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Giving a Voice to the Injured

Virginia Truck Accident Attorney

Call For a Consultation: (571) 290-2390

Truck accidents are often much more dangerous than accidents involving cars alone, due to the larger size of commercial trucks. A traffic safety fact sheet published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that in 2012 alone, there were 3,921 people killed in the U.S. and an additional 104,000 people injured in accidents involving large trucks.

An accident involving a large truck can happen to anyone, even individuals who practice the best defensive driving techniques. If you have been the victim of a truck accident, our Alexandria truck accident attorneys at The Barrera Law Firm, PLLC can help you pursue a claim to recover compensation for your injuries.

Don’t handle your trucking accident alone. Our Alexandria truck accident attorneys are ready to help you with your claim. At The Barrera Law Firm, PLLC, our team has more than 30 years of combined legal experience to draw from as we devise a strategy to fight for your rights. We are committed to offering our injured clients compassionate service and determined representation in settlements and, if necessary, litigation.

Contact The Barrera Law Firm, PLLC today at (571) 290-2390 to begin your claim with a case evaluation.

Common Types of Truck Accidents

A truck accident refers to a collision or incident involving a motor vehicle such as semi-trucks, dump trucks, tow trucks, garbage trucks, etc. Trucks are typically larger and heavier than most other vehicles on the road, which can make accidents involving them particularly dangerous and potentially catastrophic. These accidents can result in significant property damage, injuries, and even fatalities.

Common types of truck accidents include:

  • Rear-End Collisions: These occur when a truck crashes into the vehicle in front of it. Rear-end collisions can happen due to various factors, such as the truck driver's failure to maintain a safe following distance or sudden stops by the vehicle in front.
  • Head-On Collisions: These accidents happen when a truck collides with a vehicle traveling in the opposite direction, often resulting in severe injuries or fatalities.
  • Jackknife Accidents: A jackknife accident occurs when the trailer of a truck swings out to the side, forming an angle with the cab of the truck, resembling a partially folded pocket knife. This often happens when the truck loses control or skids.
  • Rollover Accidents: Rollover accidents involve a truck tipping over onto its side or roof. These can result from factors like excessive speed, sharp turns, or uneven road surfaces.
  • Side-Impact Collisions (T-bone): These accidents occur when a truck crashes into the side of another vehicle, forming a "T" shape. They often happen at intersections when one vehicle fails to yield the right of way.
  • Underride Accidents: These accidents occur when a smaller vehicle collides with the rear or side of a truck and slides underneath it. This can lead to catastrophic injuries to the occupants of the smaller vehicle.
  • Runaway Truck Accidents: These accidents happen when a truck loses its brakes or experiences a mechanical failure, making it difficult for the driver to control the vehicle. Runaway trucks can collide with other vehicles or objects in their path.
  • Wide Turns: Trucks require more space to make turns, and sometimes they swing wide to complete a turn, potentially colliding with nearby vehicles or obstacles.
  • Tire Blowouts: When a truck's tire blows out at high speed, it can lead to loss of control and result in an accident.
  • Hazardous Materials Spills: Trucks transporting hazardous materials can be involved in accidents that lead to spills, posing environmental and safety risks.

Common Causes of Truck Accidents

Truck accidents can occur due to various reasons, often a combination of factors. Some common causes include:

  • Driver Fatigue: Long hours on the road without adequate rest can lead to driver fatigue, impairing judgment, reaction time, and overall alertness. Regulations are in place to limit the number of hours truck drivers can operate without rest, but violations can occur.
  • Distracted Driving: Just like any other driver, truck drivers can be distracted by various factors such as texting, using a phone, eating, adjusting the radio, or even reading maps or navigation devices while driving. These distractions can divert attention from the road, increasing the risk of accidents.
  • Speeding: Driving at excessive speeds, especially on highways or in adverse weather conditions, can significantly increase the likelihood of accidents. Large trucks require longer stopping distances, so speeding reduces the driver's ability to react to hazards.
  • Poor Vehicle Maintenance: Neglecting regular maintenance of trucks can lead to mechanical failures such as brake failure, tire blowouts, steering malfunctions, or engine problems. These issues can cause accidents, especially when they occur at high speeds or on busy roads.
  • Improper Loading or Overloading: Incorrectly loaded cargo or overloaded trucks can affect the vehicle's balance, stability, and maneuverability. This imbalance can lead to rollovers, jackknifing, or difficulty in stopping, especially during sudden braking.
  • Adverse Weather Conditions: Driving in adverse weather such as heavy rain, snow, ice, or fog can significantly increase the risk of accidents. Reduced visibility, slippery roads, and decreased traction make it challenging to control large trucks, leading to collisions.
  • Driver Inexperience or Inadequate Training: Inexperienced truck drivers may lack the skills and knowledge necessary to operate large vehicles safely. Proper training on vehicle operation, safety protocols, and defensive driving techniques is essential to prevent accidents.
  • Aggressive Driving and Road Rage: Aggressive behaviors such as tailgating, sudden lane changes, or disregarding traffic signals can lead to accidents, especially when involving large trucks with limited maneuverability.
  • Driving Under the Influence (DUI): Operating a truck under the influence of alcohol or drugs significantly impairs a driver's ability to safely control the vehicle, increasing the risk of accidents and fatalities.
  • Roadway Defects and Hazards: Poor road conditions, construction zones, debris on the road, or lack of adequate signage can contribute to truck accidents by causing loss of control or collisions.

Who's Liable for Your Injury?

Truck accidents can cause devastating injuries, and victims are often faced with an uphill battle to recover the damages they deserve. Truck accidents are notoriously complex compared to auto accidents. Many different parties are involved in a commercial truck accident, but assigning liability to any of them can be difficult. A skilled truck accident attorney can help you fight for your rights and can make building your case easier.

In a truck accident, there often is more than one party responsible for the victim’s injuries. These parties may include:

  • Truck Driver: The truck driver can be held liable if their negligent actions or decisions contributed to the accident. This could include actions like speeding, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, distracted driving, or violating traffic laws. The driver's employer may also be held liable under the legal doctrine of "respondeat superior," which makes employers responsible for their employees' actions within the scope of their employment.
  • Trucking Company: The trucking company that employs the driver may be held liable for the accident, especially if it can be shown that they were negligent in hiring, training, supervising, or retaining the driver. Additionally, if the trucking company has policies or practices that encourage unsafe behavior (e.g., unrealistic delivery schedules), they may also be held liable.
  • Vehicle Owner: If the truck involved in the accident is owned by someone other than the driver or the trucking company, that owner may be held liable if they were negligent in maintaining the vehicle. This includes ensuring that the truck is in proper working condition, with regularly scheduled maintenance and repairs.
  • Truck Manufacturer: If a mechanical failure or defect in the truck's design contributed to the accident, the manufacturer or distributor of the truck or its parts may be held liable. This can include issues with brakes, tires, steering, or other essential components.
  • Cargo Loaders: In cases where the cargo was improperly loaded or secured and this contributed to the accident (e.g., cargo shifting or falling onto the road), the party responsible for loading and securing the cargo may be held liable.
  • Maintenance Companies: Companies responsible for maintaining the truck's components, such as brakes, tires, or the engine, may be held liable if their negligence in maintenance or repairs led to the accident.
  • Government Entities: In some cases, poor road conditions, inadequate signage, or other issues related to the roadway itself may contribute to a truck accident. In such cases, government entities responsible for road maintenance and design could be held liable.
  • Other Drivers: It's possible that the actions of other drivers on the road, such as reckless or negligent behavior, contributed to the accident. In some cases, these drivers may share liability.

Often, truck accidents will involve multiple insurance policies and attorneys who are representing the various parties involved. This can be overwhelming to deal with while you are recovering, but your lawyer can handle your claim and managing the other parties’ requests for information. It also is not uncommon for the different parties to try to blame each other in order to protect themselves. Evidence is necessary to prove your claim, and your attorney will gather the necessary records, photographs, or witness statements to support your story.

Hire a Virginia Truck Accident Lawyer With Six Decades of Experience

If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident involving a large truck, the time to act is now. According to Virginia Code section 8.01-243, the statute of limitations for pursuing a personal injury case is two years from the time of the accident.

We can guide you through the process of filing your claim and help you gather the documentation necessary to prove negligence. We can give you more information about what types of compensation you may be eligible to recover after a truck accident. The Barrera Law Firm, PLLC proudly represents injured victims in Virginia, Washington DC, and Maryland. We are here to lend you a helping when you need it the most.

Take the first step towards compensation by contacting us today. Consultations are free!

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Why Choose The Barrera Law Firm, PLLC?

  • Over 75 Years of Combined Legal Experience
  • $75 Million in Recoveries for Clients
  • Client-Centered, Hands-On Approach
  • Bilingual Staff & Attorneys
  • Over 100 Cases Taken to Trial
  • Complimentary Case Consultations
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  • Licensed in Virginia, Maryland, & DC