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 truck injury attorneys at Montagna Law are here for you. To obtain a free consultation, call our law office at 757-622-8100.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
Never apologize for any events relating to the accident. Insurance companies may misconstrue an apology as an admission of guilt.
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.
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.
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.
Jon Montagna received a Bachelor of Arts in Literature from American University in Washington D.C. and graduated Cum Laude from the University of Miami School of Law in 1999. Jon practices law in the Hampton Roads Virginia area.