Any motor vehicle accident can inflict significant injuries and change the course of a person’s life. However, for those involved in collisions with tractor-trailers on I-81, the sheer size and weight of these vehicles multiply the chances of sustaining life-altering injuries.

If you are living with the aftermath of such a traumatic event, you may need assistance from a well-practiced local attorney to obtain damages that fully compensate you for the harm you suffered. An Augusta County truck accident lawyer could apply his or her knowledge, skill, and compassion to walk you through the process and help you reach a favorable resolution to your case.

Unique Aspects of 18-Wheeler Collisions

Semi-trucks are not like cars and other vehicles on the road. They are larger, longer, heavier, and structured differently, including a cab connected to a sizeable trailer. These characteristics lead to distinctive types, and often deadlier, accidents, such as jackknifes, rollovers, and blind-spot collisions. These types of accidents and the flammable contents of some trailers make fires and explosions a possible secondary consequence of these wrecks.

Common Causes of Tractor-Trailer Accidents

Trucking companies may implement cost-cutting measures that sacrifice safety and can lead to accidents. One of the biggest concerns is driver fatigue. Although the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations Title 49, Sections 392.3 and 395.3 establish rules regarding the number of hours a driver may work and rest periods, many companies skirt these rules to meet tight deadlines and make more money.

In addition to overtired drivers, numerous other factors can cause a wreck, including:

  • Inadequate maintenance
  • Worn brakes
  • Tire blowouts
  • Overloaded or improperly loaded trailers
  • Insufficient training
  • Lack of experience and skill
  • Driver distraction
  • Driver error
  • Aggressive or reckless driving
  • Driving under the influence
  • Perilous road conditions or maintenance

While some accidents are the sole responsibility of the truck driver, others implicate corporate entities, such as the driver’s employer. While identifying the driver’s role in the accident is crucial, the inquiry does not end there. Other parties may also shoulder the blame, such as the employer, truck owner (some outfits lease their trucks), maintenance contractor, parts supplier, manufacturer, loading or shipping contractor, or government body that oversees the roadway.

More defendants mean a more complicated case. Attorneys familiar with trucking accidents could help a plaintiff investigate the wreck’s source to hold the appropriate parties accountable and maximize any recovery.

What if the Plaintiff is Partially Liable?

Virginia follows the rule of contributory negligence, so to collect damages, plaintiffs must be blameless. This rule bars an injured party from collecting damages if he or she played any role in creating the circumstances that led to the accident. For example, if a car driver follows a truck too closely and is injured when the load becomes untethered, he or she may not receive damages. Similarly, if a driver cuts off a trucker causing the truck to swerve and jackknife, ultimately hitting and injuring the driver, there will be no award given.

Seasoned truck accident attorneys in Augusta County may thoroughly investigate the event and develop a strategy to mitigate the chances of a plaintiff losing his or her claim for restitution.

Speak with an Augusta County Truck Accident Attorney Today

The prospect of suing a trucking company may seem like an overwhelming task. However, our team of experienced injury lawyers is ready to help. By calling an Augusta County truck accident lawyer today, you could take the first step in securing your future. Call our team today to learn more.