While an accident between a pedestrian and motor vehicle is serious, a wreck involving a massive, 80,000-pound truck can be even more devastating. Victims can suffer truly catastrophic injuries that change their lives—if they survive. If you were hurt in a pedestrian-truck accident in Norfolk, our experienced truck accident attorneys can help you obtain the compensation you deserve from the trucker and trucking company.
Top Causes of Trucker and Pedestrian Accidents
Like other motorists, truck drivers are required to follow basic traffic laws to protect pedestrians. For example, truck drivers must yield to people who have the right of way and are crossing a street or intersection. In many of these tragic accidents, truckers breach their duty of care. Here are some of the ways that they do so:
- Headlights. Truckers are required to inspect their headlights in a pre-trip and post-trip inspection under federal regulations governing the commercial trucking industry. When they fail to conduct this inspection or drive with broken or dirty headlights, their visibility is reduced and makes it more likely that they will not see a pedestrian in their path.
- Distracted driving. When a truck driver is distracted by texting, looking at a GPS, or eating and drinking, his mind and eyes are not on his driving. He can travel the distance of a football field in just a few seconds of distraction and not even realize that a person who is walking has the right of way.
- Drowsy driving. Driving when fatigued is a huge problem for truckers, and federal hours of service rules limit the hours that they can drive without a break to combat the problem. When truckers violate these rules or drive when they know that they are too tired, they are likely to nod off for a few critical seconds or fall asleep at the wheel.
- Intoxication. Being drunk or high on drugs reduces a trucker’s vision, reaction time, and judgment, which makes it more likely that he will not see a pedestrian or be able to respond quickly to avoid striking him.
- Speeding. It will take a speeding truck longer to slow down or stop, sometimes making it impossible for a trucker to avoid hitting a pedestrian. Unfortunately, the injuries can be more serious or fatal due to the greater force of impact if the truck is traveling at a faster speed.
- Failure to yield. Obeying traffic signals, stopping at stop signs, and yielding to pedestrians who have the right of way are basic traffic laws that truckers should but do not always follow. A tragic pedestrian accident can be the consequence.
How to Obtain the Compensation You Deserve
Under Virginia law, you are entitled to compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering from the negligent truck driver and the trucking company that employed him. Even if the trucker was negligent in causing your accident, his insurance company may fight hard and long to deny or reduce your claim.
Our experienced truck accident attorneys understand how life-changing a truck-pedestrian accident can be for the victims and are here to aggressively fight for the compensation you deserve. Call our Norfolk office to schedule a free consultation to learn about your legal options and about our extensive experience helping individuals like you.