Vehicle accidents are common; however, some collisions are more likely to end in serious injury than others. Semi-truck crashes are often especially devastating, leaving victims disfigured, disabled, and sometimes deceased.
Why Hire a Virginia Semi-Truck Attorney
Semi-truck accidents are different than other types of collisions. Not only are these crashes more likely to inflict serious, disabling injuries, they are also comparatively complex. Since the interstate transportation industry is regulated at the state and federal levels, trucking companies are held to a variety of rules and regulations. While these rules and regulations often work to the benefit of victims, they can be difficult to navigate without special legal training.
An experienced semi-truck accident attorney can help you bolster your chances of receiving a favorable settlement in many ways.
Investigating the Accident
Your semi-truck accident attorney can help you investigate the causes and circumstances of your accident by:
- Collecting evidence from the crash site
- Interviewing eyewitnesses
- Inspecting the damage to your vehicle and the damage to the semi-truck
- Examining the at-fault truck driver’s employment history, qualifications, and drug test results
- Reviewing the trucking company’s safety and violations records
In ordinary automobile accident claims, there is usually only one defendant: the at-fault driver.
However, semi-truck injury lawsuits typically investigate the potential wrongdoing of multiple parties. For example, the employing company could have contributed to the accident by pressuring the driver to remain on the road when they were tired. Consequently, your case could include several defendants, including:
- The semi-truck driver
- The trucking company
- A cargo shipper
- A vehicle manufacturer
- A vehicle parts maker
Your attorney will review the available evidence to identify potential defendants, doing everything in their power to ensure you receive a fair settlement.
Negotiating a Settlement
Semi-truck companies are required by law to purchase and maintain large liability insurance policies. However, insurance companies are still for-profit enterprises that are typically more interested in increasing their profits than paying fair settlements.
Even if you have been seriously injured, the adjuster might try to devalue or deny your claim by:
- Asking you to provide a recorded statement, which they could scour for contradictions, hoping to use your own words against you
- Demanding that you consent to a so-called “independent medical examination,” which might be scheduled with a physician with a reputation for denying injury claims
- Refusing to negotiate in good faith
Insurance adjusters will often recommend that accident victims avoid hiring an attorney because they know that victims without representation are more likely to accept a lowball settlement.
Maximizing Your Compensation
Virginia does not currently cap the damages available to semi-truck accident victims. However, assessing the totality of your damages could be difficult, especially if you require continuing medical care or long-term assistance.
Your semi-truck accident attorney could help you claim damages for:
- Your past, present, and anticipated future medical expenses
- Physical rehabilitation
- Prescription medication co-pays
- Lost income
- Diminished earning potential
- Wrongful death
While Virginia does not cap damages, it does have a strict statute of limitations. Under Virginia’s statute of limitations, accident victims have a limited timeframe to file a personal injury lawsuit. If you wait too long to take action, the court could dismiss your claim without giving you a chance to tell your side of the story.
Contact an Attorney Today
Kearney, Freeman, Fogarty & Joshi believe that nobody should have to pay the price for a trucking company’s poor policies. If you or a loved one suffered injuries in a Virginia semi-truck accident that was not your fault, you could be entitled to significant compensation. Please send us a message online, or call us at 877-652-1553 to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation as soon as possible.