According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association (FMCSA), distracted driving is one of the leading causes of truck accidents in the United States. Whenever truck drivers take their attention off the road ahead, they put themselves and everyone around them at risk of suffering catastrophic harm in a collision.
Generally, distracted driving constitutes legal negligence. This means the trucker and his or her employer could bear financial liability for any injures and damages suffered in a crash. If you were recently involved in a distracted driving truck accident in Charlottesville, a skilled 18-wheeler collision attorney could help you understand your legal options.
There are many ways to lose focus while behind the wheel of a large commercial truck. Drivers could get distracted while eating, changing the radio station, or even glancing at an animal on the side of the road. However, cell phone use is one of the most common distractions.
Using a cell phone while driving a tractor-trailer is illegal under federal and state law. The FMCSA prohibits truck drivers from holding a handheld device while in actual physical control of a moving truck. Additionally, Virginia House Bill 874–which goes into effect January 2021—prohibits all motor vehicle operators from holding personal communication devices while driving. If the police issue a traffic citation to the truck operator for texting and driving, it could be useful evidence in your claim.
Distracted driving can be one of the most challenging causes of action for a truck accident lawsuit. If the trucker does not receive a traffic citation, it is not always clear what the distraction was or whether the driver was actually distracted.
If the police report for a truck accident does not indicate distracted driving, a skilled truck accident attorney could gather other forms of evidence that show the truck driver’s attention was not on the road at the time of the wreck. This could include dashcam or surveillance camera footage, phone or text message records, photos, and videos from the accident scene. Even physical evidence like half-eaten food in the truck driver’s cab could help prove your case.
If you can prove through a preponderance of evidence that a distracted truck driver directly caused your injuries and damages, you may be able to seek financial compensation. You could seek restitution for economic damages such as medical bills, car repair or replacement costs, and lost wages. Non-economic damages may also be available for losses such as physical pain and inconvenience. An experienced attorney could also help you pursue compensation for future damages such as lost earning capacity or the cost of rehabilitative medical care.
All motor vehicle operators should pay attention to their surroundings when driving. Unfortunately, not everyone follows this guideline. If you suffered devastating injuries due to a distracted trucker’s negligence, you might have a valid injury claim.
Recovering fair compensation after a distracted driving accident in Charlottesville is generally easier with a qualified legal professional on your side. Get in touch with a dedicated lawyer at The Warren Firm today to learn how we could assist you with your case.