Our Virginia Personal Injury Attorneys Have the Answers You Seek
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What is the statute of limitations to file my truck accident lawsuit in Virginia?
While some truck accident victims are able to settle their claims with the negligent truck driver, trucking company, and other liable parties without the need for litigation, others must file a lawsuit and litigate their claim for compensation. If you must file a claim for your injuries in a truck wreck, you need to be prepared for this possibility. One key deadline that you need to know and follow is the statute of limitations.
What Is the Statute of Limitations for Filing Your Complaint in Virginia?
The statute of limitations is the time period that you have for filing a civil lawsuit in your truck accident case. This deadline is usually strict, and the penalty for failing to file it is that you are barred from filing a complaint. Every state has its own statute of limitations for the filing of truck accident and other personal injury complaints. In Virginia, the time period you have to file your lawsuit is:
- Two years from the date of the accident for personal injuries
- Five years from the date of the crash for property damage
- Two years from the date of the victim’s death if he died due to injuries caused in the truck wreck
If your truck accident happened recently, you may feel like you have a lot of time to retain an experienced truck accident attorney and pursue your claim. However, this would be a big mistake. Important evidence could be lost and you could make other mistakes that weaken your claim and make it harder for your attorney to negotiate a settlement for what your claim is really worth.
Do you need to file a claim for compensation following a truck accident? We urge you to contact our office as soon as possible so that we can begin a thorough investigation of your crash. Call our office or fill out our online form to get started and to schedule your free initial consultation.
Who could be liable for compensating me for my injuries in a rollover truck crash?
While it is true that truck driver negligence causes the majority of truck rollover accidents, this does not mean that there were not multiple reasons—and liable parties—for a rollover wreck. If you or a family member were injured in a rollover wreck, you could suffer catastrophic injuries that may prevent you from working for the rest of your life. To ensure that you are fully compensated for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering, it is crucial that you identify all potentially liable parties and file claims with their insurance companies.
Who Are the Potential Liable Parties in a Rollover Truck Accident?
An experienced truck accident attorney can help determine all the reasons for your rollover accident and identify the liable parties. These can include the following:
- Truck driver. If the truck driver engaged in negligent driving practices—such as speeding or talking on his cell phone—and this caused your injuries, he would be a liable party.
- Trucking company. In Virginia, the trucking company may be vicariously liable for the negligent actions of its trucker if he was within the course of his employment when he caused your accident. You may also have a negligent hiring claim against the company.
- Shipper. If the load was improperly loaded or unsecured and this caused the truck to roll over, you will need to file a claim with the insurance company for the shipper who loaded the goods.
- Maintenance company. Some trucking companies contract with a maintenance facility to perform routine inspections and repairs. If the brakes, tires, or other components were not maintained or repaired, you may have a claim against the maintenance facility.
- Manufacturer. If defects in the design or manufacture of the truck’s brakes, tires, or other parts caused your rollover, you may have a products liability claim against the manufacturer.
Determining the liable parties after a rollover truck accident is complex. Let our experienced truck accident attorneys take over the burden of determining the liable parties and negotiating your settlement so that you receive what you deserve. Get started by calling our office to schedule your free consultation today.
Who could be liable for compensating me in a crash caused by truck brake failure?
If a truck’s brakes fail, the injuries that can result are often catastrophic. Brake failure can cause the driver to lose the control necessary to maneuver the truck to safety. Unfortunately, brake failure truck wrecks are often caused by the negligence of the truck driver or another party. If this was the cause of your injuries, an experienced truck accident attorney can help hold the responsible parties liable for compensating you.
Possible Parties at Fault in Truck Crashes Caused by Brake Failure
Your lawyer will need to conduct a thorough investigation of your accident to determine its cause. This can include hiring an expert to inspect the truck, reviewing the trucker’s maintenance and inspection records, and interviewing witnesses. If truck brake failure led to your accident, these parties could be liable:
- Truck driver. The truck driver has a duty to conduct a pre-trip and post-trip inspection of the truck and vital parts—including the brakes—as well as during the trip. The driver is not allowed to drive the truck when he knows that the brakes are in need of maintenance or repair. If he violated the rules regarding required inspections or drove the truck when he knew there was a problem with the brakes, he is most likely a liable party.
- Trucking company. The trucking company could face responsibility for your wreck on a number of grounds. First, the company could be responsible for the negligent actions of the truck driver. You could also have a separate legal claim against the company for violating its own inspection and maintenance requirements. Through his investigation, your attorney may find that the trucking company deliberately depowered the front brakes to save on brake maintenance and replacement costs—another way to prove negligence caused your wreck.
- Maintenance company. If the trucking company had a contract with a maintenance facility to conduct routine inspections and to perform maintenance and repairs, this company may face liability if maintenance and repair issues with the brakes were the cause of your accident.
- Shipping company. If the truck’s load was not loaded properly, this could cause the brakes to wear down and malfunction, making the shipping company at least partially responsible for your losses.
- Manufacturer. If the brake parts were designed or manufactured defectively, you could have a products liability claim against the parts manufacturer. The trucking company could also face liability if it knew about the defective part or that the truck was subject to a recall but continued to keep the truck in operation.
Do you need assistance filing a claim for compensation following your truck accident? Let our experienced and compassionate legal team guide you through the process and negotiate your settlement so that you receive what you deserve. To get your questions answered and learn about the next steps you need to take, call our Norfolk office today to schedule your free consultation.
How can an attorney determine liability in my truck accident?
The cargo trucking industry is comprised of many different products and services, and it’s possible that any of the companies involved may have contributed to the cause of a truck crash. Without cargo loaders, drivers, parts manufacturers, mechanics, and cargo companies, the industry wouldn’t exist. However, it’s important you understand the complicated nature of truck accident liability in the event you are involved in a truck crash.
Liability Can Become Complicated
Because so many entities make the trucking industry function, determining liability after a truck crash can be difficult. A serious accident may be caused by a combination of many mistakes, which could include:
- Poor maintenance. Trucks must be in good, working order to avoid an accident.
- Incorrect loading. Because a truck must be balanced, improper cargo-loading could cause an accident.
- Negligent driving. A driver (especially one who feels under pressure) may be more willing to speed or drive with less caution to meet deadlines.
- Negligent hiring practices. With safety in mind, a trucking company must thoroughly vet applicants before placing drivers on the road.
- Substandard parts manufacturing. It’s possible the accident was caused by a defective part, in which case the manufacturer would be responsible.
Evidence Needed to Show Liability
You are an integral part of your successful truck accident liability case. If you’re involved in an accident with a large truck, it’s important you gather as much information as you can, including,
- Photos and videos of each vehicle’s position after the crash and damages, as well as each vehicle’s interior.
- Notes about what you remember, including the event directly preceding the crash and any theories and evidence about its cause.
- Recordings of witness testimony from those who may have seen what happened.
You Need an Experienced Attorney
If you’ve recently been involved in a car crash, it’s important you collect any evidence you have and contact an attorney. If you’re ready to begin an evaluation of your case, you should contact the team at Tavss Fletcher today. To get started, start a live chat online with a representative.
What evidence do I need for my truck accident claim?
Determining liability in a truck crash can be difficult because many businesses and individuals are involved in getting a loaded truck on the road. However, evidence can help insurance agents, judges or juries, and attorneys fully understand the facts of the crash, which can help place liability. Ultimately, evidence helps you maximize your recovery after a crash with a truck, so it’s important to understand what evidence you’ll need.
At the Scene of the Crash, Do Your Part
Just as with a passenger vehicle crash, your actions right after an accident with a truck are important to recovering fully for your injuries and damages. You can protect your future claim by:
- Jotting down some notes while the memory is fresh in your mind.
- Taking photos and videos of the crash scene, making sure to include descriptions of what happened.
- Calling law enforcement so an objective third party can step in, record information, and give directions as needed.
- Talking to witnesses who may have unique information or had an important view of the crash.
An Attorney Can Help Collect Other Evidence
Other types of evidence may prove helpful for your case, but it’s smart to enlist the help of an attorney to gather these, which include:
- Evidence from the truck’s interior, such as the “black box” recording device, any photos or videos of the cabin, dash camera footage, and data from the truck’s computer.
- Evidence from the trucker and his employer, including hours of service logs, maintenance records, and driver history.
- Evidence from security footage, which could shed light on the driver’s actions directly before the crash or the root cause of the accident.
Let an Attorney Advocate for You
If you’ve recently been involved in a crash with a large truck and feel confused about your next steps, get into contact with an experienced attorney. Truck accident litigation can be complex and confusing, but the team at Tavss Fletcher can provide you with answers and personalized service. To speak with a member of our firm, call our toll-free number today.
What are no-zones and how can I avoid them?
A large truck is one that weighs 10,000 pounds or more, according to the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), but can weigh as much as 80,000 pounds when fully loaded. This creates a risk for smaller passenger vehicles. It’s important that Virginia drivers know what no-zones are, how to avoid them, and how a lawyer can help if an accident occurs.
Accidents Are More Likely in No-Zones
Because trucks are heavier and more difficult to maneuver than a traditional passenger vehicle, you must take extra caution when driving near them to prevent serious injuries. Specifically, you should avoid the no-zones, which are especially risky areas around a truck. These include:
- The sides. Semi-trucks are so large and long that they have blind spots on both sides. However, visibility is especially limited on the trucker’s right side.
- The rear. Truckers cannot see directly behind their trailers, but drivers who follow a truck closely also cannot see around the truck.
- The front. Large trucks need more time to make safe stops, and having a passenger vehicle right in front of them creates a significant risk.
You Can Avoid the No-Zones
To protect yourself and your passengers, make sure you know how to share the road with large trucks appropriately. The following are some quick tips to help you stay safe:
- If you can’t see the driver, the driver can’t see you. Whether you are traveling on the side or rear of the truck, it’s important you use the truck’s mirrors to keep the driver’s face within your view. If you can see the driver, you’re most likely in the driver’s sights.
- Don’t linger. When traveling in close proximity to a truck, make sure to exit the no-zones quickly. Do not linger in any of the no-zones for too long.
- Pass safely. When passing, make sure to pass on the left—where a truck’s blind spot is smaller. Additionally, when you pass in front of a truck, give the truck plenty of room. In your side-view mirror, you should be able to see the whole front end of the truck before you cross into its lane.
- Beware wide right turns. If you and a large truck are both about to make a right turn, keep in mind that trucks need more room than you. Keep your distance, and never try to squeeze through first while a truck is turning right.
If You’ve Been Injured, You Need Help
Accidents with large trucks can become complicated quickly, so if you’ve been injured, it’s important you enlist the help of an experienced attorney. The team at Tavss Fletcher can help you gather evidence, present a sound argument, and work toward a positive outcome in your case. To get started with us, call our toll-free phone number: 877-960-3441.
What should I do if I think the truck driver near me is falling asleep at the wheel?
If you’re driving along the freeway and see a truck swerving back and forth, stopping and starting, and just acting in a way that looks dangerous, there’s a good chance the driver may be falling asleep behind the wheel.
You likely know the dangers of a truck driver who is drowsy. In fact, actor Tracy Morgan recently suffered a traumatic brain injury and the loss of his close friend because a truck driver who was allegedly awake for 24 hours fell asleep behind the wheel.
What You Can Do About a Drowsy Truck Driver
Fortunately, you don’t have to allow a truck driver to possibly endanger your life and those around you. You can take the following actions to prevent serious injuries or even death:
- Get to a safe location. If possible, pull over to the side of the road or into a parking lot to get away from the dangerous truck driver. Never put your life in danger to stop the driver. Make your safety your first priority.
- Call the police. You can report the unsafe driver to the police by calling either 911 or the non-emergency number for the police. You’ll need a description of the vehicle, the tag number, trucking company, and the location where the truck is traveling. The police may send an officer to look for the truck in question.
If a Truck Driver Has Caused You Injuries
Fortunately, you can fight back against a driver that has caused you injuries. An attorney from Tavss Fletcher will work hard to help you receive the compensation you need to cover medical bills, vehicle repairs, and loss of work. Contact us today to learn more.
What should I do if I think a truck near me is about to cause an accident?
You had just paid your toll on the Chesapeake Expressway and were getting back onto 168, when you noticed the truck ahead of you was moving strangely. It kept shaking and wobbling, and the driver had to keep braking for no apparent reason. Although you don’t normally mind driving behind trucks, this one gave you a funny feeling, and you weren’t quite sure what to do about it.
Should you try to pass him, or keep your distance? Could he be in trouble? What should you do?
Common Signs a Truck Is Out of Control
Truck accidents kill 3,500 people and cause over 6,000 serious injuries every year. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, although the majority of the accidents are caused by the trucker losing control, 98 percent of the injuries (fatal and non-fatal) are suffered by nearby motorists and pedestrians. This frightening statistic is enough to cause panic attacks every time you see a truck, let alone drive near one. However, with proper awareness and detection, you can help decrease your and your family’s odds of injury, by predicting—and being able to avoid—a collision before it even occurs.
When driving near a truck, stay alert for the following signs that the trucker may have lost control or that the truck itself is having mechanical problems. If you witness any of these signs, back off immediately!
- Swerving, shaking or veering. Trucks can be difficult to handle, and even a slight overcorrection can cause a trucker to lose control. Although slight movements aren’t definite signs of an impending accident, you should increase your distance to give the trucker room to maneuver.
- Excessive or abrupt braking. This could be a sign of driver distraction or fatigue; either way, it’s best to keep your distance.
- Tilting or shaking trailer. An unbalanced or unstable trailer could cause the entire truck to lose control, tip, or roll over.
- Wobbly or loose tires. Odd looking or poor tire rotation could be a sign of excessive wear and tear, possibly indicating a potential blowout in the near future.
- Open trailer, loose objects, or unsecured cargo. An open or poorly secured trailer could cause the shipment to fall into the roadway or directly on your car.
- Loud or slowly responsive brakes. Brake issues could be a sign of poor overall maintenance, which might mean the entire truck is an 18-wheeled death trap. It’s best just to steer away.
Getting Compensation for Your Injury
Although staying alert and identifying possible signs of distress can lower your odds of a tragic collision, accidents can still happen out of nowhere. This is why it is important to have someone who is committed to helping you and your family after an unforeseen truck accident. Our extensive truck accident knowledge and experience will help you get the compensation your family needs for treatment and damages.
Our clients are part of our family, and as such, we’re driven to make sure they get the justice they deserve. As part of our family, you too will witness our diligence and compassion for getting you the settlement your injuries require.
But you don’t have to take our word for it. Feel free to read our clients’ firsthand accounts of their own claim experiences, and see how we helped them get their rightful settlements. We can extend you the same helping hand. You can also follow us on Twitter or like us on Facebook to see periodic updates, client responses, and updated claim information.