Truck accidents often have the most catastrophic consequences of any type of traffic collision. The size and speed of 18-wheelers mean these vehicles can leave a trail of devastation in their wake. You shouldn’t be forced to shoulder the financial burdens that someone else caused you. Instead, turn to the truck accident lawyers of Deering Hedrick for help recovering compensation and justice from those responsible for your injuries.
Attorneys Mike Deering and Chris Todd Hedrick have dedicated themselves to advocating for the rights and interests of accident victims in Virginia Beach and the surrounding communities. We understand that money cannot undo the harm you have suffered. But we believe that you deserve to obtain the financial recovery you need to start rebuilding your life.
Reach out to Deering Hedrick today for a free initial case review with our Virginia Beach, VA, truck accident attorneys. Let our firm advocate on your behalf to hold those at fault for your injuries accountable for their careless or reckless behavior.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents
Common causes of truck crashes in Virginia Beach include:
- Reckless or aggressive driving
- Running red lights or stop signs
- Failing to yield the right of way
- Not using turn signals or mirrors
- Drowsy/fatigued driving, especially after exceeding hours-of-service limits
- Drunk or drugged driving
- Distracted driving
- Truck driver experience
- Inadequate truck/trailer maintenance
- Vehicle defects
- Improper cargo loading
- Adverse weather
- Poor road conditions
Types of Truck Accidents
Some of the most common kinds of truck accidents include:
- Head-on collisionsusually happen when a truck driver drifts over the center line or median or drives the wrong way down a one-way street or highway access ramp.
- Rear-end collisionsoccur when a truck driver follows another vehicle too closely, usually when the driver is speeding, distracted, drowsy, or intoxicated.
- Sideswipe collisionsinvolve the sides of two vehicles impacting one another, often occurring when a truck driver tries to change into a lane occupied by another vehicle.
- Side-impact/T-bone collisionsinvolve the front of a truck hitting the side of another vehicle. They frequently occur at intersections when a truck driver runs a red light/stop sign or fails to yield the right of way.
- Underride accidentsoccur when a vehicle gets caught underneath a truck trailer along the side of the trailer or under the rear overhang.
- Jackknife accidentshappen when the truck’s trailer swings wide, causing the cab and trailer to fold in on one another like a pocketknife.
- Rollover accidentssend the truck flipping over or tipping on its side.
- Cargo accidents occur when a truck driver loses control of their vehicle due to shifting cargo or when the truck spills its cargo onto other vehicles or the road.
Injuries Suffered by Victims of Truck Crashes
Because of its size and weight, an 18-wheeler can hit your car with much greater force than a smaller passenger vehicle. As a result, a truck crash can cause serious or potentially life-threatening injuries such as:
- Lacerations, abrasions, or degloving injuries
- Dislocated joints
- Ligament, tendon, or muscle damage
- Broken bones
- Herniated spinal discs
- Nerve damage
- Spinal cord injuries
- Internal organ damage and internal bleeding
- Head and facial injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
Who Can Be Held Liable for Truck Accident Injuries?
Many companies could be involved in any particular trucking job, which means multiple parties may be liable for the injuries and losses you suffered in an accident. Examples of parties you might seek compensation from in your truck accident case include:
- The truck driver
- The truck’s owner
- The trucking company
- The freight/cargo broker
- The truck’s mechanic
- The truck’s manufacturer or truck part manufacturers
One rule that might come into play in a case with multiple liable parties is Virginia’s law concerning joint and several liability. Under this law, you can hold any party that is partially at fault for your injuries liable for the entirety of your losses. This potentially gives your lawyer more options for pursuing maximum compensation on your behalf.
You should also understand Virginia’s contributory negligence rule, which bars an injured party from pursuing a compensation claim if they bear even the slightest share of fault for the accident. The truck accident attorneys of Deering Hedrick can vigorously advocate on your behalf to prove that the trucking companies bear the entirety of the fault for the crash and protect your rights to recover compensation.
What Makes Truck Accident Claims Different From Other Auto Accident Cases?
Truck accident cases are often considerably more complicated than those involving other motor vehicle accidents. Some of the factors that make truck accident cases different include:
- Truck accidents cause more serious injuries– The greater force imparted by a collision with a truck means more severe injuries requiring long-term medical care and rehabilitation. Serious injuries can complicate the claims process as your case may require a greater amount of compensation. Trucking companies and their insurers may negotiate harder with more money on the line. Serious injuries can also complicate financial recovery if you must include future estimated medical expenses and financial losses.
- Truck accidents often injure multiple people– Truck crashes may have multiple injured victims, which can draw out the claims process if trucking companies or their insurers wish to reach one settlement with all injured parties simultaneously.
- Truck accident cases can involve complex evidence– Investigating truck accidents can take a long time because of the many pieces of evidence involved. This evidence can include the truck driver’s hours-of-service logs, the truck’s “black box” logs, the cargo/load manifest, or truck inspection/maintenance records.
Why Choose Deering Hedrick for Your Truck Accident Case?
Having the right legal representation can make a big difference in the outcome of your case and the results you might achieve. Accident victims in Virginia Beach and throughout Hampton Roads have turned to Deering Hedrick for legal advocacy and advice because:
- Attorneys Mike Deering and Chris Todd Hedrick provide aggressive legal representation to fight for our clients’ interests.
- We have years of legal experience and can handle cases throughout the region.
- We take the time to get to know our clients and understand their goals and concerns. By learning more about your needs, we can use our knowledge and experience to prepare a tailored case strategy to achieve the result you want.
- We strive to offer a compassionate, personal approach to our client service. We know that you need a partner, not just an attorney, during this difficult time in your life.
- We have a proven record of success obtained for our clients. Our attorneys have been recognized for their work by multiple organizations and publications and have been named Best Personal Injury Lawyers in Virginia Beach for 2022 by Expertise.com.
What Compensation Can You Recover After a Truck Wreck?
The compensation you may be entitled to after being involved in a truck accident in Virginia Beach, VA, may include the following:
- Reimbursement for your car repairs or the value of your vehicle if it was totaled in the accident
- Costs of medical treatment and rehabilitation
- Costs of long-term care for permanent disabilities that result from your injuries
- Lost wages/income after missing time from work or suffering a reduction in earnings while on part-time/light-duty work during your recovery
- Lost future earnings and employment benefits after becoming permanently disabled from your job or other work
- Pain and suffering
- Lost enjoyment and quality of life
Steps You Need to Take After an 18-Wheeler Accident
Here are several steps you can take after a truck crash to protect your rights to compensation for your injuries and losses:
- Report the crash to law enforcement. Medical responders will provide emergency treatment, while police will investigate the scene and create a report of their findings.
- Document the accident scene by taking photos and videos, gathering the truck driver’s license/employer/insurance information, and taking down contact information from any eyewitnesses.
- See a doctor as soon as possible to get examined for injuries you suffered in the accident.
- Follow your healthcare provider’s treatment instructions. Do not delay or cut off your treatment.
- Notify your auto insurance provider and file claims for coverage under your policy, such as MedPay or collision coverage.
- Gather records of your injuries and losses, including medical records, bills, invoices, receipts, and income statements.
- Keep a journal or diary to record the pain and physical difficulties you experience during your recovery.
- Try to avoid using social media during your medical recovery and legal case.
Finally, reach out to a truck accident attorney from Deering Hedrick to get started with pursuing your legal claims to recover compensation for your injuries.
Frequently Asked Questions About Truck Accident Claims
Below are the answers to some of the common questions our clients have about truck accident claims.
Should I agree to give the trucking company or insurance company a statement?
You should decline to answer questions about the truck accident or your injuries or give a recorded or written statement until you have consulted with your truck accident attorney about speaking to the trucking company or its insurer. Insurance adjusters want to use your statements, often out of context, to shift blame for the crash onto you or minimize the severity of your injuries. You can have the trucking or insurance company representatives contact your attorney directly. Your truck accident lawyer can provide the adjuster or company representative with any information they need to process your claim while also looking out for your interests and protecting you from inadvertently jeopardizing your claim.
How long will my truck accident claim take?
While no one can predict how long it may take to obtain a settlement or court judgment in your truck accident claim, several factors can affect the timeline of your legal case, including:
- The severity of your injuries.
- Whether your injuries result in permanent disabilities.
- The amount of time you miss from work or whether you become permanently disabled from the workforce.
- The extent of your financial losses, including medical care, vehicle repairs, and lost earnings.
- The number of injured victims in the truck accident.
- The number of parties liable for the accident and resulting losses.
- Whether you may have some responsibility for causing the accident.
- The complexity of the evidence.
- The strength of your legal case.
Will I need to go to court?
We know you may feel nervous about sitting in a courtroom or testifying at trial. Most truck accident claims settle instead of going to trial. Our firm will aggressively negotiate for maximum compensation for you in a settlement. Although we will never pressure you to go to court or trial instead of accepting a settlement, we will always provide you with honest, straightforward advice when litigation gives you the best chance of securing the best possible result in your case.
How long do I have to file my truck accident claim?
Under Virginia’s statute of limitations, you have a limited time to file a lawsuit against a liable truck driver or trucking company. You must file a lawsuit for personal injuries no later than two years after a truck accident or five years after the accident for property or vehicle damage. Filing a lawsuit after the statute of limitations expires on your truck accident claim risks having your case dismissed by the court and losing the opportunity to recover compensation. The stakes are high, so do not wait to speak with a truck accident attorney to determine how long you have to file your truck accident lawsuit. Remember, a strong case takes time to prepare, and critical evidence can go missing the longer you wait.
Contact Deering Hedrick Today for Help Pursuing Accountability and Justice for Injuries You Suffered in a Truck Crash
Contact Deering Hedrick for a free, no-obligation consultation to speak with a truck accident lawyer about your legal options for recovering compensation. Call us at 757-383-6848 or fill out the contact form on our website to learn more about how our firm can advocate for your right to justice from the negligent truck driver or trucking company.