Virginia truck driver negligence attorneys
Taking the wheel of an 80,000-pound vehicle is a big responsibility. That’s why the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) requires all tractor-trailer operators to undergo extensive training and pass a difficult "Skills Test" before they are awarded their commercial driver’s license (CDL).
The Skills Test has three parts: the vehicle inspection test, the basic controls test, and the road test. An operator must pass all three sections to earn a CDL. Yet even with these strict guidelines, big rigs are still a deadly presence on Virginia’s roads and highways. In 2020, Virginia experienced a 25% increase in large truck-related fatalities.
If you have been injured or lost a loved one in an accident involving a semi-truck, you may be able to receive money to cover your medical bills, lost wages, funeral costs, and more. To find out what you should do after a tractor-trailer accident, call the truck accident lawyers at GibsonSingleton Virginia Injury Attorneys at (804) 203-0385 or toll-free at (855) 781-6777 for a FREE consultation. As former U.S. Marines, we will help you prepare a plan. And if you hire us, we will execute it for you.
The DOT regulates the trucking industry, and it works to keep our roads safe through its Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). In addition to its strict licensing policies, the FMCSA limits how much a loaded tractor-trailer can weigh (80,000 pounds) and how many hours an operator can drive without taking a break.
Federal trucking regulations help make our highways safer, but negligent truck drivers are still a big problem. Focus on profits and carelessness of drivers and their employers can lead to oversights that endanger your family, especially through the following types of negligence:
- Skipping the pre-trip inspection
- Overloading the trailer to transport more cargo
- Speeding or driving too fast for road conditions
- Driving too many hours without a break
- Driving while fatigued
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Not checking blind spots
- Driving while distracted (texting, talking on a phone or CB)
- Improperly loading trailers (overweight or improperly secured loads)
- Not following the rules of the road
- Knowingly operating a vehicle that isn’t safe (i.e., bad tires, faulty brakes, etc.)
- Falsifying driver logs
A trucker or shipping company violating federal trucking laws can be grounds for a lawsuit against them. To bring a suit, an experienced personal injury lawyer will investigate to determine who was at fault for the crash and why. It’s important to begin the investigation as soon as possible, when the accident scene and evidence are still fresh, and witnesses are able to recall what happened.
When possible, you can assist the investigation by using your cell phone to capture photos of the scene and record vehicle damage and injuries to the driver and passengers at the time of the incident. We like to return to the scene to understand what happened and look for video surveillance that may help your case.
As experienced accident attorneys, we will review the police report, which may provide additional details and indicate whether the truck driver was breaking the law. We will also inspect both vehicles to determine if a mechanical failure or defective parts were a factor in the accident. We will interview all witnesses and review the trucker’s personnel file and company records to find out if the employer has a history of reckless behavior and safety violations.
One of the final steps in preparing an effective personal injury case is reviewing all medical records to get a picture of the full extent of your injuries and your total cost of care. This will include all ambulance rides, surgeries, doctor’s office visits, and rehabilitation. When we present the accident claim to the truck driver’s insurance company, we will also take into account lost wages and pain and suffering endured by the victims.
- To prove a tractor-trailer operator was negligent, you first have to prove that the operator owed you a "duty of care." By that, we mean the operator owed you something as simple as "driving safely while on the road."
- Then you have to prove that he or she violated that duty. For example, by driving while intoxicated.
- Next, you have to prove that the violation caused your injury.
- Finally, you have to show that the injury caused you to lose money.
This sounds clear enough, but trucking companies typically fight tooth-and-nail against anyone who brings a claim against them. Having lawyers behind you who know truckers and trucking companies’ tactics makes all the difference.
The size and weight of a semi-truck mean that a tremendous impact occurs when it collides with a passenger vehicle. That’s why the damage on a sedan and its passengers can be brutal. Victims in these cases often require extensive treatment for the following types of injuries:
- Severe burns
- Nerve damage
- Loss of limb
- Internal bleeding and organ damage
- Head wounds and traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
- Wrongful death
- Spinal cord injuries and paralysis
- Back and neck injuries
- Fractured bones
If the trucker was clearly at fault, the trucking company’s insurers will often deny your claim or offer you a lowball settlement that doesn’t even cover the full cost of your medical care. That’s where we come in. As former Marines, we will aggressively advocate for you to the full extent of your claim.
Our experienced Virginia tractor-trailer accident lawyers at GibsonSingleton Virginia Injury Attorneys know how to take on the insurance companies and win. We used to work for them, and we know all their tricks. We’ve helped families just like yours get a fair settlement, with enough money for the accident victims to pay their bills and get back on their feet again.
Call us at (804) 413-6777 or toll-free at (855) 781-6777 for a free case evaluation. We don’t get paid unless we recover money for you. We are former U.S. Marines who have served our country. Now, we stand ready to serve you with compassion and excellence.
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.