Truck Accident Lawyers in Richmond & Virginia Beach

Our Tractor Trailer Accident Attorneys Work Together in the Pursuit of Justice for Victims of Semi Collisions

If you have been in a terrible trucking accident, regardless of the circumstances, …”, you deserve to have your story heard and rectified in whatever ways possible. Our truck accident law firm in Richmond and Virginia Beach can make this possible and help you move forward.

Commercial trucking accidents happen in Virginia every day and with innumerable causes. In fact, according to the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles’ annual Virginia Traffic Crash Facts report, there were 4,922 crashes involving commercial motor vehicles in Virginia in 2019 alone, 2,035 of which resulted in injury and 97 in fatalities. These statistics confirm the notion that when a commercial truck is involved in a collision with a car, truck, motorcycle, or pedestrian, the result is often a catastrophic injury or even death. While all accidents are dangerous, those involving a tractor trailer are far more lethal.

While the drivers of tractor trailers in Virginia are required to have special licenses and training, these accidents are often the result of the negligence or recklessness of the driver or their employer. Accident investigations—and the work of our own truck accident lawyers in Virginia Beach and Richmond—have shown that the federal and state laws regulating how these commercial trucks are operated and the training required of their drivers are often disregarded, whether intentionally to benefit the trucking company or as a result of careless negligence.

If you or a loved one were injured or killed in an accident involving a tractor trailer, our Virginia trucking accident lawyers can help you secure the justice and compensation you deserve. Your life may have been upended by your semi accident, but our collaborative team of lawyers will prioritize your needs as we work together to get you back on the road of life.

Understanding Truck Accidents vs. Car Accidents in Virginia

While both can leave your life in ruin, the differences between a commercial vehicle accident and passenger vehicle accident are significant. In accidents involving tractor trailers, there are often multiple injured and liable parties, and these accidents often result in more severe consequences and therefore increased financial ramifications for those who are deemed at fault.

The extreme consequences of tractor trailer accidents are largely attributable to their size: At 80,000 pounds, versus the average weight of a 5,000 pound automobile, and 80 feet long, compared to 16 feet of the average car, semi trucks dwarf most vehicles on the road. Pair with their daunting size the fact that these trucks are often carrying dangerous materials, from flammable or toxic chemicals to wide loads like large vehicles or entire homes, and tractor trailers with unprepared drivers at the wheel pose a deadly risk to drivers. When they’re mishandled, an accident involving a semi is likely to have an unfathomable effect on your life.

Accidents involving commercial vehicles vary greatly. These accidents can involve trucks of different sizes, like semi trucks, box trucks, or delivery vehicles, and they can take many different forms: rollover crashes, jackknifes (when the trailer swings away from the cab of the truck), underride or override accidents, or head-on collisions. Regardless of the type of accident or size of the truck, trucking accidents can result in life-altering injuries, disabilities, or even death.

Oftentimes there are unique causes for commercial accidents that stem from issues related to employee negligence or operational malfunctions; if yours is one such case, you may be entitled to compensation. Due to their size, state and federal regulations, and licenses, truck accidents are often more complex, involving complicated legal processes that necessitate experienced truck accident attorneys like those at Breit Cantor.

Common Causes of Trucking Accidents in Virginia

Truck accident cases can be complex, involving multiple vehicles, state and federal regulations, and numerous causes. Because of their complexity, cases involving tractor trailers rely heavily on forensic evidence, necessitating the expertise of experienced lawyers who can comprehend and communicate this nuanced data to best represent their clients. The team at Breit Cantor Grana Buckner knows how to navigate a truck accident case, its evidence, and the parties involved to maximize our clients’ opportunities for a successful outcome and a brighter future.

The first step in moving forward is looking back and understanding the cause of your accident. While each accident is unique and deserves its own investigation, there are common causes of trucking accidents in Virginia:

Defective Brakes 

A properly functioning semi-truck traveling at normal speeds requires an average length of two football fields to come to a complete stop. In order to ensure this stop occurs efficiently and successfully, these large, load-bearing vehicles must be equipped with an innovative and well-maintained braking system. Unfortunately, brake failure and malfunctions still account for a large number of commercial vehicle accidents; in one three-year study, defective brakes were found as the cause of 26 percent of crashes involving large trucks. 

Multiple federal regulations require truck drivers to conduct brake inspections each day of their transit and to keep records of these brake inspections in a daily log. Even with these regulations, negligence on behalf of the driver, brake manufacturers, or trucking companies themselves often results in ineffective maintenance. 

Overloaded Commercial Trucks

While commercial trucks are built to carry large loads across long distances, each vehicle type is subject to restrictions and loading regulations determined at the federal level. The amount a truck can carry is determined by its Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR)–a weight limit that is determined by the vehicle’s brakes, axles, power train, suspension, and frame capabilities; each truck driver must adhere to this limit and follow all applicable regulations when loading the vehicle.

Overloaded trucks are dangerous and create instability for the vehicle while in operation, lending it to accidents like rollover crashes and jackknifes. While these regulations are in place to protect the driver and others on the road, they’re often overlooked or dismissed. When a driver or trucking company unknowingly or knowingly violates these conditions, they put other drivers on the road at serious risk.

Truck Driver Fatigue & Negligence

According to the National Transportation Safety Board, driver fatigue is to blame for some 30 to 40 percent of accidents involving tractor trailers. While federal regulations mandate that drivers limit their time on the road in order to avoid fatigue and to ensure drivers remain alert, those regulations do not preclude these types of accidents. Truck drivers are compensated based on the number of miles they travel, incentivizing more hours on the road. Demanding schedules and expectations from trucking companies and odd hours often lead to driver fatigue, even when they follow those regulations.

Choosing to drive while fatigued is defined as negligence on the part of the driver—and, oftentimes, the company they work for. But fatigue isn’t the only form of negligence that may have caused your accident: Distracted driving, certain medications, undocumented overtime, texting while driving, speeding, a lack of experience, and general carelessness all fall under the category of negligence and warrant compensation for those innocent people impacted by the accident.

Trucking Company Negligence

While the driver may be at the wheel, the trucking company is still responsible for the vehicle and its driver, and the trucking company itself may be liable for your injuries after a trucking accident. The negligence of the trucking company can relate to its employees, equipment, or requirements. For example, if a trucking company doesn’t conduct proper background checks on its drivers, they could hire individuals who are not qualified to operate the vehicle. This lack of due diligence on the part of the trucking company implicates them in the cause of the accident and therefore its retributions, even if the commercial truck driver caused the accident. Other examples of truck company negligence include encouraging truck drivers to meet unrealistic quotas and schedules and failing to adequately check hours of service logs.

Speeding and Tailgating

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), speeding is the safety violation committed most often by truck drivers, and tailgating is the second. Due to the sheer size and weight of 18-wheelers, traveling at speeds above the legal limit—which is often lower for semi-trucks—or driving too close to passenger vehicles turns a tractor trailer into a serious danger. If a truck driver intentionally exceeds the speed limit or tailgates, they are liable for the repercussions, especially if those include causing an accident and impacting the lives of other drivers forever.

Determining Fault for Trucking Accidents in Virginia

In the majority of car accidents, there are two parties involved: The driver responsible for the accident, and the driver impacted by the former driver’s actions. But when it comes to determining liability in semi-truck accidents, the potential for other responsible parties grows exponentially. In addition to the driver, those at fault may include:

  • The truck driver’s supervisor
  • The truck driver’s employer
  • The company that owns or leases the truck
  • The company or mechanic responsible for truck maintenance
  • The manufacturer of the truck
  •  The manufacturer of the malfunctioning truck part
  • The shipper of the goods the truck is carrying
  • The loader who packed the truck
  • The broker behind the trucking company
  • A government entity

Each of these parties has a financial investment in the truck, and in the event of an accident, they will prioritize their own finances above the safety and future of the victims. These entities likely have powerful legal counsel on their side as they strive to protect their financial interests, which is why it’s important to seek the support of an experienced Virginia truck accident law firm like Breit Cantor.

Building a Truck Accident Case

After you’re involved in an accident with a tractor trailer, the first step toward a better future is getting 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 and determine if you have a case and then help you on your journey towards justice.

Our truck accident attorneys in Virginia Beach and Richmond begin with a thorough investigation of your accident, sending experienced investigators from our team to the site of your accident to gather evidence and perform extensive research to gather evidence like maintenance, shipping, and cell phone records and logbooks. These records can offer invaluable insight into the cause of your accident and may only be accessible with the help of a law firm.

Once we compile the evidence for your case, our investigators, experts, and lawyers collaborate as we examine this evidence and develop an understanding of the causes of the semi-truck accident. We combine our extensive experience and deep understanding of federal regulations to determine the parties who are at fault and how they should compensate you for the impact they’ve had on your life.

Who Can File a Trucking Accident Claim in Virginia?

If you were seriously injured in a trucking accident in Virginia and you were not at fault, you may be entitled to a fair case and compensation for the impact this accident had on your life. If the truck driver, the driver’s company policies, or the truck itself contributed to the accident, then they could be held liable.

In order to successfully pursue a truck accident claim, you must show that the negligence of another person, company, manufacturer, or entity led to your injuries—but this can be complex and difficult. Doing so requires forensic evidence, inspections, logging details, and intense correspondence, all of which are part of the process of identifying negligence and receiving appropriate compensation. Working with experienced truck accident lawyers in Virginia who investigate each factor that may have contributed to the accident is the best way to build a successful truck accident case.

Types of Compensation in a Virginia Truck Accident Claim

An accident involving a commercial vehicle in Virginia is devastating because of both the unfathomable trauma of the event itself and the long-term consequences it may cause. The moment of your accident may be the worst of your life, and the mental, physical, and financial effects can make it difficult to return to the life you once knew.

Our Richmond and Virginia Beach truck accident attorneys are dedicated to helping you receive the compensation you need to move forward financially—and therefore mentally and physically—after your accident. If you or a loved one were injured or killed in a truck accident in Virginia, you deserve to be compensated for the various damages you have suffered, including:

  • Medical expenses incurred at the time of your accident and during your future recovery
  •  The value of wages lost due to your inability to return to work
  • The loss of future earnings if your capacity to work in the future will be diminished or nonexistent
  • Pain and suffering, both physical and/or emotional

Statute of Limitations for Truck Accident Cases in Virginia

According to Virginia Code Section 8.01-243, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims like trucking accidents is just two years from the date of the accident. If you lost a family member to an accident with a commercial vehicle, the statute of limitations is valid for two years from the date of their death. Filing your claim quickly and efficiently with the help of our Virginia Beach or Richmond truck accident attorneys will help ensure you meet the requirements set by Virginia and can legally seek justice for the wrongs done to you.

If you are involved in a commercial vehicle accident in Virginia, your first step—after ensuring your safety and the safety of others on the scene—is to contact an experienced trucking accident attorney in Richmond or Virginia Beach. These cases are complex, often involving multiple parties and federal regulations, and in order to successfully navigate such a case within the statute of limitations, you’ll want experts like those at Breit Cantor on your side.

Choosing An Experienced Truck Accident Law Firm

If you or a loved one were involved in a commercial trucking accident, it’s integral that you choose an experienced truck accident lawyer in Richmond and Virginia Beach to help you with your case. Trucking accidents are among the most elaborate and tangled personal injury cases because of the dozens of legal concepts, state and federal laws, and multiple possible responsible parties. It can be difficult to understand all the details of these cases, but truck accident attorneys like those at Breit Cantor understand these complexities and can use them to develop your case with the best possible strategy.

Our truck accident attorneys can access important records, like insurance transactions, driver logs, and medical files, to build your case. We also look at the full extent of your damages, including the anticipated lifetime cost of medical care for your injuries and loss of income if you are unable to return to work, as well as non-economic losses, such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, and reduced quality of life. It’s impossible to assign a financial value to the catastrophic impact your accident has had on your life, but we use this information to build a case aimed at securing the maximum compensation you are owed. Since 1979, we have successfully recovered millions on behalf of our clients. 

At Breit Cantor, our Virginia Beach and Richmond truck accident lawyers aren’t just experts on the legal ramifications of your case, we are your greatest and most compassionate advocates; we want to ensure you receive the justice you deserve, and our attorneys work together as a team with other experts in the field—including forensic engineers, truck accident investigators, and accident reconstructionists—to conduct thorough investigations and gather every detail we need to build a successful case. Our first priority is ensuring you’re able to move forward, which is why we don’t ask for any payment until we’ve secured compensation for you and your loved ones.

We Offer Free Consultations for Victims of Virginia Trucking Accidents

If you or a loved one were involved in a tractor trailer accident in Virginia, we can help. Breit Cantor offers free consultations, and our experienced truck accident lawyers will answer any questions you may have about your accident and help you determine if you have a case. Contact us today for a free consultation and begin moving toward your brighter future.

Truck accidents aren’t like your average motor vehicle accidents—they usually result in severe, catastrophic injuries.

Virginia Truck Accident Lawsuits: Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Leading Cause of Trucking Accidents?

The leading cause of truck accidents is fatigue. While there are federal regulations in place to avoid this danger, many truck drivers are overworked and don’t get enough sleep to safely operate a large motor vehicle like a truck or 18-wheeler. Depending on the circumstances, if a fatigued driver causes a truck accident in Virginia, the driver or their company may be held accountable in a court case.

Do I Have a Trucking or Semi-Truck Accident Case in Virginia?

Whether or not you have a trucking or semi-truck accident case depends on the circumstances of the accident, specifically whether the negligence or actions of the driver, the policies of his company, the truck itself, or others involved in trucking, like the shipping company or loader, led to the accident. If you were seriously injured in a trucking accident and it was not your fault, but the fault of one of these other entities, you are entitled to compensation. But determining fault is a complex task; at Breit Cantor, our Virginia Beach and Richmond truck accident lawyers can help you evaluate your situation to determine if you have a case.

How Much Does a Truck Accident Attorney Cost in Virginia?

At Breit Cantor, our priority isn’t our bottom line, it’s ensuring you receive the justice you deserve. That’s why we don’t charge our clients a penny until we’ve helped them receive their due compensation. Don’t worry about investigation needs, trial preparation, or legal fees—you never pay anything unless we secure compensation for you.

What Do I Do if I’ve Been in a Trucking Accident?

After a trucking accident, your first priority is your health, so you should immediately seek medical attention. Even if you feel fine or your accident was minor, there may be serious and imperceptible injuries, and you should have a medical professional confirm there are no serious injuries to address. You should also follow up with local authorities and make sure a police report was filed; this report can provide important documentation for your case. When it comes to trucking accidents, there are multiple entities involved who will try to prioritize their financial interests, so you should avoid interacting with the other driver, their trucking company, or insurance agents. While you should exchange information, don’t make any admissions or suggestions about fault.

Finally, you should contact a Virginia trucking accident attorney to help you move forward with your case. The lawyer will be able to begin the investigation, ensure the correct reports and filings are submitted, and help you navigate any questions you may have about your case.

What Damages Can I Recover From a Trucking Accident Case?

If you or a loved one were involved in a trucking accident and the truck driver or his company is at fault, you are entitled to justice and financial compensation. Our truck accident attorneys in Virginia Beach and Richmond can help you pursue the full value of the damages you’ve sustained, including current and future medical expenses, loss of revenue, and physical and emotional suffering.

Who Is Liable in a Trucking Accident?

Trucking accidents are among the most complex personal injury cases because there are so many parties involved who may be liable. In addition to the driver, his trucking company, the truck manufacturers, the mechanic, the shipper, or the loader may be to blame. All of these entities will prioritize their own financial interests and try to avoid liability; they may claim to not employ the driver, to not own the vehicle, or to have never worked on the truck, or they may try to keep record books or logs hidden. Experienced truck accident attorneys like those at Breit Cantor can help determine who is at fault and maneuver around these distractions to access the facts needed to help you win your case.

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Experience The Breit Cantor Difference

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  • Over 300 years of combined legal experience.
  • Attorneys have been recognized among the most experienced trial lawyers in Virginia and the country.
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