The commercial trucking and local delivery industries are alive and well across the United States, including in Northern Virginia. Tractor-trailers and box trucks crowd our interstates and urban roads, creating hazards for drivers of much smaller cars, pick-up trucks, and motorcycles. If you or a loved one was an unfortunate victim of a careless truck driver, you could be entitled to a large settlement from the driver’s insurance company, as well as from the driver’s employer. However, these parties will fight to avoid paying you what you are owed, even when they are clearly liable. That’s why you need the experienced truck accident team at MacDowell Law Group fighting for you.
Dangerous Trucks Are Everywhere
Wherever you drive across Fairfax, Arlington, Alexandria, and Prince William Counties, you will encounter a variety of commercial trucks, including the following:
Made for long hauls, these 40-ton vehicles are the behemoths of the highways. When a collision occurs between a semi-truck and a car, the driver of the car is often seriously injured or killed.
Tall and unstable, delivery trucks used by companies like UPS and FedEx speed around neighborhoods and downtown areas, creating dangerous situations for motorists.
Smaller but just as unstable as bigger delivery trucks, box trucks are often used by bakeries, produce distributors, dairies, and other businesses to make local deliveries. They are frequently in poor mechanical condition, increasing the likelihood of a crash.
Hazardous materials trucks.
This special class of tractor-trailer has the added danger of carrying flammable or toxic materials that can wreak havoc on a highway in a collision.
While these trucks are different sizes and have different purposes, they are all commercial vehicles and, as such, are subject to complicated federal regulations and carry significant insurance policies.
Common Types of Truck Accidents
Collisions with trucks usually happen in one of the following ways:
Because cars and motorcycles are much smaller than semi-trucks, it is not uncommon for these vehicles to slide under the trailer in a collision. All trucks are now required to have underride guards to prevent this kind of tragic crash, but if the guard is missing or in disrepair, an underride crash can still happen. These crashes often have gruesome results.
Even with an underride guard in place, if the truck stops suddenly or swerves into the path of a car, the car can crash into the guard, causing significant damage. Delivery and box trucks are also hazards for rear-end collisions.
Top-heavy box trucks can roll over when taking a turn too quickly or hitting a slick patch of pavement. Any cars in the surrounding area could be crushed.
If a delivery truck driver makes a wrong turn onto a one-way street or a semi-truck driver falls asleep and crosses a median, a devastating head-on collision can occur.
Any kind of encounter with a truck can be deadly for the occupants of a passenger car or motorcycle.
What Causes Big Rigs and Box Trucks to Crash?
A range of factors can contribute to the cause of a crash involving a commercial truck, and not all of these are the fault of the truck driver. However, when the truck driver or trucking company is at fault, it is often for one of the following reasons:
A truck driver who is impaired by drugs or alcohol, distracted by a cellphone or other activity, fatigued, or driving aggressively when the accident occurs should be held liable for the damages and injuries they cause.
Negligent employment practices.
If a trucking company fails to conduct background checks, medical exams, drug tests, and driving assessments when hiring a driver, and that driver causes an accident, the company should be held accountable in addition to the driver.
When a truck is not inspected regularly and maintained according to minimum safety standards, the parties responsible for the vehicle’s maintenance should be made to pay damages.
In many truck accident cases, more than one party can be held liable for a crash.
Truck Accident Injuries Are Often Catastrophic
Sadly, semi-truck crashes are often fatal for the occupants of smaller vehicles. When a loved one loses their life in a crash, you might have the option of filing a wrongful death lawsuit as a surviving family member. The legal team at MacDowell Law Group can investigate this possibility for you and file the claim if it is appropriate.
When the victims of a truck crash survive, they are often left with serious injuries such as the following:
- Spinal cord damage and paralysis
- Traumatic brain injury
- Severe burns
- Bone fractures
- Back injuries causing chronic pain and disability
- Respiratory problems caused by hazardous materials spilled in the crash
- Loss of limbs
These kinds of injuries can result in life-long disabling conditions. Our attorneys will make sure you receive the full value of your accident claim to cover all possible medical costs, lost income, and other expenses caused by the accident.
What to Do If You Are Injured in a Truck Crash in Virginia
Because you are often dealing with large insurance policies and corporate lawyers when you have been involved in a commercial truck accident, you need skilled and aggressive representation to take them on and win. The first thing you should do after a collision with a commercial truck is to get medical attention. It is likely that you will need immediate emergency care, but even if you don’t think you are badly hurt, you should see a doctor for assessment and treatment. The next thing you should do is call an attorney. These are difficult claims to win, and it is nearly impossible to win without an experienced accident attorney on your team.
Have You Been Injured In A Truck Accident?
If you or a loved one was injured in a commercial truck accident you need to speak with an experienced truck accident attorney as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Fairfax, Virginia personal injury law office at 703.277.2811 to schedule your free consultation. We help clients throughout Washington D.C., Maryland and Virginia and look forward to helping you.