How Truck Accidents Differ from Car Accidents

In many ways, truck and car accidents are very similar. Anyone involved in a wreck can suffer serious, often life-threatening injuries. For example, rear end collisions can lead to whiplash, concussions, and back injuries. The law in Virginia is also similar when it comes to seeking compensation. If you can show the driver was negligent—meaning, he or she failed to use reasonable care—you can seek compensation.

But car accidents and truck accidents have as many differences as they do similarities. Even if you settled a car accident case in the past, you should certainly call Correll Law Firm to talk with our Winchester truck accident lawyer. Truck accident cases are typically much less straightforward, and you would benefit from our legal knowledge.

Truck Companies Aggressively Defend these Cases

Under Virginia law, anyone hurt by a person working can typically sue the workers’ employer under a “vicarious liability” theory. That’s great news for truck accident victims. The trucking company should have much deeper pockets than an individual trucker, and we can hold them liable when their trucker hits your vehicle.

Because trucking companies are on the hook, however, they have an incentive to aggressively defend themselves. They will:

  • Send investigators to the scene of the wreck within hours to begin collecting evidence and talking to witnesses.
  • Delay turning over relevant evidence in their possession, like the electronic logs on the truck or any blood test taken from the trucker after the collision.
  • Delay settlement negotiations or outright deny their driver’s liability, forcing you to go without compensation for months or longer.

A trucking company might even claim the trucker is an independent contractor, which means the company would have no vicarious liability. You need a seasoned Winchester truck accident lawyer to defend your rights following a crash.

Evidence is Hard to Find

As mentioned in the previous section, the trucking company probably has important evidence in its possession, such as:

  • The trucker’s physical exams
  • Any performance reviews for the trucker, including complaints
  • Drug test results
  • Maintenance records for the truck

Electronic logging information, which should document how long the truck was in motion and other important information

This evidence could make or break your case, but the trucking company could refuse to turn it over. In extreme cases, they might even claim the evidence is lost!

Quickly call Correll Law Firm. Our attorney will notify the trucking company to preserve all evidence that could be useful to your claim. If they then go ahead and erase it, you could seek sanctions from a judge. Our firm knows how to put trucking companies on notice that you have a possible legal claim so they must preserve everything.

A Truck Accident Case is Worth More

Because of their size, trucks tend to cause more damage in a collision. As a result, your claim is probably worth more money than if you were struck by a four-door sedan. Trucking companies know this fact, which is why they are so proactive at building a defense. Some truck accident victims suffer seven-figure damages, including extensive medical care for brain or spinal cord injuries.

You need a seasoned advocate who knows how to negotiate a tough settlement. There is so much money on the table, you don’t want to settle for too little.

Truck Accidents Have More Possible Defendants

Up to this point, we have assumed the truck driver is at fault for the accident, with his employer having vicarious liability. But, in fact, other parties could be fully or partially to blame:

  • The truck manufacturer
  • Mechanics who worked on the truck negligently
  • The company that loaded the cargo carelessly

You need to perform a much more comprehensive analysis of the cause of your accident so that you sue the correct parties. This issue rarely arises in car accident cases.

Here’s an example: a tractor-trailer might have jackknifed, with the trailer slamming into your car and sending you flying off the road. On inspection, we realize that the cargo in the trailer shifted because it was not tied properly. Consequently, the shifting cargo led directly to the jackknife, making the loading company legally liable for your accident.

We can negotiate with any party which has liability. But we’ll perform a thorough investigation into the facts first. This is a critical reason to hire a Winchester truck accident lawyer. You can maintain laser focus on getting better while your lawyer focuses on uncovering the factual basis for the accident. Once we identify who is at fault, we can make a claim against them for meaningful compensation.

Trucking Companies Operate in Several States

Sometimes legal issues arise about where you can file a lawsuit against the trucking company. When a company has an office in a faraway state—like California—they might try to move your case to that state. That would be inconvenient for you, especially if you live in Virginia and the accident happened here.

Let an attorney review the legal arguments. We can try to convince a judge not to ship a case to a distant state. Few people are prepared to march into court and make legal arguments like these.

You Might Go to Trial

Trucking companies and their insurers are not afraid to deny liability. When that happens, settlement becomes impossible. Instead, the way to vindicate your rights is to file a lawsuit in court in which you seek compensation from a jury.

You need an experienced lawyer to help you in that situation. The trucking company can throw a dozen lawyers at the case and make it very difficult to get your day in court. We can always make solid arguments on your behalf to a judge and jury. Your voice will not be silenced.

Call Correll Law Firm

Truck accident victims need legal counsel prepared to fight the big trucking companies. Correll Law Firm has the right mix of experience and legal skills to obtain compensation following a truck collision. Please do not try to handle your case on your own. Instead, contact us today.How Truck Accidents Differ from Car Accidents