Fairfax Truck Accident Lawyer
Getting hit by an industrial truck is all but certain to leave you badly injured and dealing with expensive medical and repair bills. Make sure you get fully compensated by working with a Fairfax truck accident lawyer.
An accident with a large commercial truck can be a truly horrifying experience to go through—not to mention life-changing in all the wrong ways. These crashes are often fatal for the people in the passenger vehicles involved, and when you’re fortunate enough to survive, odds are good that your vehicle has been totaled and that you’ve suffered catastrophic injuries.
Recovering and getting your life back to normal after a semi-truck accident will probably require a great deal of money. You’ll have medical bills, lost wages if you couldn’t work while recovering, vehicle repairs, and possibly even emotional trauma in need of therapy. If you didn’t cause the crash, you shouldn’t be expected to foot these bills.
However, getting compensation from the at-fault party in a commercial trucking crash usually means filing a personal injury claim. You’ll need to prove who was at fault, and you’ll need to know what your claim is worth before accepting a settlement. A Fairfax truck accident lawyer from Priale & Racine, PLLC can help you answer both of these concerns and get you the settlement your losses demand.
Why Commercial Trucking Accidents Are Complicated
Aside from the huge difference in size and weight, an accident with a commercial vehicle like an 18-wheeler is nothing like a crash involving two passenger cars. Any truck operated for commercial purposes is going to have multiple people and even different companies involved in running and operating it.
The relationship between the trucker and the trucking company is also important. Some truckers are independent contractors who work on a freelance basis, while others are direct employees of the company. If the trucker is at fault but a direct employee, then your settlement will likely be the responsibility of the trucking company. However, an independent truck driver could muddy these waters a bit, and much will depend on the specifics of what happened.
Name All At-Fault Parties in Your Claim
Your Fairfax truck accident lawyer will conduct a full investigation and determine who was at fault and how. Listed below are just a few of the possibilities:
- The Trucker – The driver might be liable if speeding, distraction, intoxication, and fatigue were involved. Because truckers drive such long distances, they are particularly vulnerable to drowsy driving and are required to stop and rest after a certain amount of time.
- The Trucking Company – The company has an obligation to keep a semi-truck they own in good working order and to hire responsible drivers. If it malfunctioned due to negligent maintenance, or if the driver had a history of violations, they could be liable.
- Cargo Owner – If the team who loaded the cargo overloaded the truck or failed to properly secure it, or if the cargo was hazardous in some way, the cargo’s owner might bear some portion of the fault.
- Part or Tire Manufacturer – Defective parts and tires are particularly dangerous in semi crashes. The manufacturer might be liable if a link can be found between a malfunction and the wreck.
Dealing with the Insurance After a Semi-Truck Wreck
Whoever turns out to be responsible for the crash, you’ll more than likely wind up dealing with an insurance company at some point. Be aware that you should never speak with the insurer, even if an adjuster or representative calls you trying to get a statement. If you say the wrong thing, it might be used against you later, possibly even out of context.
It’s important that you not give the insurance company any leverage. Because Virginia is one of the few states that follow pure contributory negligence, any fault you are responsible for could eliminate your opportunity to recover damages to compensate your injuries. It’s critical that you let your Fairfax truck accident lawyer act as a go-between so that they only get the information necessary to move your claim forward.
You should also view any settlement offered with a skeptical eye. You’d think that insurance companies exist to help people, but they’re businesses first and foremost—which means that profits are their true motivation. They view the money they pay you as an expense to be minimized. Instead, let us review any offer so that we can make sure that it’s fair and comprehensive.
Make Sure You Get the Most Money for Your Damages
Possibly even more challenging than proving who was at fault is determining what a fair settlement amount would be. All of your financial and non-economic losses should be included. The challenge is that your future expenses also need to be factored in, and if you suffered a long-term injury such as brain damage or a paralyzing spinal injury, it can be difficult to know what to ask for.
Your doctor will be essential to estimating what your future costs will be, so your Fairfax truck accident lawyer will work closely with him or her and any specialists that might be involved in your care. Once the value of your claim has been assessed, we’ll be able to enter negotiations without having to worry about inadvertently accepting a low settlement offer.
Listed below are a few of the damages you might be able to claim if they’re present in your case:
- Current and future medical expenses for treatments, medication, and mobility equipment
- Lost wages and income, now and in the future
- Vehicle repair or replacement
- Cost to renovate your home to accommodate a new disability
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional trauma, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Lost enjoyment of life
Fairfax Truck Accident FAQ
Once your injuries have been properly diagnosed, you’ll probably have all kinds of questions regarding how to handle your industrial trucking accident case and how to get compensated. We’ve provided answers to a few common questions below, but if you would like more information, please contact our office so that you can speak with a Fairfax truck accident lawyer.
What should I do after getting hurt in a hit-and-run with an 18-wheeler?
In some cases, it might be possible to identify the big rig that hit you through paint scrapes, witness accounts, and possibly even video evidence. If the trucker isn’t located, you might need to file an uninsured driver claim with your own insurance.
I was hurt by the cargo spilled in a truck accident. Can I sue the cargo owner?
Possibly. If the cargo was dangerous in some way (such as by being toxic or flammable) and the cargo owner didn’t inform the trucker, then they might be partially responsible, especially if necessary precautions weren’t taken as a direct result.
Why can’t I accept the insurance company’s settlement offer if they say they’ve investigated everything?
Even if the insurance company is fully aware of all of your damages, that doesn’t mean they’re going to offer you funds to cover everything. They’ll likely make you an offer that is just large enough to look comprehensive—but that doesn’t mean it is.
Contact a Fairfax County Truck Accident Lawyer
It’s an unfortunate truth, but it is a reality: You simply can’t rely on the insurance company to provide you with a full settlement to cover your injuries and damages. By working with Priale & Racine, PLLC, you can overcome this obstacle and get the funds you need to restore your life and health as much as possible.
It all starts with a free, no-pressure case evaluation. To discuss your crash with a Fairfax truck accident lawyer, just call 703-272-3922 or complete the contact form at the bottom of this page.