Virginia Distracted Driving Truck Accident Lawyers
Have you been involved in a truck accident where the truck driver was distracted, perhaps by a phone? Were you hurt as a result of this accident? Did someone die? If you answered yes, then you need to contact the competent, experienced, and professional Virginia truck accident attorneys at Blaszkow Legal. We will work your case thoroughly from the minute you walk into our office.
Distracted driving is a very serious problem, and causes almost 4000 deaths in car, truck, and motorcycle crashes every year. Did you know that many people eat and drink while they drive? Many more are distracted by cell phones, or even the information and entertainment systems in the very car they are driving. These distractions can reduce a drivers' response time, and this impaired response time can lead to very serious accidents, and can even kill people.
Truck drivers have even more distractions in the cab of their trucks than regular motorists driving smaller cars. There are many systems in operation on the truck, and many displays that can take the driver's attention away from the road. If the driver was not focused on operating his truck in a safe and competent manner, you may have a claim against that driver, and against the company that owns the truck.
Blaszkow Legal has decades of experience representing people who have been hurt in serious truck accidents in Northern Virginia, Maryland, and DC. When you have been hurt, you want an experienced and aggressive lawyer on your side. Call Blaszkow Legal at 703-879-5910
Distracted Driving and Truck Drivers
As said above, truck drivers have a lot of distractions when they are trying to drive. However, federal regulations actually prohibit truck drivers from using cell phones while operating a commercial vehicle. This mere restriction does not always stop the driver from actually doing it! If you have been driving along I-95, and looked into a truck as it passed, you may have seen the driver on his phone! The fact that the driver has a phone in his hand, does not necessarily mean he was checking Facebook. Many companies and dispatchers keep in contact with their drivers, via cellular technology. Some of these drivers may fear that they will be punished if they do not immediately respond.
Truck drivers who are found to be violating federal regulations could be fined, and could even face having their commercial drivers license suspended!
Truck Drivers and Food
Many truck drivers are paid by the mile, so the more they drive, the more they are paid. This means that truck drivers often feel very crunched by time period they will do everything they can to minimize their stops, and keep rolling as much as possible. Simple tasks that you and i take for granted, such as eating and drinking, are often done in the cabs of these trucks. This is perfectly reasonable, on its face, however sometimes a truck driver can get very distracted with his meal. Think about it: how easy is it to unwrap a Subway sandwich? Sitting at a table in a restaurant, it's not that hard. Trying to do it with one hand, while operating a 40 ton vehicle at highway speeds is far more complicated, and far more dangerous!
What Should You Do After a Truck Accident in Virginia
Truck accidents often result in very serious injuries, because the trucks are so big, and the cars that are sometimes hit by them, are so small. You need to begin protecting yourself, and preserving the evidence in your case immediately. Sometimes your injuries can be so bad, that there's nothing that you yourself can do. Call Blaszkow Legal so we can start investigating immediately. We will focus on the things that need to be done, so you don't have to.
Immediately after the accident, call 911. Never assume that someone else has called, because other people may be making that same assumption. If you can move your vehicle off the road, you should do that. However in a truck accident, your vehicle may not be movable.
If you are able to get out of your car, you want to get off of the roadway. Unfortunately, many accidents happen at the scene of other accidents. You could be struck by another vehicle. Get onto the shoulder, and onto the grass if possible. However, always remember, that sometimes the safest place is in your vehicle, because you are protected by airbags and seat belts and the frame of the car.
Once the police have arrived, if you have the ability, take as many pictures as you can. There is no such thing as too many pictures. This may include video if you wish. All of these pictures are going to become evidence in your case.
You should definitely get pictures of the vehicle that hit you, not just your own! If this vehicle is a big rig, then get pictures of the truck, from the front and on the sides. Don't forget to get pictures of the trailer, and even the back doors. There are times when the insurance company for the trailer may be as responsible as for the truck and driver.
If you have been hurt, you need to get medical care immediately. Do not wait. Again, consider the mechanism of impact. After an accident, even after a few minutes, you may still be in shock, and riding the high of adrenaline that is protecting you. Get checked out at the hospital or at the very least, an urgent care center.
Next, call Blaszkow Legal right away. DO NOT speak to any insurance company until you have spoken to a lawyer. Even your own insurance company can very quickly become adversarial if you have an uninsured motorist case, or an underinsured motorist case. Never speak to an insurance company without speaking to an attorney first!
What Sort of Documents Do I Want to Keep?
In short: everything. If you have a document relating to the crash, or relating to your medical treatment, you need to get that to your lawyer right away. Keep copies of everything. Let the attorney decide what is and is not important. Things like prescription receipts, hospital handouts, insurance renewals, these could be important later on. Everything relating to the accident, whether it is a picture or a video or a piece of paper, has the potential to become evidence.
What Can I Claim for Damages?
The word damages means the things that add up to get to the amount of compensation you are demanding, against an insurance company, or against the parties who caused the injuries. There are many things that are elements of damages:
Loss of Earning Capacity
Pain and Suffering
Everything that you claim however, must be supported by evidence. It is important to remember that the person bringing the claim, called the Plaintiff, has the burden of proving his or her case. This is usually done through documentary evidence. One of the biggest items of evidence are often medical records, and the itemized bills relating to that medical treatment. Blaszkow Legal’s team will obtain these documents during your treatment, and also at the end, making a comprehensive listing of all of the things that you can claim. Our goal is to maximize your claim, to get you the compensation you deserve for the injuries you sustained, due to someone else’s negligence.
How Are You Going to Prove the Case?
As soon as you become a client of Blaszkow Legal, we begin making our strategy to move forward. Our entire team is involved in the initial investigation of a truck accident case, because there are many items of evidence that have to be obtained, or at the very least preserved.
A truck driver who is driving distracted has to be held responsible. We will do this by immediately sending out preservation notices to protect the data logs relating to all of the various electronic and computerized devices in the cab of that truck. This way, a forensic expert will be able to review all of that data, and prove whether or not the driver was on his phone, and thus driving distracted.
Everything that we do is designed to prepare your case for trial from the minute you walk into the office. The more work we do before litigation, the more the defense attorneys know that we are ready, willing, and able to fight. That makes them much more likely to settle, and spare you the pain and expense of having to go to trial.
But make no mistake- we are ready to fight in court for your rights!
Will I Have to Go to Court?
No attorney can tell you definitively whether or not a case is going to end up in trial period however, larger cases, especially those involving catastrophic injuries, or wrongful death, often end up in litigation. The insurance companies have their own strategy, and that is to draw cases out for as long as possible, and run up as many expenses as they can, hoping that a small attorney's office is overwhelmed by it, and will eventually close the file, or settle for a smaller amount of money. That is NOT how Blaszkow Legal operates. We will fight every step of the way for everything our client is entitled to.
We can say that over 85% of the cases that we work settle before lawsuits have to be filed. However, truck accidents will be litigated more often than regular car accidents.
There are very strict limitations on time, called statute of limitations. In Virginia, if you have been injured in a distracted driving truck accident, that lawsuit has to be filed within two years of the date of the accident.
What if Someone Died in the Truck Accident?
Regrettably, truck accidents do have a high likelihood of causing fatal injuries. The family of the person killed is entitled to compensation. If the person has been killed as a result of the negligence of a third party, this kind of action is called a wrongful death claim.
Wrongful death lawsuits must be filed within two years of the date of death.
Virginia law has very very strict guidelines on who can pursue a wrongful death action. A lawsuit can be initiated on behalf of:
The surviving spouse or domestic partner
Children or grandchildren
Parents and siblings of the decedent, who meet certain specific criteria, such as being dependent on the decedent for financial support
The law has a very strict order of precedence when it comes to who is a beneficiary of a wrongful death claim. However, before any claim can be asserted in court, an administrator has to be appointed for the estate. This is a very specific legal procedure where a living person is appointed to act for the benefit of the estate of the person who has died, and the deceased's beneficiaries.
In a Virginia Wrongful Death Case, the Administrator can claim certain damages:
Medical Bills and Expenses relating to the “last injury”
Value of lost wages/earning capacity
Loss of solace, guidance, and counsel provided by the decedent
Funeral costs and Burial costs
Families are obviously grieving after the horrible and tragic loss of a loved one period often, going through the steps to properly file a wrongful death action is the farthest thing from the families mind. However, sometimes people wait too long, and the claim ends up not being successful. You want to engage in the services of the compassionate and empathetic attorneys at Blaszkow Legal who will preserve your rights, and thus give you a chance to grieve in peace.
Engage An Attorney Right Away
When tragedy strikes, you need a good Virginia distracted driving truck accident lawyer to fight for your rights to the fullest extent. There are a lot of stressful situations you are going through, and you need someone on your side to help take some of that stress off of you. We strive to provide every client with dependable representation so you can rest assured that someone is fighting hard for you.
We provide free consultations for all personal injury matters, and work on a contingency fee basis. That means that we don't get paid unless you collect money! Call or email Blaszkow Legal today – 703-879-5910
Virginia Wrongful Death Statute: https://law.lis.virginia.gov/vacode/title8.01/chapter3/section8.01-50/