It is well documented that commercial truck accidents are often the most horrific, with victims often suffering catastrophic injuries or death. Passenger vehicles offer no protection to occupants to the massive tractor-trailers that travel up and down the nation’s roads. Even an empty tractor-trailer can crush a smaller vehicle in certain types of trucking accidents. Victims who do survive these accidents often end up with brain injuries, fractured bones, soft tissue damage, and spinal injuries.
Every year, there are about 475,000 truck accidents reported to law enforcement. Approximately 4,000 victims are killed on those crashes, with another 104,000 victims seriously injured. According to federal statistics, the number of fatal truck crashes continues to increase each year.
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There are multiple causes of trucking accidents, especially those that can be connected to the driver of the truck. One of the most common is driver fatigue, often a result of the trucking company pushing their drivers to stay on the roads beyond the maximum number of hours the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) allows. This can lead to impaired driving, the inability to remain focused on the road, and sleep deprivation.
Other common causes of truck crashes include speeding, inexperienced or improperly trained truck driver, substance abuse, and poorly maintained truck.
Filing a Truck Accident Case
Victims of truck accidents can file a claim in order to be compensated for their medical expenses, loss of income (both current and future), pain and suffering, mental anguish, permanent disability, scarring, disfigurement, and more. Unlike passenger vehicle accident claims, trucking accidents can be more complex because there is often more than one at-fault party who can be liable for the victim’s losses. For example, if the truck accident was caused by the truck driver speeding and that driver had a history of traffic violations that the trucking company was aware of, the trucking company would also be liable for the victim’s losses. This is because Virginia law recognizes the doctrine of vicarious liability.
Truck accident cases are usually filed under the legal theory of negligence. A Virginia truck accident attorney will need to show the at-fault party (or parties) owed the victim a duty of care and that duty was breached as a result of their behavior. The attorney will also need to show that the victim was injured as a result of that breach and those injuries caused both economic and/or noneconomic losses.
Have You Been Injured?
If you have been injured in a trucking accident, contact Shapiro & Appleton immediately. Each of our Virginia truck accident attorneys has extensive experience in litigating major commercial truck accident injury and wrongful death cases. Our legal team works diligently to get victims the financial compensation they deserve. Contact our office today to schedule a free case review.