According to Factor Finders, the state of Virginia ranks 9th in the top ten states with the most serious truck accidents. If you have been involved in a Chesterfield, VA truck accident, you may be left with serious—even catastrophic—injuries. You could be struggling to get the medical treatment you need and unable to work and make a living due to your injuries. Should you find yourself in such an untenable position, your very best course of action is to contact a Chesterfield truck accident attorney.
You need an advocate in your corner right now more than ever. You need someone who truly cares about your future and will fight for your right to an equitable settlement. Even though money will not change the accident or your resulting injuries, it can help you get the treatment you need.
When a Tronfeld, West & Durrett attorney takes your case, you can finally take the time you need to heal while we deal with the insurance company and all other legal issues. We understand that you are anxious and stressed about your future and even angry about the negligence that resulted in your accident. We are ready to help you through this difficult time, always working for the best outcome possible.
Why are Truck Accidents Usually So Serious?
Truck accidents usually leave those in the passenger vehicle with severe injuries. This is due to the sheer size difference between a large commercial truck and a passenger vehicle. A large commercial truck can weigh up to 80,000 pounds when it is fully loaded, while a passenger vehicle generally weighs from 2,500 to 4,000 pounds. That is a significant difference when the passenger vehicle is struck. Further, not all large commercial trucks have underride bars—the bars that prevent a vehicle from sliding under the truck, shearing away the top of the passenger vehicle. If the truck driver is hauling a hazardous material, the consequences can be even more severe.
Those involved in a truck accident may end up with traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, or other injuries that require months, years, or a lifetime of medical interventions and rehabilitative therapies. Medical expenses can mount quickly—and alarmingly. Those who have severe injuries from a Virginia truck accident may also be unable to return to the work they did prior to the accident. In such cases, it is imperative to have an experienced Chesterfield, VA truck accident attorney who will fight for you, your family, and your future.
Who Could Potentially Be at Fault in a Chesterfield, VA Truck Accident?
Truck accidents are unique in that rather than a single defendant—the person responsible for the accident—there can potentially be more than one defendant. The truck driver could be at fault for the accident if he or she was overly fatigued, distracted, careless, reckless, or impaired. The trucking company could be liable if they knowingly allowed the truck driver to exceed his or her allowed number of behind-the-wheel hours. The trucking company could also be liable if it failed to fully vet the truck driver with a full background check or failed to ensure the driver was properly trained.
If the accident was caused by shifting cargo or cargo that slid off the trailer entirely, then the loading company could be held liable. If the accident was due to faulty brakes, tires, or another truck mechanical issue, the maintenance company could be held liable. Finally, if the accident was caused by a defective truck part, then the manufacturer could be held liable. It could be that more than one individual or entity is responsible for your accident. Because of the complexities associated with a truck accident, it is always a good idea to have a knowledgeable Chesterfield, VA truck accident attorney by your side from start to finish.
How Can Bad Truck Brakes Potentially Cause a Serious Truck Accident?
A large number of trucking accidents are directly related to brakes that have malfunctioned or were simply not maintained properly. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has determined that as many as one-third of all trucking accidents are at least partially tied to the misalignment of the truck brakes, total brake failure, problems the truck driver has when braking, or other brake maintenance issues. Still other accidents can be linked to an overloaded, overweight truck that causes the brakes to heat up, brake installation done incorrectly, or brake lines that are worn out. It is rare that truck brakes simply fail completely—although possible—but accidents caused by deficient maintenance of the truck brakes can nonetheless be responsible for an accident with serious injuries.
Truck brakes are so prone to failure due to the weight of the truck. An 80,000-pound truck requires considerably more force to slow down than a passenger vehicle. Further, since trucks travel so many more miles than your average passenger vehicle, the brakes receive much more use. This can cause brakes to wear out relatively quickly Even though brake maintenance for large commercial trucks is federally mandated, accidents caused by truck brake issues continue to occur. This means that if your truck accident is the result of bad brakes or poorly maintained brakes, your truck attorney will use this as leverage to ensure you get the settlement you need and deserve.
Chesterfield, VA Truck Accidents Caused by Aggressive Driving
Truck drivers drive thousands of miles each year to deliver loads on time. They eat on the run, sleep when they can (usually in tiny truck sleepers) and are away from home for days or weeks at a time. Trucks may break down, traffic can stall the trucker’s progress, shippers, receivers and dispatchers want quicker deliveries and the trucker may also be dealing with family problems—sometimes from 2,000 miles away. Because truckers are only paid for the hours they are behind the wheel of the truck, the financial pressure is also enormous. When taken as a whole, you can see how some truck drivers may have little patience with other drivers, especially when they feel those drivers are impeding their on-time deliveries. While aggressive driving is becoming more and more common among all drivers, truck drivers tend to be the more common perpetrators.
By virtue of the massive size of an 80,000-pound truck as compared to a much smaller passenger vehicle, many truck drivers develop an inflated sense of being the “boss” of the road. These drivers may come to believe they are not bound by the rules of the road therefore hold onto the right-of-way even when an accident could ensue. These drivers may drive aggressively as a matter of course rather than a one-time behavior due to a particularly stressful day. Of course, even the driver who rarely engages in aggressive behavior could cause a fatal accident on the day that stress boils over. The best truck drivers have learned certain coping skills as a way of managing the stress of truck driving while others use aggressive driving behaviors as a means of letting off steam.
When Driver Distraction or Driver Fatigue Cause a Chesterfield, VA Truck Accident
Because commercial truck drivers typically drive up to eleven hours at a time it’s easy to see how they can become exhausted. Because these truckers are always under time constraints, they are often unable to stop and rest. Truck drivers are also subject to the same types of driver error and driver distraction as any driver. Due to their long hours on the road, truck drivers typically eat while driving, talk on their cell phones, fiddle with the radio, or try to watch the GPS in unfamiliar cities. Anything which takes the driver’s eyes or attention from the road and the vehicles around him can lead to a serious accident.
Is a Chesterfield Truck Accident Attorney Necessary?
As you can see, truck accidents can be much more complex than “regular” passenger car accidents. This means that not only could your injuries be much more severe, but there could also be more than one defendant. It is important to have a knowledgeable truck accident attorney in your corner who has helped others who were in very similar situations. At Tronfeld, West & Durrett, we pride ourselves on always keeping our clients’ best interests at heart.
We want to ensure you are able to get the medical treatment you need and deserve without worrying about medical expenses. We want to ensure you receive lost wages for the time you are away from work, and pain and suffering damages as well. We believe you deserve all this and more. You were injured through no fault of your own and we will always go the extra mile to see that you and your family are taken care of following your truck accident.
How Can Tronfeld, West & Durrett Help Following Your Truck Accident?
If you are looking for an experienced, knowledgeable, empathetic Chesterfield truck accident attorney—look no further. The Tronfeld, West & Durrett truck accident attorneys Jay Tronfeld & John Newby can help those in Chesterfield and Midlothian get the treatment you need and deserve. We will not let an insurance company take advantage of you—since 1972 our truck accident attorneys have obtained settlements or jury verdicts for victims of truck accidents. We are experienced, local lawyers helping our neighbors in need. Contact Tronfeld, West & Durrett today!