A collision between a commercial truck and a passenger vehicle typically leads to catastrophic harm. The weight of a tractor-trailer can easily crush a car. Motorists injured in a truck collision typically suffer severe injuries, including broken bones, paralysis, brain injuries, and even death. Tractor-trailer accidents may be caused by a variety of factors, including driver negligence and fatigue, as well as truck company practices that jeopardize the safety of others. If you or someone close to you has been harmed in a collision with a truck, the Fairfax truck accident lawyers at Robinson Law can advocate on your behalf.
Together, our attorneys bring over five decades of experience to our legal practice, and we are here to efficiently and effectively represent you. Through diligent investigation, negotiation, and when necessary, litigation, our dedicated lawyers will fight for your right to maximum recovery. We help accident victims in Fairfax, Arlington, Alexandria, Loudoun, and elsewhere in Northern Virginia.Your Legal Right to Compensation Following a Truck Accident
All drivers are expected to abide by the rules of the road, including safety regulations and vehicle traffic codes. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Act sets forth laws that mandate licensing, registration, and other rules specific to commercial trucks. Additionally, these rules dictate the types of loads that may be carried and make clear how to secure these loads safely to the vehicle. Significantly, these rules regulate truck driver hours such that there are periods of rest in order to avoid fatigue. While all drivers are required to exhibit reasonable care while operating their vehicles, truck drivers must meet additional obligations.
Truck drivers who cause an accident resulting in injuries to others may be held legally responsible through a personal injury claim with the assistance of a truck accident attorney in the Fairfax area. In many cases, negligence forms the legal basis of these injury claims. Negligence requires proof of a duty of care, a breach, causation, and damages. A victim can present evidence such as witness statements, police reports, and analysis of the vehicles. Truck accident cases are unique in that they also include empirical evidence in the form of “black box” data. This is a recorder of the truck speed and other information that may assist in determining liability for a crash. Truck drivers may exhibit negligence by speeding, driving while intoxicated, overloading their truck, or driving while fatigued. When their conduct directly leads to a crash and injuries, the victim will have a strong claim for recovery.Trucking Company Liability
In addition to holding the truck driver legally responsible, certain circumstances may render the truck company at fault. Both the driver and the truck company are responsible for load and inspection procedures. If overloading the truck partly caused the driver to lose control, the truck company may be liable. Additionally, mechanical issues such as brake failure can lead to a crash, and the truck company or manufacturer may be accountable for the resulting harm, particularly if proper maintenance would have avoided the issue.
A truck company is also required to conduct due diligence on its drivers. For example, if they were on notice of reckless driving by their employee and failed to address this conduct, they may be legally responsible for the resulting harm. A company also may be vicariously liable for any negligence by a driver, even if the company was not negligent. This requires showing that the driver was an employee.Damages in Truck Accident Cases
One issue that plays a role in some Virginia truck collision cases is the doctrine of contributory negligence. This serves as a complete defense to a victim plaintiff’s claim of negligence. Unlike comparative negligence, contributory negligence bars a plaintiff from recovering any damages if they contributed at all to their injuries. Truck accident defendants may assert contributory negligence to try to bar the victim from recovering damages. A skilled Fairfax truck accident attorney will be familiar with strategies to overcome this doctrine.
A successful plaintiff in a truck accident claim is entitled to recover damages for the full impact of the collision upon their emotional and physical well-being. These compensatory damages include both economic and non-economic damages. Victims set forth costs for medical bills, physical therapy, and wages that were not collected due to the accident. Anticipated future medical care is also typically recovered in a successful claim.
If the injured victim is unable to return to their former occupation, they may be eligible for damages to cover vocational retraining. Emotional pain and suffering and decreased quality of life are examples of damages that may also be secured. Following a truck accident, compensation may be greater than it would be in a typical auto accident claim.Consult an Experienced Fairfax Lawyer to Understand Your Legal Options
At Robinson Law, we understand the dire consequences of a truck accident for the victim and their family. While each case is different, we appreciate that the emotional and physical impact of a truck collision can have lifelong effects. Our skilled attorneys are here to help you secure the justice and compensation to which you are entitled. We recover our legal fees only if we successfully obtain compensation on your behalf. To understand more about your legal options, call us for a free consultation with a truck accident lawyer in Fairfax at (703) 649-4500 or reach us online.