If you were involved in a truck accident, you may have suffered serious injuries that require intensive medical treatment. As a result, your focus after a truck accident is likely and understandably on your recovery. But when the crash was caused by someone else’s careless or reckless actions, you deserve to pursue financial compensation for the losses you incur due to the accident and your injuries.
In Virginia, the law limits how much time you have to pursue a truck accident claim. In addition, it’s important to take action as soon as possible after an accident to preserve crucial evidence. While truck accident claims are complex, you don’t have to navigate the legal process on your own. Keep reading to learn more about your options and legal deadlines following a truck accident.
Why Truck Accidents Are Different Than Regular Crashes
Truck accident cases differ from your typical car crash for several reasons, including:
- Whereas a car crash is usually caused by a driver or drivers involved in the accident, in a truck accident, other parties such as the trucking company, freight companies, and truck manufacturers may have liability.
- Truck accidents often involve multiple vehicles, meaning multiple injured parties who may all deserve compensation from the trucking companies.
- Trucking companies often have complex corporate structures and layered insurance policies that can make it difficult to determine what entity can be held liable for the crash and how much insurance coverage is available to compensate you.
- Truck accident cases often involve many more pieces of evidence than are used in other motor vehicle crashes.
Investigating a Truck Crash – Types of Evidence That a Lawyer Will Review
The highly regulated nature of the trucking industry requires trucking companies to produce a lot of documentation of their operations. These documents may hold clues as to how a truck accident occurred and who was responsible for causing the crash.
In addition to evidence common to all motor vehicle accidents, such as police accident reports, accident scene photos, vehicle damage reports, and eyewitness statements, a lawyer in a truck accident claim will also likely review pieces of evidence, such as:
- The truck driver’s log, in which the driver records how long they have been on duty and behind the wheel
- The truck driver’s alcohol/drug screen, if one is performed after the accident
- The truck driver’s employment and driving records
- The load manifest
- Dispatch records
- GPS data
- Logs from the truck’s electronic data recorder, or “black box”
- Dashcam or in-cab camera footage from the truck
- Inspection and maintenance records from the truck
Negotiating for a Settlement
Most truck accident claims end in a negotiated settlement rather than going to trial. Several factors can affect how long it may take to negotiate a settlement, including:
- The number of at-fault parties involved
- The number of injured victims
- Whether the at-fault parties contest liability for the accident or argue that you bear some share of fault for the crash and your injuries
- The severity of your injuries, as well as how long your treatment will take and whether you are still undergoing treatment during negotiations
- The amount of your financial losses
- The amount of insurance coverage held by the at-fault parties
Statute of Limitations for Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit in Virginia
Under Virginia’s statute of limitations on injury claims (Virginia Code: § 8.01-243) you typically have two years from the date of the truck accident to file a lawsuit to recover compensation from the party or parties at fault for the crash. If you file suit after this two-year period has expired, you run the risk of the court granting the opposing party’s motion to dismiss your case from court. If your case is dismissed with prejudice, you will lose your right to seek compensation for the accident.
How Barney Injury Law Can Help
If you’ve been injured in a truck accident in Virginia, Barney Injury Law can help you pursue a legal claim to hold negligent or reckless parties accountable by:
- Methodically investigating the crash, including preserving and carefully reviewing trucking records to determine how the accident occurred and who may bear legal fault for your injuries
- Handling the process of filing your claim with the trucking companies and their insurers
- Negotiating with the insurance adjusters and defense attorneys for a settlement that provides you with fair and full compensation
- Fighting as hard as necessary to pursue accountability and justice for you
Contact the Virginia Beach truck accident lawyers at Barney Injury Law for a free initial consultation with a knowledgeable truck accident attorney. We’ll listen to your story and determine your options for pursuing financial compensation for your injuries and losses. Don’t hesitate to call us at (757) 965-7200 or reach out to us online.