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Helping Injured Virginia And D.C. Truck Accident Victims Seek Justice

Semi trucks, tanker trucks, delivery trucks and other tractor-trailers are familiar sights on our roadways, causing small passenger cars to share the road with them. Because these trucks, particularly those larger and heavier than the standard vehicle, occupants in smaller vehicles can potentially suffer severe injuries in the event of a crash with a tractor-trailer.

If you were injured or your loved one lost their life in a commercial vehicle accident in Fairfax, Shevlin Smith can help you fight for the justice and compensation you deserve. Our Fairfax federal truck accident lawyers have decades of combined experience handling an array of complex cases, including Amazon, UPS, and FedEx claims for clients throughout Virginia and Washington, D.C. We offer compassionate, one-on-one attention and guidance every step of the way.

Call our firm at 703-634-7350 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with our Fairfax commercial vehicle accident lawyer today. You can also contact us online.

What Makes Truck Accident Cases Different Than Car Accident Cases?

Commercial vehicles – with FedEx as one of the more prominent trucks traveling roads throughout Virginia and Washington, D.C. – are only responsible for a small percentage of accidents on the roadway. However, the crashes are more severe between large trucks and passenger vehicles due to the size difference between the vehicles. As a result, survivors of truck accidents and other types of collisions are often left with catastrophic injuries that can cause them a lifetime of pain and change.

Because victims of trucking wrecks are the “little guys” standing up to large trucking companies to get needed and deserved compensation, most injured victims need all the help they can get when it comes to pursuing a Fairfax accident injury claim.

Also, truck crashes can produce some of the most severe injuries. Trying to cope with those injuries and a personal injury case can be complicated. This is why our Fairfax truck accident attorneys have put together the information below to help educate victims about truck crashes, injuries, their rights, and what to expect after a wreck.

Elements Of A Truck Accident Claim In Virginia

Determining liability in truck accident litigation is more difficult than in a common car accident case. Many factors go into determining liability, such as safety conditions, rules of the road, driving conditions, safety rules, and more. With a truck’s limited ability to stop, a rear-end collision is not treated the same as a car crash.

In a trucking case, it’s common that the injured party may have contributed to their injury. This is called contributory negligence, and it’s common in truck accident cases. Virginia is considered a contributory negligence state, which means if an individual is partially at fault, they are legally barred from making a recovery.

Trucking companies in Virginia have powerful insurance carriers along with a strong legal team to represent their cases. These trucking companies will do whatever it takes to handle cases quickly with as little recovery paid out as possible. A Fairfax truck accident attorney is crucial in your truck crash case because important evidence needs to be preserved to ensure that Amazon, UPS or FedEx lawsuits are successful.

Identifying Truck Accident Hot Spots

One aspect of Federal Express claims and other crash lawsuits is how easy it is to overlook is where the accident occurred. While driver negligence in an Amazon, UPS, or FedEx truck is almost always the primary cause of a crash, there are certain areas where crashes occur more frequently.

An analysis of Virginia accident data from 2018 to 2020 found that Fairfax County had the highest number of fatal crashes statewide, including UPS, Amazon, and FedEx accidents. Due to higher speeds, highways are where many truck accidents occur. The deadliest stretch of road throughout Virginia was I-64, traveling through the Hampton area.

The Capital Beltway in the Washington, D.C., area has long had a reputation for being dangerous. This is largely due to a high volume of traffic, but road design and layout in certain spots are also problematic. The stretch of Beltway running along I-66 in Virginia is one identified hot spot for crashes. Others include the stretch near Connecticut Avenue and the stretch near the exit ramps to Georgia Avenue.

Throughout the D.C. area, traffic accidents appear to be getting worse. Statistics show that 2023 had the highest rate of crash fatalities since 2007.

Traumatic Injuries Truck Accident Victims Endure

Here are some serious injuries that occur in FedEx trucking accidents with cars:

  • Brain injuries: Accidents with tractor-trailers often cause traumatic brain injuries due to the force involved and the enormous weight of a truck. Other types of brain injuries that occur in trucking wrecks include hematomas, contusions, concussions, and skull fractures, to name a few.
  • Spinal cord injuries: When trauma to the head, neck, or back occurs in a trucking accident, spine injuries can occur. This can result in paraplegia, quadriplegia, respiratory problems, and other permanent complications.
  • Broken bones: When the impact of a crash against a bone is too strong for the bone to withstand, bone fractures occur. Types of broken bones that trucking accident victims sustain include broken legs, ribs, hips, pelvises, hands, arms, noses, jaws and more.
  • Limb amputations: Truck crashes can result in the loss of a limb due to the sheer size and weight of a truck. Sadly, sometimes the loss of a limb is a “traumatic amputation” and sometimes tissues and blood vessels are so severely damaged that amputation is necessary.
  • Serious burn injuries: When a vehicle erupts in a fire during a truck crash, occupants can suffer severe burns that can cause them disfigurement, scarring, and a lifetime of pain and disabilities.
  • Wrongful death truck accidents: Many truck crashes end in fatalities because commercial vehicles are significantly heavier than passenger vehicles and will seriously damage anyone and anything they strike. Families who lost loved ones as a result of a negligent truck driver or trucking company have the right to pursue a legal claim for their losses.

Because FedEx and other trucking accidents can produce serious injuries and outcomes that cause victims or families of victims to be left in shock, it is important that victims and their families are educated about the process by a commercial truck accident attorney and know what to do after a truck crash.

What To Expect After A Truck Accident

This is what is crucial that you learn about:

What to expect in the immediate aftermath of a truck crash:

There are essential things to know, such as how to get a copy of your police report, why you need to take pictures of the crash scene, what to avoid doing after the wreck, and how to deal with the insurance company.

What to expect when going up against a big trucking company:

Trucking companies have teams of experts they send out to crash sites to limit their liability. They will often attempt to get recorded statements from victims and settle with victims very quickly before the full extent of the injuries is known.

What to expect in terms of recoverable damages:

When pursuing a financial recovery, it is important that victims of trucking accidents collect compensation for medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, and out-of-pocket costs related to the crash. Victims need to know they have a right to all damages – past, present and future.

What to expect when hiring an attorney:

The Virginia commercial truck accident lawyer you want working on your case is someone who has successfully handled similar cases in the past and has the experience and resources to handle your case. Not all personal injury lawyers know about the federal laws governing tractor-trailers and what information they can request so that trucking companies don’t destroy key evidence in your case.

Common Causes Of Truck Accidents

Whether driving down a city street or a major highway, sharing the road with a big rig is a normal occurrence. While most of the time, cars and trucks share the road safely, occasionally negligent truckers are driving negligently in the next lane, resulting in collisions. Over the past year alone – as of March 24th, 2024 – 131 crashes involved injuries, 223 required towing services, and nine resulted in fatalities.

Truck accident causes include:

  • Drowsy driving: FedEx, Amazon, UPS and other truck drivers usually get paid by the mile, which gives them an incentive to drive longer than they should. Regulations are in place as to the amount of time they are allowed to drive without rest, but rules are often broken. The result is tired truckers behind the wheel with dulled reactions and poor judgment.
  • Distracted driving: When a truck driver takes his eyes off the road, hands off the wheel or mind off driving – even for a minute – it can lead to a distracted driving crash. Because truck drivers are on the road more often than not, they often eat behind the wheel, call home, multitask, and use their cell phones while driving a vehicle weighing around 80,000 pounds.
  • Impaired driving from prescription drugs: Similar to alcohol and illegal drugs, drivers taking prescription medications for health issues can suffer adverse effects. Event over-the-counter medications can be just as altering and interfere with a truck driver’s ability to drive safely.
  • Speeding and aggressive driving: Truck drivers frustrated by traffic jams and negligent drivers can act aggressively while on the road. Additionally, hurrying to make a timely delivery can result in dangerous speeding. The outcome is usually needless and catastrophic crashes.
  • Failing to use turn signals and check blind spots: Large tractor-trailers have large blind spots or “no-zones,” which require truck drivers to carefully check them before changing lanes. Truck drivers sometimes fail to use reasonable care by not double-checking their blind spots or using turn signals. As a result, they can cause serious side-impact wrecks.
  • Improper loading of cargo: Unsecured cargo is vital to avoid shifting, often resulting in a rollover. Flatbed trailers with unsecured cargo can also cause a crash. Negligence involving these everyday tasks can lead to lawsuits for injuries and death that result.
  • Truck equipment failure due to poor maintenance: Trucking companies must adhere to high standards of safety. When they fall short, 18-wheelers suffer brake failure, tire blowouts, or tread separations. Defective parts are also potentially deadly.

Truck accidents occur due to several factors, including drivers acting negligently behind the wheel and truck companies making bad business decisions prioritizing profits over safety. Consequences are dangerous and potentially deadly injuries and fatalities, particularly for smaller vehicles sharing the road.

Get Started On Your Truck Accident Case Today

Hopefully, this information has been of some help to you while you are dealing with a personal injury case arising out of a truck crash. However, FedEx and other high-profile delivery company claims in Virginia can be complicated. You might be fighting for your life at the hospital while the trucking company and its experts are at the accident scene looking for any evidence that could point the finger at you.

This is why it is important to have someone on your side to investigate the accident, gather the facts, and preserve the evidence – helping you prove the crash was not your fault.

Have you been in a FedEx accident in Fairfax? To schedule a free initial consultation with our Virginia truck accident lawyers in Fairfax, call 703-634-7350 or submit an online contact form.