Complexities of Commercial Truck Accidents

According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), the number of fatal truck accidents increased almost 10 percent last year compared to the year before. In many of these crashes, it was shown that the trucking company put their own profits over the safety – and lives – of other motorists, knowing that the result of trucking accidents are often catastrophic and fatal because of their massive weight and size.




Truck accidents are often more complex than other types of vehicle accidents because of the potential number of at-fault parties there can be. In many of these accidents, the cause can be directly connected to the truck driver. In its report, the NHTSA found that there were several causes of truck accidents that appear over and over again, including:

  • The truck driver did not have a current or valid commercial driver’s license.
  • The truck driver did not have the necessary training or experience to operate the vehicle they were driving.
  • The truck driver engaged in unsafe driving behaviors because of pressure from the trucking company to meet almost impossible delivery schedules.
  • The truck driver was fatigued caused by spending too many hours on the road due to being overworked and forced to meet almost impossible delivery schedules set by the trucking company.
  • The truck driver engaged in negligent driving, such as speeding, distracted driving, driving under the influence, and more, and had a history of documented driving violations.
  • The trucking company failed to supervise drivers to make sure they were following all safety and traffic rules.
  • The trucking company did not properly maintain and repair the vehicle which resulted in a mechanical failure that caused the crash.
  • The cargo the truck was transporting was improperly loaded, causing it to shift during transport, resulting in the accident.

Filing a Truck Accident Claim

In passenger vehicle crashes, there is typically one person – the at-fault driver – who is deemed the party liable for the losses that the victim or their family has suffered because of the crash. However, when it comes to truck accidents, there is often more than one party who will be named in any kind of legal action brought forward by the victim, including:

  • The company that the truck driver works for
  • The company that owns the truck
  • The company that leased the truck (some companies rent vehicles for commercial use instead of purchasing)
  • The company responsible for maintaining and repairing the vehicle
  • The company that loaded the freight the truck was transporting
  • The company that manufactured the truck or truck parts that were later found to be defective

Contact a Virginia Truck Accident Attorney

If you have lost a loved one in a fatal truck accident, contact a Virginia truck accident lawyer to find out what legal options you may have. Virginia law allows survivors of victims killed in accidents to pursue damages for their losses through a wrongful death lawsuit. The law understands that no amount of money will ever replace the loved one, but many times, a civil lawsuit is the only option for the family to get justice for their loved one.

At Shapiro & Appleton, our Virginia wrongful death attorneys have decades of experience successfully advocating for victims and their families and would be happy to meet and discuss what your legal options may be. Call 800-752-0042 today for a free case evaluation.