Virginia Beach Truck Accident Attorneys
Were you hurt in a truck accident in Virginia Beach? If so, you’re probably facing serious injuries, expensive medical and repair bills, and a long road to recovery. These collisions are especially devastating given the sheer size of commercial motor vehicles, some of which can weigh up to 80,000 pounds when fully loaded. But if someone else was ultimately to blame for your injuries, they could owe you compensation for what you suffered as a result. And given the substantial liability policies that are mandatory for many trucks, there could be considerable money to claim.
Getting this money is easier said than done, but you don’t have to face off against the big trucking and insurance companies alone. Invictus Law can help. As former prosecutors and JAG lawyers, our Virginia Beach truck accident lawyers aren’t afraid of a fight, and we won’t back down from one, either. Contact us today for a free consultation, and we’ll tell you how we can help you demand justice and accountability.
Commercial Truck Regulations
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) sets strict standards for all interstate commercial truck activity and safety. The agency sets licensing rules, including a requirement that all commercial semi-drivers hold a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) and have specific certifications to transport different types of cargo, such as hazardous materials or liquids.
Other FMCSA standards concern the number of hours a driver can drive in a day and a week and how long they can drive before taking a mandatory rest break. This is partly because the dangers of driving tired are almost as serious as driving under the influence.
On that note, the FMCSA also stipulates that a driver operating a commercial motor vehicle is intoxicated if they have a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.04 percent or above – half that allowed non-commercial drivers in Virginia.
And while Virginia sets its own laws for trucks operating strictly within the Commonwealth, they are broadly similar to those at the federal level and often overlap.
Causes of Commercial Vehicle Accidents
Commercial drivers are trained to drive defensively and safely maneuver their big rigs around smaller cars on the road. Unfortunately, their training is not always successful or even sufficient. Understanding how truck accidents happen can help you be more aware of potentially hazardous situations on the road.
Some of the most common causes of truck accidents include:
- Driving under the influence
- Distracted driving
- Losing control because of improperly balanced loads or overweight cargo
- High winds or inclement weather
- Malfunctioning or defective components
- Poor road conditions
In some of these situations, the driver may be solely responsible for the accident. In other cases, though, multiple parties could share liability. Trucking accidents can be more complex than a collision between two ordinary drivers. A skilled Virginia Beach truck accident lawyer may have the resources to pinpoint all responsible parties in your accident.
Possible Liable Parties in a Truck Accident
Self-employed or contracted drivers who violate FMCSA safety rules or other state traffic laws may be held solely responsible for the collision. However, other parties could share part of the responsibility for the accident.
Commercial trucking companies are responsible for the behavior of their employees. Moreover, a commercial carrier has a duty to hire only drivers with a valid CDL and appropriate training and certification. Carriers also oversee their truckers’ driving records, such as monitoring the hours on the road and how long a driver is taking for rest breaks. A company that fails to provide proper oversight and supervision of drivers could be responsible for permitting unsafe drivers behind the wheel and, therefore, partly at fault for any accident the driver causes.
Some accidents may happen because the rig or the trailer malfunctions. In these cases, the party with primary responsibility for the wreck could include:
- The truck manufacturer
- The cargo loader, if the load shifts because it wasn’t stowed correctly, which, in turn, could cause the driver to lose control of the vehicle
- The party responsible for attaching the trailer to the rig
- A mechanic who performed flawed maintenance or repairs on the vehicle
- A municipality responsible for ensuring the roads are free of obstructions and in good repair
How Can a Virginia Beach Truck Accident Lawyer Help Me?
A truck accident can be more complex than one involving non-commercial drivers. You may even get a visit from a representative from the trucking company or their insurer, hoping to get you to agree to a quick settlement. Don’t trust them. Their job is to save their employer money, not help you get back on your feet.
An attorney with experience litigating truck accident cases may help alleviate much of the stress of pursuing compensation, allowing you peace to rest and heal. Your lawyer:
- Prepares the case against all potential defendants. This includes gathering evidence from the crash, like photos, police reports, witness testimony, and your medical records from your crash injuries.
- Has resources to pursue your claim. Trucking companies are loathe to admit that their driver is to blame and may allege that you caused the accident. An attorney may use expert witness testimony to prove the driver was at fault or subpoena a copy of thedriver’s annual safety record.
- Negotiate with the insurance company. You aren’t required to give a statement to the driver or carrier’s insurance company. It’s usually better to have your attorney handle all communication with these parties. Your attorney also negotiates a fair settlement from the at-fault party on your behalf, seeking maximum compensation.
- Represent you in court. If the other party won’t agree to a fair settlement or disputes the facts of the case, then your lawyer represents you in a civil trial to resolve the case. And because you can count on the trucking company being lawyered up, it’s a good idea to have legal representation of your own.
Damages Available in a Truck Accident Case
Depending on the circumstances of the accident, you could be owed money for your:
- Medical care, a hospital stay, and medications
- Rehabilitative care, like occupational or physical therapy
- Lost wages from time missed at work
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering from your injuries
- Emotional trauma or psychological harm
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Disfigurement or disability
Do You Need Help From a Virginia Beach Truck Accident Attorney?
Have you been hurt in a collision with a truck? Do you need help pursuing the money you need to rebuild your life? Contact Invictus Law today for a free consultation with an experienced Virginia Beach truck accident injury lawyer. We look forward to meeting you and learning more about your case.