Note: see also the automobile accidents category.
Big rigs, large trucks, semis, tractor trailers, and 18 wheelers are some of the ways that we refer to the giant, automotive machinery that runs 24 hours a day on our highways in Virginia and throughout the United States.
The trucking industry earned 610 billion dollars last year. Commercial trucking is critical to move goods to and from our region’s cities including Chesapeake, Virginia (VA), Suffolk, Virginia (VA), Virginia Beach, Virginia (VA), Hampton, Virginia (VA), Norfolk, Virginia (VA), Williamsburg, Virginia (VA), and Newport News, Virginia (VA). One of the costs to society of all these big rig trucks are accidents that kill or injure 1 person in the U.S. every 16 minutes. When a tractor trailer hits someone in a passenger vehicle and a wrongful death occurs, it is nearly always the person in the car, van, or SUV that gets killed, not the tractor trailer driver. As the demand for tractor trailer drivers goes up, the industry is forced to overwork its existing truck drivers or take less qualified truck drivers into the commercial trucking industry.
The causes of truck accidents include drivers who were tired and those who are abusing alcohol or drugs when on the road. Traditionally many companies look the other way as their drivers cut corners, including speeding or improper maintenance of vehicles, in order to improve their bottom line. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations of semi trucks and big rig operators have a hard time to keep up with huge volume of freight moved on the highways by truck. Even though then the Federal Motor Carrier Administration put in new hours of service regulations to prevent sleepy drivers on the road, driver fatigue is still the likely cause of 20-40% of truck crashes.
If you or a loved one is hurt by a tractor trailer accident you should contact an attorney who has experience in dealing with the complicated legal issues involved in trucking accident litigation. These cases involve lots of specialized issues and rules. You should hire an attorney who focuses his or her practice on the biggest transportation cases. There are all sorts of specialized laws including insurance law, which governs interstate commerce with trucks that don’t apply to regular passenger vehicles. [Although many lawyers think they can handle a car accident case even though that is not what they regularly do, an attorney should not dabble in a trucking wreck case. If you Google an attorney and he advertises that he also does divorces, wills, contracts, and traffic court, beware.] More importantly, the personal injury lawyer handling tractor trailer accidents must know all of the special factual and evidentiary issues that come up in the context of these high stakes cases.
At Shapiro, Cooper, Lewis, and Appleton, we do nothing but injury/death cases and emphasize in our practice the worst injuries and wrongful death involving trucks and trains. We are used to dealing with the Federal Safety Regulations that apply in the transportation industries for railroads and trucking companies. We hold licenses from various states including Virginia (VA), North Carolina, South Carolina, West Virginia, Washington D.C., and Kentucky. We are used to handling cases that involve multiple state’s federal law, and complicated semi truck issues. Take a look at our real case results section on our website which is www.hsinjury.com. I certainly hope that no one in your family ends up being one of the statistics about trucking accidents. However, if you do, I hope that you will consider us to be your experts in the field of trucking and tractor trailer collision accident litigation.
For more information on this subject, please refer to our section on Tractor-Trailer Accidents.