Statistics recently revealed by the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) show that, though they may just make up 5.7% of all traffic crashes, truck accidents are by far the most devastating in terms of fatalities and injuries. In the VDOT Traffic Crash Facts 2018, they reported that there were 7,565 total collisions involved large trucks and commercial vehicles. Of these, 150 were deadly and another 2,878 caused serious bodily harm to victims.
You do have rights if you were injured or lost a loved one, but the claims process is complicated as compared to other motor vehicle collisions. A Virginia truck accident lawyer can explain the complexities surrounding these incidents, but an overview may be useful.
Top Causes of Truck Accidents in Virginia
Some of the same factors that contribute to car crashes may also be to blame, such as:
- Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs;
- Failure to yield;
- Speeding in excess of the posted limit or traveling too fast for conditions;
- Distracted driving, such as texting or talking on the phone; and,
- Many others.
However, there are certain issues that are specific to incidents involving large trucks and commercial motor vehicles. They include:
- Failing to comply with regulations regarding Hours of Services, which can lead to fatigued driving;
- Taking curves too quickly while hauling a heavy load; or,
- Not inspecting loads to ensure they are safely secured.
Factors that Make Truck Accident Claims Complicated
Again, there are some similarities between auto crashes and truck collisions, as you must still file a claim with an insurance company to seek compensation for your losses. There are other factors that make truck accident claims more challenging:
- Severe and Catastrophic Injuries are Common: Because of the difference in size, victims tend to suffer life-threatening or serious injuries. The more traumatic the injury, the higher the cost of medical care. The documentary evidence to support your claim must be solid and irrefutable.
- Insurance Coverage Amounts are Higher: Truck drivers are required to carry higher levels of insurance because of the potential for catastrophic injuries. Coverage runs in the millions, so insurers assign their most experienced claims adjusters to protect their interests. You can expect these employees to fight your claim at every opportunity.
- You May Need to Deal with Multiple Parties: Truck operators are usually affiliated with a trucking company, either as employees, independent contractors, or partners. This means that you must seek compensation from all relevant parties, in addition to the insurance company. You may even have a cause of action against the organization that offered training and certification if you can show negligence in putting the responsible truck operator behind the wheel.
Contact a Virginia Truck Accident Attorney to Discuss Your Claim
For more information on your rights as a victim of a truck accident, please call Hampton Injury Law PLC to schedule a case evaluation. After reviewing the specifics of your case, a Virginia truck accident lawyer can offer advice and tell you what to expect with the claims process.