How Are Virginia Truck Accidents Different From Car Accidents?

There are several differences between Virginia truck and car accident cases including how the laws that govern commercial truck drivers are different than those that govern the drivers of passenger vehicles. 

The Virginia truck accident attorneys at Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp are prepared to help you collect, index, and organize all evidence that is relevant to your case. To understand more about Virginia commercial truck accidents or to file a claim, reach out to a Virginia truck accident attorney today.

What Makes Truck Accidents Different?

When you consider the general weight and size of a commercial truck, it makes sense that some things can happen during a truck accident that don’t typically take place during a crash involving two passenger vehicles. For example, collisions involving commercial trucks can involve underriding, where the smaller passenger vehicle slides underneath the side or back of the truck. As you can imagine, this type of collision frequently involves catastrophic injuries and even fatalities. These accidents almost always involve a driver who is momentarily distracted and unable to stop in time. 

Another issue that is specific to trucking accidents is that most commercial trucks don’t have side guards. A side guard is a lateral protective device that prevents smaller vehicles, bicyclists, and pedestrians, from being crushed beneath the side of a passing truck. In the United States, most commercial trucks are not required to have side guards. This means that during a sudden outside lane change, a pedestrian could be pulled under the side of the truck.  

So, the main difference between Virginia truck accidents and car accidents is the nature and degree of the resulting injuries.  

Are Truck Drivers Governed By Different Laws?

How Are Virginia Truck Accidents Different From Car Accidents?

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Act lays out very specific laws for all aspects of the commercial trucking industry including licensing requirements, and how to register your truck with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the Department of Transportation. There are numerous regulations controlling what kind of loads can be transported by which kinds of drivers, detailed rules on how those loads are secured, and the different types of insurance required in each scenario. There is a litany of things that are specifically required of commercial trucks, trucking companies, and truck drivers that do not apply to other types of drivers. In addition, the amount of downtime that a trucker must have between shipments and consecutive days of driving in order to mitigate the issues posed by driver fatigue is also heavily regulated. 

Are Truck Drivers Held To A Different Standard?

Everyone is required to show reasonable care while driving. This means obeying all traffic and driving laws, observing the posted speed limit, and avoiding distractions. Commercial truck drivers, however, do have additional responsibilities when it comes to showing due care simply because of the size and weight of their vehicles. So, professional truck drivers are expected to have the proper skills and training to safely operate their trucks. In the event of an accident, their actions will be measured against those of a reasonable commercial truck driver, not just any other driver on the road.

Speak With An Experienced Virginia Truck Accident Lawyer

Speaking with a legal team with decades of experience handling Virginia truck accidents can make a world of difference in the results of your case. Our attorneys work diligently to gather evidence, examine it, and use our findings to create the strongest case possible to present to a jury. 

If you were injured in a crash that involved a commercial truck, contact the Virginia truck accident lawyers at Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp as soon as you can by calling (833) 997-1774 or via our online contact form. 

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