They may not make up a large proportion of all traffic collisions that occur on Virginia roadways, but truck accidents do tend to cause the most destruction. The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) reports that just 4.1 percent of all crashes involve semis, tractor-trailers, 18-wheelers, and other large commercial trucks. However, of the total 4,300 truck accidents annually, almost 40 percent cause a fatality or injuries to at least one individual. From the size and weight of a commercial truck, you can guess that the victims are most likely to be occupants of the passenger vehicle.
State personal injury laws provide truck accident victims with many of the same legal remedies as those of other traffic collisions, but the process is far more complicated. There are pitfalls with these claims that are not present in a car crash, which is why it is wise to rely on a Winchester truck accident attorney for help with your claim. Some of the most overwhelming challenges include:
Losses for Victims are Extreme
The size difference between a passenger vehicle and a large truck is enormous, especially when the big rig is hauling a fully loaded trailer. The energy involved with the impact is mostly absorbed by the smaller vehicle, so victims are more likely to suffer severe, catastrophic injuries. Examples include:
- Concussion, traumatic brain injury (TBI), and other head trauma;
- Spinal cord injuries;
- Trauma to internal organs;
- Bone fractures;
- Burns, which may occur in truck accidents involving hazardous chemicals; and
- Cuts, bruises, and abrasions.
Losses add up when a victim sustains catastrophic injuries, such as medical costs, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Higher Insurance Amounts
Federal trucking regulations require commercial vehicles to carry insurance coverage that far exceeds what you carry as a motorist. A typical policy covers $750,000 in losses, and the amounts go up for trucks hauling hazardous materials. The insurer stands to lose a substantial amount, so these companies assign truck accident claims to their most experienced employees. The claims adjuster’s number one job is to find reasons to deny your claim or pay a lowball amount to settle.
Multiple Potential Parties in Virginia Truck Accident Cases
Unlike other auto crashes, there may be other individuals and entities to pursue in a truck collision claim. Numerous parties play a role in putting a commercial truck on the road, and negligence by any of them could be behind the incident. In your truck accident claim, you may need to seek compensation from:
- The truck driver’s employer;
- The owner of the tractor, is responsible for maintenance, inspections, and repairs;
- A company that improperly loaded cargo; and
- The manufacturer of defective truck parts.
Trust a Winchester Truck Accident Lawyer to Overcome Challenges
These obstacles can be daunting and could have a profound impact on your rights, so retaining legal representation is crucial. To learn how the Correll Law Firm can assist, please call 540-535-2005 or check us out online. You can set up a free consultation with a skilled Virginia truck accident attorney who will advise you on details.