Truck Accidents Are Serious Business
Truck and tractor-trailer accidents can have devastating consequences, which often result in severe injuries or catastrophic damages. Accidents involving commercial vehicles are governed by federal laws, which makes them unique from typical personal injury cases. Working with experienced legal counsel is essential in protecting your rights. Although it’s not always feasible to prevent truck and tractor-trailer accidents, knowing what to expect and the steps to take to obtain compensation for your injuries.
The Severity of Truck Accidents
Truck accidents are particularly serious due to the substantial size disparity between commercial vehicles and smaller cars or SUVs. Commercial trucks weigh anywhere between 15 to 40 tons, while standard passenger vehicles weigh a small fraction of that. Add the type of materials the truck is carrying to the equation, and there are limitless complications that lead to the incredibly devastating consequences a truck accident can cause.
Understanding Liability and Regulations
One vital aspect of truck accident cases is avoiding contributory negligence. In Virginia, if you are found to be even partially at fault for the accident, your ability to seek damages may be severely limited. Following basic safety protocols will not only decrease the chances of receiving severe injuries, but it may also limit your contributions to the crash. For example, by maintaining a safe distance from the vehicle in front of you and driving the speed limit, you may avoid rear-end collisions that could be used against you under the principles of contributory negligence.
Truck accidents also involve complex liability considerations, and several parties may be held responsible for the accident and resulting damages. Factors such as driver qualifications, adherence to federal and state regulations, vehicle maintenance, and cargo loading are critical in determining liability. Commercial motor vehicles are governed by federal laws, including the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs), Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act (CMVSA), and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Improvement Act (FMCSIA). Virginia adds to the list with specific laws covering vehicle weight limits, hours of service, commercial driver's licenses (CDL), liability insurance, and drug/alcohol testing.
Taking Prompt Action
Like with any accident, there are certain steps that must be taken promptly to protect your right to compensation. Your first priority after an accident is safety. Truck accidents often occur on busy highways or intersections and involve multiple vehicles, which means that it may not always be safe to exit your vehicle immediately. After calling emergency services, it’s absolutely necessary to receive medical attention. Even if you’re lucky enough to be able to walk away from a traumatic truck accident, you should get medical attention as soon as possible.
Once your health and safety are secured, call your personal injury attorney at your earliest convenience. Your attorney can help you ensure that all necessary evidence is collected and preserved, such as witness interviews, police reports, and medical bills. An attorney can also ensure that your lawsuit is addressed in a timely manner to help you recover losses when you need them most. At Blaszkow Legal, we’re passionate about serving our community by using our extensive experience handling truck and tractor-trailer accidents. If you or someone you know requires prompt assistance or would like to discuss your personal injury claim, call (703) 879-5910 today.