A truck lawyer in Virginia Beach, VA, deals with truck-related accidents regularly. Any experienced semi-truck accident attorney knows that every year close to one hundred people lose their lives in truck accidents and many more suffer bodily injury. For individuals that incur serious injuries need months to recover and accrue expensive treatment over time in order to recover. For more than half of these accidents, the FMCSA admits that the truck drivers are at fault. The rest of the accidents are the responsibility of the other drivers involved or third parties.
Accident victims can recover their losses from the party at fault or their insurer. However, they should not attempt it without the help of a Virginia Beach truck accident attorney. Whether the truck driver is at fault for the accident or a third party, finding proof will not be easy.
If you were injured in a truck accident that was not your fault, call Christian direct at 1-800-HURT-123 for a FREE case evaluation. A truck injury lawyer can answer any questions you might have and inform you if you have a case or not.
- 1 What Is The Difference Between A Car Accident And A Truck Accident?
- 2 What You Should Do At The Scene Of The Truck Accident?
- 3 How Compensation Will Be Determined After A Truck Accident?
- 4 How Is Liability Determined In A Truck Accident?
- 5 How To Establish Negligence After A Truck Accident?
- 6 How Can A Lawyer Help My Truck Accident Claim?
- 7 Get a CAIL Virginia Beach Trucking Accident Lawyer on Your Case!
What Is The Difference Between A Car Accident And A Truck Accident?
A commercial truck easily weighs over 80,000 pounds. This means a commercial freight truck is almost twenty times heavier than a normal passenger car. Even though truck drivers need to work only 10 hours a day, most of them tend to do overtime for extra cash. Such a driver becomes vulnerable to accidents and a threat to the safety of other drivers using the road network.
Larger Insurance Policies
Commercial truck insurance is almost fifty times more than regular car accident policies. Truck insurance policies value over millions each year. This is enough to understand why a defense lawyer wants to prove that the truck driver is not responsible for the accident. The lawyer will get in touch with the insurance adjuster and employ various strategies to limit the amount of compensation you get. That’s why you need to work with an experienced truck accident lawyer in Virginia to walk you through the entire process.
Increased Property Damage
The weight and size of a commercial freight truck are more than regular vehicles on the road network. You should naturally expect bigger damage to the surrounding properties when you are involved in a truck accident.
Truck accident injuries are much severe compared to car accident injuries. From whiplash to broken bones, the extent of the injury can be vast. You should expect extensive medical bills after a truck accident. Life-altering surgeries can never be ruled out after a truck accident.
Larger Medical Bills
Truck accident victims will spend more time in the hospital compared to car accident victims. Their injuries are more severe and it may take a longer period for these victims to go back to work. That’s why you need to work with an experienced truck accident lawyer from CAIL. Our experts can calculate your compensation based on your current and future medical needs.
Greater Chances Of Death
Just imagine the implications of crashing with an 18-wheel commercial freight truck! There are more chances of death in such accidents compared to 4-wheeler accidents. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) states there are 3,000 to 5,000 deaths every year as a result of truck accidents.
Considering all these things, the best way to deal with a truck accident is to call a professional truck accident lawyer in the area. With the assistance of an experienced truck accident lawyer, your chances of winning the case are low.
What You Should Do At The Scene Of The Truck Accident?
The first thing is to stay calm and remain in the car after a truck accident – if you are in a conscious state. Turn the hazard lights of the car on and call 911. Seek medical assistance as soon as possible even you have minor injuries. Don’t leave the accident scene. Get the names and contacts of everyone involved in the accident. Write down the names and contact details of any witnesses to the scene. Don’t forget to note down the names and badge numbers of police officers who are attending the scene of the accident.
Take photos of the accident from different angles. Don’t forget to take photos of the surroundings of the incident. Don’t admit any fault even if you are pressurized to do so by the police. Don’t discuss the accident with anyone other than the police and your insurance agent. For more information on what we recommend you do after a truck accident visit our blog.
How Compensation Will Be Determined After A Truck Accident?
The amount of compensation you get after a truck accident may depend on many factors. There are economic and non-economic damages in such a case. Your compensation as a result of a commercial truck accident will cover monetary costs such as:
This includes all current and future fees for hospital care, emergency room visits, surgery, appointments with medical professionals, and assistive devices.
Compensation for lost wages – between the time of the truck accident and the settlement of your case.
Loss Of Earning Capacity
If the victim can demonstrate what exactly happened at the time of the accident, it will be easy for him/her to get the required compensation. The defending party may usually calculate the amount the victim could be earning if the accident didn’t happen.
Non-Economic Damages That Can Result From The Accident:
Pain And Suffering
This includes compensation for all your physical suffering resulting from the truck accident injuries. Your lawyer will consider things such as the extent of your injuries and the expected period of suffering when calculating your compensation.
A victim will suffer emotionally after a truck accident apart from physical pain – emotional distress, embarrassment, fright, nervousness, worry, grief.
Loss Of Consortium
Compensation is also granted to parents, minors, and spouses of the victims. The offender may have to pay additional compensation in case the victim is deceased after the truck accident.
If the lawyer proves that the offender tried to cause the accident willfully, there are punitive damages involved apart from economic and non-economic damages. These damages may include jail time apart from monetary compensation.
How Is Liability Determined In A Truck Accident?
Proving truck accident fault takes thorough knowledge of FMCSA rules, Virginia laws, and truck companies’ operations. These are very important when it comes to identifying the party at fault. Several liability scenarios are possible.
Truck driver at fault
Truck drivers often fall asleep behind the wheel. They have to comply with challenging delivery schedules, and fatigue gets the best of them. Some take time to sleep but then accelerate to recover the lost time. There are also truck drivers who drink, take drugs, or drive recklessly.
Trucking company at fault
Many trucking companies only care about money. They accept rush contracts to make more, and they cut corners when it comes to truck maintenance. They hire inexperienced drivers or force drivers to cover record distances in short amounts of time. Proving their fault is a job for a seasoned Virginia personal injury lawyer.
Perhaps the drivers and the trucking company did their job. The fault may be that of their clients or service provider. Perhaps the clients overloaded the truck or failed to secure the cargo. It shifted when the vehicle took a turn and caused the driver to lose control. Perhaps the company in charge of maintaining the truck failed to do their job. Anything is possible, but what matters is what you can prove.
All of these parties should carry insurance. In theory, the accident victim can choose whether to seek compensation from them or their insurers. In practice, filing a claim with an insurance company is easier than going through a civil lawsuit.
However, insurers have their own claim adjusters and lawyers, and they do not pay willingly. In fact, they will do everything in their power to avoid paying. It is understandable, considering that truck accident compensation can reach huge amounts.
A strategy that pays excellent results for Virginia insurers is proving contributory negligence. Under Virginia law, accident victims who are 1% at fault lose their right to compensation. Most insurers take advantage of this stipulation to avoid paying.
They usually succeed when the claimant does not work with a Virginia truck accident lawyer. Those who choose to hire legal help have valuable benefits to reap. They get help with every step of the compensation claim process.
How To Establish Negligence After A Truck Accident?
If you or your loved ones were involved in a serious truck accident, you should be able to prove that the truck driver was negligent while driving to get the deserved compensation from a court case. That’s why you need to work with a reliable truck accident lawyer in Virginia Beach. The lawyer should establish the duties of the truck driver and prove that he breached the code of duty that led to the accident. Some common causes of the negligence of truck drivers include texting while driving, speeding, running a red light, or falling asleep while driving.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has laid out strict regulations to prevent truck accidents:
- Maximum number of hours of service per day
- Document rest breaks
- Maintain a logbook to indicate the number of hours the driver worked
- Attention to all maintenance needs and working schedules
- Loading cargo safely – including hazardous material
- Driving a maximum of ten hours a day
- Not driving under the influence of alcohol or other toxic substances
How Can A Lawyer Help My Truck Accident Claim?
The following steps are crucial in receiving compensation from your truck accident injury claim:
The Accident Scene Investigation
It is the most important part of the claim preparation process. The accident scene provides evidence of how the accident occurred and what injuries it caused. It is the best time to determine accident liability and find witnesses to corroborate your story.
At Commonwealth Accident Injury Law (CAIL), we have many clients calling us from the accident scene. When possible, we go there and take over all the hassles. We check the truck, its cargo, ties, brakes, lights, and steering system. We look for signs of braking, fluid leaks, and more. When we cannot get to the scene or clients call us too late, we advise them on how to proceed.
Taking photos, recording, and asking around are the best strategies to gather evidence. Unnecessary discussions, apologies, and premature negotiations are costly mistakes. You would be surprised at how fast insurers try to take advantage of accident victims. We love it when we get a chance to stop them.
The Claim Preparation Process
This step involves putting facts together, establishing and proving liability, and quantifying losses. Truck accident victims can claim property damage, medical expenses, pain and suffering, and more. In order to recover their losses, they will need evidence they incurred them and value assessments. These are part of everyday routine for our attorneys.
So is following procedures, and Virginia laws impose strict time limits for filing claims. They allow two years for claiming injury-related expenses. For property damage, the limit is five years. Time flies by when you are injured, people forget, and evidence disappears. The best approach is to start early and work with a Virginia car accident lawyer.
The Claim Negotiation Process
Those who complete the first steps successfully always receive settlement offers. Otherwise put, the party at fault for their accident offers them money to give up their claim. The purpose of the offer is to help the defendant pay less. It could be convenient for the claimant as well, as they get paid earlier.
The secret is to negotiate. It is not easy. However, truck accident attorneys know how to do it in order to get more money for their clients. At CAIL, we treasure our clients’ interests above everything else. We do everything in our power to defend them. We negotiate settlement terms, file appeals, and even go to court.
Get a CAIL Virginia Beach Trucking Accident Lawyer on Your Case!
If you incurred injuries and property damage in a truck accident in Virginia Beach, a Virginia Beach truck crash lawyer at CAIL can help! Any of our truck crash attorneys can defend your interest and build you a winning case right from the accident scene. All you have to do is get in touch.
You can do so by phone, at 1-800-HURT-123, or online. The first consultation with any of our trucking attorneys is free, so you have nothing to lose. You will win a knowledgeable and dedicated ally. Your Virginia Beach truck driver attorney will not rest until getting you the compensation you deserve.