Truck drivers are required to meet strict federal and state regulations in order to keep themselves and others as safe as possible on the road. However, certain factors can result in these large commercial vehicles overturning, causing serious injuries to the occupants of nearby passenger vehicles. Around Staunton, Interstate 81 and Interstate 64 are the main places these accidents occur.

If you are involved in a rollover truck accident in Staunton, you could benefit from speaking with one of our dedicated injury attorneys at The Warren Firm. You might be eligible for financial recourse from the trucker, employer, cargo loader, or the truck manufacturer to compensate you for your damages.

What is an 18-Wheeler Rollover Accident?

Rollover semi-truck accidents often happen because the vehicle’s center of gravity is high which causes it to be unstable and overturn. The ideal center of gravity occurs when the vehicle’s weight is distributed evenly on all sides, but that can quickly change if the truck is overloaded or improperly packed.

When a big rig is taking a sharp turn, the gravitational force pulls it away from its center, and if the driver is speeding, a rollover can occur. A local attorney could review police reports, medical charts, witness statements, and the truck’s black box and loading documents to determine what may have caused the truck to overturn.

Causes of Overturned Semi-Trucks

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) studied truck accidents to determine the primary reasons for rollovers and found that driver error causes most of them. Further research based on the FMCSA studies found that almost half of the rollover crashes were caused by excessive speed. Other errors include:

  • Distracted truckers who suddenly realize they must veer or turn, including drowsy drivers and those using cell phones or monitoring equipment
  • Bad driving, such as over-correcting, braking improperly, failing to change gears when necessary, tailgating, and poor response to road hazards such as weather or accidents
  • Improperly secured cargo
  • Maintenance problems causing the truck to malfunction

A Staunton lawyer could gather evidence of truck driver error as proof of negligence in an ensuing civil case based on a rollover accident.

Seeking Compensation After a Truck Overturns

Since commercial vehicles can cause substantial damage in the event of a wreck, trucking companies are required to carry substantial insurance coverage. Interstate commercial carriers are required to be insured for $750,000 in liability and up to $5 million if the freight hauled is hazardous, as per the US Code of Federal Regulations § 387.9.

Between the trucker’s and carrier’s policies, a seasoned lawyer in Staunton could negotiate a suitable settlement for someone who is injured in a rollover truck crash. However, since the injuries in these accidents are usually catastrophic, insurance may not cover the plaintiff’s needs. In these cases, a local attorney may suggest taking the case to trial.

Statute of Limitations

Code of Virginia § 8.01-243 bars a plaintiff from filing a civil lawsuit if more than two years have passed since the date of the accident. For this reason, it is imperative to contact a Staunton accident attorney to discuss the circumstances of a rollover semi-truck wreck as soon as possible to make sure you are not barred from recovery.

Learn More about Rollover Truck Accidents from a Staunton Attorney

When a commercial truck overturns, it can crush nearby vehicles and their occupants. This can result in devastating, even deadly harm that could completely alter a person’s life.

If you or a loved one suffered harm in a rollover truck accident in Staunton, contact The Warren Firm today to discuss your legal options. We look forward to speaking with you.