When a person has been injured in an accident caused by another party’s negligent or reckless actions, Virginia law allows that victim to pursue legal action against the at-fault party in order to recover damages for the losses they have because of those injuries. While any personal injury claim can be a complicated one, truck accident claims and lawsuits are often much more complex. This is because there is usually more than one party who can be held legally liable for the crash and the subsequent losses an injured victim suffers.
The following is a brief overview of potentially liable parties in a truck accident case. If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident, a Virginia truck accident attorney from Shapiro, Appleton & Washburn can evaluate your case and determine what type of damages you are entitled to and which party or parties are legally responsible for those damages.
Truck Driver Negligence
A good majority of truck accidents that occur are a result of truck driver negligence. One of the most common – and most dangerous – is distracted driving. A truck driver taking his focus off the road to look at his or her phone or GPS, even for just seconds, can end up causing a horrific crash, leaving victims with catastrophic or fatal injuries.
Truck driver fatigue is also another major cause of trucking accidents. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is the agency that oversees the trucking industry. Despite having very stringent rules about the hours of service a truck driver can operate within a 24-hour period, as well as within a seven-day window, many truck drivers fail to adhere to those rules and continue to operate their vehicles even when they are exhausted, trying to meet delivery schedules.
Unfortunately, despite the requirement of following these hours and logging their operating hours in logbooks, there are also trucking companies that put pressure on their drivers to exceed the number of allowed hours and/or to falsify their logs.
Trucking Company Negligence
If, as mentioned above, the trucking company pressured the driver to break the rules, then they would also share liability for any losses victims of the crash sustained. Other negligent actions on the part of the company include hiring drivers who are not qualified to drive commercial vehicles or hiring drivers that have bad driving records, such as multiple traffic violations or DUIs.
Trucking companies are also responsible for making sure their vehicles are properly maintained and to address any mechanical issues right away. If they fail to perform regular inspections or make needed repairs and that negligence causes a crash, the company will be held liable.
Other negligent behavior includes failing to properly load and/or secure the cargo trucks are transporting. If this is not done correctly, loads could shift, causing the truck driver to lose control of the vehicle and cause a terrible crash.
Contact a Virginia Injury Attorney
If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident caused by a negligent or reckless truck driver, contact a seasoned Virginia truck accident attorney. Truck accidents can be more complex than other types of motor vehicle accidents because depending on the circumstances of the crash, there may be multiple parties who are liable for a victim’s injuries.
Our Virginia personal injury law firm 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. Call our office today to schedule a free and confidential case evaluation.