Interstate Truck Accidents
An interstate truck accident can leave victims with long-lasting pain, suffering, and financial hardships. After a tractor-trailer accident, injured individuals can pursue compensation for their losses through a personal injury claim. Having the proper legal guidance during the claims process is essential. Truck accident cases are complicated, and Virginia has strict laws that make it challenging for victims to obtain the money they deserve.
At Kendall Law Firm, we understand the complexities of interstate truck accidents and the challenges they pose to innocent victims. For over 30 years, our experienced legal team has represented injury victims like you, securing significant settlements and judgments that clients need to support their recoveries and rebuild their lives.
Truck accidents demand swift action, so take the first step toward healing today. Contact Kendall Law Firm for a free consultation with an interstate truck accident attorney in Charlottesville.
Why Are Interstate Truck Accidents More Dangerous?
Interstate truck accidents tend to be more dangerous than other collisions due to a combination of factors related to the characteristics of interstate highways and commercial trucks. Interstate truck accidents are extremely hazardous because:
- Interstate travel involves higher speeds – Interstate highways have higher speed limits than local roads. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, speed limits on interstate highways range from 55 to 80 miles per hour, with urban interstate limits on the lower end and rural interstates on the higher end. When a truck accident occurs at high speed, the impact forces are greater, leading to more severe destruction and injuries.
- Trucks need more time and space to brake – Due to their weight, trucks require a longer distance to come to a complete stop. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), the average stopping distance for a fully loaded tractor traveling 55 miles per hour is 196 feet, more than half a football field. Because the speed limit on many interstates exceeds 55 miles per hour, commercial trucks need even more distance to brake, increasing the likelihood of crashes.
- Interstate truck accidents can involve multiple vehicles – Interstate highways often experience high traffic volumes, especially in urban areas or during peak hours. Congestion makes it more challenging for large commercial trucks to navigate safely, increasing the risk of multi-car collisions and pileups.
What Are the Most Common Causes of Truck Accidents on Interstates?
Truck accidents on interstates occur for various reasons. Some of the most common causes of interstate truck accidents include:
- Speeding – Driving too fast significantly contributes to interstate truck accidents and collisions on all roadways. According to recent annual data from FMCSA, speeding was the most frequent driver-related factor in fatal crashes involving truck drivers and drivers of passenger vehicles. High speeds reduce the time truck drivers have to react to traffic congestion, sharp turns, sudden stops by other cars, or obstacles in the road.
- Driver fatigue – Long stretches of monotonous highway driving can lead to truck driver fatigue. For this reason, federal regulations limit the number of hours that truck drivers can be on duty. Failure to comply with hours-of-service regulations increases the risk of accidents, particularly on interstates where vehicles travel at high speeds.
- Distracted driving – Distracted driving involves any activity that diverts a driver’s attention from the road, such as using a cell phone, eating, adjusting the radio, or interacting with in-cab technology. When truck drivers take their eyes off the road, even for a few seconds, they might miss cars changing lanes or other unexpected events and cause a collision.
- Mechanical failures – Commercial motor vehicles require regular inspection and routine maintenance to keep their components in working order. If the trucking company fails to repair its fleet, it may be liable for any resulting crashes.
Who Can Be Held Liable for an Interstate Truck Accident?
Depending on the circumstances, various parties could bear liability for an interstate truck accident. Potentially liable parties may include:
- Truck driver – If a truck driver’s actions or inaction cause an accident, injury victims may hold the driver financially accountable for their injuries and related losses.
- Trucking company – The company may be liable if they fail to properly train their drivers, maintain their vehicles, or enforce safety regulations.
- Truck manufacturer or maintenance provider – If a mechanical failure from a manufacturing defect or negligent maintenance causes an accident, the truck manufacturer or the maintenance company might be liable.
- Other motorists – Other drivers, not just the truck driver, may be responsible for an interstate truck accident. Suppose the driver of a passenger vehicle abruptly changes lanes in front of a large truck without signaling, causing the truck driver to lose control of the truck and collide with other vehicles. In that case, the driver who cut off the truck driver may be legally responsible for the resulting injuries.
- Cargo loaders or shippers – The parties responsible for cargo loading may be responsible if overweight or unsecured cargo shifts during transit and causes an interstate truck accident.
- Government entities – Poorly maintained roads, inadequate signage, or hazardous road conditions on interstates can lead to truck accidents. Government entities responsible for road maintenance and safety might be liable in such cases.
How Can a Charlottesville Truck Accident Lawyer Help Me?
Interstate truck accidents involve complex legal, regulatory, and investigative considerations. A Charlottesville interstate truck accident lawyer can provide valuable assistance and support during this difficult time. An attorney can evaluate the details of your case to determine its strength and viability, conduct a thorough investigation to gather evidence, fully quantify your accident-related losses, negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf, and pursue maximum compensation from the responsible party(s).
It’s crucial to note that Virginia accident victims are subject to some of the harshest negligence laws in the nation. If the opposing side successfully proves you bear even one percent of the fault for an accident, you lose all rights to compensation. With such high stakes, you need the help of a proven attorney to build a solid case that stands up to the toughest challenges.
At Kendall Law Firm, we know that a semi-truck crash can instantly disrupt your life. Trust us to represent your interests and fight for the best possible outcome for your case. Contact us today for a free consultation with a Charlottesville interstate truck accident attorney.