A Brief Overview of Virginia Truck Accidents

A Brief Overview of Virginia Truck AccidentsTruck accidents can be devastating, and in Virginia, they occur more frequently than one might think. The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) releases annual reports outlining the statistics of truck accidents in the state. These reports provide valuable insights into the frequency and causes of these accidents, the severity of the resulting injuries, and more.

According to the Virginia DMV’s 2021 Traffic Crash Facts report (the most recent available), there were a total of 4,953 crashes involving large trucks in Virginia in 2021. This represents over four percent of all crashes in the state.

The report also shows that there were 104 fatal truck accidents in Virginia in 2021, a slight increase from the previous year. In addition, there were 1,783 crashes resulting in injuries, which is also an increase from 2020.

All of this data speaks to an increased risk of injury that drivers, pedestrians, cyclists, and motorcycle riders face when sharing the road with a commercial truck.

What are the causes of Virginia truck accidents?

The most common cause of truck accidents in Virginia, as in many other states, is driver error. This can include distracted driving, fatigue, speeding, and failure to yield the right of way. However, other factors can contribute to these accidents as well, including poor weather conditions and equipment malfunctions.

  • Distracted driving is a particularly significant problem among truck drivers, as they often spend long hours on the road and may become bored or restless behind the wheel.
  • Fatigue is another common cause of truck accidents in Virginia. Truck drivers are often under pressure to meet tight deadlines, and may push themselves to stay on the road longer than they should. This can lead to drowsiness and a decrease in reaction time, both of which can contribute to accidents.
  • Speeding can be particularly dangerous for large trucks, which require a longer stopping distance than passenger vehicles.
  • Failure to yield the right of way can also be a problem for tractor-trailers, as trucks are often slower to accelerate and may not be able to avoid a collision if another vehicle cuts them off.
  • Equipment malfunctions can also contribute to truck accidents. This can include problems with the brakes, steering, or tires, all of which can cause a driver to lose control of their vehicle.

What types of injuries result from Richmond truck accidents?

The severity of injuries can vary depending on the circumstances of the accident. For example, if a truck collides with a passenger vehicle at high speed, the resulting injuries are likely to be severe. Injuries can include:

  • Traumatic brain injuries (TBI): TBIs are among the most serious injuries that can result from a truck accident. They occur when the brain is damaged due to a blow or jolt to the head, or when an object penetrates the skull. Symptoms can range from mild to severe, and may include headaches, dizziness, confusion, memory loss, seizures, or coma.
  • Spinal cord injuries: Spinal cord injuries can result from the impact of a truck accident, and can cause permanent paralysis or disability. Symptoms may include loss of sensation or movement below the site of the injury, difficulty breathing, and loss of bladder or bowel control.
  • Burn injuries: If a truck catches fire or explodes during an accident, occupants of the truck or nearby vehicles may suffer serious burns. Burns can cause extensive scarring, disfigurement, and nerve damage.
  • Fractures: Fractures or broken bones are common injuries in truck accidents, especially in the arms, legs, and ribs. They can be very painful and may often require surgery to repair.
  • Internal injuries: Internal injuries can occur when the impact of a truck accident causes damage to organs such as the liver, spleen, or kidneys. Symptoms may include pain, swelling, and internal bleeding. These injuries can be life-threatening.
  • Traumatic amputations: In some cases, a truck accident may result in the loss of a limb, either due to traumatic injury or the need for surgical amputation. Amputations can be life-changing and may require extensive rehabilitation and therapy.

It is important to note that these injuries can have significant physical, emotional, and financial consequences for those affected, and may require ongoing medical care and rehabilitation. Victims of truck accidents may be entitled to compensation for their injuries, but navigating the legal process can be complex. It is important to consult with an experienced Richmond-area personal injury attorney from Phelan Petty to understand your rights and options.

Liability in Richmond truck accidents

Determining liability in a truck accident can be complicated, as there may be multiple parties involved, including the truck driver, the trucking company, and even the manufacturer of the truck or its components.

In Virginia, liability in truck accidents is determined based on the principle of negligence. This means that the party who acted negligently and caused the accident is held responsible for any resulting injuries or damages.

For example, if a truck driver was texting while driving and caused an accident by driving distracted, the driver is typically held liable for any resulting injuries or damages. However, if the trucking company failed to properly maintain the truck’s brakes, which also contributed to the accident, the company may be held liable as well. Trucking companies are also generally held liable for the actions of their employees.

Of course, there are other potential liable parties, too. In Virginia, brokers and shippers may also be held liable. This usually stems from negligent hiring by the broker or shipper; we have particular experience in claims where brokers are named as liable parties.

With the help of a skilled attorney, you can fight for the compensation to which you are entitled after a truck accident. The Richmond-based injury lawyers at Phelan Petty have decades of combined experience advocating for people just like you when they’ve been injured in an accident that wasn’t their fault. Let us put our experience and resources to work on your claim. To schedule a free consultation with a member of our team, call our offices or fill out our contact form today. We serve clients in Richmond and throughout Virginia.

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