Virginia Tractor Trailer Accident Lawyer
Drivers traveling on U.S. roads and highways encounter numerous large trucks, 18-wheelers, semis, tractor trailers, and other vehicles weighing in excess of 20,000 pounds. It is estimated that there are more than 500,000 tractor trailer accidents each year in the United States. These accidents result in thousands of injuries and deaths.
One in every eight traffic fatalities involve a collision with a tractor trailer. The reason is simple. The average passenger vehicle weighs less than 4,000 pounds and a commercial tractor trailer can weigh 80,000 pounds. While the truck driver usually sustains minor injuries, the occupants of the passenger vehicles are rarely as lucky.
Tractor trailers are heavy, large pieces of machinery that travel at high speeds. Truck drivers are under constant pressure to transport cargo quickly. Studies have shown that a large percentage of long-haul truck drivers have admitted to falling asleep at the wheel. Driver fatigue is a continuing and growing problem. Some truckers work 16-hour days.
Other causes of tractor trailer accidents include:
- Faulty inspection
- Faulty maintenance
- Faulty repair
- Tire blowouts
- Improper loading
- Drug and alcohol use
- Sudden braking
- Rapid lane change
- Failure to look in all mirrors
- Shifting and falling cargo
Some of the injuries commonly associated with tractor trailer accidents include:
- Neck and back injury
- Spinal cord injury
- Loss of limb
- Brain injury
- Broken bones
Following an accident, trucking companies promptly hire investigators and experts in an effort to minimize any payouts that have to be made. Evidence can be lost or even destroyed. If hired quickly, your attorney can take steps to secure and preserve favorable evidence and make sure that no evidence is destroyed. Evidence such as accident debris, skid marks, impact marks, and oil, gas, and fluid stains are vulnerable to weather conditions and should be photographed and/or secured immediately. Evidence relating to the truck itself is critical and can be lost or destroyed. Driver’s logs, alcohol and drug tests, maintenance reports, and eyewitness testimonies can all be critical to winning your case. Action must be taken immediately in order to preserve and secure the evidence.
Experts in the following areas may be needed in order to prove your case:
- Accident reconstruction
- Hazardous materials
- Road design
- Truck safety
- Proper truck maintenance
- Human factors
- Proper loading
- Load shift
Accidents involving 18-wheelers are not just big car wrecks. There are many differences that have nothing to do with the size of the vehicles. There are federal and state laws as well as federal regulations which govern and control the entire trucking industry. Truck drivers are required to follow specific state and federal regulations. Truck accident attorney Ed Meade is especially well-qualified to represent individuals and families of those catastrophically injured in accidents involving large trucks and tractor trailers. He understands these regulations and how they can be used to prove your case. These laws and regulations frequently play an important role in the successful prosecution of tractor trailer and large truck accident cases.
As the number of trucks and tractor-trailers crowding the nation’s highways continues to grow, so too does the potential risk to regular drivers on the road. We often take for granted that tractor trailer drivers and their employers have complied with safety laws and regulations. Unfortunately, people are injured every day by tractor trailers that are being driven recklessly, are overloaded, or are carrying hazardous material. Accidents involving trucks cause more than daily traffic delays; they also cause devastating injuries and damage.
Frequently, a primary cause for truck accidents is found in the failure of the truck driver to meet certain safety standards and laws either in the way the truck is handled and inspected or in the way the truck is loaded. When carelessness results in harm to other drivers, trucking companies and the insurance companies who insure them should be held accountable.
Claims and lawsuits involving tractor trailer and truck accidents are much more complicated than car accident claims. Insurance issues, federal and interstate laws and regulations, vehicle safety equipment, and employment questions all make a truck accident claim more complicated. Our knowledge and experience dealing with federal and state regulations and trucking industry standards will help you or your loved one reach a full and fair result.
Insurance companies, corporations, and trucking companies are in business to make money. They will settle these cases as cheaply as possible. Their goal is to save money and to keep payouts to personal injury claimants as minimal as possible. They are not concerned about your future well-being. You need an attorney who will put your interests ahead of that of the insurance company.
If you’ve been injured in a tractor trailer accident, please call Truck Accident Attorney Ed Meade at The Meade Law Firm today in order to schedule a free personal injury case evaluation. We want to help. (804) 377-2273.