Virginia Truck Accident Attorneys

Assisting Victims of Serious Semi-Trailer & Commercial Vehicle Collisions

Commercial truck accidents are not as uncommon as many people think. Around 500,000 big rig accidents occur each year in the United States according to The state of Virginia is in the top 15 U.S. states for truck accident fatalities. In Virginia alone, 107 fatal truck accidents took place. According to the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles and the Virginia Highway Safety Office, there were 2,306 accidents involving large trucks in 2017. There were an additional 4,570 accidents involving smaller commercial vehicles.

If you were injured or your loved one was killed in a truck accident, it is crucial that you reach out to the experienced Richmond and Virginia Beach truck accident attorneys at Breit Cantor as soon as possible. Trucking companies often conduct their own investigations at the scene of the accident; remember, these companies are working against you. Our firm can conduct an independent investigation to determine the cause of the accident, as well as who is responsible for your losses.

All our Virginia truck accident lawyers offer legal services on a contingency fee basis, so there is no upfront cost for you. In fact, you’ll pay nothing unless we succeed in winning a settlement on your behalf. Call (855) 936-1747 to request a free initial consultation with our team today.

Work with an Experienced & Dedicated Truck Accident Law Firm

If you or your loved one was involved in a commercial vehicle accident or semi-trailer truck accident, we can help. We understand the immense impact that truck accidents have on the lives of victims and their families; our goal is to secure the maximum compensation you are owed for your medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering, emotional distress, and other damages. Our award-winning Richmond and Virginia Beach truck accident attorneys in are prepared to fight for you throughout the entire legal process.

Truck accident cases can be complex and rely heavily on forensic evidence. The team at Breit Cantor Grana Buckner knows how to navigate the case, its evidence, and the parties involved to maximize our clients’ chance for a successful outcome.

Our experience, connections, and resources allow us to handle these cases with the experience that is needed to secure the results our clients need and deserve. Since 1979, we have successfully recovered hundreds of millions on behalf of our clients. Find out how our Virginia truck accident attorneys can help you with your case.

Difference Between Truck Accident & Car Accident Cases

Truck accidents and car accidents can both be complex situations and some of the most complex lawsuits. Truck accident lawsuits, however are inherently more complex due to their severity.

Here are some of the ways that truck accident cases differ from car accident cases:

  • There are often multiple responsible parties: In most cases, car accidents are caused by human error, such as a speeding or drunk driver. Although human error can also cause a truck accident, there are also other causes that may have impacted the crash. Some of these include improper maintenance or loading errors.
  • Injuries are often severe: Car accidents can result in any level of injury, from whiplash to catastrophic, or death. Truck accidents, however, most often have a severe or fatal result.
  • Damages are often greater: Because the injuries involved in truck accidents are so serious, they often result in a higher level of medical attention and care. The damages in these cases are often much greater and require more attention.
Truck accidents aren’t like your average motor vehicle accidents—they usually result in severe, catastrophic injuries.

Call (855) 212-8200 or fill out and submit an online contact form to schedule a free and confidential case evaluation with our legal team today.

Who Is at Fault for a Commercial Truck Accident?

Semi-trailer truck accidents tend to result in severe, catastrophic injuries and fatalities due to the size and weight of these vehicles. While motorists and passengers in everyday vehicles tend to suffer the brunt of the injuries, it is not always easy to prove who was at fault for the accident.

Truck accident injury claims tend to be more complex than other types of auto and motor vehicle accident cases. This is due, in large part, to the fact that there may be multiple people or entities who are legally liable for your resulting injuries. Even if a truck driver causes an accident, his or her employer may be liable. Additionally, if a defective truck part, such as its tires or brakes, led to the accident, the manufacturer may be at fault.

Depending on the specific circumstances of your accident, any of the following parties may be liable:

  • The truck driver
  • The truck driver’s supervisor
  • The truck driver’s employer
  • The company that owns or leases the truck
  • The company responsible for truck maintenance
  • The manufacturer of the truck or a specific truck part

For example, say a truck driver falls asleep at the wheel, causing an accident with another motorist. While it may seem obvious that the truck driver is at fault, he may have fallen asleep due to fatigue caused by unrealistic quotas set by his employer. The truck driver’s supervisor may have failed to note that the truck driver was not keeping accurate driving logs recording his time spent on the road.

In this case, the truck driver, his supervisor, and the employer may all be partially responsible for the other motorist’s injuries and related damages. A defective truck tire may blow out while the truck is traveling on the highway, causing the truck driver to swerve into another car. In this case, the tire manufacturer and/or the person or company in charge of conducting truck maintenance may be liable.

Building a Truck Accident Case

In order to successfully pursue a truck accident claim, you must show that another person, company, manufacturer, or entity acted negligently, carelessly, recklessly, or intentionally and that this led to your injuries.

It is important that you work with an experienced Richmond truck accident lawyer who can look at the various factors that may have contributed to the accident, such as:

  • Whether or not the truck driver acted negligently, for example, if he/she was texting while driving, operating the vehicle under the influence of drugs/alcohol, or driving while fatigued
  • If the trucking company failed to enforce hours of service rules, which dictate how long a truck driver may operate a vehicle without taking mandatory breaks
  • Whether or not the trucking company explicitly or implicitly encouraged truck drivers to meet unreasonable quotas or follow unsafe schedules
  • If the truck involved in the accident received proper maintenance and safety checks prior to being on the road
  • If the truck was overloaded or improperly loaded and whether this contributed directly or indirectly to the accident
  • Whether or not a defective vehicle part—such as the truck’s brakes or tires—failed to operate as expected, leading to the accident

Breit Cantor’s Truck Accident Case Approach

At Breit Cantor, we follow a three-pronged, “no stone left unturned” approach with every injury case we accept. Our team conducts in-depth investigations, often working with experts in the field, to determine how the collision occurred.

These experts may include:

  • Forensic engineers
  • Truck accident investigators
  • Accident reconstructionists

Our Virginia Beach and Richmond truck accident attorneys then look at the full extent of your damages, including the anticipated lifetime cost of medical care for your injuries, as well as non-economic losses, such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, and reduced quality of life. From there, we are able to build a case aimed at securing the maximum compensation you are owed.

We thoroughly prepare each case for trial, even if we believe we can achieve a successful settlement. Lastly, we provide aggressive and zealous trial advocacy for our clients whenever a fair settlement cannot be reached. We are not afraid to take your case to court.

Contact us at (855) 936-1747 to speak to a truck accident lawyer in Richmond, VA or Virginia Beach, VA.

Common Causes of Truck Accidents and Tractor-Trailer Accidents

There are thousands of tractor-trailer and big rig collisions in Virginia every year. Sadly, the vast majority of these accidents could be avoided. When truck collisions occur as a result of negligence—whether on the part of the truck driver, truck company, truck manufacturer, or some other party—affected victims can take legal action.

Defective Brakes & Truck Accidents

Brake failure is a relatively common cause for tractor-trailer and truck accidents. Unfortunately, these types of mechanical failures are often evidence of dangerous negligence on the part of truck drivers. Federal regulations require truck drivers and trucking companies to perform regular safety checks and scheduled maintenance for their vehicles. It takes the average 18-wheeler the length of two whole football fields to come to a complete stop. For obvious reasons, working brakes are extremely important in operating a massive tractor-trailer. Semi-trucks need an elite braking system in order to operate safely.

When that doesn’t happen, accidents can occur, such as:

  • Fishtailing or jackknife accidents
  • Out of control trailers
  • Loss of vehicle control

Trucks are equipped with complex braking systems and safety back-up features. The standard brakes work as a pressurized air system. Many are also equipped with a back-up set of emergency brakes that use springs and cables. If properly maintained, experts say that it is very unlikely for truck brakes to simply “go out” without warning

Title 49 under the Code of Federal Regulations requires truck drivers to complete a thorough brake inspection every single day while on the road. Truckers must write down any potential issues in their daily log. Truckers must also ensure that these problems are repaired before they get back on the road. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always happen. Too many truck drivers fail to obey the rules and put others at risk.

Accidents Resulting from Overloaded Trucks

Overloaded trucks are dangerous and can cause major accidents. These trucks violate federal trucking regulations and put other drivers on the road at serious risk.

Tractor-trailers can extend to about 80 feet in length and can haul as much as 80,000 pounds. That’s 20 to 30 times the weight of a regular passenger car. This puts a great deal of excess strain on the vehicle’s braking system, which is why fully-loaded tractor-trailers take much longer to come to a full stop—a length that is roughly the equivalent of two football fields.

For these reasons, the way a truck is loaded is critical. Improper loading or overloading of a vehicle can have catastrophic results. That is why federal trucking regulations require commercial truck drivers to stay within specific loading limits and to adhere to certain requirements when loading their vehicles in order to avoid being overweight.

The amount a truck can carry is determined by its Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR), a designation placed on the vehicle’s license plate. The truck driver must adhere to this limit and must follow all applicable regulations when loading the vehicle.

The GVWR is determined based on the rating of a vehicle’s:

  • Brakes
  • Axels
  • Power train
  • Suspension
  • Frame

You shouldn’t hesitate to speak with a Virginia truck accident attorney from our team at Breit Cantor about your situation as soon as possible for answers to your questions and help moving forward.

Truck Driver Fatigue & Negligence

Truck driver fatigue is a leading cause of tractor-trailer accidents in the United States. Federal regulations do require drivers to limit their time on the road in order to preserve attention and alertness. Studies on drowsy driving by the NHTSA show that at least 7,000 people died over a 10-year period in accidents related to tired driving. In addition, truck drivers often suffer from sleep apnea, which is a disorder that results in daytime drowsiness. When a driver does not get adequate sleep, the result can be disastrous for others on the road.

Some medications can increase the risk of drowsy driving, as well as alcohol consumption. Federal truck regulations have a “zero tolerance” policy for drug/alcohol use by truck drivers, but fatigued driving can be just as dangerous as driving under the influence. Unfortunately, with the pressure to make deadlines and to keep employers happy, many drivers drive longer than they should and forge their logbooks to conceal their real hours on the road.

Other elements of truck driver negligence may include things like distracted driving, texting while driving, speeding, and general carelessness.

Truck Company Negligence

Similar to truck driver negligence, the trucking company itself may be liable for your injuries depending on their business processes. For example, a truck company that doesn’t conduct proper background checks on drivers could hire individuals who are not qualified to drive a truck or cannot drive it safely. Because they didn’t do their due diligence, they could be liable for your injuries in a truck accident lawsuit.

In some cases, a truck company may also be held liable for accidents resulting from improper truck maintenance. Generally speaking, truck maintenance is the responsibility of the drivers, but a trucking company could be held liable if it does not have maintenance check systems in place or fails to properly supervise truck drivers.

Other examples of truck company negligence include encouraging truck drivers to meet unrealistic quotas/schedules and failing to adequately check hours of service logs.

Injured? We Can Help.

We Have Recovered Hundreds of Millions for Our Clients

Our team at Breit Cantor handles truck accident cases in the Richmond and Virginia Beach areas, as well as throughout the state of Virginia. We understand the immense stress you are under and the overwhelming impact your injuries have likely had on your life; we are here to serve as the compassionate guides and dedicated legal advocates you need.

With years of experience and a winning track record, we are familiar with the various mechanical and drivers’ failures that can contribute to truck accidents. During our 40+ years in practice, we have successfully recovered hundreds of millions of dollars for our clients, including more than 150 results in excess of $1 million. That money has helped individuals and families secure their futures and gain a sense of justice that helps them move forward with their lives.

We encourage you to call a Virginia truck accident attorney from our office if you or a family member sustained an injury in a tractor-trailer collision, including accidents caused by defective brakes, overloaded trucks, and fatigued truck drivers.

Our goal is to win. Call us today at (855) 212-8200 for a free case evaluation. You’ll work directly with one of our Virginia truck accident lawyers in Richmond or Virginia Beach, and you will pay nothing upfront. There are never any legal fees unless we win compensation for you.

Virginia Truck Accident Lawsuits: Frequently Asked Questions

What is the leading cause of truck accidents?

The leading cause of truck accidents is fatigue. Truck drivers are often overworked and do not get enough sleep to safely operate a large motor vehicle like a truck or tractor-trailer. If a fatigued driver causes a truck accident in Virginia, the driver or their company may be held liable in a court case, depending on the circumstances.

Do I have a trucking or semi-truck accident case?

Whether or not you have a trucking or semi-truck accident case depends on the circumstances of the accident. You likely have a case if you were seriously injured in a tucking or semi-truck accident that was not your fault. If the truck itself, the truck driver, or the driver’s company policies contributed to the accident, then they could be held liable. If you have questions about your accident, get in touch with a Virginia truck accident lawyer. At Breit Cantor, our Virginia Beach and Richmond truck accident lawyers can help you evaluate your situation to determine if you have a case.

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Experience The Breit Cantor Difference

  • Long tradition of success in court.
  • Over 300 years of combined legal experience.
  • Attorneys have been recognized among the most experienced trial lawyers in Virginia and the country.
  • Dedicated to providing our clients with the attention they deserve from start to finish.
  • No recovery, no legal fee!
  • Leadership roles in the legal community.
  • Secured some of the largest settlements in Virginia history.