Truck Accidents Attorney in Abingdon & Tazewell, Virginia
Truck accidents can be devastating and life-changing. In the blink of an eye, a collision can turn your life upside down, regardless of whether you were the one involved in the crash or you lost a loved one in it.
Our truck accident attorney at Letsen Law Firm understands how overwhelming and traumatizing these accidents can be. We represent people who have been injured or lost loved ones in collisions involving 18-wheelers, semi-trucks, tractor-trailers, and other large trucks.
If you or someone you love was involved in a truck accident in Abingdon or Tazewell, Virginia, or surrounding areas, our attorney can help you hold the liable parties accountable to ensure that you obtain the compensation you deserve. We also serve individuals and families throughout the Virginia side of Bristol City and Russell County.
Laws Affecting Truck Accidents
When a truck accident occurs, it is important to understand what caused the crash in order to determine who is liable. One of the first steps in this process is to evaluate whether or not any Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations were violated. The FMCSA has several regulations in place that are intended to keep our highways safe and reduce the number of truck accidents, including:
Hours of Service (HOS) rules. The FMCSA has developed Hours of Service (HOS) rules that limit how many hours a commercial driver can be on-duty during any given 24-hour period. These rules also restrict how many hours they can drive without taking a break. If these HOS rules are violated, it can lead to driver fatigue and an increase in the risk of a crash occurring. Drivers must adhere to these HOS rules at all times or face significant penalties for their violations.
Inspection, repair, and maintenance requirements. Commercial trucks must be inspected on an annual basis by certified technicians who are trained to detect any potential issues with the vehicle. Additionally, commercial vehicles must be routinely maintained to ensure their optimal performance on the roadways. If an inspection or maintenance issue is discovered that could have contributed to a truck accident, the responsible party may be liable for damages resulting from the incident.
Transportation of hazardous materials. The transportation of hazardous materials requires special attention when it comes to safety regulations due to their volatile nature. This includes ensuring proper labeling and packaging as well as having properly trained personnel handle them at all times while in transit. If these precautions are not taken, there is a greater risk of serious injury or death occurring due to an accident involving hazardous materials being transported by a commercial vehicle.
Virginia’s trucking laws largely mirror those imposed at the federal level. However, there are some additional regulations that exist in the Commonwealth of Virginia. For example, Virginia puts restrictions on the length, size, weight, and type of vehicles that are permitted on the Commonwealth’s roads.
When seeking compensation after a truck accident, it is vital to keep in mind that there is a limited amount of time to file a lawsuit after the collision. If you have suffered injuries, the statute of limitations for a lawsuit is two years from the date of the injury. If your loved one dies, the personal representative of the decedent’s estate has two years from the date of the death to bring a lawsuit. You’ll need a skilled personal injury attorney to help you navigate the process.
Assessing Liability After a Truck Accident
When a truck accident occurs, it can be hard to identify who is liable for the damages. There are often multiple parties involved, including the truck driver, other drivers on the road, the trucking company, loading or shipping companies, and even maintenance companies. To determine who is liable for a truck accident, various factors must be taken into consideration, such as negligence on the part of any parties involved and road or weather conditions.
Negligence on the Part of the Truck Driver
The first factor to consider when determining liability in a truck accident is whether there was any negligence on the part of the truck driver. If the truck driver was driving recklessly or otherwise not taking proper precautions while operating their vehicle, they might be held liable for any resulting damages. This includes things like speeding, running red lights or stop signs, operating under the influence of drugs or alcohol, etc.
Negligence on the Part of Other Drivers
It’s also important to consider whether any other drivers were negligent at all leading up to or during a truck accident. If another motorist was driving recklessly or breaking traffic laws in some way that contributed to an accident involving a commercial vehicle, they could be held liable for some portion of the resulting damages.
Road Conditions and Weather Conditions
In some cases, road conditions and weather conditions can contribute to an accident involving a commercial vehicle as well. If roads were wet from rain and this contributed to an accident that occurred due to poor traction from one vehicle or another skidding out of control, then this would need to be taken into consideration when determining liability as well. The same goes for icy roads in winter months—if icy roads played a role in causing an accident, this should also be considered when determining who is liable for resulting damages.
Filing a Claim for Compensation
Being involved in a truck accident can be a traumatic experience, and many victims are left wondering what their legal options are. Your options for compensation depend on whether you are the victim or you are representing a loved one who died in the accident:
Filing a personal injury claim. In the event that you have been injured in a truck accident, you may be able to pursue compensation for your injuries by filing a personal injury claim against the at-fault driver or trucking company. In order to file such a claim, you must prove that the other party was negligent and that this negligence resulted in your injuries.
Filing a wrongful death claim. If someone close to you was killed in an accident involving a commercial truck, then filing a wrongful death claim may be an option. Such claims allow family members who were financially dependent on the deceased person (such as spouses and children) to seek compensation for lost wages and support that they would have received had the loved one not passed away.
If you or someone you love has been involved in a truck accident recently, speak with an experienced attorney immediately so you can understand your options moving forward.
Truck Accidents Attorney in Abingdon & Tazewell, Virginia
Our truck accident attorney at Letsen Law Firm has years of experience investigating collisions involving large trucks. With offices in Abingdon and Tazewell, Virginia, our law firm provides each client with personal attention and hands-on representation. We leave no stone unturned to ensure that our clients can move forward with confidence. Set up a case review today.