Thousands of commercial trucks drive on the highways and neighborhood streets of Virginia on a regular basis. Commercial trucking is a huge industry, and one of the top channels for delivering products. Unfortunately, it also means that accidents happen causing injuries and death. Because commercial trucks are so large, loss of control means they often cause severe damage to passenger vehicles. Catastrophic injuries, some leading to death happen every year, more than 4500 in the United States each year.
While there are similarities between trucking accidents and car accidents when it comes to types of damages that victims can be awarded, trucking accidents are more legally complex. State laws can make compensation legally challenging in any state if no one knows how to navigate the legal system. Victims should retain a skilled personal injury attorney such as The Law Offices of Gerald F. Connor.
In passenger vehicle accidents between two parties, generally one driver is negligent and liable for the crash. However, a truck accident involves multiple factors besides that of the driver that affect liability. Trucking companies are required under state and federal laws to comply with safety regulations to help avoid trucking accidents. These regulations include securing cargo properly, because loose cargo can shift the truck away from the driver’s control. Debris from a truck can also cause accidents to passenger cars following the truck on the road.
Other possible negligence can cause crashes including the failure to adhere to the number of consecutive hours a commercial truck driver is allowed to drive which can vary from state to state. Driver are required to record their hours in logbooks for documentation. There are also requirements for how much rest drivers must have. Fatigued drivers are one proven cause of commercial truck accidents. Other causes can be intoxication due to drugs or alcohol.
Trucking companies can put pressure on drivers to stick to a driving schedule to save money on deliveries to customers. The dichotomy between the laws and what an employer wants is one reason that drivers may drive too many consecutive hours or not get enough rest between hours driving. Not every accident is caused by negligence. They can also be caused by outside conditions or weather. However, a good personal injury lawyer will be able to sort through the legal complexities for appropriate compensation.