Frequent truck accidents in Norfolk have left some victims with catastrophic injuries or families with a loved one’s death. Some have even lost vital properties in these crashes. All Norfolk residents can get a legal remedy if they survive a truck accident. They can either institute a lawsuit against the fault parties, or they can accept a settlement. Whichever decision a truck accident victim makes, it would be best to have a formidable legal team on their side. CAIL Personal Injury Law Firm has experienced Norfolk truck accident lawyers that can be that great team for you.
- How Often Do Truck Drivers Get Into Accidents?
- Who Is Liable in a Truck Accident?
- Do Truck Drivers Get Fired for Accidents?
- Is It Worth Hiring a Personal Injury Attorney?
- What Should You Not Say to an Auto Insurance Adjuster?
- Norfolk’s Best Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help You!
How Often Do Truck Drivers Get Into Accidents?
Truck drivers have accidents more often than should be the case. Trucks weigh 20-30 times more than passenger vehicles, so collision effects are often devastating. To know how often truck drivers get into accidents, we have to look at the statistics.
In 2019, 5,005 trucks were involved in fatal crashes. This translates to 10% of all vehicles involved in fatal crashes in 2019. In the same year, 118,000 large trucks were involved in an injury-causing crash. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) reports that truck drivers were involved in 1.4 fatal crashes per 100 million miles they traveled in 2019.
Furthermore, the data shows that in 2019, 4,119 people died in motor vehicle accidents involving trucks. 16% of the deaths were truck occupants, while 67% were the occupants of passenger vehicles. Even pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorcyclists were victims making up 15% of the casualties. Summarily, 11% of all fatal vehicle accidents involve trucks.
Many factors contribute to truck accidents in Norfolk. Some of them are:
- Driver fatigue
- Truck brake failure
- Dangerous roads
- Mechanical defects
- Aggressive driving
Who Is Liable in a Truck Accident?
Someone must take responsibility for truck accidents. Truck accident liability doesn’t always rest with commercial truck drivers. In Norfolk, multiple fault parties may be liable for truck accidents. They include:
- The Driver: The trucker could be liable for the injuries, death, or property damage the truck accident victims suffer. Truck drivers owe a duty of care to other road users, so if they breach it, they’ll be responsible. This would be the case if driver fatigue, reckless or distracted driving caused the crash.
- The Manufacturer: The truck’s producer may also be responsible in cases of a defective truck. It could be that a part of the truck is faulty, and the manufacturer knew it or was negligent. Faulty parts such as brakes, engines, or the steering wheel can thus make the manufacturer liable.
- The Loaders: The law may also hold the cargo loaders responsible for the accident. They would be liable for accidents caused by overloaded trucks. Furthermore, if a truck loader didn’t secure the truck’s contents, and it spills over and causes a crash, they’ll be liable too.
- The Trucking Company: The trucking industry’s big players are responsible for the trucks and drivers they put on the road. Therefore, if the company didn’t ensure the safety of their trucks or hired rough drivers, they may be liable. An attorney may need an expert to prove this, though.
Other potentially liable parties in truck accidents include the truck owner, parts maker, vendors, or government agencies.
Do Truck Drivers Get Fired for Accidents?
Yes, a trucking company can fire their driver who caused a commercial truck accident. This is often because the company may be liable for the driver’s actions. So, if the driver risks the company’s finances or reputation, they can get fired. However, this isn’t so in all instances.
Below are two major cases where a trucking company can fire its drivers for crashes.
- Avoidable Accidents: Some truck accidents could have been avoided if the driver was more careful. The driver could have been speeding, racing other cars, disregarded the rules of driving hours and company regulations, or driving intoxicated. In all these cases, the trucking company has justification for sacking a driver who caused a crash.
- Crashes That Damage the Trucks and Loads: Trucks and the goods they carry are costly. If a trucker spoils the company’s properties or the goods they were carrying, they may be fired to prevent a repeat of the loss.
Furthermore, if you fight another driver on the road, that gives the company cause to fire you. Finally, a company cannot sack drivers who own their trucks and merely act as independent contractors.
Is It Worth Hiring a Personal Injury Attorney?
Injured accident victims often face the dilemma of whether to hire a personal injury lawyer. They always wonder if an attorney is worth their money and whether they can recover compensation without legal assistance. However, getting a personal injury attorney is worth every penny for the following reasons:
An attorney can objectively assess your personal injury claim and give you appropriate legal advice. The lawyer can also properly value your claim for how much it’s worth.
Meeting the Time Limitations
You have only about two years to file truck accident claims or a wrongful death claim in Norfolk. If you don’t initiate the suit within this period, you can lose your right to sue. An experienced attorney can aid you in preparing and file your case within this timeframe, thus preserving your right.
Winning Great Settlements
You don’t need to go to trial for your truck accident injuries. You can recover compensation through accident settlements, escaping the hassle and uncertainty of litigation. With a great truck accident attorney, you can get the maximum compensation from the fault party’s insurance coverage.
Furthermore, if your personal injury lawyer files a truck accident lawsuit, they can persuade the court to grant you punitive damages. The court can order punitive damages where the action of the driver was very vile.
What Should You Not Say to an Auto Insurance Adjuster?
Victims of trucking accidents have to deal with insurance companies to recover any damages. Many factors affect the success of personal injury claims, especially your speech and actions after truck crashes. If you’ll get any compensatory damages, there are certain things you shouldn’t say to insurance adjusters.
An experienced attorney can help you sieve your words. They can tell you what to say to insurance companies and even advise you against speaking without your auto accident attorney. Below are things you should never say to insurance agents.
- Accepting Fault: Admitting that you caused an accident is saying bye to your chances of receiving monetary damages. So, it would be best never to admit you’re at fault, even if you think so.
- Agreeing to the First Settlement Offer: Insurance company tactics often require that they begin the accident settlement from the lowest offer. This offer will be inadequate for your losses. So, fight the proposal, don’t tell them you’ll take it.
- Recorded Statement: After trucking accidents, the victims are in a terrible emotional state. The insurance adjuster of the liable parties may try getting you to give a recorded statement. However, it’ll be best to refuse because you don’t have all the facts. Furthermore, they may trick you with questions and the recorded speech will be evidence against you.
- Details of Your Injury: Insurance adjusters are looking for ways to reduce the insurance provider’s liability. You may be helping them in this by giving them information on your injuries. They can build their case with the details you supply and exploit any inconsistencies in your statements.
Norfolk’s Best Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help You!
If you’ve survived a tractor-trailer accident, a commercial truck accident, or any other truck accident, you deserve compensation. Filing personal injury claims can prove the negligence of the driver at fault. However, proceeding against a trucking company on your own may be challenging. That’s why it would be best to exploit the combined experience of our truck accident attorneys for your case. So, contact CAIL Personal Injury Law Firm for a FREE consultation on your case today.