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Truck Injury Lawyer in Virginia

LEGAL HELP FOR VIRGINIA TRUCK ACCIDENT INJURY VICTIMS

The Commonwealth of Virginia has taken great efforts to keep their roadways safe. Virginia is home to one of the largest state highway systems in the country, and the state issued a ban on texting and driving for all drivers. Interstate 81 and I-95 are among the interstate highways connecting Virginia to the nation’s capital and the rest of the country.

Despite Virginia’s best efforts, trucking accidents are still prevalent on the state’s roadways. In 2014, there were 90 people killed in traffic crashes involving a large truck. Not all trucking accidents are fatal, but thousands of people each year suffer from serious injuries due to commercial motor vehicle crashes. Nationally, an estimated 111,000 people were injured in a crash involving a semi-truck.

Unfortunately, injuries sustained in semi-truck accidents are oftentimes more severe and debilitating than other motor vehicle crashes. In the United States, commercial motor vehicles may weigh up to 80,000 lbs., or 40 tons, while an average passenger car weighs around two tons. This significant weight differential is part of the reason why these accidents can be so devastating.

Trucking accidents can cause severe injuries, and even death, to you or your loved ones. You have rights as a trucking accident victim, and at Thomas J. Henry, our clients’ financial and physical well-being is of the utmost importance. We understand how difficult your life can be made following a devastating trucking accident, especially when medical bills and other expenses start to pile up. That’s why we can advance your court costs, litigation expenses, and advance you money for living and medical expenses (interest free). You don’t have to worry about spending anything and you pay no attorney’s fees unless we win your trucking injury case.

We do this because our firm has the resources and the confidence in our experienced Virginia truck accident lawyers to continue our track record of achieving record-breaking verdicts and settlements for our clients.

THE LEGAL RESOURCES YOU NEED TO WIN YOUR VIRGINIA TRUCKING ACCIDENT CASE

When taking on the largest trucking companies in the world, you need a trucking accident law firm that has the experienced lawyers and financial resources necessary to do so. Thomas J. Henry ensures clients that their case is handled efficiently and effectively from the first time we meet to the final slam of the gavel. The firm’s legal resources and decades of experience allow us to provide dynamic legal representation for Virginia trucking injury victims.

  • Technology
    • Our firm operates with state-of-the-art technology, creating an environment for our experienced legal professionals and our clients. Thomas J. Henry Injury Attorneys are equipped with top-of-the-line case management, client interaction, and information security technologies when representing injured clients. From the first time a new client meets at our office — or we visit them in Virginia — a case profile is created and is active in our modern computer system. At this point, the case files are accessible to our experienced injury attorneys from anywhere in the nation. Security coupled with accessibility allow us to expedite case information to our clients and legal professionals at the click of a mouse. Keeping our clients informed and comfortable with the most up-to-date information possible is of the utmost importance.
  • Mobility
    • Virginia trucking accident attorneys are available to 24/7, nights and weekends to evaluate your case. When you are represented by our experienced team of injury lawyers, we want to be as accessible as possible. Clients can access us at anytime from anywhere in the world. We can visit you wherever you live in Virginia if you cannot make it to our offices. Distance is never an issue because our lawyers can access your case information through satellite and cutting-edge mobile technologies, allowing them to draft and review files from anywhere. We want to ensure our clients that they have an advocate fighting on their behalf through the entire legal process.
  • Trucking expert witnesses
    • Trucking experts serve as witnesses in commercial trucking litigation matters. They can provide invaluable expert reports and testimony to judges, lawyers, law firms, and insurance companies in trials and arbitration. It is vital to have the right experts and the best expert witnesses for your case. Thomas J. Henry has spent a tremendous amount of time finding the best experts from across the country. Each expert witness our firm engages with has been through an exhaustive examination and questioning process before ever participating in any of our clients’ cases. Expert witnesses in a Virginia trucking injury case can include:
      • General equipment technical experts
      • Doctors, physical therapists, surgeons, and other medical professionals
      • Accident reconstruction experts
      • FMCSA compliance consultants
      • Accident investigation experts
      • Human factors forensic scientists

I’VE BEEN INJURED IN A TRUCKING ACCIDENT — WHAT SHOULD I DO?

Semi-truck accidents can leave you stunned and disoriented, especially if you have been injured. After ensuring you are safe, there are steps you can take to help protect your rights as a victim of a Virginia trucking accident. Because trucking accident cases can be very complex, it is paramount that the facts of the accident are recorded and that evidence is preserved and obtained. Thomas J. Henry knows how truck drivers and companies operate, and we are there to help you after the accident to preserve your rights and put you in the best situation possible to achieve the compensation you deserve.

Here are some tips on protecting your rights as a trucking accident victim:

  • Stop immediately after the truck accident. Assess your health and the health of your passengers. If you plan on leaving your vehicle, be sure it is safe outside before doing so.
  • Make the accident visible. If possible, try to signal to other drivers that they are approaching an active accident scene by putting on your vehicle’s hazard lights or setting out road flares.
  • Notify the police. File a police report, and make sure paramedics are sent if there are any injuries from the accident.
  • Record accident facts. When giving your statement to police, be sure to give only facts and be as accurate as possible. Try not to speculate about facts surrounding the crash or the extent of your injuries.
  • Take pictures of the scene, including any injuries you or your passengers sustained, your vehicle’s damage, the semi-truck, and any other factors involved in the accident.
  • Gather names and contact information of everyone involved in the accident and any witnesses. Also, obtain the insurance information of all drivers involved.
  • Seek medical attention, and if you aren’t sure if you’ve received an injury in the trucking accident, it is best to err on the side of safety. Schedule a check-up with your primary care physician. Sometimes injuries and pain will not be apparent until days after the crash.
  • Report the accident to your insurance company. Keep a log of any medical or crash-related expenses. If you are contacted by other insurance companies or trucking companies, refer them to your attorney (if you have retained one).
  • Contact a Virginia trucking accident lawyer.

At Thomas J. Henry, our experienced Virginia trucking injury attorneys will assist you immediately after your accident. We are available to respond to trucking accidents at any hour of the day because we understand the importance of immediately acquiring evidence and information about the accident. In addition, we understand the difficulties that a trucking accident can put you through. If you are injured and can’t work, we can advance your court costs and litigation expenses. We can advance money for living and medical expenses, interest free. You spend nothing and pay no attorney’s fees unless we win your case.

We can do this because we are confident that our team of experienced truck accident attorneys will continue our record of obtaining real results for our clients.

WHAT CAUSES TRUCKING ACCIDENTS TO OCCUR IN VIRGINIA?

In the United States, commercial motor vehicles can weigh up to 40 tons — roughly 20 times heavier than a normal passenger car. This weight differential is oftentimes the reason why trucking accidents result in catastrophic injuries and even fatalities on the road.

When truck drivers fail to comply with traffic laws, you and your loved ones’ lives are put at risk. Commons causes of Virginia trucking accidents include:

  • Speeding
  • Distracted driving
    • Five seconds is the average time your eyes are off the road while texting. When traveling at 55 mph, that’s enough time to cover the length of a football field (FMCSA).
  • Improper turning
  • Improper lane changing
  • Unsecured loads/cargo
  • Driver fatigue
    • An AAA Foundation study showed that driving with only four or five hours of sleep increases the risk of a crash the same as driving with a blood alcohol level of .12 to .15 (.04 is the legal limit for truck drivers).
  • Impaired driving
  • Failure to maintain vehicle
  • Following too closely
    • The average stopping distance for a loaded tractor-trailer traveling at 55 mph is 196 feet, compared with 133 feet for an automobile.

WHO CAN BE SUED AFTER A TRUCKING ACCIDENT?

In Virginia, knowing who and where to sue are crucial aspects of a trucking accident case. These cases can be complex due to the different parties that could potentially be negligent in the accident. Thomas J. Henry has the experience, knowledge, and expertise to make the right call, ensuring our clients are in position to receive the best possible verdict or settlement.

Negligent parties in a trucking accident may include:

  • The truck driver
  • The trucking company
  • The commercial motor vehicle manufacturer

No matter who we determine to be negligent in your case, our experience team of injury attorneys have consistently demonstrated how truck drivers and trucking companies caused life-altering injuries and deaths that were completely unnecessary.

ECM AND GPS DEVICES: WHY THEY ARE IMPORTANT TO YOUR TRUCKING ACCIDENT CASE

Electronic Control Modules (ECM) and Global Positioning Systems (GPS) are found in many commercial motor vehicles and other vehicles regulated by the Department of Transportation. These electronic systems track and record the movement of the truck — invaluable information when determining negligence in your trucking injury case. GPS and ECM can determine the speed the truck was traveling at prior to an impact, the driving habits of the driver, and which routes were taken before an accident.

Thomas J. Henry will immediately file a lawsuit and restraining order to obtain the data found on the ECM and GPS devices. In addition, we will acquire the driver’s required Federal Motor Carrier documents. Obtaining this information is paramount in achieving the verdict your or your injured family members deserve.

FEDERAL COMMERCIAL MOTOR VEHICLE GUIDELINES HELP PREVENT TRUCKING ACCIDENTS

Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations contains all regulations and guidelines pertaining to commercial motor vehicles, including large trucks, and the people who own and operate them. Regulations are in place to keep other motorists safe on the roadways. Disastrous trucking accidents occur when individuals and trucking companies fail to comply with these regulations.

Every truck driver is required to obtain a commercial driver’s license. Those who hold a commercial driver’s license, or CDL, are held to higher standards than normal driver’s license holders. CDL holders can face license suspension by committing serious traffic violations, such as texting while driving.

Important commercial motor vehicle guidelines include:

  • Drivers must be 21 years of age or older to drive across state lines or operate a vehicle containing hazardous materials.
    • Virginia CDL holders must be at least 18 years of age to drive within the state’s borders.
  • To be eligible for a CDL, drivers must have no prior disqualifying criminal offenses.
  • Prior to obtaining a CDL, drivers must test for and obtain a commercial learner’s permit (CLP) and hold it for 14 days.
  • In order to obtain a commercial learner’s permit, drivers must be cleared by a qualified medical examiner that they are physically able to operate a commercial vehicle.
  • For commercial motor vehicle operators, the blood alcohol content (BAC) limit is .04, compared to .08 for regular drivers.
  • Truck drivers are banned from using handheld mobile phones while driving. Trucking companies are prohibited from allowing or requiring drivers to use handheld devices while driving.
  • Drivers are prohibited from holding a CDL issued by more than one state or jurisdiction.

HOURS OF SERVICE REGULATIONS

Truck drivers operating on insufficient sleep is extremely dangerous. One of the leading causes of trucking accidents is drivers falling asleep at the wheel. The hours of service regulations are in place to prevent truck drivers from getting behind the wheel without having a proper amount of sleep to allow them to operate a commercial motor vehicle safely.

Property-carrying commercial motor vehicle drivers,

  • 11-Hour Driving Limit: May drive a maximum of 11 hours after 10 consecutive hours off duty.
  • 14-Hour Limit: May not drive beyond the 14th consecutive hour after coming on duty, following 10 consecutive hours off duty. Off-duty time does not extend the 14-hour period.
  • 60/70-Hour On-Duty Limit: May not drive after 60/70 hours on duty in 7/8 consecutive days. A driver may restart a 7/8 consecutive day period after taking 34 or more consecutive hours off duty.
  • Sleeper Berth Provision: Drivers using the sleeper berth provision must take at least eight consecutive hours in the sleeper berth, plus a separate two consecutive hours either in the sleeper berth, off duty, or any combination of the two.

For passenger-carrying commercial motor vehicle drivers,

  • 10-Hour Driving Limit: May drive a maximum of 10 hours after eight consecutive hours off duty.
  • 15-Hour On-Duty Limit: May not drive after having been on duty for 15 hours, following eight consecutive hours off duty. Off-duty time is not included in the 15-hour period.
  • 60/70-Hour On-Duty Limit: May not drive after 60/70 hours on duty in 7/8 consecutive days.
  • Sleeper Berth Provision: Drivers using a sleeper berth must take at least 8 hours in the sleeper berth, and may split the sleeper-berth time into two periods provided neither is less than 2 hours.

CONTACT AN EXPERIENCED VIRGINIA TRUCKING ACCIDENT AND INJURY ATTORNEY

Thomas J. Henry Injury Attorneys has helped trucking injury victims from across the country for decades. Year after year, Thomas J. Henry is recognized for obtaining record-breaking verdicts and settlements for our injured clients. Our record of achieving real results for our clients speaks to the success of our experienced team of truck accident lawyers. Lawyers are available 24/7, nights and weekends to respond to your trucking accident and evaluate your case. If you have been injured in a Virginia trucking accident, contact Thomas J. Henry.

Disclaimer: Any summary, description, or paraphrase of a regulatory requirement on this site is intended to provide general guidance only.  Please consult the text of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations for a full account of the applicable requirements.

HAVE YOU BEEN INJURED?

Contact Us for a FREE Case Review

877-969-8159 • info@tjhlaw.com

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