Getting To The Bottom Of What Caused Your Truck Accident
At Williams & Light, we know personal injury. We understand the hows and whys of accidents. We also can determine when and how an accident could have been prevented.
If you, a family member or someone you care about was involved in a crash with a truck in Virginia, get in touch with a personal injury attorney who handles truck accidents. Call 434-483-5195 to speak with a member of our team today.
How Truck Accidents Are Different
Semi trucks are very large and very heavy and can cause a lot of damage when not operated safely. You may have heard of a commercial driver’s license or CDL. This is a special license that truckers must have. Other areas of the trucking industry are heavily regulated too. Truck drivers, owners and operators of trucking businesses are held to a higher safety standard than people who drive cars and get in accidents. An attorney who simply handles personal injury may not have the experience or specialized knowledge it takes to successfully pursue a truck accident for a plaintiff (the person who files the law suit). There are different rules for truck drivers. These include that a truck driver must:
- Only drive a certain number of hours per day
- Park their rig in a safe and designated area
- Have a secure, properly balanced load
- Make sure their trucks are maintained, including not driving on tires that are worn out or unbalanced and may blow
- Use “extreme caution” during any potentially hazardous conditions on the road, including weather, narrowed lanes, road construction or high winds
- Only operate the truck when fully awake, undistracted and sober and refrain from using certain medications while driving
Drivers, loading companies, company owners and truck manufacturers are all responsible for their part of the safety chain. When one part fails and someone gets seriously hurt, they need to be held accountable.
How To Pursue Compensation After A Serious Injury
There are several steps necessary in order to obtain the maximum compensation after a truck accident. In general, these steps are:
- Be patient. Do not accept the first offer from the insurance company or their rep. They may try to make you believe that you must take the first offer or you will get nothing. This is rarely, if ever, actually the case.
- Contact a personal injury attorney who takes truck accident cases and has a record of success with them. Make sure your attorney is an experienced trial attorney who will take your case to court when necessary.
- Work with the attorney while they investigate the accident and obtain all of the necessary evidence. This may require an accident reconstruction or the looping in of experts. The attorney will work to establish fault and liability: who is to blame and who is accountable.
- Consult with your attorney when negotiations are happening. In many cases there is no need to go to court to obtain the compensation your injury deserves.
- If the other side will not negotiate or makes a lowball offer for compensation, then trust your attorney to take your case to court.
Compensation should cover all of your medical bills, your lost wages, all of your therapy, and all damage to your vehicle. In some cases, compensation for pain and suffering (both physical and emotional) and inconvenience may also be an option. Know that you must act quickly. There is a two-year statute of limitations, which is the amount of time you have to file a lawsuit after the accident. After that it is most likely impossible for you to pursue a claim.
Common Causes Of Truck Accidents In Virginia
There are many trucks on our Virginia roadways every day. Trucks provide the much-needed service of the transport of goods. Many truck owners, drivers and operators follow the rules. Unfortunately, not all of them do. When any part of the safety protocol is not followed accidents can happen.
Safety protocols are overlooked for several reasons; greed, recklessness, lack of training and negligence. By not following the rules any part of the safety chain gets broken and people get hurt or killed. Some of the more common causes of truck-related accidents in Virginia are:
- Owners who push their drivers too hard to meet unrealistic deadlines and force them to drive while sleepy or sleep-deprived
- Drivers who have not been tested and are driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Drivers who are texting or otherwise distracted while driving
- Drivers who have not been fully trained on how to drive in hazardous weather or traffic conditions
- Owners who have not replaced faulty or worn parts
- Manufacturers who did not recall faulty tires, brakes or other truck parts
- Roadways that are not maintained and create dangerous driving conditions
No matter what you believe was the cause of the truck accident, it is in your best interest to consult a qualified attorney who handles Virginia personal injury cases before you agree to or sign anything. You may not know the full story. Insurance company representatives and their attorneys are not bound to offer you any information that incriminates the truck driver, owner or manufacturer. That is why having an attorney on your side is important.
Why Work With Williams & Light?
Attorney Mark Williams’ practice is focused on personal injury and truck accidents. He has advanced training on these cases. As a former car racer in his youth, he has a deeper understanding of these types of accidents and the mechanics behind maintenance failures, certain malfunctions and operator errors. He has spent hours with truck drivers and operators to understand why these accidents happen what can be done to prevent them. He also understands how much an injury truly costs and what compensation to pursue after an accident.