Large truck accidents sometimes occur due to mechanical or equipment malfunctions causing the inability to move off the roadway in a short amount of time, denying other drivers time to adjust to a heavy immobile object in their direct travel path.  A truck’s heavy weight and length can compromise maneuverability and braking distances leading to crash, jackknife and rollover scenarios where multi-vehicle involvement may occur.  Contact an attorney regarding injury or loss of life from a truck accident to determine if negligence played a part and if legal action is required.

Highway fatalities.

Although highway fatalities caused by large trucks in the United States have decreased, thousands of lives are still taken every day by accidents involving trucks.  Every incident is unique, and damages can be settled based on the information obtained by the victims, witnesses and professionals who arrive at the scene.  Multiple factors will assist in the determination of fault, and if a driver or trucking business ignored an equipment violation citation, negligence may be proven.

Evidence.

Evidence that may help to support a claim for damages:

  1. Testimony of witnesses and injured party;
  2. Trucking company or driver’s admissions of fault;
  3. Crash scene photographs;
  4. Safety reports on vehicles involved in the accident completed before and after the accident;
  5. Blood alcohol tests of other drivers, or hospital blood tests that reveal intoxication of some sort related to drugs or alcohol;
  6. Cell phone records to make sure distracted driving was not the cause.

Restrictions.

Commercial motor vehicles including large trucks have restrictions imposed on their drivers because the vehicles already pose a danger to passenger cars on highways due to their size, braking distance, and cargo loads.  Federal and Virginia State impose mandatory regulations for truck drivers that include:

  1. Truck Drivers must keep an accurate log of their mileage and where they have driven.
  2. Truck Drivers can only drive for a certain amount of time per day, and must stop after they’ve reached that limit.
  3. Tractor Trailers and other Commercial Vehicles must be properly maintained to ensure safety of others on the road.
  4. Commercial Vehicles must maintain and not exceed certain speeds while on certain roads, specifically when pulling trailers or oversized cargo loads.
  5. Certain roadways, tunnels and bridges cannot be used for travel due to weight, size and cargo carry limitations including grade restrictions.
  6. All other safe driver responsibilities that Virginia licensed drivers must adhere to including no driving under the influence, no reckless driving and no driving without a current license.

Driver fault.

The majority of the time a tractor trailer is involved in a multi-vehicle accident, it is the fault of the other driver, but approximately 16% of the time the truck driver is responsible.  If truck driver negligence is a factor because they did not correct a mechanical equipment citation, it could have a bearing on the settlement.  Once the idea of negligence is introduced, parties to sue can include thee truck driver, trucking company, parts manufacturer, mechanic shop or governing agencies that upkeep the highways if a poor roadway condition added to the dangers.

Damages.

An accident victim, or their family in the case of wrongful death, can sue for economic damages to cover loss of wages, medical bills, and property damage, and non-economic loss to victim due to pain and suffering.

Hire an attorney.

Contact an experienced attorney at the Schliefman Law Office for expert direction toward a settlement that covers the necessary amount of your losses due to a truck accident.

Schleifman Law, PLC.

1600 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 905
Arlington, Virginia 22209

Tel: 703-528-1021
Fax:703-831-8949

E-mail: [email protected]

 

Sources:

https://www.dmv.virginia.gov/webdoc/pdf/dmv109.pdf

https://www.nhtsa.gov/research-data/fatality-analysis-reporting-system-fars

https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/regulations/title49/section/387.1

https://www.bts.gov/content/transportation-accidents-mode

https://www.truckinfo.net/trucking/stats.htm