When a sedan, SUV, minivan or other vehicle is hit by a tractor-trailer, the ramifications for the motorist in the smaller vehicle can be devastating. For example, in 2020, large tractor-trailers were involved in more than 2,300 accidents in Virginia. Of those 2,300+ tractor-trailer accidents, the operator of the commercial big rig was rarely left injured. In contrast, the motorist and passengers inside the smaller vehicle bore the brunt of the damage. In fact, nationwide, more than 7 in every 10 large truck accident deaths involved the occupants of the other (typically smaller) vehicle. Truck crashes are also more likely to cause serious or catastrophic injuries than accidents between two passenger vehicles.
If you were seriously injured in an accident caused by a large tractor trailer, you may be entitled to financial restitution for your harms and losses. Many factors can contribute to causing a tractor-trailer accident, including:
- Improper maintenance
- Failing to yield
- Cell phone use
Steps Necessary to Build a Winning Truck Accident Legal Cases
When it comes to building a persuasive, and winning, truck accident injury case where you are properly compensated for your harms and losses, one of the most important steps that needs to be taken is figuring out what happened to cause the collision. In the context of an accident between a passenger vehicle and tractor-trailer, there could be multiple contributing factors to what caused the wreck. It is necessary for you, or your attorney, to investigate the events that led up to the collision because you, as the plaintiff, bear the evidentiary burden to show the operator of the tractor-trailer and/or the truck company were liable for the crash.
If you retain the services of an experienced Virginia truck accident lawyer, they will proactively collect all relevant documents, speak to any witnesses, contact the police officer, or officers, who showed up at the scene, etc. to try and piece together what happened. These investigatory steps are important because it could reveal the truck operator was negligent. Some examples of negligent actions on the part of the truck operator include:
- Drunk or distracted driving
- Improperly loaded cargo
- Exceeding hours-of-service limits
- Driving too quickly for weather conditions
- Any other driver error
In addition to potential negligence on the part of the truck operator, there could also be issues caused by the truck company that contributed to causing the collision. Some examples of truck company negligence include:
- Placing pressure on the truck operator to work past the regulated hours of service
- Failing to adequately screen, train, or supervise its drivers
- Ignoring or covering up violations committed by the truck operator
Speak to an Experienced Truck Accident Attorney in Virginia
Determining responsibility for a large truck accident can be challenging and often entails conducting an intensive investigation to compile and review all relevant evidence. This is why it makes sense to retain the services of a seasoned and knowledgeable Virginia truck accident attorney. When you have an attorney on your side, they will to go work on your behalf to locate and review all relevant evidence to support your truck accident injury claim.