Fault for a commercial truck accident in Virginia is usually established using the very same methods used to establish fault in car accidents. The real difference between a truck accident and an accident involving passenger vehicles is who is liable. Accident liability is an important issue because the physical and emotional costs of a trucking accident are incredibly high and can impact injured victims for the rest of their lives.
How can I prove I did not share in liability for my Virginia truck accident?
Most drivers never stop to consider that they could be the victims of a commercial truck accident. Unfortunately, they happen much more often than most people realize. In 2019, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that 159,000 victims were injured during collisions with commercial trucks, and another 5,005 were killed. 71% of those killed in trucking accidents were the occupants of smaller passenger vehicles.
If you or a family member were injured in a Virginia commercial trucking accident, contact the Virginia Beach personal injury law firm of Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp today to schedule a free consultation.
Potentially Liable Parties in a Virginia Truck Accident
Most people assume that the truck operator must be at fault when an accident occurs. In fact, multiple parties could share fault depending on the cause of the accident. For example, if a contributing factor in the accident was insufficient maintenance, such as failing to replace a set of worn tires, the company responsible for maintaining the truck could be held liable.
If a defective truck part causes an accident, the manufacturer could be liable for any damages the defect caused. Defects fall under one of three categories:
- Design defects (dangerous design)
- Manufacturing defects (flaws in the manufacturing process)
- Marketing defects (failure to warn)
Unlike a passenger vehicle, a commercial truck is usually owned by a company. That company then hires drivers to haul goods from one place to another. Freight companies generally hire qualified mechanics to maintain and repair their rigs and trailers. Any problems caused by a lack of or improper maintenance could put liability on the freight company.
Truck operators are required to follow all driving laws and abide by the rules laid out by their employers. If an operator’s negligence is the proximate cause of an accident, they could be held liable for any damages they cause.
What if I Contributed to My Truck Accident?
When it comes to recovery for personal injury lawsuits, Virginia adheres to the laws of contributory negligence.
These laws state that if a driver is determined to be even just 1% at fault for the truck accident and their injuries, they will be unable to recover any damages at all through a truck accident claim.
How is Fault Determined?
The fact that multiple parties can share in liability for a commercial truck accident can make personal injury claims extremely challenging. Fortunately, an experienced commercial truck accident attorney will be able to help. A qualified member of our legal team can assist you by:
- Dealing with the insurance adjustor on your behalf
- Negotiating possible settlements with all opposing parties as well as their legal counsel
- Collecting and studying evidence that supports your claim
- Getting eyewitnesses to testify about what happened and when
- Building a strong legal strategy in case we go to trial
Call Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp
If you want to speak to an experienced Virginia commercial truck accident lawyer about your truck accident claim, contact the Virginia personal injury firm of Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp at (833) 997-1774.