Commercial Truck Accident Lawyer in Charlottesville, VA
Accidents involving commercial trucks can be physically, financially, and emotionally catastrophic. The sheer size of big rigs puts everyone else on the road at risk in the event of a collision. If you’ve been involved in an accident with a commercial truck, you may be in pain, facing unexpected medical expenses, and wondering whether you have any legal recourse.
At Kendall Law Firm, we have the legal experience and answers you seek after a commercial truck accident. Attorney David Kendall has more than 30 years of experience helping injured people in Charlottesville seek full and fair compensation for medical expenses and other losses related to injuries caused by truck accidents. Call us for a free case review. We’ll tell you how we can pursue the money you need to rebuild your life.
What Are Commercial Vehicle Accidents?
Commercial vehicles such as tractor-trailers and box trucks are involved in accidents every day in Virginia and all parts of the country. Many factors contribute to these accidents, including truck driver negligence, errors by other motorists, adverse weather conditions, poor maintenance, and unsafe road conditions.
Unfortunately, injuries in commercial trucking accidents are on the rise. In a recent year, large commercial trucks were involved in more than 117,000 accidents in which at least one person was injured. In the same year, nearly 6,000 people were killed in accidents of this type – and more than 80 percent of the fatalities were either occupants of other vehicles or nonoccupants (such as pedestrians).
Types of Common Commercial Trucks
When people think of commercial vehicles, typically envision the huge semi-trucks they see on the highway. However, accidents involving commercial vehicles can occur anywhere and with any type of truck.
Some of the most common commercial truck types include:
- Big Rigs – Also called tractor-trailers or 18-wheelers, these vehicles have a trailer hitched to a towing unit. They weigh up to 80,000 tons when loaded and are primarily used to transport goods in interstate commerce. Due to their size, a collision with a big rig can result in serious injury or death. People in smaller vehicles struck by big rigs typically sustain the brunt of the injuries.
- Box Trucks – Also known as single-unit or straight trucks, box trucks have a cargo compartment that sits behind the cab and is attached directly to the chassis. They are often used by local businesses that need to make deliveries but can be used for lighter highway commerce as well.
- Dump Trucks – These heavy vehicles haul debris for disposal and are used in the construction and waste management industries. Due to their design and bulk, they present unique hazards in collisions. Dump truck accidents are more likely to occur on local secondary roads than interstates.
- Delivery Trucks – Delivery trucks convey goods from suppliers to warehouses or stores and from there to their end consumers. Examples include Amazon trucks and UPS trucks, an increasing presence on our roads in the age of online shopping. They can present a hazard in neighborhoods where they make frequent stops.
What Causes Commercial Trucks to Crash?
Any type of unsafe driving or failure to stay focused on the task of operating a commercial truck can lead to an accident. Here are some examples of negligence that can contribute to truck accidents:
- Distracted Driving – Crashes can occur when drivers take their attention off the road to use their cell phones, eat, adjust their navigation system, check a map, or shift their focus from the road.
- Impairment – Drug and alcohol use can delay reaction time, impair coordination, induce drowsiness, promote recklessness, and make it harder to concentrate on the road.
- Fatigue – Driver fatigue reaches epic proportions in the trucking industry. Tired drivers are slower to recognize and respond to dangerous traffic conditions and may be unable to react in time to avoid a crash. Federal hours-of-service rules limit the number of hours that commercial drivers can operate a tractor-trailer each day and each work week. Even so, some drivers remain behind the wheel when dangerously fatigued.
- Reckless Driving – Dangerous behaviors such as speeding, driving too fast for road conditions, following other vehicles too closely, and weaving between lanes increase the risk of an accident.
- Failure to Account for Surroundings – Sometimes drivers lose track of what is going on around them, such as traffic unexpectedly stopping ahead.
- Improper Loading – A truck that is overloaded or has an improperly secured load can cause an accident if the load shifts or falls off the truck into the roadway, creating a hazard.
- Failure to Maintain the Truck – Truck owners are responsible for maintaining their vehicles in safe operating condition. Failure to follow a maintenance schedule with tires, brakes, and other vehicle parts can lead to mechanical failures that result in dangerous accidents. A trucking company may be financially liable if it leaves an unsafe vehicle on the road.
- Defective Truck Parts – Vehicle manufacturers are responsible for ensuring truck parts and components are designed and produced without defects. Problems with brakes, steering systems, and other vehicle parts can lead to accidents. Parts manufacturers may be liable for product defects that lead to accidents.
- Lack of Training – Drivers with insufficient training and experience may fail to recognize hazardous traffic situations or make mistakes while operating their vehicles.
Many factors can contribute to truck accidents. It’s the job of the commercial truck accident law firm handling your case to investigate all potential causes of your accident to ensure those to blame are held financially accountable for their negligent behavior.
Who Can File a Commercial Vehicle Accident Lawsuit?
If you suffered injuries in a commercial trucking accident someone else caused, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit and demand compensation for your medical bills and other accident losses, including your pain and anguish. You can rely on Charlottesville commercial truck accident lawyer David Kendall to handle your claim and hold those responsible for your injuries fully accountable. David Kendall and the team at Kendall Law Firm can gather evidence, present your case, negotiate a settlement with the truck company or its insurer, and take the case to court if necessary to seek justice for you.
Choosing a Commercial Truck Accident Injury Lawyer
Your choice of a commercial truck accident attorney in Charlottesville affects the outcome of your case. Your lawyer should have extensive experience handling personal injury claims and the ability to treat your case with the personalized attention and care it deserves.
Attorney David Kendall brings more than three decades of experience to our work on personal injury cases. He served as a Judge Advocate General in the U.S. Marine Corps before entering private practice as a personal injury attorney. The legal team at Kendall Law Firm is committed to protecting your legal rights and pursuing full and fair compensation on your behalf. Contact us today to arrange a free consultation to discuss your case. We look forward to demonstrating how our approach can serve you on your road to recovery.