willfully. These damages are not just limited to monetary compensation. The offender may have to go to jail too.
How Do Truck Accidents Differ From Car Accidents?
Big rigs or commercial freight trucks usually weigh approximately 80,000 pounds or even more. They are almost twenty times heavier than passenger cars. Although ten hours per day is the threshold for truck drivers, many tend to do overtime for extra cash. This is directly related to the safety of other drivers because they become vulnerable to accidents.
Larger Insurance Policies
The insurance policies of truck drivers are almost fifty times more than car accident policies. Every year, truck insurance policies value over millions. So, you can understand why the defense lawyer will want to prove that they were not responsible for the accident. The lawyers will get in touch with experienced insurance adjusters to employ various strategies like offering a significant payout so that they can extract a bigger amount from the insurance company. That is why it is always wise to have an experienced lawyer who can walk you through the entire process.
Increased Property Damage
As you can see, the size and weight of commercial freight trucks are more than regular vehicles. So, there are high chances that the surrounding properties will also get affected when there is a crash involving these cars.
More Serious Injuries
Truck accident injuries are more severe compared to car injuries. Starting from broken bones to whiplash, the extent of the injury can be vast. This will involve intensive medical care and extensive medication bills. You may also have to undergo several life-altering surgeries after such an accident.
Much Larger Medical Bills
Victims from a truck accident spend more time in the hospital than those involved in car accidents. The injuries are more severe, and it takes a considerably longer period for the victim to go back to work. If you work with our experienced lawyer, we will be able to calculate your compensation based on your current and future sufferings and medication.
Greater Chance of Death
Imagine clashing with an 18-wheel commercial truck. There are more chances of dying than in a 4-wheeler. As per the reports of Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), every year, there are almost 3000 to 5000 deaths that take place due to truck accidents.
When you consider all the considerable resources and variables involved in such accidents, your first step should always be to get in touch with an experienced lawyer. Without them, you will have no chance of winning the case.
How Can A Truck Accident Lawyer Help My Claim?
Whether you decide to take the case to court or settle, it is always essential to hire an experienced and dedicated truck accident attorney. Many Virginia residents can’t think of anything else apart from their recovery time and their family after an accident. But, when you have a compassionate truck wreck lawyer helping you, you will not have to think about handling the legal side of things.
A truck accident layer has two important duties: perform a thorough investigation of the accident site after your first meeting and second, gathering information about the case to file your claim. Investigation for these cases is crucial because it helps during litigation and settlement procedures. The lawyer will try to find pieces of evidence that prove the negligence of the driver at fault. Your truck wreck lawyer in Falls Church, VA, can go to the extent of doing the following things to collect proof against the offender:
- Hire experts who can reconstruct the scene of the accident.
- Investigate and identify the malfunctioning parts of the truck.
- Go through the photographs and police report of the accident scene.
- Interview eyewitness if any.
- Research history and driving experience of the truck driver.
The lawyer also checks whether there are multiple parties involved in the accident and for your losses and injuries. He/she will also inspect the case in detail to determine if it was the driver, an accomplice, or someone else who was responsible for the accident.
Get The Help Of A Virginia Truck Accident Lawyer
The compensation claim process for truck accidents is similar to that for any car accident. However, all the above aspects can complicate it and make recovery difficult. At CAIL, we have made it our mission to ease things for truck accident victims. We can help you too.
Our Falls Church, VA car accident lawyer can evaluate your claim and answer your questions. If you let them, they can take over the whole process and get you fair compensation. To benefit from our help, all you have to do is schedule a consultation. You can do so using the contact form, by chat, or by calling 1-800-HURT-123. We are here for you!