Law Firm with a Focus on Truck Accident Injuries in Charlottesville
Charlottesville is located on I-64 and less than an hour from I-81, which makes it a popular crossroads and a trucking hub. With all of the added highway traffic from commercial carriers in our region, Charlottesville residents face a greater risk of getting into a collision with one of these vehicles – especially when truck drivers fail to respect the rules of the road. Contact our semi truck accident lawyer in Charlottesville today.
At Marks & Harrison, we know how your life can feel like it is out of control after a semi-truck accident. You may suffer incredible pain. At the same time, your medical bills may be mounting, and you may be unable to earn any income because your injuries prevent you from being able to work. Fortunately, you have rights and options. Contact Marks & Harrison today to learn more and to schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced attorneys.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents in Charlottesville
Trucking accidents in Charlottesville can happen for any number of reasons. Common causes for these accidents include:
- Driver distraction – Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR) prohibit truckers from texting or using hand-held cell phones while driving. Still, they do it all of the time. Distraction can be highly dangerous when a driving is behind the controls of a massive 18-wheeler.
- Driver fatigue – Truck drivers are required to obey strict hours-of-service rules that are designed to prevent them from operating their rigs longer than they should. Sadly, while most truck drivers are true professionals who take their commitment to safety seriously, there are those who put the public in danger every day by falsifying their driver logs and driving long past the point where fatigue has set in.
- Failure to perform inspections – Professional truck drivers must also perform a basic pre-trip inspection before operating a truck on the road. They must check tires, air brakes, brake lines, trailer connections, tandem settings, engine components, lights, signals and more. At the end of each day, a driver must perform a post-trip inspection that is similar to the one performed at the beginning of the day. This helps to ensure that equipment is working properly.
- Faulty equipment – While driver error is usually to blame for truck accidents, defective or faulty parts or equipment can also be the culprit. In some cases, the manufacturer may be to blame.
- Poor maintenance – Although it may seem shocking, some mechanics claim to repair brake lines or do other repairs but, instead, they simply skip certain steps to save time. Laziness and carelessness can lead to mechanical failures on the road.
- Drugs and alcohol – Virginia law sets a lower threshold for blood alcohol concentration than it does for other drivers. Commercial drivers cannot operate a rig with a BAC of 0.04 or higher, while the BAC limit for other drivers is 0.08. Most reputable trucking companies will terminate a truck driver immediately if they learn that they were intoxicated behind the wheel. Still, many other companies will simply look the other way. Impairment can also be caused by use of illegal and prescription drugs.
Common Truck Accident Injuries in Charlottesville
Injuries are usually much worse in Charlottesville semi truck accident cases. The gross combined vehicle weight for a standard tractor-trailer vehicle is 80,000 pounds. That’s 40 tons barreling down the road. When trucks collide with cars or motorcycles, the outcomes can be horrifying. Common injuries include:
- Broken bones
- Crushing injuries
- Spinal and back injuries
- Neck and shoulder pain
- Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI)
Who Can Be Held Liable for Truck Accidents?
If someone else is responsible for causing your injuries in a truck accident in the Charlottesville area, Virginia law requires that party to compensate you for the physical, emotional and financial harm that you have suffered. In a truck accident case, negligent parties often include:
- Truck drivers
- Trucking companies
- Truck leasing companies
- Freight brokers
- Warehousing companies
- Lumpers (people the driver pays to load the truck)
- Vehicle or trailer manufacturers.
What Kind of Damages Can Be Recovered in a Truck Accident Case?
If you have been hurt or lost a loved one in a collision with a tractor-trailer, the Charlottesville truck accident attorneys of Marks & Harrison will fight for all compensation that you deserve. The damages that we pursue for you may include:
- Medical expenses – You should be entitled to all medical expenses that you have incurred due to your accident-related injuries. If your injuries are severe enough that you will need future care, you may be able to claim compensation for those medical costs as well.
- Lost income – If you lost weeks or months of work due to a catastrophic injury in a truck accident, or if you are left with a disability that prevents you from earning what you did before the crash, you should be compensated for those losses.
- Pain and suffering – Simply put, your pain and suffering is as real – and compensable – as any other harm that you suffer in an accident.
- Punitive damages – In some cases, punitive damages may be appropriate. For instance, a trucking company may have forced or encouraged its drivers to engage in dangerous conduct such as violating hours-of-service regulations.
- Wrongful death damages – If you have lost a loved one in a truck accident near Charlottesville, you and your close relatives may have the right to claim compensation for your loved one’s wrongful death, including funeral and burial expenses and the loss of financial support and services.
How Long Do I Have to File a Lawsuit After a Truck Crash?
Virginia law gives you only a short amount of time to bring a lawsuit for your injuries after a truck accident. Every state has a different rule, or statute of limitations. In Virginia, you get only two years after the crash to bring your case. If you fail to do so, you will waive your right to recover compensation. The same is true for bringing a wrongful death lawsuit after the loss of a loved one. You have only two years from the date of death to file a claim. For this reason, it is extremely important to contact a tractor-trailer accident attorney in Charlottesville as soon as possible.
How Can a Charlottesville Truck Accident Lawyer Help Me?
Perhaps one of the most important benefits of hiring a Charlottesville truck accident lawyer is knowing that you do not have to speak to the insurance company alone. Beyond that, when you hire Marks & Harrison, you will be working with a dedicated Charlottesville truck accident attorney who can:
- Investigate the crash – Step one in any trucking accident case is to launch a thorough investigation into what happened. Depending on the situation, we may consult with accident reconstruction experts, forensic engineers and even make site visits to the scene to document the details of the collision. We also speak with witnesses and take statements in order to gather important evidence.
- Ensure you get medical treatment – Many people fear that they won’t be able to afford medical care, or they may not have adequate health insurance. If the other driver is at fault, we can help you to find medical care for your injuries so you don’t have to suffer without help.
- Help with property damages – Many of our clients prefer to handle their own property damage claims. However, if you need help getting the insurance company to respond to you and pay for your repairs or vehicle damages, our office has a team who can assist with this as well.
- Negotiate with claims handlers – Insurance adjusters will look for ways to deny or minimize the amount that you recover after a trucking accident. Our attorneys know how to confront common insurance company tactics and pursue the maximum amount for our clients.
- Fight for you at trial – If your case must go to court, you can feel confident knowing that you are represented by highly skilled and experienced trial lawyers who know how to present strong cases to juries.
Get Help from Our Charlottesville Truck Accident Attorneys Today
No attorney can guarantee a specific outcome. This is because no two cases are identical. However, we are proud of our accomplishments at Marks & Harrison. For decades, our attorneys have put our clients first and held negligent truckers and trucking companies accountable for the harm they cause.
If you have been seriously hurt by someone else’s careless or reckless conduct in a truck accident, you deserve just compensation. Protect your rights. Contact Marks & Harrison today for a timely and free consultation.