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Law Firm with a Focus on Truck Accident Injuries in Richmond

Richmond Tractor Trailer Accident Attorneys are experienced with cases involving Accidents.

At Marks & Harrison, we understand how truck accidents are different than other motor vehicle accident cases. They must be investigated immediately. Multiple parties may be at fault, including out-of-state and foreign companies. Violations of state and federal trucking industry violations may be involved as well.

Because of these differences, we believe it is important for truck accident victims to get help from a law firm with the skill, experience and resources these cases demand.

The truck accident lawyers of Marks & Harrison are ready to help you today. We have a deep background in truck accident litigation. One of our attorneys, John C. Shea, serves on the National Advisory Board of the Association of Interstate Trucking Lawyers of America.

Marks & Harrison serves clients from our offices located throughout Virginia, including our headquarters in Richmond. Contact us today to receive a free consultation and to learn more about how we can assist you

Richmond Truck Accident Attorney

In most car accident cases, only two parties are involved: The driver who caused the crash, and the victim of the other driver’s negligence. On the other hand, a truck accident case may involve the victim(s) and numerous at-fault parties, including the:

  • Truck driver
  • The driver’s employer
  • The tractor/trailer owner(s) or lessee(s)
  • Shipper
  • Loader
  • Broker
  • Mechanic
  • Truck manufacturer
  • Government entity.

Because all of these parties have financial interests at stake, they will work aggressively to protect those interests after a crash.

You can protect your rights by hiring an experienced attorney as soon as you are able to do so. If you have been injured or lost a loved one in a crash involving a tractor-trailer (18-wheeler or semi-truck), Marks & Harrison can:

  • Conduct a timely, comprehensive investigation – We can send our team of investigators and experts to the crash scene and take other steps to ensure that the tractor-trailer, maintenance records, shipping records, cell phone records, logbooks and other important evidence is neither lost nor destroyed.
  • Analyze the evidence – We can examine all evidence involved in your case to determine the cause of your truck accident and to identify all parties who should be held responsible. In many cases, a truck accident is caused by the violation of Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations. Our attorneys have a strong grasp of those regulations and know the role they can play in your case.
  • Litigate your case – The parties involved in a truck accident often refuse to turn over important information such as driver records, logbooks or maintenance records. We can file all motions that are necessary to compel those parties to comply with requests for information. We can also challenge any motions that would be harmful to your case.
  • Seek a timely, full and fair settlement – Our goal will be to resolve your case as efficiently as possible while, at the same time, obtaining a maximum amount of compensation for you and your family. We can carefully prepare your truck accident claim for settlement discussions with all parties who are at fault in your crash.
  • If necessary, take your case to court – We are skilled and experienced trial lawyers at Marks & Harrison. We will be ready to file a lawsuit on your behalf and go to trial in order to seek just compensation for you.

While your claim is pending, we can deal directly with the insurance companies and other parties involved in your case, allowing you to focus on your physical and mental recovery.

What Caused Your Truck Accident?

Large commercial truck accidents in Richmond can result in injuries.

To recover compensation after you have been injured or lost a loved one in a collision with a tractor-trailer, it will be essential to establish that another party’s fault caused the accident. Different types of fault that can contribute to truck crashes include:

  • Speeding – The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that speeding is the most common safety violation committed by commercial motor vehicle drivers.
  • Tailgating – This is the second most common safety violation among truck drivers, according to the NHTSA. The potential for disaster from tailgating is even greater when an 80,000-pound tractor-trailer is following a 3,500-pound passenger vehicle.
  • Sudden braking – When a commercial truck is traveling at high speeds, sudden braking can cause the tractor-trailer to skid and jackknife (when the trailer swings out and comes to rest at a sharp angle to the tractor).
  • Drug and alcohol use – As the NHTSA states, driving a large commercial motor vehicle while impaired is a catastrophic event waiting to happen. Truck drivers put themselves and others in harm’s way when they drive while under the influence of alcohol, illegal drugs or certain medications.
  • Distracted driving – When truck drivers take their attention off driving in order to talk or text on a mobile phone, eat, drink, smoke, play with the radio or read a map, it can be particularly dangerous. Due to the size, weight and complexity of a tractor-trailer, drivers must give their full attention to safe operation of the vehicle.
  • Driver fatigue – Truck drivers are under constant pressure to move cargo. Long work days are not uncommon. In a recent study, 20 percent of long-haul truck drivers reported that they had fallen asleep at the wheel during the last 30-day period. In spite of hours-of-service regulations that are designed to prevent fatigued driving, it continues to be a problem in the trucking industry.
  • Improper loading – When tractor-trailers are overloaded or cargo is left unsecured, the load can shift and cause rollovers, jackknifing, longer stopping distances and loss of control.
  • Negligent maintenance – A trucker and/or trucking company’s failure to conduct mandatory inspection of brakes, lights, tires, trailer couplings and other truck and trailer equipment can readily lead to an unsafe tractor-trailer getting on the road.
  • Mechanical defects – A truck manufacturer or a manufacturer of truck parts may be held liable if a design or manufacturing defect causes a crash. For instance, a defective tire may lead to a blowout or tread separation. Brake failure is another common mechanical defect involved in truck accidents.
  • Defective road conditions – A government agency or its contractors may be liable if a truck accident results from a poorly designed or maintained road.

What Is Your Truck Accident Claim Worth?

Our truck accident lawyers can help your truck accident claim in Richmond.Truck accidents can result in serious harm to those in the other vehicle involved in the crash.  This is mainly due to the significant difference in size and weight between a tractor-trailer and a standard passenger vehicle and the fact that many of these crashes occur at high speeds.

As we have observed, truck crashes can result in catastrophic and often fatal injuries that involve:

  • Burns
  • Broken bones
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Scarring and disfigurement
  • Emotional distress.

At Marks & Harrison, we have a record of obtaining results for truck accident victims, including:

  • $5.1 million on behalf of an elderly man who suffered multiple fractures in a collision with a tractor-trailer (U.S. District Court, Western District of Virginia, Harrisonburg Division)
  • $5 million on behalf of a college student whose car was struck by large truck that was making a turn in foggy conditions (Circuit Court of the City of Richmond)
  • $3.9 million on behalf of a client who suffered quadriplegia due to a collision with a tractor-trailer (Circuit Court of the City of Richmond).

The results that can be obtained in a specific truck accident case depend on a variety of factors that are unique to each case. Past results do not guarantee or predict that a similar result can be obtained in your case.

However, at Marks & Harrison, we can guarantee that we will work hard for you and seek full and fair compensation for all of your damages, including past and future medical expenses, lost income, diminished future earning ability, pain and suffering and more.

How Many Accidents Involving Large Commercial Trucks Occur?

In one recent year, a reported 4,761 people died in large truck crashes in our country, according to the latest statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Out of those fatalities, 82 percent were either occupants of other vehicles involved in the crash or non-occupants such as pedestrians or bicyclists. During the same year, 98 people were killed in crashes involving large trucks in Virginia, with 81 percent of those victims being occupants or other vehicles or non-occupants.

Tractor Trailer Accidents

What damages can I claim if I was injured in an accident with a tractor-trailer that was not my fault?

If you have been injured in a commercial truck accident that was not your fault, you may be entitled to claim damages for medical expenses, past and future lost earnings, disfigurement, physical and emotional pain and suffering, loss of consortium, and other possible damages. Your best course of action is to consult with an experienced Virginia personal injury lawyer to find out if you have a case and what damages you may be able to claim. When you work with Marks & Harrison in a tractor-trailer accident claim, we will thoroughly investigate your accident to determine the full extent of your losses.

Who is liable for my injuries in a tractor-trailer accident that was not my fault?

Traffic accident cases with large commercial trucks can be very complex and involve multiple parties. The best thing to do if you have been injured in such an accident is to seek representation by a seasoned truck accident attorney who can investigate your accident and determine the liable parties. Depending on the cause of the accident and the circumstances in your particular case, responsible parties may include the driver, the trucking company, an equipment manufacturer, a repair or maintenance facility, or other possible parties.

If an 18-wheeler jackknifed and caused my accident and injuries, does that mean the driver was negligent?

That depends entirely on the circumstances surrounding the accident. If the driver was forced to brake suddenly or turn abruptly to avoid a collision, or if there were unforeseeable road conditions that resulted in the rig jackknifing, the driver may not have been negligent. However, if there was no valid reason for the driver’s actions that caused the tractor-trailer to jackknife and resulted in your accident, the driver may have been negligent.

What are some common causes of tractor-trailer accidents besides driver fatigue?

According to the NHTSA, certain moving violations committed by drivers of commercial motor vehicles cause serious accidents and can result in driver disqualification. Those violations include:

  • Speeding
  • Tailgating
  • Improper lane changes
  • Reckless driving
  • Improper turning
  • Drug- or alcohol-impaired driving

Equipment failure, overloading or improperly loading, failure to perform inspections, distracted driving, and sudden braking are other common causes of tractor-trailer accidents.

Is driver fatigue a major contributing factor to large truck crashes?

Yes. A joint study of the causes of large truck crashes conducted by the FMCSA and NHTSA stated that driver fatigue had been identified as an important cause of crashes. In an effort to reduce truck driver fatigue and the resulting accidents, FMCSA issued new Hours of Service Safety Regulations effective July 1, 2013 that limit the amount of time drivers are allowed to be on the road in any given day or week and require rest periods and a 30-minute break during the first 8 hours of a shift.

Which agency regulates large commercial trucks?

Commercial trucking is regulated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), which was established in 2000 pursuant to the federal Motor Carrier Safety Improvement Act of 1999. FMCSA issues regulations concerning all safety aspects of commercial trucking, with the goal of preventing commercial motor vehicle-related fatalities and injuries. These regulations apply to driver qualifications, equipment inspection repair and maintenance, records, safety fitness procedures, leasing and interchange of vehicles, and numerous other aspects of the industry.

What does it mean to drive in the “No Zone” of a large truck?

The “No Zone” includes the areas behind and on either side of a tractor-trailer in which the driver has very little or no visibility. Motorists should try to stay out of the areas at a short distance directly behind the truck or in the left or right rear quarters. If the truck driver fails to see your vehicle and executes a lane change, it could cause a serious collision.

How many accidents involving large commercial trucks occur?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that in 2013, there were 3,964 fatalities and 95,000 people injured in traffic crashes with large trucks. Of those fatalities, 71% were occupants of other vehicles and only 17% were occupants of the large trucks. Non-occupants accounted for 11% of the fatalities.

Why do accidents with tractor-trailers result in such serious injuries?

The physics involved in a collision between a large and heavy semi-trailer truck and a much smaller passenger vehicle typically result in serious injuries to the occupants of the passenger vehicle. Additionally, if the tractor-trailer is carrying a load that is hazardous or flammable, exposure to toxic materials or burn injuries can result.

What exactly are 18-wheelers, semis, and tractor-trailers?

“Tractor-trailer,” “18-wheeler,” and “semi” are different names for a semi-trailer truck. This rig consists of a towing engine or tractor with a semi-trailer to carry freight, which is attached just forward of the rear axle of the tractor so that a large portion of the weight is carried by the tractor. Hence, the name “semi-trailer,” as it does not trail completely behind the tractor. These are the big rigs that are employed commercially to haul freight.

Get Help Today from Our Richmond Truck Accident Attorneys

The Richmond tractor-trailer accident lawyers are here to represent clients injured in a commercial truck accident.Timing is important in truck accident cases. If you have suffered serious injuries or lost a loved one due to a collision with a large commercial truck, contact Marks & Harrison without delay.

We can get to work on your case immediately and seek the compensation you deserve. Call or reach us online today. We can meet at our Richmond, VA office, one of our eight other offices located throughout Virginia or at a location that is most convenient for you.