Due to Virginia’s contributory negligence laws, determining who is specifically at fault for a crash is crucial to recovering damages after suffering an injury. Most vehicles have areas where the cab interferes with vision, but tractor-trailers, big rigs, 18 wheelers, and other types of cargo trucks have particularly large blind spots due to their shape. Even if the truck driver didn’t see you in their blind spot, however, they may still be legally responsible for the collision.
Why Truck Blind Spot Crashes Occur on Virginia Roads
The areas directly in front of and behind any truck hauling heavy cargo are often not fully visible to the driver. Even with larger side mirrors installed, there are still locations near the doors on the right and left sides with significantly reduced visibility as well.
That means other motorists are at risk of collision if they are in these spots when a trucker stops, tries to turn, or changes lanes When a truck driver doesn’t adequately take those limitations into account, these types of blind spot truck crashes can easily occur:
- Head-on collisions when a blind spot lane change forces another vehicle on the road into the wrong lane
- Front end crashes if the truck brakes suddenly and a driver was in the rear blind spot
- Merging on or off the highway
- Underride accidents when a vehicle becomes stuck underneath the truck
- Vehicle is struck directly in a lane change or run off the road when the unexpected lane change forces them further right
Drivers frequently don’t see blind spot collisions coming so they don’t have much time to react. Injuries can be severe, especially if the accident takes place at high speed on the highway. Depending on how fast the vehicles were moving and where each vehicle collides, blind spot collisions can cause:
- Bone fractures
- Lacerations, disfigurement, and permanent scarring
- Longterm pain and mobility issues
- Herniated discs and other spinal cord injuries
- Internal organ damage
- Traumatic brain injury
- Wrongful death
Blind Spot Truck Accidents Can Be Avoided
While any truck accident can be extremely dangerous, there are ways both the driver and cargo company can mitigate the risk of blind spots. Electronic and mechanical safety features are available that trucking companies can install on vehicles, and drivers are provided extensive training on how to deal with blind spots while carrying loads long distances.
The bottom line is that the truck driver has both an ethical as well as a legal responsibility to keep blind spots in mind and avoid crashes. When someone is hurt in a truck blind spot collision, the driver is often (but not always) at-fault for the accident. Making the determination of who is liable is crucial to protecting your financial recovery while dealing with the immense physical challenges after a serious truck crash.
You have a legal right to pursue compensation from the person responsible for your injury. While it’s a strong possibility that the at-fault party is the driver, evidence gathered by your attorney could instead prove it is the trucking company, a loading crew, or even the manufacturer of a faulty truck part. Truck blind spot collisions may specifically occur due to negligence such as:
- Broken or missing physical safety features like side mirrors
- Distracted driving
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or narcotics
- Drowsy driving, particularly in instances of logbook violations when the driver works longer than allowed by state and federal law
- Improper training
- Negligent hiring and disciplinary practices
Talk to a Virginia Truck Accident Lawyer After a Blind Spot Collision
If you or someone you love was harmed in a truck crash, your next step after seeking medical treatment should be to contact a Virginia truck accident attorney. A lawyer can assist by tracking down and going through all the available evidence to prove the accident occurred because of negligence on the part of the driver or trucking company.