James City County truck accident attorneys
Because trucks are so large, crashes involving trucks are more likely to result in severe injuries. Fifty-eight truck crashes caused fatalities, and 717 truck crashes caused injuries to drivers and passengers in Virginia during a recent year.
Truck accidents are more complicated than other types of vehicle accidents. Several physical factors make truck collisions more hazardous, and federal safety regulations about trucks are also complex.
If you or a loved one has been injured by a negligent truck driver, the large trucking companies and their insurance companies will do everything they can to prevent you from getting a fair settlement.
At GibsonSingleton, we know how to take on the big insurance companies and win, even if we have to take them to court. We’ll never stop working to protect our friends and neighbors in Virginia. Call (804) 413-6777 to find to schedule a free meeting to find out all your options after a truck wreck. We have a no-fee guarantee, meaning we don’t get paid until we win your case.
A fully loaded truck weighs up to 80,000 pounds. Maneuvering a vehicle this large safely takes special care. That’s why trucking companies have to hire drivers with the training and experience to do the job right.
Otherwise, the following types of accidents happen when drivers make fateful mistakes, or the trucks aren’t properly maintained:
Jackknife. This accident happens when the truck and trailer go in different directions, so that it looks like an open pocketknife. Jackknife accidents happen because the driver applies the brakes too quickly, perhaps to avoid a hazard. When a truck jackknifes, it can obstruct several lanes of traffic, often causing several vehicles to crash into one another.
Blind spot accidents. Every vehicle has blind spots -- areas where the driver can’t see. Because trucks are so large and high off the ground, they have significant blind spots on all four sides. That’s why truck drivers are trained to take extra precautions when merging or changing lanes. Otherwise, they can cause serious accidents.
To be safe, don’t follow a truck too closely, and be extremely careful when passing a truck, especially on the passenger side.
Runaway trailer. When a truck trailer breaks loose on the highway, it becomes a major hazard for other drivers. Causes of runaway trailers include poor maintenance, aggressive driving, driver distraction, and fatigue.
Rollover. Rollover accidents often happen when a truck isn’t properly balanced, and the center of gravity becomes too high. Driver inexperience can also contribute to rollovers. Speeding, especially while taking a curve, is a major cause of rollovers.
Overloaded cargo. The trucking industry is regulated to prevent drivers from carrying too much weight. When these laws are ignored, stopping time is increased, and the driver is more likely to lose control of the vehicle.
Underride accidents. When a passenger car collides with a truck, the vehicle may become stuck beneath the truck trailer. This can happen from the side when the truck is turning or from the rear. Although large trucks are required to have rear guards to prevent underrides, they are not always effective, and sometimes the underride guard is not properly maintained.
Cargo Spills. When an accident causes a truck to lose its cargo, the results can be devastating. The cargo may become strewn across the highway, causing other vehicles to crash. The cargo may also include noxious materials that cause injuries to other drivers. If the truck is transporting flammable material, fires and explosions can result.
Even when you are doing everything you can to protect yourself on the highway, accidents caused by negligent truck drivers and irresponsible trucking companies can still happen.
Here are some of the leading causes of the truck accidents we have seen in James City County:
- Fatigued driving. Federal regulations provide strict guidelines for the number of hours truckers are allowed to drive. Truckers must take regular breaks so they can stay alert. Unfortunately, truck drivers often violate these rules to meet quotas set by their employers.
- Equipment failure. Supervisors and owners of trucking companies are responsible for making sure trucks are properly maintained. Regular maintenance is required to guarantee that brakes, steering, lights, and other safety equipment are always working properly.
- Poorly trained and inexperienced drivers. High turnover in the trucking industry means that many inexperienced truck drivers are on the road. The best way to prevent accidents is to hire experienced drivers and train them properly, but this isn’t always done by trucking companies.
- Driving under the influence. Drugs and alcohol impair a driver’s judgement, reaction time, and coordination. There is no excuse for professional truck drivers to be on the road if they have been using alcohol or controlled substances. Trucking companies are responsible for screening their employees to make sure they have a clean driving record.
- Distracted driving is a growing threat to driver safety, mainly because of cell phone usage. That’s why GibsonSingleton launched our “Texts=Wrecks” campaign -- to reduce the number of people killed or injured from drivers texting while driving in Virginia. Truck drivers must avoid all types of visual, manual, and cognitive distractions to help prevent deadly accidents, but unfortunately, many do engage in distracted driving each day.
- Overloaded cargo. When a truck is overloaded, it raises the center of gravity, making jackknife and rollover accidents more likely. If the overall weight of a truck goes beyond the legal limit, the impact when the truck crashes into a passenger vehicle greatly increases.
At GibsonSingleton, we’ll investigate your accident to find out whose negligence is responsible for the issues you are dealing with following an accident with a truck. Then we work aggressively to get you a fair settlement to cover all the costs of your medical care, lost wages, and physical and emotional pain. We walk you through every step of the legal process until you are satisfied – we are here to guide you and help you get the best possible outcome.
If you or someone you love has been injured or killed in a truck accident, call our James City County personal injury lawyers at (804) 413-6777 today to schedule your FREE consultation. At GibsonSingleton, we will always treat you like our neighbor, never a number.
It costs you nothing for our firm to represent you. We only get paid when you do. Learn more
Prevention, empathy, and diligence are hallmarks of everything we do at GibsonSingleton Virginia Injury Attorneys. Our community can see these ideals lived out in our work to prevent personal injuries from happening.
- Safety Education
GibsonSingleton launches “Texts=Wrecks” campaign to reduce the number of people injured or killed by distracted drivers.
- Annual Coat Drive
During the fall, our team works to distribute coats to people in need in our community.
- Hands-on Service
John and Ken join the Gloucester Point Rotary Club in cleaning up the community.
- Supporting Local Schools
The Gibson family participates in Gloucester’s Botetourt Elementary Shuffle fundraiser.