Roanoke, VA Commercial Truck Accident Lawyer and 18-Wheeler Attorney
Each year, over 100,000 injury crashes involving large trucks are reported, approximately five thousand of which result in fatalities. Because commercial trucks often weigh several tons, the size of the truck, coupled with the weight of their freight, can cause devastating injuries and even death when a crash occurs.
In addition to weighing twenty to thirty times more than passenger vehicles, semis and trailers are also taller and have enhanced ground clearance compared to passenger vehicles. As a result, individuals driving in cars and SUVs are over four times more vulnerable to severe injuries or death than truck drivers.
In the Roanoke area, Interstate 81 and 581 are prime thoroughfares for commercial trucks crossing the country. Thus these highways tragically are not immune from serious truck crashes.
The Types of Commercial Truck and Vehicle Accidents for Which Representation is Provided
For over three decades, the Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt has been successfully representing Virginians involved in commercial truck and other vehicle crashes. It’s important to understand that large trucking accidents do not exclusively involve 18-wheelers; rather, the types of vehicles can vary extensively and can include:
- Cargo Trucks
- Fuel Transport Vehicles
- Flatbed Trucks
- Mail and Delivery Trucks
- Moving Vans
We are committed to providing tenacious representation to clients irrespective of the type of vehicle involved in a crash.
Understanding the Differences Between Interstate Semi-Truck and Large Commercial Vehicle Crashes and Car Crashes
Interstate trucking companies and truck drivers must comply with extensive federal trucking regulations that do not apply to non- interstate trucking drivers. These regulations cover a number of matters, including required rest periods, limitations on the number of hours that can be driven during certain periods, vehicle inspections, and training. As part of these regulations, interstate truckers must keep detailed electronic logs that document compliance with what are commonly known as “hours of service” rules.
As commercial interstate truck crash lawyers, we understand these critical rules and regulations. As part of a truck crash investigation, we will carefully determine whether both a truck driver and trucking company have complied with the federal regulations.
In addition to these federal regulations, truck collisions involving commercial trucks require detailed investigations to identify all potentially liable parties. Typically the trucking company will be liable for an accident caused by the negligence of one of its drivers. In addition, other third parties may also be liable for a crash, such as the installer or manufacturer of brakes if the brakes were defective or not correctly installed.
Contact Us at Your Earliest Convenience for a Free Consultation to Learn How We Can Help
If you are involved in a crash caused by a commercial truck, it is important to contact our offices as soon as possible. As an experienced Roanoke commercial truck accident lawyer, attorney Mark Hurt can review your case and discuss with you your legal options for seeking compensation so that you have the information needed to decide how to proceed.
Common Causes of Commercial Truck Accidents
Each year approximately fifty Virginians are killed, and nearly one thousand residents sustain injuries, in collisions involving large trucks. Among the regularly cited causes of commercial truck accidents are:
- Driving too fast in bad weather
- Improper Lane Change
- Attempts to Avoid Other Vehicles
- Failure to Yield
- Hit and Runs
- Following Too Close
- Improper Backing
- Brake Failure
- Aggressive Driving and Road Rage
- Drunk Driving or Alcohol Abuse
- Overloaded or Improperly Loaded Trucks
- Distracted Driving
- Rollover Accidents
- Jackknife Crashes
- Truck Maintenance Issues
- Malfunctioning Truck Lights
- Illegal Passing
- Driver Fatigue
In many instances, a single truck accident may have multiple contributing factors and responsible parties. As such, it is important to work with a skilled attorney who is knowledgeable about commercial truck accidents. At the Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt, we can use our over three decades of experience to help identify responsible parties and hold them accountable for their wrongdoing.
What Can I Do If I Lost a Loved One in A Commercial Truck Accident?
If you or a loved one was involved in an accident involving a commercial vehicle or semi-truck, we understand that this may be an overwhelming time. If a fatality occurred, handling complex legal matters can add to the stress of an already difficult and stressful situation. If your loved one was killed in a tragic commercial truck accident, we extend our sincerest condolences.
While we understand that nothing can bring your loved one back, obtaining compensation for the losses you have sustained may help to alleviate some of your financial stress. Under Virginia law, surviving family members are entitled to receive compensation whenever a death is caused by the wrongful act, neglect, or fault of another person or company. If successful in proving a wrongful death case, you may be entitled to recover damages for:
- Medical Bills
- Other Care Expenses Incurred Prior to Death
- Burial Expenses
- Funeral Costs
- Loss of Future Financial Support
- Loss of Companionship and Love
- Mental and Emotional Anguish
As an experienced Roanoke commercial truck lawyer, Mark Hurt can assess your claim and help determine if you may be entitled to compensation under the Virginia wrongful death statute.
The Availability of Insurance in Interstate Truck Crashes
One important factor in an injury or wrongful death case concerns the availability of insurance to pay compensation and damages. While Virginia drivers are only required to carry coverage for $25,000 of bodily injury (and $50,000 for total bodily injury per accident), commercial interstate truck drivers are usually required to carry liability insurance of at least $750,000. For truckers hauling hazardous cargo, the amount of insurance may be much higher.
In addition to these minimum levels, most interstate trucking companies carry excess insurance in order to protect the company in the event a catastrophic injury or death occurs. While there is nothing that can undo a wrongful death or serious injury, those hurt or the families who have lost a loved one will usually be in a much better position in being able to recover full and fair compensation compared to collisions involving passenger vehicles, in which case the drivers are often uninsured or underinsured.
How Much Does It Cost to Hire an Experienced Roanoke, Virginia Truck Accident Lawyer?
We represent commercial vehicle accident and wrongful death clients on a contingency fee basis, and we advance all litigation costs (fees are typically deducted from a settlement or jury award). If we do not recover compensation for you, you will not owe any fee for our services, no matter how much time we have put into your case. Prior to commencing representation, we will provide a detailed fee agreement that clearly outlines all costs and expenses, and we will be happy to answer any questions that you may have about fees or costs.
How Trucking Companies Attempt to Minimize Liability
Some trucking companies (and the insurance companies that represent them) have what are commonly known as “Go Teams”. The purpose of these Go Teams is to quickly investigate accidents, secure damaged or totaled trucks and other vehicles, try to get those hurt to make statements against their interest, and otherwise try to do everything possible to minimize liability. This can even mean having critical evidence destroyed (including the trucks and the “black box” event recorders, which often contain vital information about the cause of a crash).
If you’ve been hurt or lost a loved one in a truck crash, the trucking company may even contact you soon after an accident to offer a settlement. When faced with mounting medical bills or the loss of a loved one, these settlement offers may sound appealing at first, but they typically represent only a small fraction (or even pennies on the dollar) of what your claim may be worth. Truck companies desire to limit their liability by settling an accident claim prior to the full extent of the injuries and losses becoming known.
In many cases, a commercial truck accident victim will require extensive medical treatment and continue incurring medical expenses for some time. If you accept such a low settlement, you almost certainly will be precluded from obtaining additional money if your injuries are worse than originally thought. You may even be stuck paying for medical care that should have been covered by the company.
Call Us for a Free Consultation
If you receive a call from an insurance or trucking company, we would urge you to call us before signing any documents or agreeing to a settlement without first calling our office for a free consultation.
Commercial trucking accidents are complex and often involve many different parties. If you are the victim of a large truck accident, you will want an experienced Roanoke attorney on your side who understands Virginia and federal commercial truck accident law, and who will fight tenaciously to secure the maximum compensation possible.
If a truck driver or trucking company caused your injuries or the loss of a loved one, we want to help you seek justice and hold the negligent parties responsible for your losses. Contact our offices to schedule a free consultation with Mark Hurt to learn how we can help.
“Mark took over my car accident case from another attorney that I fired. Mark worked hard on the case for several months to get ready for trial. Shortly before trial he got more than the offer my first lawyer tried to get me to take.”
Google 5 Star Review – Jerry C.
 Large Truck and Bus Crash Facts, U.S. Department of Transportation, https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/sites/fmcsa.dot.gov/files/docs/safety/data-and-statistics/461861/ltcbf-2017-final-5-6-2019.pdf.
 Fatality Facts 2018, IIHS, https://www.iihs.org/topics/fatality-statistics/detail/large-trucks.
 Fatality Facts 2018, IIHS, https://www.iihs.org/topics/fatality-statistics/detail/large-trucks.
 Crash Facts 2017, Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles, https://www.dmv.virginia.gov/safety/crash_data/crash_facts/crash_facts_17.pdf.
 VA Code § 8.01-50.