Truck Accidents Can Result In Serious Injuries Or Death
Truck accidents can happen in the blink of an eye. Even the most cautious drivers can be caught off-guard when something goes wrong. You may have been struck in a blind spot or perhaps sideswiped at an intersection.
Even if the accident could be played out in slow motion, there may have been nothing you could have done to avoid it.
Collisions involving trucks are all-too-common occurrences on the freeways of Southwest Virginia, including Interstate 81, U.S. Route 220 and U.S. Route 221. If you or a loved one has sustained injuries in a truck accident, it is important to speak with a lawyer concerning your rights. You may be entitled to full and fair compensation.
Free Consultation With One Of The Largest Plaintiffs’ Personal Injury Firms In Southwest Virginia
At Crandall & Katt, Attorneys at Law, we provide compassionate representation for those injured in truck accidents. Our Roanoke-area attorneys are caring professionals backed by more than 100 years of collective experience. When you sit down with us, we will listen to your concerns and take your interests to heart.
As one of the largest plaintiffs’ personal injury law firms in Southwest Virginia, we have developed a strong reputation for our integrity, professionalism and effective advocacy. You will never be just a case to us; we genuinely care about each and every client and will for your case, too.
Injured By A Delivery Truck Or Other Commercial Vehicle?
Dealing with the aftermath of a commercial vehicle accident is not the same as dealing with a car accident. If you were injured by a commercial vehicle driver, there are a range of additional complexities that need to be addressed in order to improve your chances of a fair financial settlement. But it’s important not to handle these legal matters on your own. You need an experienced personal injury lawyer to protect your rights.
Our lawyers are equipped to handle accident claims involving any type of government or private commercial vehicle, including:
- Delivery trucks (UPS, FedEx, USPS)
- Dump trucks
- Paving trucks
- City vehicles such as garbage trucks and buses
- Large electrical maintenance trucks
When you work with our law firm, we understand that each case is unique and that different evidence is needed to build the strongest claim possible. That is why we look down every avenue for the cause of the commercial vehicle accident, such as drunk driving, texting and driving, speeding, untrained driver and accidents caused by blind spots.
FAQs About Truck Accidents
Crandall & Katt, handles trucking accidents and commercial vehicle accidents throughout Virginia and the surrounding states. We can address the specific issues in your case if you or a loved one was involved in a truck crash.
What causes most truck accidents?
According to studies conducted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the top causes of truck accidents include:
- Brake problems (and bald tires)
- Truck drivers traveling too fast for the conditions
- Truckers unfamiliar with the roadway
- Problems with the road itself
- Over-the-counter drug use by the truck driver
- Truck driver fatigue from too many hours on the road
- Illegal maneuvers (passing, failure to stop or yield)
In almost every scenario listed above, there is an element of human error or human judgment. The job of a lawyer is to establish the negligence or dangerous condition and how the crash could and should have been prevented.
When do most fatal truck crashes occur?
According to statistics from the Virginia Highway Safety Office, truck fatalities are mostly likely to occur (from most to least): Saturday, Sunday, Friday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Monday, Thursday. The most dangerous time to be on the road with trucks is between 9 p.m. and 10 p.m. Of course, truck accidents can occur any day, any time and anywhere.
Where is a truck’s “no zone” or “blind spot”?
Motorists typically think of a truck’s blind spot as being to the left of the truck. Actually, trucks have blind spots on all four sides: left, right, front and back, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Driving in the no zone is risky because the trucker may not see that vehicle until too late.
Do trucks have special protections against lawsuits?
No. Truck drivers must have a valid commercial driver’s license (CDL) and are subject to strict federal regulations in addition to all state traffic laws. These include weight restrictions, rules for securing cargo and carrying hazardous materials, and limits on how many hours a trucker can drive in one day and total hours in a week. Violation of these trucking regulations can be construed as negligence or willful conduct when it contributes to an accident.
While trucking companies are typically well-insured, they are also well-defended. You need experienced representation to take on the trucking firms and their insurers.
Who is responsible for a truck accident?
In a tractor-trailer accident, the cab and the trailer may be owned by different parties. The truck driver might independently own the rig or be an employee. The manufacturer, distributor or freight company might be liable, each with different insurance policies. An experienced truck accident attorney will be able to sort out who is responsible and what coverages may apply, in pursuit of your maximum compensation for a serious or fatal accident.
Can I recover compensation if I was partly at fault for a truck accident?
Virginia is a contributory negligence state. This means if you were partially to blame, you are barred from suing for damages even if the truck driver was 95% at fault. Trucking companies and their insurers will try to exploit this extreme legal doctrine by claiming some minor negligence on your part that lets them off the hook.
Our attorneys will vigorously counter any attempt to blame you for an accident that was clearly caused by a drowsy or distracted trucker or by the trucking company’s disregard of safety regulations. In any motor vehicle accident, you should never volunteer that you were at fault or partly to blame. That is something the other party has the burden to prove. Talk to a lawyer if you believe you may have been partly responsible.
How is a personal injury lawsuit arising from a truck accident claim different from a car accident claim?
Truck accident claims require additional considerations beyond those in car accident claims. For example, a claim against a truck driver may implicate the driver’s employer. We recommend coordinating with the police at the scene of the accident to find out who owns the truck. This information may be obtained while exchanging insurance information with the driver.
Commercial truck drivers are also subject to certain federal safety regulations. This may result in more complex legal allegations. There may also be claims available against third parties such as the freight company or the owner of the trailer.
Finally, truck accident claims often involve additional evidence such as drivers’ logs, training records and/or other sources. Your attorney must know what questions to ask and what evidence must be preserved.
What proactive steps can I take to protect my legal rights?
The police or other first responders at the scene may assist in identifying potential witnesses to the accident. If possible, take pictures of the site with your phone. The police may ask you for your insurance information and some accident details. However, do not offer an opinion on the issue of fault; limit your conversations with the other driver and any third parties to only your basic personal and insurance information.
The sooner you contact an attorney, the sooner you will be on the path to protecting your legal rights.
Navigating Difficult Turns and Overcoming Obstacles
Truck accident cases are often more complex than car accidents. Multiple parties may be involved, from the truck driver’s employer to the trailer owner to the manufacturer. Additionally, dealing with the insurance companies can be overwhelming.
Our firm will readily navigate the legal complexities so you can focus on what matters most which is getting your life and health back. We can anticipate the obstacles that commonly arise in these types of cases and can plan effective means of overcoming them.
We understand that your life has likely been turned upside down in the wake of a devastating accident. To avoid further burdening you with transportation or mobility concerns, we offer house calls and hospital visits. We come to you! Additionally, evening and weekend appointments are available too.
Contact Our Commercial Vehicle And Truck Lawyers Serving Roanoke, Including Southwest and Central Virginia
If you have been involved in any type of truck accident, we can help. Contact Crandall & Katt, Attorneys at Law at 540.342.2000 to schedule a free initial consultation.
Because if you’re injured, we care!
Se habla español.