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Companies With The Most Truck Accidents

In Virginia, several major interstates cut across the commonwealth, such as I-81, 464, I-95, and I-64. It is almost impossible to go without seeing a semi-truck when you drive on an interstate in Virginia.

Trucking companies play an integral part in carrying cargo across the country. This will not stop, but knowing which trucks are the most dangerous might be helpful for you to understand. Armed with this knowledge, you can better protect yourself against getting hit by tractor-trailers or other large trucks.

In the event you are the victim of a commercial truck accident in the Hampton Roads area, the caring personal injury attorneys at Montagna Klein Camden are here for you. To obtain a free consultation, call our law office at 757-622-8100.


Which State Has the Most Trucking Accidents?

Thankfully, Virginia is not one of the top three states with the most trucking accidents, but unfortunately, they still occur. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, in 2019, accident statistics showed 100 deaths resulted from truck-related crashes in Virginia. This does not take into account the thousands of injuries occurring every year from collisions with commercial vehicles.

Can You Check the Safety of Individual Trucking Companies?

Fortunately, you can check the safety of interstate trucking companies through a system known as SAFER, which is a part of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Federal regulations require interstate trucking companies to report accidents when they cause a fatality, injuries requiring immediate medical treatment, or property damage that results in a vehicle being towed from the accident scene. You can check for the largest trucking companies’ safety records at the federal agency’s official SAFER website.

What is the Most Dangerous Trucking Company?

FMCSA reports the two companies considered the most dangerous due to the number of accidents occurring are FedEx and UPS. Other companies with high amounts of fatality truck accidents include J.B. Hunt, Werner Enterprises, Inc., and Swift Enterprise.

When thinking about the most fatalities, it is also important to note the companies topping the list also have the most trucks in their fleets, the largest number of drivers, and the most miles driven, which naturally increases the probability of accidents. To determine the most dangerous companies, you should calculate the total percentage of crashes with the number of trucks on the road.

What Truck Company Has the Highest Fatality Rate?

The company with the highest fatality rate is Averitt Express. Accident rates show this company’s trucks have killed fewer people overall than FedEx or J.B. Hunt; however, Averitt Express has considerably fewer trucks on the road, making their fatality rate the highest.

Essentially, this means their truck drivers have more accidents than other companies with larger fleets do. It is important to note this because it suggests there may be an issue with the company itself. Trucks that are on a time crunch and rushing to make their deadlines tend to cause more accidents.

A company’s safety record can speak volumes when the total number of trucks, drivers, and miles driven are taken into any calculations. More accidents do not necessarily equate to the most dangerous drivers.

What Should You Do If You Were Hit By a Truck?

If you or a family member were hit by a truck from one of the previously mentioned companies or another vehicle used by a different company in the trucking industry, it is important to take the following steps right away.

Seek Medical Attention

The health and safety of anyone involved in a truck crash is the biggest priority. If first responders do not bring you or one of your passengers to the ER from the crash site, be sure to visit a medical professional immediately after the collision. An experienced doctor can identify, diagnose, and treat injuries you may have.

It is not uncommon for hidden injuries to be present. A thorough evaluation can rule out the most common truck accident-related injuries. If a healthcare practitioner finds injuries, you can start treatment immediately, reducing the chance of future complications. Additionally, a medical evaluation is an important piece of evidence when the time comes to file your truck accident claim.

Call 911 and the Police

If anyone at the accident scene appears severely injured, call 911 right away so emergency responders can quickly attend to people who are hurt. At this time, you should also immediately report the collision to the police. An officer will come to the scene to survey the area, document the accident, and file a police report.

This report, which includes important details related to the accident, is valuable evidence because it contains information that tends to get lost over time, including eyewitness information, weather conditions, traffic infractions, traffic conditions, or other pertinent information.

Exchange Information

Be sure to exchange contact information with the trucker and obtain the driver’s name, employer name, employer contact information, and the insurance company. Also, note the color, make, model, and the license number for the truck or rig, including any markings or other identifying information that could prove important.

Collect Evidence

As soon as possible after the truck accident, take photos and video of the accident scene. See if any eyewitnesses are willing to provide an account of what they saw. As you collect evidence, include road conditions, signage, damage done to motor vehicles and trucks, or any other relevant details that may have contributed to the crash. It is also helpful to write down any details you remember before, during, and after the crash to help refresh your memory later.

Do Not Sign Anything

Do not sign anything at the scene of the crash before speaking to a legal professional. Truck companies are going to attempt to blame you to avoid taking responsibility. Their insurance companies will do the same.

Do Not Apologize

Never apologize for any events relating to the accident. Insurance companies may misconstrue an apology as an admission of guilt.

Contact an Attorney

Contact an attorney as soon as possible after being in a truck accident. It is impossible to know what long-term injuries you may suffer or what the truck company’s insurance adjuster might do. Your truck accident lawyer will know what to look for in estimating your long-term suffering and how much compensation you will likely need. They can also take your pain and suffering into consideration. If a case goes to court, a knowledgeable attorney who can advocate for your needs is your strongest ally.

Why Should You Hire a Virginia Truck Accident Attorney?

Motorists, cyclists, and pedestrians who suffer a truck accident should hire an attorney to try to recover damages in the case of personal injury or wrongful death. An attorney will also know what to do before the case.

The attorneys and insurance carriers working for truck companies will be working hard on their behalf and shift liability to you. You will want someone by your side advocating for your rights and holding those responsible for your injuries accountable for their actions.

A skilled attorney can help you pursue compensation to cover your medical bills, lost wages, emotional injuries, and wrongful death, amongst other losses and damages.

How Often Are You Driving Next to the Most Dangerous Trucks?

Accidents with the most dangerous trucking companies require the most dedicated attorneys. The truck accident lawyers at Montagna Law are committed to helping our clients receive the compensation they need to pay for their accident-related expenses.

If you or a loved one sustained serious injuries or lost a family member in a fatal accident, the dedicated lawyers at our law firm are here for you. Contact our legal team at 757-622-8100 or through our online contact form. We service the entire Hampton Roads area, including Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake, Portsmouth, and Suffolk.

How to Determine Liability in a Truck Accident

A truck accident can result in devastating injuries and damages. These types of accidents are usually not as simple as an accident involving two passenger vehicles and can include multiple parties who bear the responsibility of negligence. The experienced truck accident attorneys at Montagna Klein Camden are ready to assist you in finding the responsible party and help you seek the compensation you need and deserve.

Steps to Take After a Truck Accident

The shock of being in a large truck accident can be overwhelming, not to mention what comes next. If you are involved in a collision with a semi-truck and do not require immediate medical care, there are important steps you need to take. Start by checking on all the passengers in your vehicle to see if they are safe. Next, you will need to alert the authorities about the accident.

Once you are able, obtain contact and insurance information from the truck driver. Also, ask the driver questions about their employment. Make note of who the employer is or if the driver is an independent contractor.

Take photos or videos of the damaged vehicles, your injuries, the crash location and surrounding signage or lights, and any questionable road conditions. If you can, take notes about the weather conditions and anything else that may be contributable to the truck crash in some way.

You will most likely be in shock following a truck accident. Do your best to stay calm and follow the steps above as best as you can. Then seek legal advice from an experienced Virginia attorney as soon as possible.

Who Can Be Held Liable for a Truck Accident?

Unlike in a normal passenger vehicle accident, where negligence can fall to either driver, commercial truck accidents are uniquely different. Accident liability can fall to multiple parties, which may include any of the following.

Truck Driver

The truck driver may be liable when negligent behavior is a cause for the car accident. Such negligent behavior may involve speeding, distracted driving, and fatigue. Additionally, the truck driver is responsible for inspecting the vehicle and checking on maintenance and cargo loading for safety reasons. Failure to do so puts the driver at risk of having legal responsibility for the accident.

Truck Manufacturer

The truck or some part on it can fail or be defective, such as the brakes, steering, or tires, and as a result, cause an accident. When mechanical failure happens, liability can fall on the manufacturer of the truck.

Trucking Company

Trucking companies are responsible for their employees and their trucks. When an accident occurs with one of their big rigs and a driver they employ, they can become a responsible party. Factors that can make them potentially liable include irresponsible hiring and training practices, failing to adhere to hours of service limits created by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, and being negligent in meeting truck maintenance and inspection requirements.

Government Agency

If a roadway hazard contributed to the accident, the state or local government that oversees the part of the road where the accident occurred might be held accountable. Such hazards include flawed roadway design or maintenance, broken pavement, pooling water, work zone set-up, or insufficient signs warning of potential danger.

Cargo Loader

When a truck is not loaded correctly, or the cargo loader fails to apply all required state and federal regulations, the cargo can shift or cause other issues, which can cause an accident.

When is it the Driver vs. the Company’s Fault for a Truck Accident?

Determining who is liable when a truck accident occurs can be complicated and will require close examination at all levels. One level, in particular, is whether the truck driver or the company is at fault for the accident.

If driver negligence on the part of the trucker is found, most times, the parent company will be liable. However, there are instances where liability can fall on the driver. Below we look at the differences and when the driver or trucking company can be liable.

Driver’s Liability

The driver can be found as a liable party in a truck accident and be responsible for damages when:

  • Outside scope of employment: The trucker was not driving in a work capacity but instead was behind the wheel for personal reasons.
  • Deliberately driving negligently: The driver clearly showed negligence, which could be by driving under the influence, excessive speeding, or careless or reckless driving.
  • Independent contractor: The truck driver is not an employee of the company and is responsible for their own insurance coverage.

Company’s Liability

Liability may fall on the trucking company for a variety of reasons, including the following:

  • Poor hiring practices: The responsibility of hiring safe, qualified drivers falls on the trucking company. Liability for a truck accident may fall on the company when it implements poor hiring practices, such as not conducting background checks, hiring drivers with questionable driving records, and not confirming whether a new hire has a Commercial Drivers’ License.
  • FMCSA violations: Companies must adhere to FMCSA regulations at all times. When not, the trucking company faces liability. For example, the hours of service regulations require mandatory breaks for truck drivers to prevent fatigue and falling asleep at the wheel. Failing to comply with these regulations can bring stiff penalties and fines. Yet, some companies in the trucking industry are more concerned about the bottom line than roadway safety and will find ways to push the limits of drivers.
  • Maintenance issues: The FMCSA requires that the truck owner maintain their 18-wheelers and keep them in drivable condition. For this, they will need to conduct regular inspections, make immediate repairs, and perform routine, preventative maintenance. Poor maintenance practices can lead to a tire blowout and rollover, failed steering or braking systems, and more.
  • Cargo issues: Each truck trailer has weight and balance requirements, and the FMCSA requires loaders to secure cargo so that it does not shift during transport. Negligence in this area can result in the company being liable.

What Evidence Do I Need After a Truck Accident?

Determining the cause of the accident and where liability lies require looking at the evidence, and this might take an experienced truck accident attorney’s involvement. The trucking company will likely try to settle fast and offer an amount that seems generous but falls short after an investigation into the accident.

To have the best chance of obtaining adequate compensation, it helps to know what evidence you need after a truck accident. A court order may be necessary to obtain various types of evidence, such as trucking company or cargo loader records. Your attorney will be able to help with this.

The most common types of evidence presented in a truck accident case include:

  • Crash scene photos and videos
  • Police accident report
  • Witness statements
  • Medical records
  • Truck maintenance records
  • Download from the truck’s data recorder (“black box”)
  • Driver’s Logbooks
  • Trucking company’s hiring and training procedures
  • Inspection report by a certified truck inspector, obtainable only through a government agency

Your case may also benefit from the services of accident reconstruction specialists, expert witnesses, and other resources as determined by your truck accident lawyer.

What Damages Can You Seek After a Truck Accident?

The total damages you are eligible for and eventually obtain will depend on the circumstances surrounding the accident and the resulting injuries. The different damages pursued after a truck accident include economic, punitive, and non-economic.

Economic Damages

Economic damages cover your medical bills (past and future), wage losses, and any loss of earning capacity.

Punitive Damages

Punitive damages focus on punishing the negligent party and deterring such behavior in the future. In Virginia, those who are injured may recover up to the amount of $350,000 for these types of damages.

Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages can include claims for pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, or disfigurement.

Benefits of Hiring an Attorney for a Truck Accident

When involved in an accident with commercial vehicles, hiring a Virginia personal injury attorney will be beneficial for several reasons. For starters, you will gain access to legal knowledge and experience involving truck accident cases.

Commercial truck accidents with motor vehicles are often complicated, with more than one negligent party involved. An attorney can examine all the evidence, determine if there are multiple liable parties, and then communicate with each party’s insurance companies on your behalf.

Your attorney will also be able to subpoena and review records from the trucking company, cargo loader, and government agencies, if applicable.

Most importantly, an experienced truck accident lawyer can help you obtain higher compensation for your personal injury claim. Studies and surveys show that accident victims who hire an attorney often receive three times the compensation than if they choose to handle the claim themselves.

According to one survey, respondents working with a lawyer report an average compensation award of $77.6K for a personal injury case, while those without an attorney received an average of $17.6K. That is a significant difference!

Unrepresented personal injury cases only have a 51% likelihood of a payout. The chances of receiving a payout increase to 91% with legal representation. Montagna Law has a proven track record of winning payouts for clients, including over $900,000 for truck accident clients.

For those who suffer a debilitating or long-term injury, a personal injury lawyer can help calculate your compensation needs and how your injury will affect your future earning potential. If the negligent party’s insurance policy limits are lower than these calculations, your attorney can help you obtain more beyond those limits.

Unfortunately, fatalities can occur when accidents involve motorists and large tractor-trailers. When it does, your attorney may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit which can help the family financially.

Who Are You Holding Responsible for Your Accident?

Involvement in an accident with a commercial truck can take its toll on you and your family. To obtain the highest compensation available from the responsible parties, you need to be sure you are holding the right ones responsible for your accident. The experienced personal injury attorneys here at Montagna Law know how to collect evidence and determine all the parties involved so each one can be held accountable.

We believe in a strong attorney-client relationship and proudly serve clients in the Hampton Roads area, including Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake, Portsmouth, and Suffolk. Schedule a free consultation with our legal team today by calling 757-622-8100 or submitting the online contact form on our website.

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