We represent truck accident victims across all of Virginia.
Huge trucks can be a menace, not only in Virginia, but throughout the rest of the United States as well. Horrible accidents, which have horrible consequences, occur far too often. The back of a truck can shear the top off of a passenger car, and a truck can crush a passenger vehicle when it rolls over it. Collisions between commercial trucks and cars can have life-altering – as well as life-ending – results.
The law firm of Penn Kestner & McEwen has decades of experience helping victims of truck accidents obtain significant compensation for their suffering. We welcome the opportunity to do the same for you. Just schedule a free case evaluation by contacting us online or calling (800) 732-3070.
Virginia Truck Accident Statistics
There were more than 2,645 crashes involving large trucks in Virginia in 2021 – 52 of which led to fatalities. Another 784 resulted in severe injuries. The two most common reasons were improper lane changes on the part of the truck driver, as well as the truck following a passenger vehicle too closely.
Trucking Regulations that Impact Accident Cases in Virginia
Trucks in Virginia that travel 20 mph or faster have to be able to come to a stop within 40 feet when road conditions are ideal. They must also have a horn that can be heard from no less than 200 feet away, and their mirrors must enable the driver to be able to see at least 200 feet from the back of the truck.
Virginia truck drivers must not stay behind the wheel for more than 12 consecutive hours after spending no less than 10 straight hours off duty. They’re also not allowed to drive if they’ve been on duty for 16 hours or longer after being off for 10 consecutive hours. Drivers can’t operate their trucks after they’ve worked 70 hours over a period of seven straight days, or 80 hours over eight days straight.
What’s the Difference Between a Truck Accident and a Car Accident?
The obvious difference between the two is the injuries tend to be much worse in a truck accident, since it weighs up to 40 times more than the average passenger vehicle. Drivers and other occupants of those vehicles are subjected to much stronger forces, so their injuries are typically more severe as a result.
But there’s another huge difference between a commercial truck accident and the average car wreck – the amount of money at stake. Since the injuries that result from truck accidents are worse, the medical treatment required is more extensive – and it costs a lot more as well. That’s why the insurance policies for trucks can be worth $1-$2 million or more.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents in Virginia
- Exhausted drivers. Even though there are clear rules in place to prevent truck driver fatigue, as noted above, truckers break them all the time. They will often do this to make more money, but they’ll also do it because they’re afraid they’ll be fired if they don’t meet often-unreasonable deadlines.
- Intoxication/drug use. It almost seems unfathomable that someone would try to operate a machine as complex as a huge commercial truck while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Incredibly, it happens far more often than you think. Drivers will sometimes resort to using powerful stimulants to try to stay awake, only to suddenly experience profound fatigue once those drugs wear off. The results are often terrible for those who have to be on the same stretch of road.
- Maintenance failure. Not only are truck drivers responsible for inspecting their vehicles before a trip, trucking companies are also responsible for ensuring their machines are in proper working order. A failure of either party to uphold their responsibilities can result in a devastating accident.
Who’s Liable for My Injuries?
Trucking companies are very complex because there can be multiple parties responsible. If the company that owns the truck failed to keep the brakes working properly – and that failure contributed to an accident – that company could face substantial liability. If an investigation shows more than one party is at fault, an injury victim’s compensation could be much more significant.
Steps to Take After a Virgina Truck Accident
The first thing to do, of course, will be to make sure you get immediate medical attention. If you’re physically able to do so, take pictures and videos of the accident scene. If there were any witnesses, get their names, emails and phone numbers.
After you’re in a safe place and getting the treatment you need, get in touch with a skilled truck accident lawyer as soon as possible. This will be critically important, since an investigation into the accident must be performed quickly. The investigation can provide the evidence it will take to make your case its strongest – and to identify all of the parties that are liable.
Types of Damages You May Recover
“Damages” is simply a legal term for the financial losses you’ve incurred due to the accident. These obviously include your medical expenses, as well as money you’ve lost because you can’t work. There are other types of damages that aren’t as black-and-white, however. These include emotional trauma, loss of quality of life, pain and suffering and others. It takes a very knowledgeable attorney to be able to properly calculate these “non-economic” damages.
Contact Penn Kestner & McEwen to Schedule a Free Case Evaluation
No one deserves to have to struggle physically and financially due to the negligence of a truck driver, a trucking company, or some other party. The attorneys with Penn Kestner & McEwen will do everything we can to make sure those responsible for your suffering are forced to pay dearly for that negligence.
If you put your trust in our firm, we can promise you’ll receive tenacious, aggressive representation. We’ll work tirelessly to gather the undeniable evidence it will take for you to have the best chance of winning your case. We’re not afraid of huge insurance companies – we’ve defeated them on a regular basis for several years.