Charlottesville Truck Accident Lawyer
If you’ve been injured in a collision involving an 18-wheeler or other large commercial truck in Virginia, you may be facing painful injuries, time away from work, and costly medical bills. You may feel overwhelmed and be struggling to move forward.
If the commercial truck driver, the trucking company, or another party was responsible for the crash, you may have a right to seek compensation for your medical bills and other losses. But the process of pursuing compensation from a trucking company and its insurer can be challenging. The insurer may deny liability or try to minimize your claim. Having the guidance of a trusted truck accident attorney can make all the difference.
The experienced Virginia truck accident attorneys of Kendall Law Firm have helped truck accident victims in Charlottesville and throughout the Shenandoah Valley for more than a decade. We understand the devastating effects a semi-truck accident can have on your health, your finances, and your future. Our compassionate team led by accomplished attorney David B. Kendall is committed to supporting you through this challenging time and helping you pursue full compensation. As a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, David Kendall understands the value of determination and perseverance. We have obtained significant results for people harmed by truck accidents. We’d like to help you too if we can.
Call us today at (866) 590-9773 or contact us online to learn more about how we may assist you. The case review is free.
Why You Need a Virginia Truck Accident Lawyer on Your Side
If you have been injured in a Virginia truck accident and believe that you have an injury claim, you need guidance from a trusted lawyer.
Attorney David Kendall has extensive experience investigating truck accidents and preparing persuasive cases. He will:
- Seek and secure truck accident evidence before it is lost. Seasoned lawyers know the unique types of evidence that come into play in truck accident cases. Kendall Law will move quickly to gain access to the truck and trucking company records and preserve evidence before the trucking company has a chance to discard it.
- Hire accident reconstruction specialists who can examine the truck for mechanical failures and offer useful testimony. Our law firm has working relationships with accident reconstruction specialists and other experts who can give valuable professional opinions regarding the causes of a truck accident.
- Communicate with the trucking company representatives on your behalf. Many trucking companies are large commercial operations. Your attorney can handle communications with the trucking company’s insurance carrier and attorneys on your behalf.
Semi-Truck vs. Car Accident Cases
Semi-truck accident cases differ from car accident cases in significant ways, such as:
- More serious injuries and more expensive claims – Collisions involving large trucks tend to result in more severe injuries and greater property damage. For that reason, trucking companies and commercial truck drivers are required to carry higher amounts of liability insurance than automobile owners. After a semi-truck accident, insurance carriers will do everything possible to minimize their payouts and protect their profits. You’ll need an experienced attorney to press the insurance company for a full and fair settlement of your truck accident claim.
- More parties that may potentially be at fault – Multiple parties are involved in the operations of a commercial truck, including drivers, trucking companies, shipping companies, and manufacturers of truck components. Any of these parties or multiple parties may bear responsibility for a Virginia truck accident. That can make determining fault more complicated.
- Different types of evidence, rules, and regulations – Trucking companies and commercial drivers are subject to rules and regulations that do not come into play in typical car accident cases. Evidence of violations of these regulations can be an important part of your truck accident claim.
Common Causes of Truck Crashes
Many truck accidents are caused by some form of driver negligence. Certain contributing factors are unique to truck crashes. Common causes of tractor-trailer accidents include:
- Distracted driving – Truck drivers who are focused on navigation systems, maps, phone conversations, or other distractions are significantly more likely to fail to recognize dangerous traffic scenarios in time to avoid a crash.
- Drowsy driving – Driving while seriously fatigued can impair a driver’s ability to recognize dangerous situations and react quickly. Drowsy drivers are more likely to drift into neighboring lanes or nod off behind the wheel and crash.
- Reckless driving – Any type of reckless driving such as speeding, driving too fast for conditions, following too closely, or lane weaving increases the likelihood of a truck accident.
- Driver errors – The trucking industry has struggled with a shortage of qualified drivers for years. Driver errors such as failure to yield or failure to maintain adequate following distances, and failure to keep track of vehicles in blind spots are more common among inexperienced operators.
- Driving under the influence – The effects of alcohol and other intoxicating drugs can severely impair safe driving abilities.
- Improper cargo loading – When the cargo loaded into a truck’s trailer is improperly secured, the cargo can shift in transit, altering the truck’s center of gravity and increasing the chances of a loss-of-control accident.
- Vehicle defects – Some truck accidents are caused by defective truck components such as faulty tires, brakes, or steering systems. A defective component can cause a serious accident.
Injuries As a Result of a Truck Accident
The sheer force of impact in a semi-truck accident tends to leave victims with serious and potentially life-threatening injuries such as:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Back and neck injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Broken or dislocated bones
- Traumatic or surgical amputations
- Internal injuries or bleeding
- Soft tissue strains, sprains, or tears
- Burns, lacerations, and disfigurement
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
Parties That May Be Held Responsible in a Truck Accident Claim
Any of the following parties may be found to be partially or fully at fault for a Virginia truck accident:
- Truck drivers – The truck driver may be at fault if the driver was distracted, intoxicated, dangerously drowsy, violating traffic laws, or acting negligently when the truck accident occurred.
- Other road users – A car driver, motorcyclist, bicyclist, or pedestrian may be at fault if their negligence created a dangerous traffic situation that forced the truck driver into a collision.
- Trucking companies – The trucking company may be at fault if it failed to conduct regular inspections, maintenance, or repairs on its trucks or left an unsafe driver on the road.
- Cargo loading teams – The cargo loading team that placed cargo into the truck’s trailer may be at fault if the truck was overloaded, not properly balanced, or the cargo was not properly secured.
- Truck manufacturers – The manufacturer of the truck or its parts may be at fault if a critical component had a design or manufacturing flaw that resulted in failure and subsequent loss of vehicle control.
What Do You Need to Prove in a Truck Accident Claim?
To recover compensation in a Virginia truck accident claim, you’ll need to prove that the truck driver or some other party was negligent and that their negligence was the cause of your injuries and losses.
You can do this by presenting the following types of evidence:
- Data from truck event recorders and dash cameras – Many modern trucks have dashboard cameras and black box event recorders that can provide useful evidence of a crash or near-crash event.
- Truck driver records – A truck driver’s logs and records can reveal information about the driver’s qualifications, training, driving record, and compliance with industry regulations such as hours of service limits.
- Trucking company records – A trucking company’s records can show evidence of improper hiring practices, delivery quotas, hours of service violations, dispatch instructions for drivers, and truck inspection and maintenance history.
- Evidence from the scene of the accident – The accident scene can provide useful physical evidence from vehicle wreckage, and statements from eyewitnesses.
- Expert witness testimony – Expert witnesses such as accident reconstruction specialists, medical providers, and vocational experts can offer professional insight into the possible contributing factors and consequences of a crash.
- Medical records, bills, and documentation – Your medical records, bills, receipts, and other documentation from the accident can provide important proof of your injuries and other accident-related losses for your claim.
Damages That May Be Recovered After a Truck Wreck
You may be entitled to the following types of compensation after a Virginia truck wreck:
- Medical expenses – The cost of medical treatment needed for your accident-related injuries including anticipated future medical care.
- Lost wages – The value of your lost income, if you were forced to be out of work while you were recovering from your accident-related injuries.
- Lost earning potential – The projected value of losses you will likely suffer in your future earning capacity if your injuries leave you are unable to return to your previous job.
- Pain and suffering – The subjective value of the physical pain, mental anguish, and emotional suffering you experience as a result of the accident and your accident-related injuries.
- Repair or replacement costs – The costs of repairing or replacing your vehicle.
How Long Do I Have to File a Semi-Truck Crash Lawsuit?
The majority of truck accident claims end in settlement agreements between the injured party and the at-fault party’s insurance provider. However, in some cases, it may be necessary to file a lawsuit and go to court to demand the compensation you deserve.
If you need to file a lawsuit after a truck accident, Virginia law says you have two years from the date of the accident to do so. If you wait to file until after this two-year deadline expires, your case will most likely be dismissed by the courts. It’s important to have a truck accident lawyer review your accident and options as soon as possible.
Get Help From a Virginia Truck Wreck Lawyer
If you were injured in a Virginia truck accident and are considering legal action, the knowledgeable attorneys of Kendall Law Firm can help. Our trusted lawyers can work hard to uncover compelling evidence, ensure your case is filed promptly and accurately, and negotiate aggressively on your behalf to maximize your compensation.
Call us today at (866) 590-9773 or contact us online to discuss the details of your Virginia truck wreck claim in a free initial consultation with our attentive team.