Although every car accident presents its own issues, accidents involving a commercial truck present a completely different suite of problems. Dealing with these sorts of trucking accidents requires a special eye towards these details. For instance, trucking accidents will often involve types of evidence that often do not exist in ordinary car accident cases. Additionally, there is an extra layer of federal regulations that apply specifically to commercial trucks. Furthermore, there are more likely to be other parties responsible for the accident.
Special Types of Evidence
One of the biggest differences between ordinary car accidents and trucking accidents is the fact that there are extra types of evidence in trucking accidents that are not often available. For instance, many trucking companies will have maintenance records available for their trucks, which could reveal the cause of the accident. Additionally, there may be a need for unusual expert testimony about trucking industry practices or other issues that do not appear in standard car crashes. Alternatively, commercial trucking accidents may also involve substance abuse issues because some drivers use illegal substances in order to stay awake while driving for long periods, a potential accident cause that will need to be examined.
Different Laws and Regulations
Beyond the extra types of evidence in truck accidents, there are also extra laws and regulations. For instance, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has set regulations governing the amount of consecutive driving a trucker can do without periods of rest. There are also regulations governing the way that commercial drivers can pack their cargo, which can be important if improperly stored cargo ends up causing an accident.
Other Responsible Parties
Another major issue that arises in commercial trucking accidents is the fact that there are likely to be other parties who are potentially responsible for the accident. Many commercial drivers are employed by transportation companies, and there are many ways that those companies could have been responsible for the accident. For instance, they may have been negligent in hiring a driver who they should not have put on the road, or they may have been negligent in maintaining their own vehicles, which could have led to the accident.
Beyond the trucking company’s own negligence, the trucking company may also be responsible for the careless behavior of the drivers. The law also allows people injured by the negligence of employees to hold their employers liable for that negligence if it was committed while the employee was on the job.
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, Washburn & Sharp has successfully advocated for many truck accident victims and their families, including a $2.4 million wrongful death settlement for one family whose loved one died in a rear-end collision caused by a tractor-trailer operator.
Our attorneys are available to meet and discuss the details of your case and how we may be able to help. Call our office today to set up a free and confidential case evaluation.
For more information about truck accidents in Virginia, please download our free guide.