Last year in Virginia there were 2,484 accidents involving large commercial trucks. These accidents resulted in the deaths of 48 victims and left another 851 victims with injuries, many of these injuries catastrophic ones.
Many truck accidents are caused by some negligent or reckless act of the truck driver, including distracted driving, driver fatigue, speeding, and driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. There are also many truck accidents that are the result of improper loading or failure to inspect and maintain the mechanics of the truck. Victims who are injured in commercial truck accidents may be entitled to financial compensation for the losses they suffer because of their injuries. A Virginia truck accident attorney can help.
Responsibilities of Trucking Companies
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is the agency in charge of oversight and regulation for trucking companies and truck drivers in order to ensure the safe operation of these massive vehicles. This includes regulations about how cargo should be loaded and truck maintenance.
When it comes to loading cargo, the FMCSA requires trucking companies must ensure the safe distribution of weight throughout the vehicle and the proper securing of any cargo to prevent issues if there is shifting of the load while transported. It is important for those that load the cargo to realize that the constant acceleration and deceleration a truck makes during a delivery creates a strong force that could cause shifting if the cargo isn’t secured. If cargo shifts and moves, this can be dangerous to the operation of the truck, even to the point of causing the truck driver to lose control of the vehicle and crash.
The FMCSA also requires trucking companies to perform regular inspections of trucks and all trucking equipment to identify any mechanical issues or problems and to quickly repair those issues. Trucking companies are required to also keep records of all inspections and repairs that are conducted. Vehicles in need of repair are considered unsafe and need to stay off the roads until the repairs are complete.
Steps After a Truck Crash
The first thing a truck accident victim should do after a truck accident is to seek medical attention. It is not uncommon for truck accident victims to require transportation to hospitals by first responders because of the extend of their injuries. Contacting an attorney yourself right away or having a family member do it for you if you are physically unable is critical in order to ensure the collection of any evidence from the crash that will help prove liability. Taking photos and video of the scene of the crash can go a long way in documenting the circumstances of the accident. Your attorney can also investigate and uncover additional evidence that can help your case obtained right from the records of the trucking company.
Contact Our Firm Today
If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident caused by an overloaded truck or a poorly maintained truck, contact a seasoned Virginia truck accident attorney. Truck accidents can be more complex than other types of motor vehicle accidents because there may be multiple parties who are liable for a victim’s injuries.
In these types of accidents, not only could the trucking company and driver be liable, but the freight company that loaded the truck could also be responsible for damages. If the accident was caused due to a mechanical issue, the company in charge of repairing the vehicles or even a part manufacturer could be liable. Victims can be awarded compensation for medical expenses, loss of income, pain and suffering, emotional anguish, permanent disability, and more.
The legal team at Shapiro, Appleton & Washburn has successfully represented many clients who were injured in truck accidents and will use all available resources to aggressively advocate for you and your family in obtaining the financial compensation you deserve.
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