Whether out on a highway at top speed or on a Richmond road during regular traffic conditions, truck accidents tend to be more deadly and cause more serious injuries for survivors than the average car crash. Commercial truck companies and their employees are required to provide a basic duty of care to keep the public safe while driving. When that duty is breached, collisions can easily occur and victims who are injured can recover damages for their medical costs and loss of wages.
How Truck Accidents Often Take Place
Tractor-trailers, big rigs, and other large commercial vehicles are more difficult to control in a collision at any speed due to their size, weight, and shape. That means it is even more important for a truck driver to engage in safe driving practices and for truck companies to oversee proper training. Unfortunately, those practices are often ignored and truck accidents are frequently caused by:
- Adverse conditions. While the weather is a common issue, poorly maintained roads or other hazards can also be contributing factors. In any case, truck drivers have a responsibility to consider these conditions and drive at safe speeds to avoid collisions.
- Blind spots. When combined with their wider than normal turn radius, the length of a cargo truck can easily contribute to an accident if the driver is distracted or fails to account for their blind spot.
- Driving under the influence. Alcohol and drug abuse on long hauls or short in-town trips often result in collisions.
- Drowsy driving. Federal and state regulations on travel times are meant to prevent truckers from driving while sleepy, but logbook violations to save time are common. Trucking companies have a responsibility to provide proper training for how long their drivers can remain on the road, as well as to fire drivers who ignore those rules.
- Jackknifing. When a driver swerves or brakes too quickly, the cab of a truck may go a different direction than the trailer, causing a jackknife scenario that can easily hit multiple vehicles. In worst-case scenarios, the entire truck may also rollover.
- Medically unfit drivers on the road. A variety of sleep disorders, vision problems, neurological issues, and cardiovascular conditions suffered by drivers can cause devastating accidents if they aren’t properly treated.
What to Do After a Virginia Truck Accident
If you experienced a truck collision due to any of these causes, you have a legal right to hold the at-fault party responsible for their negligence. This requires taking the right actions in the aftermath of a truck accident, however.
If you aren’t immediately taken to the emergency room, it is critical to exchange contact info with the driver, document the scene of the collision, and gather information on any eyewitnesses to the truck accident.
Make sure to always visit a doctor to establish a paper trail on your injuries, even if you don’t feel hurt. Adrenaline may be keeping you going, and you may have suffered internal injuries that require medical attention but aren’t immediately apparent. Truck crashes often result in wounds like:
- Disfiguring cuts
- Broken bones
- Spinal cord injury
- Traumatic brain injury
- Inability to work and long-term disability
With your medical records, police reports, and eyewitness contact info, a personal injury attorney can analyze the facts to prove that negligence resulted in your injury. Working with an experienced traumatic brain injury lawyer is crucial in this stage, as there can be many roadblocks to receiving the compensation you are owed.
For instance, the accident may not always be the fault of the truck driver or the trucking company’s training practices. Faulty equipment, like brakes that don’t function properly, may have instead caused your personal injury. In these types of accidents, you need a personal injury attorney to prove the root cause of the malfunction and bring a case against the correct at-fault party.
Our Personal Injury Attorneys Can Help If You Suffered an Injury During a Truck Collision
Surviving a truck accident is a traumatic event, and you need someone in your corner who knows what you are going through and has experience holding negligent drivers responsible. Begin a free consultation with the personal injury attorneys at The Mottley Law Firm today so we can help you recover damages and get back to living your life.