Roanoke Truck Accident Attorney
Accidents involving large trucks almost always have severe to catastrophic injuries. With commercial trucks being significantly heavier than passenger vehicles, the risk of injury is greater in a collision. If you or someone you love was injured in an accident with a large truck, you need to contact the Roanoke truck accident attorney at MichieHamlett right away.
Our legal team has decades of experience representing Virginia clients for all their personal injury needs, including trucking accidents. All motorists must abide by the laws of the road, but trucks have additional regulations they must follow. To help keep other motorists safe, the federal government has enacted some rules that apply to truck drivers, such as how many hours they can drive or what kind of safety inspection should be done on the truck.
Causes of Roanoke Trucking Accidents
Numerous factors can cause a collision between a tractor-trailer and a passenger vehicle. Some of the most common Virginia trucking accident causes we see include:
- Distracted Driving: The truck driver was distracted at the time, possibly looking at maps, GPS, eating, looking at their phone, changing the radio station, etc.
- Traffic Violations: Many truck drivers go above the speed limit or drive too fast for the current conditions. Speeding and other reckless driving behaviors that involve traffic violations can result in a serious accident.
- Fatigued Driving: Some drivers push the laws on how many hours a day they can drive. Other drivers are encouraged by their employer to keep going beyond the allotted time as they get paid by the load.
- Drunk Driving: Drunk driving is not as common with truck drivers, but it still happens.
- Dangerous Road Conditions: There are accidents where contributing factors include road hazards. In some situations, there might be a cause of action against a government agency.
- Adverse Weather: Bad weather such as snow, sleet, rain, and black ice can also contribute to large trucking accidents.
- Defective Truck Parts: You may be able to hold a manufacturer responsible if there was a faulty part on the truck that malfunctioned and caused the collision.
Types of Truck Accidents
Trucks are a common sight on highways and roadways throughout Virginia as they carry goods from destination to destination. While they play an essential role in our country’s economy, they also pose a significant risk to other motorists on the road. When a truck driver is negligent, it can have catastrophic results. Distracted driving, trucking companies pushing regulations, and trucks not adequately maintained can lead to severe accidents where numerous people are injured. If you or someone you love was injured in a large truck accident in Virginia, you need to speak with an experienced Roanoke truck accident lawyer right away.
At MichieHamlett, our attorneys have years of experience helping clients get the compensation they deserve after being injured in a commercial truck accident. We understand the complexities of these types of claims and will ensure we hold all responsible parties accountable for your injuries. Victims often have severe injuries in large truck accidents due to the sheer size and weight difference.
Commercial truck accidents differ in how they occur as well. To better understand your risks on the road, here’s a look at some of the most common types of truck accidents we see in Virginia.
Large trucks that are carrying a tractor-trailer are at risk for jackknife accidents. That is because there are two different parts—the cab and the trailer. The trailer attaches to the truck through a hitch, and it pivots when the truck is turning. A jackknife accident happens when the trailer moves on the hitch and swings around toward the truck’s cab. As the truck is jackknifing, it looks like it’s folding up on itself. This is a very dangerous type of incident and can involve many other vehicles.
Trucks are prone to rollovers, which can be deadly for other motorists and truck drivers. A rollover can happen when a truck is overloaded, the driver is speeding around a curve, a tire blows out, or high winds cause the truck to flip.
Another accident type that is typically limited to trucks is the underride accident. This is a rear-end collision, but it’s usually much more serious. An underride accident happens when a smaller passenger vehicle rear-ends the large truck, going underneath it. The car will become lodged under the truck. The truck driver might keep going in some accidents, not realizing a vehicle is lodged under the trailer. These are one of the few truck accidents that are often caused by a passenger vehicle, but there are instances where the truck driver stops suddenly or has no brake lights.
Head-on accidents are not as common, but when they do happen, they can be deadly. Sometimes a truck driver is trying to pass another truck on a one-lane road or is distracted, tired, or under the influence and swerving into oncoming traffic.
When a truck driver doesn’t have their cargo secured adequately, or the truck is overloaded, it can result in cargo spilling or coming loose. Flying cargo can create a high-risk situation for all nearby motorists.
Available Damages in a Roanoke Trucking Accident
Recoverable damages in a Roanoke trucking accident will vary based on the circumstances of your case. Some of the most common damages recovered include:
- Medical expenses to date
- Future medical treatment
- Lost wages to date
- Future loss of earning capacity
- Scarring or disfigurement
- Pain and suffering
In special cases, you may be awarded punitive damages as well. Punitive damages are usually only awarded in situations involving shocking or egregious behavior on the defendant’s part. One example is driving under the influence.
Proving Liability in a Virginia Trucking Accident
Before you receive any compensation for your injuries, you need to prove liability against the other party. Virginia is one of the few remaining states that follows the legal theory of contributory negligence. This strict rule says you cannot collect any compensation for your damages if you are even one percent at fault. That is one reason why it’s so important to have a skilled attorney representing you. The other driver’s insurance company will be looking to find anything you did wrong to place a percentage of blame on you, so they don’t have to pay out.
Contact a Roanoke Truck Accident Attorney
If you need assistance with recovering damages in a Roanoke trucking accident, contact MichieHamlett today to schedule an initial consultation. Let us put our skills and experience to work for you.