What Are the Main Differences Between Virginia Truck and Car Accidents?

Due to the fact that commercial trucks are considerably larger than passenger vehicles, it stands to reason that truck accidents are more likely to result in serious or even fatal injuries than car accidents. While this is certainly the most obvious difference, it is far from the only one. When an accident involves a commercial truck, there are more parties who could potentially be liable and they tend to be much more difficult to settle. Freight companies and their insurers will both aggressively deny liability and do almost anything to avoid paying out a legitimate injury claim. 

What makes a commercial truck accident case more challenging than a car accident case?

The Virginia commercial truck accident lawyers at Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp have more than forty years of experience in handling commercial truck accidents. We know the most effective methods of seeking the financial compensation that our injured clients are entitled to. We work on a contingency fee, which means that you pay nothing unless we win your truck accident case. Call our Virginia Beach offices today to schedule a free consultation.

Truck Accidents

Given the overall weight and size of a commercial truck, there are many things that can take place during a truck accident that don’t typically take place during a car accident. For example, truck accidents occasionally involve underriding. This is a phenomenon that occurs when a truck comes to an unexpected stop and the following car rear-ends the truck and actually wedges itself under the back of the trailer, Underriding accidents frequently result in catastrophic injuries, such as spinal cord damage, decollation, and death.

Most underriding accidents involve a driver whose full focus is not on the road due to texting or some other form of distraction. This causes them to run into the back of the truck because they are unaware that it has slowed or stopped.  

Are Truck Drivers Governed by Different Laws?

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Act delineates laws for numerous things including licensing, and registering your truck with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the Department of Transportation. There set forth regulations concerning what kind of load can be transported by what kind of truck driver along with detailed rules on how to properly secure cargo and the kind and amount of insurance required. 

There is a litany of things that are required specifically for commercial trucks that do not apply to drivers of standard passenger vehicles. There are also mandates governing the amount of time a driver must stay off of the road in between deliveries. These rules, known as the Hours of Service, were enacted to prevent fatigued drivers from getting behind the wheel and potentially causing a serious accident.  

Are Truck Drivers Held To A Different Standard?

Every motorist is obligated to show due care while behind the wheel. In other words, all drivers, regardless of their vehicle, are expected to obey all driving laws and do their part to ensure the safety of others on the roadway. 

Truck drivers, however, do have additional responsibilities because their trucks are much harder to control and can cause a lot more damage. Professional truck drivers undergo special training so it is reasonable to expect them to have the skills that go with it. After an accident, the conduct of a truck driver will be gauged against the conduct of a rational and prudent truck operator, not just a rational driver

How Can a Truck Accident Lawyer Help My Case?

At Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp, we can investigate and catalog evidence including skid marks, wreckage, and oil, gas, and radiator spills at the scene. We can track down copies of any police crash reports, videos, photographs, witness statements, and safety and driving logs, as well as access the truck’s event data recorder which will hold important details about the accident. 

The sooner you sign with us, the sooner we can get to work collecting vital evidence and protecting your right to financial compensation. To speak with an experienced Virginia truck accident attorney regarding your injury claim, please call Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp at (833) 997-1774. We offer a free initial consultation to all prospective clients. 

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