In 2020, the DMV of Virginia reported over 2,300 large truck crashes, which resulted in 58 fatalities and hundreds of injuries. Chesapeake is the third largest city in Virginia and home to several important roadways.
In Chesapeake alone, there are thousands of motor vehicle accidents across all categories each year, most of which occurred near intersections and major highways. No matter if you were driving on a rural road such as the dangerous Shillelagh Road or on major highways like the Chesapeake Expressway or I-664, accidents can occur at any moment.
After you’ve been injured in a car or motorcycle accident involving a truck, their insurance companies will use clever tactics to try and pay you the lowest possible amount, no matter how severe your injuries or significant your expenses. Despite how friendly they might try to sound; they are not going to advocate for you. You need an experienced truck accident lawyer on your side.
If you or a loved one have been affected by a truck accident in the Chesapeake area, the attorneys at Montagna Law are ready to help you. Contact our law firm today at (757) 622-8100.
What Is the Statute of Limitations for Truck Accidents in Chesapeake?
Under § 8.01-243, the Commonwealth of Virginia stipulates you must file a claim within two years from the date of the accident. The time for this statute of limitations begins on the date of the accident for injuries and, for a wrongful death case, on the date the victim died.
Even if you think you may have missed the statute of limitations, it is a good idea to speak to a personal injury lawyer because there are some exceptions to this rule.
How Do Truck Accidents Differ from Car Accidents in Chesapeake?
If you have been in a car accident before, you might assume that a truck accident claim proceeds in a similar fashion. However, the average commercial freight truck weighs about 80,000 pounds or more, 20 times the weight of a passenger car.
As a general rule of thumb, due to the sheer size of most trucks, victims tend to suffer more severe injuries and fatalities, creating a more complex and expensive claim. Truck accidents often involve complex medical evidence and high-pressure insurance tactics that make them much more challenging than conventional auto accidents.
For example, carrier companies and their insurance providers are well aware of how high the stakes can be in a truck accident case. They are prepared to defend aggressively. Our experienced truck accident lawyers are committed to protecting your best interests and leveling the playing field.
What Are Some Common Causes of Truck Accidents in Chesapeake, Virginia?
Most motor vehicle accidents involve negligence, recklessness, and other types of human errors. Sadly, this means many truck accidents occurring in the Chesapeake and greater Hampton Roads area are entirely preventable if drivers take due care.
Reckless driving which includes behaviors such as DUI, speeding, illegal passing, and tailgating are the top behaviors that cause Virginia truck accidents. Distracted driving has become a serious issue, and truck drivers often do not pay close attention as they input GPS coordinates, text, dial, and answer calls, along with other actions that can cause accidents when eyes come off the road.
Chesapeake roadways contain many road hazards. Drivers often encounter ongoing construction, confusing traffic signals, unexpected detours, and other dangers, such as potholes. As such, roads are not always in optimal driving condition.
If a company or independent owner fails to provide adequate maintenance on their trucks, this increases the possibility of equipment failure and/or manufacturer defects being overlooked that should have been noticed.
Virginia winters can be messy, but even in warmer seasons, heavy rains and winds often prevail, creating hazardous driving situations. Roads not properly treated or otherwise marked can lead to very dangerous situations, especially in areas like Chesapeake where trucks heavily utilize local roadways and cannot stop fast enough if they encounter problems on the road.
Improper Lane Changing
Truck drivers typically need to maintain a schedule and may hurry to get through their routes, taking shortcuts where they can. Improper lane changing to skirt in and out of traffic creates unsafe road situations for other drivers, especially since truckers have many blind spots.
Poor Cargo Loading
Trucks typically carry cargo, and if a shipment is improperly loaded, this can create dangerous situations for all other drivers on the road if a truck’s cargo spills onto the roadway. Debris from cargo on the road can lead to serious injury and property damage. Potentially even worse could occur if it hits another vehicle while still flying in the air.
Unrealistic Time Constraints
Trucking companies often put their drivers under high pressure by requiring them to do more in less time, placing unrealistic time constraints on them, and causing them to speed and/or break federal rules. Fatigued drivers are often dangerous drivers. Imagine a scenario with an exhausted tractor-trailer driver weaving through rush hour on I-64 — the results could be disastrous.
What Types of Injuries Are Most Common with Truck Accidents in Chesapeake?
Sadly, auto accidents that also involve a big rig often leave accident victims with serious injuries. If you were involved in a truck accident, it is vital to seek medical attention as soon as possible after the crash so your provider can evaluate your condition and look for potentially hidden injuries.
Fractures and broken bones
Victims of motor vehicle collisions often suffer from fractures or broken bones in their hands, feet, ribs, and other areas that might not be detected right away.
Injuries to the spinal cord can lead to partial or complete paralysis for victims of truck accidents.
Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs)
Victims who suffer TBIs experience life-altering changes of varying degrees, depending upon the extent of the injury. Days, weeks, or even months could pass before the full impact of a TBI is realized.
Internal Organ Damage
The impact of a crash involving a heavy truck can do serious damage to internal organs, putting victims in a dangerous health situation.
Victims of truck accidents are 10 times more likely to experience wrongful death when compared to those involved in auto accidents because the weight of trucks tragically creates a very powerful impact.
Life after a truck collision can be a difficult time, especially knowing the cause of the crash was, in many cases, preventable.
What Factors Impact Truck Accident Claims in Chesapeake, Virginia?
Whether or not a truck accident claim is able to recover maximum damages comes down to a few factors: the presence of negligence, the party deemed at fault for the accident, the extent of the damage, and the gravity of the accident. Whatever the factors causing the accident, it is always a good idea to seek legal advice from a personal injury law firm.
Under the regulatory process imparted by the FMCSA, truck drivers are responsible for following certain rules and regulations while on duty including:
- Maintaining a log of hours driven
- Driving no more than 10 hours per day
- Documenting rest and service breaks
- Non-use of drugs or alcohol
- Precise cargo loading
- Adhering to legal service and maintenance requirements
If a driver or their company fails to abide by these rules, it can constitute negligence and other faults that led to the accident. Other potential at-fault parties may include commercial vehicle manufacturers, vendors, and cargo owners. In situations where poor road design, lack of signage, and other problematic issues exist, local governments may be to blame.
The Different Types of Compensation for Your Damages After a Truck Accident
In personal injury cases, there are typically two categories of damage: economic and non-economic. Victims who suffer serious injuries are often able to pursue both in crashes involving big rigs or other commercial trucks.
Easily calculable losses such as medical bills, lost wages, loss of future wages, therapy, surgery, and damage to a car are referred to as economic damages. When losses go beyond insurance coverage, in Virginia, victims are permitted to file a personal injury lawsuit against the negligent driver or another responsible third party.
These damages are losses in which an exact price is not easily identifiable, such as pain and suffering. The trauma truck accident victims suffer is not always measurable.
When putting together a car accident case, skilled car accident lawyers who have knowledge of Virginia law, along with negotiation and litigation skills can help victims recover the most compensation possible.
What Are the Benefits of Hiring a Truck Accident Attorney in Chesapeake, Virginia?
When working with a Chesapeake truck accident lawyer at Montagna Law, you will never have to worry about a lack of communication. Our attorneys will provide you with one-on-one personalized attention. From the very first meeting with your attorney, you will notice just how simple it is to get in contact with us.
Our attorneys truly care about getting to know you and your case so that we can position you to win the highest compensation possible. We take your injury claim seriously and understand how truck accident injuries can be devastating to you and your life. Injuries sustained in a truck collision can severely affect your quality of life, your emotional and physical health, and your ability to return to work and make a living.
When you work with our law office, we keep your focus on restoring your health following your accident without weighing you down with the stress of the case. We take the burden off you but also keep you involved in the case, so you never feel like decisions are being made without your confirmation. Also, we work on a contingency fee basis with a zero-dollar, no-obligation consultation policy.
Do Not Be Intimidated Into a Low Settlement
The Chesapeake area is beautiful, but this suburban city also has many rural areas. Due to this landscape, many large vehicles, such as commercial trucks and farm tractors, pose a high risk to cars, motorcycles, cyclists, and pedestrians. Driving in Chesapeake can introduce you to several unfamiliar landscapes that can threaten your safety. If you are in a serious accident, the personal injury attorneys at Montagna Law will fight ruthlessly for you.
Montagna Klein Camden is a leading injury law firm in Chesapeake. With over 50 years of helping clients in Hampton Roads recover the maximum compensation for their truck accident cases and other injury-related practice areas, we have a proven track record. Our Chesapeake attorneys move aggressively to see negligent parties held financially responsible for your lost quality of life, pain and suffering, physical impairment, lost wages, future earnings, and medical expenses. Call us today for a free consultation at (757) 622-8100 or via our online contact form.
We have a free, no-obligation consultation policy. You do not pay us a dime unless we win your case. Our fees are recovered from the money awarded to you when we win. You will not owe us a thing until we have reached a settlement or judgment.