Being involved in an any accident is traumatizing. But being involved in a truck accident can turn your life upside down. The severity of these accidents can cause serious bodily harm, irreversible damage, and weeks or months’ worth of healing time and lost wages. Aside from your injuries, dealing with insurers and doctors can leave you feeling alone and overwhelmed. That is why it is so important to get the right type of support — from local Virginia truck accident lawyers with more than 40 years of experience helping the community.
Tronfeld West & Durrett are those attorneys. We have been helping personal injury victims in Richmond, Virginia and the surrounding areas get fair compensation for their losses since 1972. We know Virginia truck accident law and we can use our knowledge to make sure you do not have to fight an injury lawsuit alone. Click here to see The 10 Most Dangerous Intersections in Richmond and Petersburg, Virginia.
Truck laws in Virginia can be very complex, but with the right help and guidance, you can ensure that you receive adequate compensation for your losses. If you were involved in a serious truck accident, let the attorneys at Tronfeld West & Durrett handle the complex rigors of the judicial system so you can focus on getting your life back on track.
What do I need to do first?
When involved in a truck accident, it is important to act quickly and investigate the events that led to your incident.
This requires securing crucial evidence such as:
- Documentation of your injuries
- Photos of the scene of the accident (including impact marks on the road, tire skid marks, and any fluid stains that may have come from the vehicles involved)
- Debris and other car parts that sustained damage during the accident
- Securing medical records of anyone involved in the accident
If you do not have all your ducks in a row, the driver’s insurance company may try to get you to admit fault or pressure you into settling for a smaller settlement than your case is truly worth.
Note: Remember that under Virginia law, if you are even one percent responsible for an accident, you will be unable to recover compensation.
What You Should Know About Virginia Trucking Laws?
To avoid this, it is imperative that you work with a team that knows the inner workings of Virginia truck law.
For instance, did you know that truck drivers must follow a federal set of guidelines that define when and for how long they can operate their vehicle?
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) lays out these laws, known as “hours of service” regulations.
The FMCSA allows property-carrying truck drivers to work a maximum of 11 hours only after they have taken at least 10 hours off duty.
Passenger-carrying drivers (such as bus drivers) can legally drive for a maximum of 10 hours only after taking at least eight hours off duty.
Knowing these hours of service regulations can help determine if the driver of the truck in your accident was acting negligently and was responsible for your injuries.
Other laws Virginia truck drivers must abide by include no drinking (i.e., a driver cannot operate a truck with a blood alcohol content above .04), no texting while driving, as well as certain restrictions regarding the size and weight of any property they are carrying while driving on an interstate.
Any violation of these rules can make a truck driver at fault in your accident and allow you to file a negligence claim against his or her insurance or the trucking company itself.
Can I file a claim against the trucking company?
When it comes to determining who is liable for a truck accident, the list can be much longer than you might originally believe.
While the truck driver will likely be at fault for breaking any driving laws, other times, the accident may be out of the driver’s hands.
For instance, the trucking company could be negligent if it did not properly maintain or inspect the truck before sending out on the road.
The loader or shipper of the truck’s cargo could also be at fault if it was negligent when loading the truck to begin with.
In addition, if the truck driver is at fault, the trucking company will likely be at fault as well. This is because of the concept of vicarious liability which allows victims to hold an employer liable for the actions of its employees. While this will likely allow for a bigger payout, it can make your case more difficult.
Once our attorneys have determined the liable parties, we will begin gathering evidence for your case and send the trucking company a spoliation letter.
A spoliation letter puts the company on notice that a personal injury case is pending and that it must preserve all evidence related to your accident, including driver training history, inspection records, hours of service records, and alcohol and drug testing results for the driver.
These are aspects of your personal injury case that you should not have to deal with alone. You need a professional team of attorneys who can get to the bottom of your accident and determine quickly who is at fault so you can get fair compensation fast and easy.
How can Tronfeld West & Durrett help me with my case?
Our attorneys handle every aspect of your truck accident injury case, including managing communication and sending important spoliation letters on your behalf.
We are not your typical personal injury lawyers. We are locals, born and raised in Richmond, Virginia.
We are deeply involved in our community and we have helped obtain settlements and successful jury verdicts for thousands of local clients since 1972.
If you or a loved one was involved in a truck accident, do not face the pain and turmoil alone. And do not get help from some stranger not interested in your best interests. Get help from local Virginia attorneys who will work with you on a personal basis and handle your case with care and professionalism.
Call Tronfeld West & Durrett today at 804-358-6741.