This article discusses trucking accidents on Virginia roadways, and the personal injury claim options available to those who are injured in them. Some discussion of death and debilitating injuries is included. However, the primary focus of the article is:
- The most common causes of trucking accidents in Virginia and the injuries they cause.
- What determines liability for a personal injury claim and how to make a claim with the help of a personal injury attorney.
- Trial and settlement strategies used by trucking insurance companies and personal injury attorneys.
Where Do Most Commercial Vehicle Trucking Accidents Occur In Virginia?
Accidents involving semi-trucks and other commercial vehicles are most likely to occur on highways, interstates, and other high-traffic roads. This is primarily because these roads see the most commercial vehicle traffic, but the high speeds involved also lead to a higher likelihood of accidents and great injury and damage when they occur.
What Are The Most Common Causes Of Trucking Or 18-Wheeler Accidents In Virginia?
Inattention remains the most common cause of truck-involved accidents on Virginia roads. Both on the commercial vehicle driver’s part, and on the part of the general driving population.
Many accidents occur because people end up in a commercial vehicle or truck’s many blind spots, especially 18-wheelers. There are generally signs indicating that you are in a blind spot on a commercial vehicle, and drivers should look out for these and drive cautiously in accordance.
Being in a truck’s blind spot could even make you partially at fault for the accident if you are following too closely. To avoid accidents, you should always try to stay out of commercial driver’s blind spots.
What Severe Injuries Are Caused By Semi-Trucks And Other Large Commercial Vehicles Accidents?
The injuries caused by trucks and truck-related accidents tend to be similar to those from car-on-car accidents, only more severe because of the size and weight of trucks and commercial vehicles.
Back injuries, including spinal ones which can result in paralysis or death, are some of the most common and dangerous. Neck and head injuries are also frequent and serious, with brain damage being all too common in trucking accidents.
It is also important to note that while truck drivers sometimes also incur injuries in these accidents, the bulk of the serious injuries tends to be on the car or automobile driver’s side. This is because of the difference in size and mass between the vehicles.
How Does The Severity Of My Injuries Impact Potential Compensation In A Trucking Accident Personal Injury Claim?
Personal injury claims are a means of recovering compensation for damage and harm incurred as the result of someone else’s negligence. In trucking accidents, they allow you to make a claim against the truck driver, trucking company, or most often, their insurance, to recover the medical costs and other economic and non-economic damages you suffered.
The severity of your accident and injuries are the most important aspects of your potential claim and award. The more severely you are injured, the higher your personal injury damages award can be, which only makes sense, because you suffered more expensive and long-lasting harms.
What Potential Long-Term Effects Or Costs Should Be Considered When Assessing Damages In A Personal Injury Case?
The initial severity of your injuries is not the only factor to be taken into account when calculating your damages for personal injury compensation. The long-term harm causes, as well as the care needed over time, including in the future.
If there is a subtle or long-term injury, it might not be easy to detect or determine if it was caused by the accident. For example, there might be a type of arthritis or another effect that might not be readily apparent but that should be considered when trying to either settle or try a case.
These could contribute to additional damages but they are difficult to assess and prove so you will need to rely heavily on expert testimony.
What Determines Liability In Truck Accident Personal Injury Cases?
The key factor in personal injury cases is determining who is liable, in other words, who is at fault for the accident. If you are filing the charge, it is vital to make sure that there is no contributory negligence, in other words, ensuring that you were not even slightly at fault for the accident.
Under Virginia State law you cannot get a personal injury claim awarded if you are even 0.0001% at fault for the crash. Making sure that there is no contributory negligence is as important as making sure that you have the correct person for liability. Both of these are complicated legal topics best handled with the assistance of an experienced personal injury attorney.
What Should I Be Looking For When Hiring A Personal Injury Attorney For My Virginia Trucking Accident, Personal Injury Case?
When you are seeking legal counsel for any type of issue, including personal injury claims, you need to find a lawyer with experience in that type of litigation. Yet it is also important to find an attorney that you like and trust.
You are going to be spending a lot of time with your attorney in the near future and if you don’t find them pleasant or you don’t get along with them, it can make the litigation more difficult. Especially because you will need to establish 100% honesty and transparency if you want to build a successful claim and case.
How Does The Involvement Of Commercial Trucking Insurance Impact The Settlement Or Compensation In A Personal Injury Case?
Commercial trucking insurance is no different from regular insurance. All insurance is there to ensure that the driver can afford to pay the damages and to protect the driver that they insure.
They are going to be looking for elements to try to reduce their liability and blame you whenever possible, but that is no different from the behavior of any other insurance company.
Are There Any Specific Regulations Or Guidelines That Apply To Trucking Companies Involved In Personal Injury Cases That Could Help My Case?
Besides the Virginia contributory negligence rule mentioned above, there are no specific regulations or guidelines applied to trucking personal injury claims.
You obviously need to make sure that you are making the claim against the correct trucking company and that you did not have any contributory negligence. Failing to do so could cause you to expend significant time and effort only to later discover that there will be no award because you are somehow partially at fault.
Your personal injury attorney can help you with both, but only if you are 100% honest and straightforward with them.
What Role Do Expert Witnesses Play In Trucking Personal Injury Cases?
Expert witnesses are an essential element of many personal injury cases and trials. But in trucking accidents, they are often even more critical because they are the person that has to say that the injuries you sustained were a direct result of the actions taken by the truck driver.
You could have severe injuries to your spine or brain, but unless you have an expert that can say that they were the result of an accident caused by the person you are suing, then you cannot get an award.
Finding and recruiting those experts is not easy, and is one of the many reasons why it is so important to have an experienced personal injury attorney on your side. They will work diligently with your experts to make sure their testimony strengthens your case.
What Legal Strategies Are Commonly Employed By Defendants In Commercial Vehicle Accident Personal Injury Cases?
The first thing the defense and their insurance company will try to establish is that you were somehow partially responsible for the accident. That would be contributory negligence and if they can establish that, then you no longer have a case. You should always be very very careful what you say to any insurance company representatives.
The second strategy they might try is to establish that some of the injuries you are claiming were not a result of this particular accident. This is especially likely to be successful if they can establish that there was a previous or subsequent accident before or after this one that they can blame some of the damages on. Even an innocuous fall in your home might be enough.
Personal injury attorneys are trained to take on insurance companies and their tactics. We know how to stop them from getting away with undermining your case or manipulating you into taking a significantly lower payment or settlement. Do not try to fight them alone.
For more information on Commercial Vehicle/Trucking Accident Personal Injury Claims, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (703) 775-1678 today.