Who Is Liable for My Truck Accident Injuries?

At any given time, there are thousands of commercial trucks driving on the streets and highways of Virginia. Commercial trucking has become a multi-billion-dollar industry and a crucial part of interstate commerce. However, all these vehicles on the road also mean the inevitable truck accidents, injuries, and deaths.

Due to their massive size, a commercial truck slamming into a passenger vehicle often means catastrophic injuries for the victims. Almost 5,000 people die each year in truck crashes. Victims of truck accidents may be entitled to significant injury compensation for the losses their injuries have caused.

Although truck accidents are similar to car accidents in terms of the types of damages a victim may be entitled to, they are often more legally complex. Determining which party or parties are liable can be challenging for someone who does not know how Virginia injury law addresses these issues. This is why victims should contact a skilled Virginia Beach truck accident attorney if they have been injured in a truck accident.

Who Is at Fault?

In a passenger vehicle accident between two parties, one driver is usually the negligent actor liable for the crash. However, in a truck accident, multiple factors often affect liability besides the truck driver’s actions. Trucking companies are required under federal and state laws to comply with various safety regulations, which frequently leads to commercial truck accidents.

For example, if the trucking company fails to properly secure the cargo the truck driver is transporting, this failure can significantly affect the driver’s ability to safely operate the vehicle. This can cause the driver to lose control of the truck and cause an accident. Debris can also fall off the truck onto the road and cause a vehicle to crash.

Other negligent—and often illegal—actions of the trucking company can result in horrific crashes. One of the most common is a truck driver’s failure to adhere to the number of consecutive hours he or she is allowed to drive. Drivers are required to keep logbooks to document the number of hours they are behind the wheel and are not allowed to drive for more than 11 consecutive hours. There are also requirements for rest time.

Despite these regulations, trucking companies pressure their drivers to break them and falsify driving logs to meet unreasonable delivery schedules. This dangerous practice leads to fatigued drivers operating massive vehicles.

Other types of driver negligence for which a trucking company can be held liable include driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol, speeding, distracted driving, and erratic lane changes.

Contact Our Personal Injury Law Firm

If you or a loved one has been injured in a tractor-trailer crash, contact a skilled Virginia Beach truck accident attorney to determine your legal options against the at-fault party or parties responsible for the accident. Truck accidents often involve claims against multiple parties and can be more complex than other vehicle accident claims. The legal team at Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp has successfully represented many truck accident victims and their families, like the $2.4 million wrongful death settlement for the family of a man who was killed when his car was rear-ended by a tractor-trailer.