Commercial vehicles can cause catastrophic damage. You know this all too well if you or a loved one has suffered a truck accident. Putting your life back together after such a terrifying event can be overwhelming. When negligently operated, trucks create a nightmarish scenario for occupants of smaller vehicles. That’s why our team of Virginia Truck Accident Lawyers is here to help you navigate the legal complexities.
If the negligence of a truck driver or trucking company resulted in serious injuries to you or a family member, you might be entitled to substantial compensation. Recovering this compensation is often difficult. A truck accident lawyer in Fairfax, VA can help.
The Parrish Law Firm Takes a Proactive Approach to Establishing Liability
When an accident happens, the first thing police or insurance companies will do is establish liability, or who is “at fault” for the accident. Police will issue tickets to the driver(s) who caused the accident, and insurance companies will use that information to decide who caused (or contributed to) the accident.
There are many “cut and dry” cases where who is at fault is obvious, but in commercial truck accidents, fault can be attributed to the drivers, trucking companies, truck leasing companies, or someone else responsible for maintaining the safety of the truck.
Establishing liability on the part of a responsible party (or parties) is critical. Without proof that another party’s breach of duty (their negligence) caused your injuries, recovering compensation is not possible. You must prove that another party:
- Acted in a way it should not have acted
- Failed to do something it should have done. This is a “breach of duty of care,” one element of your case.
In addition to establishing a breach of a duty of care, you must also prove that the breach was the proximate cause of the injury. This means that, but for the specific breach of duty, the accident would not have occurred.
The Trucking Company May Be Vicariously Liable
In most cases, even if the truck driver is 100 percent at-fault, you will also hold the trucking company liable. This is due to vicarious liability, which holds that employers are liable for their employees’ actions so long as they perform them within the scope of their employment.
This can lead to a higher settlement, but it also sometimes makes it more difficult to recover as you are going up against a large trucking company and an experienced insurer.
However, you have a secret weapon in your corner. Before Jim Parrish opened the Parrish Law Firm, he defended insurance companies. This means he has knowledge from inside the insurance companies in terms of how they operate and approach claims.
Common Causes of Virginia Truck Accidents
Driver error is a common cause of truck accidents in Virginia. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has regulations to lower the number of accidents that occur due to driver error. These regulations limit driving hours and the hours of rest drivers are required to take before going back out on the road.
Although regulations are in place, accidents still happen. Causes of accidents due to driver error include:
- Fatigue: While there are regulations in place requiring drivers to rest a certain amount of time, accidents still occur. Fatigue causes drivers to fall asleep at the wheel or have slower reaction times.
- Driving while intoxicated: Driving a large truck can be very dangerous if the driver is under the influence of drugs and alcohol. The intoxication can cause them to veer into the wrong lane and have slower reaction times.
- Distracted driving: Truck drivers may be distracted by texting or talking on their cell phones.
- Reckless driving: Any type of careless behavior the driver engages in, such as speeding, tailgating other cars, or ignoring traffic signals, can cause significant damage in a truck accident
Causes of truck accidents besides driver error include:
- Poor vehicle maintenance: Poor maintenance on trucks has caused many accidents. Brakes may fail if they are not checked regularly, and worn tires could cause a tire to blow out.
- Improper cargo loading: Loading the cargo onto the truck improperly can cause the truck to tip over or fall onto the roadway. If an accident occurred because of improper cargo loading, the person who loaded the cargo could be held liable for the accident.
- Weather: Rain, ice, or snow can cause the roadway to become slick. If roads are slick, trucks may slide into another lane causing an accident. Slick roads may also cause the truck to slide when trying to brake.
- Road conditions: If the roads are not being maintained properly, it can cause truck accidents. The person or entity who manages that part of the road could be held liable if it causes an accident.
If you or a loved one was injured in an accident, your Fairfax truck accident attorney from our firm will investigate the cause and determine who is liable. We will work so you can recover the compensation you need.
Fairfax Truck Accident Lawyer Near Me 571-229-1800
What to Do After a Fairfax Truck Accident?
You may feel overwhelmed about the next steps following a collision. Unfortunately, the choices you make in the days following your accident can have an impact on the outcome of your case. To protect yourself and your case, follow this checklist:
- Seek immediate medical attention. Not only can prompt medical assistance protect you from health complications, but it also provides valuable evidence tying your injuries to the accident.
- Contact the police. It’s very important to have an officer at the scene of the accident. They will create an accident report that may serve as evidence for your case. They may also assist with collecting evidence if you are too injured to do so.
- Collect evidence. If you are able, take photos of everything you can, including the vehicles, the accident scene, skid marks, street signs, broken glass, etc. Keep physical evidence such as torn clothing and broken property. These will help us demonstrate the extent of your losses and prove the cause of your collision.
- Seek legal help. Through no fault of your own, auto accidents are a minefield to navigate. Not only can one mistake be financially costly, but insurance adjusters and attorneys can use what you say against you, even if you weren’t at fault for the collision. Our Fairfax truck accident lawyer can protect you from these costly mistakes and from manipulative tactics.
Types of Compensation You May Recover in a Fairfax Truck Accident
After a truck or any kind of moving vehicle accident, you are going to incur some costs and expenses. These costs could be medical expenses, rental fees, and missed work. These losses you and other occupants sustained in the accident are your “damages.” These damages can be both economic (i.e., tied to a specific dollar amount) and non-economic.
Medical expenses can vary widely in a truck accident case. Treatment often requires:
- Emergency room transportation
- Sometimes multiple surgeries
- Ongoing medical care
- Rehabilitation such as physical therapy or occupational therapy
- Pain management
- Long-term care
Because future medical care may be necessary, a medical expert must review your case to discuss any expenses associated with future care. This should be part of any settlement or judgment. The Parrish Law Firm, PLLC may employ a physician to prepare a report or to testify on your behalf if necessary to prove the extent of your injuries.
Lost income is another important element of damages. You may have lost wages or self-employment income because of the accident. The accident may cause you to suffer diminished earnings in the future.
On top of these losses is the value of fringe benefits, pension, 401(k), and Social Security earnings. It is sometimes necessary to employ a forensic economist to paint a complete picture of these economic losses to an insurance company or jury. The Parrish Law Firm, PLLC may employ such an expert if necessary to prove the extent of your lost income.
“Pain and suffering” can be substantial in a truck accident. Both past and future pain and suffering are damages that we pursue in a truck accident case. The overall disruption that an accident has caused in your life also factors into the amount of your compensation. Courts refer to this as “inconvenience.”
Given the potential extent of personal injuries, property damage is sometimes the least of a victim’s worries. This is nevertheless not something that our truck accident lawyer overlooks. We can show you how to recover compensation for repairing or replacing the vehicle you were driving, as well as the value of any lost personal property that was inside the car at the time of the crash.
An Attorney from Our Firm Can Help You After a Truck Accident
Hiring a truck accident attorney after your accident can be helpful to your case. Our legal team has handled many truck accident cases and knows how to negotiate with insurance companies. Our firm will:
- Gather evidence of what caused the accident and determine who is liable
- Handle correspondence on your behalf regarding the accident (the insurance company, medical providers, the police, and your employer)
- Consult with experts to determine the value of your damages
- Negotiate with the insurance company to reach a fair settlement
- If a fair settlement cannot be reached, we are prepared to litigate on your behalf in court to fight for the compensation you are entitled to
Our legal team will deal with all legal matters so you can focus on recovering from your injuries.
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Jim Parrish Is Your Ally in Fighting the Insurance Company Battle
Schedule your free case review today and learn how Jim Parrish has earned prestigious awards for client service and trial advocacy. More importantly, though, Jim has earned positive feedback from the people who matter most: his clients.
As well as being a caring professional and aggressive litigator, Jim has extensive experience in the insurance industry. Now, he works hard fighting for people who have suffered injuries.
His prior career has armed him with inside information that he uses to battle insurance companies who are working to deny responsibility or minimize your injuries. The Parrish Law Firm, PLLC is here to help. Contact us today for a free claim review