Tractor-trailers and commercial trucks can weigh up to 80,000 pounds. Their massive size means that crashes involving trucks are often devastating. There are approximately 5,000 people killed in truck accidents each year in this country, with the majority of victims occupants in the other vehicles. Less than 20 percent of fatal truck accident victims are occupants who were in the truck.
Not only truck accidents more catastrophic than car accidents, the process for pursuing damages is also more complex. Unlike car accidents, where there is usually only one other at-fault party – the driver – truck accidents often involve multiple parties that can be liable. When a truck driver causes a crash, the trucking company the driver works for is legally responsible for that driver’s actions.
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How Often Do Fatal Truck Accidents Occur?
In one year, of the 1,165 fatal crashes that occurred in Virginia, 101 of those crashes involved a commercial truck. Sixty-nine of those victims were occupants in other vehicles, 11 victims were pedestrians or cyclists, and 18 of the fatal victims were occupants in the truck involved in the crash. Other statistics include:
- More than one out of four fatal large-truck crashes (27%) occurred on
- Fifty-eight percent of fatal crashes involving large trucks occurred in rural areas.
- Only 5 percent of fatal crashes involving large trucks occurred in work zones.
- Seventy-eight percent of the fatal crashes involving large trucks occurred on weekdays.
- Of those weekday large-truck fatal crashes, 72 percent occurred during the daytime hours of 6 a.m. to 5:59 p.m.
Do Truck Accident Victims Need an Attorney?
Although a truck accident victim (or their family if the victim died in the crash) is not required to retain a truck accident attorney to pursue damages, the chances of being successful in that claim are much more significant when a seasoned accident attorney is advocating for you. Proving negligence in a truck accident case often involves conducting an extensive investigation, including obtaining the truck driver’s employment history and records, truck driving logs, vehicle maintenance history, and more. The trucking company and/or their insurance company often have a team of lawyers working hard to deny the victim’s claim. A Virginia truck accident attorney will work aggressively against those looking to block a victim or their family’s right to financial justice.
Contact a Virginia Accident Attorney
If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident, contact a Virginia truck accident attorney to discuss what legal recourse you may have against the responsible party or parties. The legal team from Shapiro & Appleton has successfully advocated for many truck accident victims and their families and we understand how complicated these cases can be. Our attorneys are available to meet and discuss the details of your case and how we may be able to help.
For more information about truck accidents in Virginia, please download our free guide.