For the third consecutive year, deaths from large commercial truck accidents rose in 2012, according to data from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. Accidents involving large commercial trucks killed 3,921 people last year, a 3.7 percent increase from 2011. In Virginia, 85 of the state’s 777 traffic fatalities in 2012 were the result of large truck accidents.
Trucks can do an incredible amount of damage and cause more than their share of serious and catastrophic injuries and wrongful deaths on our nation’s highways. This is no surprise when you consider that a fully loaded semi truck weighs about 80,000 pounds, as opposed to a passenger car, which generally weighs between 2,000 and 5,000 pounds.
If you survive a truck accident, you can be left with damage to your body that will permanently change your life. Traumatic brain injuries and spinal cord injuries may affect your mobility, your cognition, your activities, and your ability to work or function independently. You may spend the rest of your life in a wheelchair, in pain, with impaired mental function, or with various other severe disabilities.
Besides brain and spinal cord injuries, you may also be suffering from these injuries and others:
- Disc herniation
- Fractured bones
- Joint injuries
- Sprain and strain injuries
- Crush injuries
- Nerve damage
- Internal organ injuries
- Facial disfigurement
- Complex regional pain syndrome/reflex sympathetic dystrophy (CRPS/RSD)
- Psychological problems including post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), phobias, anxiety, and others
- Wrongful death of a family member
Truck Accident Causes
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) studied the causes of truck accidents and found these common causes:
- Drug use, including prescription drugs, illegal drugs, over-the-counter drugs, and alcohol
- Failure to check blind spots
- Driver fatigue
- Failing to signal a turn or lane change
- Distracted driving
- Drivers underestimating evasive action needed to avoid a collision
- Aggressive driving and road rage
Mandatory Insurance on Large Trucks
Federal law dictates that large commercial trucks on interstate routes carry a minimum of a million dollars in liability insurance. Because of the potential for large lawsuits, many trucks carry even more. However, insurance companies almost never pay these large claims without a fight, and they hire aggressive and powerful legal teams to support them.
The Importance of an Experienced Truck Accident Injury Lawyer on Your Side
You will need a highly experienced and equally aggressive personal injury lawyer representing you to counter the various tactics the insurance company’s lawyers will use against you. Your lawyer should have access to top accident reconstruction and highway safety experts who can assist in your investigation and testify for you to show the truck driver or trucking company’s liability.
You should select a lawyer with a great deal of specific experience in truck accidents, because most large commercial trucks work across state lines and are regulated by the federal government. There are regulations on maximum loads, driver training, maintenance schedules, inspections, liability insurance, keeping logs, and limits on the number of hours a trucker is allowed to drive without a break. Your lawyer will need to have in-depth knowledge of state and federal regulations.
If you or a member of your family has been injured or killed in a Virginia truck accident, the dedicated personal injury lawyers of the MichieHamlett Law Firm in Charlottesville are a top choice to represent you. The personal injury lawyers of this well-established law firm restrict their practice exclusively to personal injury litigation, including truck and auto accidents. Our attorneys are deeply committed to justice for the injured and are accustomed to facing up to powerful corporations, both in and out of the courtroom.
For unparalleled legal representation for all serious truck accident injuries, call MichieHamlett and ask for the personal injury section. We offer a free initial consultation and take injury accident cases on contingency. We front all work and expenses that go into developing and presenting your case, and you pay us only if we win money for you. Time to file is limited by law, so call today.