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Virginia Truck Accident Attorney | Richard J. SerpeCommercial truck drivers—those who operate semi-trucks and tractor-trailers—have a special responsibility to be careful on the road; their vehicles are far more powerful and can cause far more destruction than “normal” cars. The United States Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) offers several tips for truck drivers to avoid causing accidents, injuries and fatalities.

One way for truck drivers to exercise caution on the road is to drive more slowly in adverse weather conditions. Rainy weather is an instance when truck drivers should slow down, especially when it has just begun to rain: initially, a little bit of water on the roadway will mix with oil from automobiles to create a dangerous, slippery mixture.

Another way for truck drivers to drive carefully is to slow down in work zones (though all drivers should practice this safe behavior). Nearly 25% of work-zone auto accident deaths in 2006 involved large trucks or tractor-trailers. The simple fact of a larger, bulkier vehicle means that semi-truck drivers have an added responsibility to be aware of the road and other drivers on it.

Unfortunately, not all truck drivers are so conscious of the road. On the Prince William Parkway in Northern Virginia recently, a tractor-trailer crash closed all southbound lanes of Interstate 95 after the truck jackknifed. HAZMAT crews were called in to clean up a fuel spill from the truck. Thankfully, nobody appeared to be hurt in the accident.

Injured in A Virginia Tractor-Trailer Accident?
–Virginia Truck Accident Lawyers

If you’ve been injured due to a tractor-trailer accident and would like to learn about your legal rights contact us. You shouldn’t have to suffer because a truck driver was negligent in the operation of their vehicle. My Virginia personal injury law firm has represented many tractor-trailer and truck accident victims over the years; we have seen first-hand the devastation caused by these terrible accidents and we know how to fight for you against the truckers, trucking companies and insurance companies that owe you compensation for your injuries and your troubles.

Truck and bus drivers face many challenges on the road that other drivers are not aware of. If you are in a car, driving in close proximity to one of these larger vehicles, you must consider what you can do to maintain a high level of safety.

Do you know what the “no-zone” represents? The no-zone represents the danger areas around trucks and buses in which crashes are most likely to take place. In many cases, a no-zone is a blind spot in which the driver of the truck or bus will not be able to see your vehicle. Since the driver doesn’t know you are there, the chance of an accident is much greater.

There are three no-zones to become familiar with:

Side no-zone: trucks and buses have large no-zones on both sides of their vehicle. These are much larger than the blind spot that you have on the side of your car. If you are unable to see the driver’s face in the side-view mirror, that person cannot see you.

Rear no-zone: are you the type of person who has the tendency to tailgate trucks and buses? This is a big mistake. These vehicles have a large no-zone behind them meaning that the closer you are to the vehicle the less chance there is they can see you.

Front no-zone: to avoid being hit in the rear by a truck or bus, don’t cut in front of it too soon after passing. Make sure there is enough clearance before making your move.

Knowing the no-zones can help you avoid an accident with a truck or bus. When you are able to stay out of these blind spots, you don’t have to worry about a truck or bus driver losing sight of your vehicle.

 

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Virginia Truck Accident Lawyers  877-544-5323

There are numerous complicated factors that need to be looked into when it comes to commercial vehicle accidents. If you’ve been injured by a tractor-trailer, dump truck, bus, or any other commercial vehicle, call our Virginia truck accident lawyers for a free consultation. Our firm also has a no fee promise– You don’t owe us any legal fees unless we win or settle your case.

Of the many unique dangers presented by tractor trailers on the roadway, “jackknifing” is perhaps the most deadly. Jackknifing occurs when the trailer on an 18-wheeler (or any other large truck) is pushed sideways off of the path of the vehicle it is attached to, forming an “L” or “^” shape with the lead vehicle. When this happens, the driver of the truck loses all control and is at the mercy of the truck’s momentum.

These incidents can result in incredibly violent collisions, so it should not be surprising that jackknifing occurrences are disproportionately likely to cause fatalities. Although jackknifing occurs in just over one percent of large truck crashes, it is a factor in almost five percent of fatal truck accidents. A different study, performed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has the number at ten percent.

So what causes jackknifing? When vehicle wheels lock up they lose traction, and can begin to skid along the pavement instead of rolling. Such a loss of traction may allow a heavy trucking rig to swing sideways, resulting in jackknifing. These events are particularly unfortunate in the sense that they are often a result of operator error, rather than defective machinery. For instance, braking too suddenly or with too much pressure can cause wheels to lock up, which often leads to jackknifing. A good driver will utilize a greater braking distance in this situation. Hazardous weather conditions, sharp turns, and darkness make a jackknife incident more likely, but drivers must pay more careful attention under these circumstances. Difficult driving conditions are no excuse for the negligence of a driver, especially a professional.

 

Virginia Commercial Vehicle Accident Lawyers

My Virginia-based personal injury law firm specializes in representing trucking accident victims; we have seen enough truck accidents to know that there is no excuse for a trucker’s bad or irresponsible driving. Don’t let a dangerous truck driver ruin your life; ensure that they are brought to justice for their behavior.

Virginia Truck Accident Attorneys

no free promiseIf you or a loved one have been injured in a Virginia accident that was caused by someone else driving a tractor-trailer, dump truck, cement truck, cargo tank, tour bus, or any other type of commercial vehicle, you should contact a qualified attorney.  Setup A Free Consultation 877-544-5323.
No Legal Fees Unless we Settle or Win Your Case. 

 

An accident involving a tractor trailer recently shut down traffic on Route 29-B in Amherst County, Virginia.

The crash occurred at the intersection of Route 130 and Route 29-B, where the tractor trailer lost the load of sawdust it was transporting. Local authorities investigating the matter concluded that the truck had “basically failed” and “came apart at points.” The driver was charged with failing to maintain her brakes and tires, as well as having weak structural points located around the truck. Local traffic officials were required to reroute traffic as the mess was cleaned up.

Accidents like this involving trucks are all-too-common. The two most frequent causes of truck accidents are defective tires and brakes: nearly thirty percent of truck accidents, for instance, were linked to brake issues and brake failure. The federal government has decreed, among other things, that a truck must be able to develop a minimum braking force, slow down to a stop from twenty miles per hour, and meet a number of “automatic brake adjustment system requirements.” If a truck driver or trucking company fails to meet these standards and subsequently causes a car accident due to brake malfunction, it’s possible you may have a claim against the concerned parties if you were injured in the crash.

Trucks, unlike smaller vehicles, carry a tremendous amount of force behind them: it requires a huge engine and lot of power to haul a tractor-trailer load. Truckers have an added responsibility to exercise utmost caution, and keep their vehicles in top shape, in order to prevent devastating accidents on the level of which only they can cause.

If you’ve suffered injuries due to a trucker’s negligence, you deserve to be compensated; there’s no reason a semi-truck or tractor trailer should be on the road in anything but top condition. My Virginia-based personal injury law firm specializes in handling truck accident claims; my team of attorneys and I know how to fight against the truck drivers and trucking companies that should have acted more responsibly. Being in a bad trucking accident is awful enough—you shouldn’t have to struggle to pay medical bills that are the responsibility of the at-fault driver.

 

Injured in an Amherst County truck or auto accident?

Our Virginia personal injury lawyers specialize in representing victims of:

  • Tractor-Trailer Accidents
  • Box or Straight Truck Accidents
  • Passenger Bus and Coach Accidents (Tour Bus Accidents)
  • Logging Truck Accidents
  • Dump Truck Accidents
  • Garbage Truck Accidents
  • Cement Truck Accidents
  • Delivery Truck Accidents
  • Cargo Van Accidents
  • Tow Truck Accidents
  • Accidents Caused by Limousines
  • Car, Motorcycle, & Pedestrian Accidents

 

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Our No Fee Promise

If you’ve been injured in an Amherst County auto accident that was someone else’s fault, you should consider contacting a Virginia auto accident lawyer to learn about your legal rights. Our office has a no fee promise; no legal fees unless we settle or win your case. If you’d like to setup a time to talk to one of our attorneys about your legal options, contact us today – the consultation is free.

Virginia Car Accident LawyerIn the Hampton Roads region, Virginia Beach was the most notorious jurisdiction for auto accidents, injuries, and fatalities in 2012, according to the Hampton Roads Transportation Planning Organization (HRTPO). Data reveals that 6,419 auto accidents occurred in Virginia Beach during 2012, resulting in 3,478  injuries.

Between 2009 – 2012, a large number of Virginia Beach auto accidents occurred along Interstate 264 (I-264). Freeway segments of I-264 with the highest rate for injuries and fatalities during this time include:

  • Birdneck Road and Parks Ave (EB)
  • Newtown Road and Witchduck Road (EB)
  • Witchduck Road and Independence Boulevard (WB)
  • Newtown Road and Witchduck Road (WB)
  • Witchduck Road and Independence Boulevard (EB)

 

The HRTPO’s report also listed several Virginia Beach intersections with high fatality and injury rates between 2009 and 2012:

  • Intersection of Holland Road and Rosemont Road
  • Intersection of General Booth Boulevard and Dam Neck Road
  • Intersection of First Colonial Road and Virginia Beach Boulevard
  • Intersection of Lynnhaven Parkway and Independence Boulevard
  • Intersection of Princess Anne Road and Dam Neck Road

 

alertWATCH OUT for Hidden Deadlines!

Many accident victims that have taken a “wait and see” approach to find out the hard way that there are STRICT time limitations for bringing a Virginia car accident injury claim. As time goes by and their injuries have not gotten any better, victims then seek help for chronic pain or mounting hospital or medical bills. If you wait too long, the door to justice is closed forever.

In Virginia, you typically must file a lawsuit with the court within two years of the date of the accident.  If the injured person is a child or a person with a mental disability, this period can often be extended beyond two years.

Injured in a Virginia Beach auto accident?

Our Virginia personal injury lawyers specialize in representing victims of: Tractor-Trailer Accidents, Box or Straight Truck Accidents, Passenger Bus and Coach Accidents (Tour Bus Accidents), Logging Truck Accidents, Dump Truck Accidents, Garbage Truck Accidents, Cement Truck Accidents, Delivery Truck Accidents, Cargo Van Accidents, Tow Truck Accidents, Accidents Caused by Limousines, Car, Motorcycle, & Pedestrian Accidents

 

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Our No Fee Promise

If you’ve been injured in a Virginia Beach auto accident that was someone else’s fault, you should consider contacting a Virginia auto accident lawyer to learn about your legal rights. Our office has a no fee promise; no legal fees unless we settle or win your case. If you’d like to setup a time to talk to one of our attorneys about your legal options, contact us today – the consultation is free.

 

 

Buses are still a very popular and frequent mode of travel, but it is critical that people are aware of the dangers posed by bus accidents, and how frequently they may occur.

The Virginia Highway Safety Office claims that over 500 bus crashes occurred in Virginia in 2012. Over 10% of those crashes were linked to traffic violations—failure to yield, improper turns and following too closely. Most troubling is the fact that nearly 100% of these crashes involved vehicles with “No Defect;” driver error appeared to be the driving factor behind nearly all crashes (this disturbing fact is made clearer by the data showing almost 80% of crashes occurred in daylight, not at night when visibility was lessened, and that nearly 90% of the crashes were listed as occurring in “No Adverse Condition,” or in perfect weather). Over 150 passengers were injured by these crashes, most of them between 56-60 years old.

Nationwide, there were 3608 bus crashes in 2011, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).

Bus crashes are dangerous for a number of important reasons.

  • For one, buses contain far more passengers than the average car, meaning a serious accident can injure a great number of people.
  • Secondly, buses are far larger, more powerful vehicles; this may lessen the chance of those on the bus getting injured, but it means that drivers in “normal” vehicles may be injured far more.
  • And of course, a bus’s power means that it may operate in a crash with far more devastation than a smaller vehicle—a sedan might just scrape the side of a bridge, while a bus may plow directly through it.

If you’ve been injured in a Virginia bus accident you may want to contact a commercial vehicle accident lawyer.  My Virginia-based personal injury law firm represents automobile accident victims; we know the tricks that negligent individuals and insurance companies will use to avoid paying you the compensation, and we know how to fight for you. A car accident is a terrifying experience; and if it wasn’t your fault, it shouldn’t have to be a bankrupting one, as well.

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Virginia Bus & Commercial Vehicle Accident Attorneys

If you or a loved one have  been injured in a Virginia accident that was caused by someone else driving a tractor-trailer, dump truck, cement truck, cargo tank, tour bus, or any other type of commercial vehicle, you should contact a qualified attorney.  No Legal Fees Unless we Settle or Win Your Case.

Virginia Accident Lawyer | Drunk Driving AccidentsIt is well-know that large trucks and tractor-trailers present special dangers on the road, and that truckers should be more cautious than most drivers due to the heavy loads they carry. Now it’s been revealed that commercial truckers often engage in heavy drug use that puts other drivers at added risk.

The study revealed a shocking number: nearly 50% of truck drivers admitted to drinking and driving, while a third admitted to amphetamine use.The United States had the highest amount of positive alcohol tests administered to truck drivers, at over 12%. A fifth of truck drivers reported using marijuana, and three percent claimed to have used cocaine.

Experts suggest that improved working conditions on the part of trucking companies might improve such terrible numbers: lowering the amount of working hours, for instance, could disincentivize truckers to consume drugs, as well as improving salary. (It would be important to improve the salary based on factors other than performance or production, as the lure of a bigger paycheck might simply inspire truckers to work more and put themselves and other drivers at risk.)

While the solution to reducing drug use among truckers may be complicated, one thing is not: we know that no trucker, or indeed any driver, should be engaging in drug use while behind the wheel. It’s simply irresponsible, reckless and dangerous.

Virginia Commercial Vehicle Accident Lawyers

My Virginia-based personal injury law firm specializes in representing trucking accident victims; we have seen enough truck accidents to know that there is no excuse for a trucker’s bad or irresponsible driving. Don’t let a dangerous truck driver ruin your life; ensure that they are brought to justice for their behavior.

no free promise

Virginia Truck Accident Attorneys

If you or a loved one have  been injured in a Virginia accident that was caused by someone else driving a tractor-trailer, dump truck, cement truck, cargo tank, tour bus, or any other type of commercial vehicle, you should contact a qualified attorney.  Setup A Free Consultation 877-544-5323. No Legal Fees Unless we Settle or Win Your Case. 

There is no reason for a large truck to ever tailgate or follow other vehicles too closely. However, this happens day in and day out on highways in Virginia.

The U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is well aware of the fact that this is a major concern.

According to the Large Truck Crash Causation Study (LTCCS), five percent of all truck crashes are a result of a commercial motor vehicle following another vehicle too closely. By simply cutting back on this number, thousands of accidents could be avoided every year.

It is essential that trucks maintain a safe following distance. This gives them enough time to safely brake in the event of an unexpected action ahead.

Here is something to keep in mind: trucks that are driving 40 mph or slower should leave one second for every 10 feet of vehicle length. When the speed of travel is in excess of 40 mph, an additional second should be added.

In poor road conditions, truck drivers need to adjust their following distance to account for visibility, traffic, rain, snow, etc.

Did you know that the average stopping distance for a loaded tractor trailer moving at 55 mph is 295 feet? This is only true in ideal driving conditions. In less than ideal conditions, such as in the rain, the stopping distance is much greater.

For comparison’s sake, it only takes a passenger vehicle 165 feet to stop in the same situation.

Truck Accident Stopping Distances | Virginia Truck Accident Lawyer

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Virginia Truck Accident Attorneys

If you or a loved one have  been injured in a Virginia accident that was caused by someone else driving a tractor-trailer, dump truck, cement truck, cargo tank, tour bus, or any other type of commercial vehicle, you should contact a qualified attorney.  Setup A Free Consultation 877-544-5323. No Legal Fees Unless we Settle or Win Your Case. 

In an effort to control driver fatigue, regulations governing hours of service and required off-duty time have been established for commercial vehicle drivers. These regulations specify driving time, off-duty time, and prohibit driving after you have been on-duty in excess of specified amounts of time.

On July 1, 2013, new hours-of-service safety regulations were put into effect to reduce truck driver fatigue. As a result, this new measure should help cut back on the number of accidents directly related to fatigued drivers.

The new rules were first announced in December 2011, with trucking companies given 18 months to adopt the regulations for all drivers. With the new rules in effect, truck drivers are limited to 70 hour work weeks.

Although this is a big deal, it should be noted that approximately 85 percent of truckers will experience no changes. In other words, there was only a small portion of the truck driving workforce that was previously driving more than 70 hours per week.

Working long hours can lead to chronic fatigue, which then increases the chances of an accident while also having the potential to bring on a variety of additional health conditions. According to the FMCSA, the new regulations will save 19 lives each year and prevent roughly 1,400 accidents.

How does this stack up to past regulations? Before this change, truckers were allowed to work a maximum of 82 hours per week.

It is important to note that this change keeps in place the 11 hour daily driving limit. Companies that violate this rule could face fines of up to $11,000 per offense. Drivers who willingly break the law could be hit with a fine of $2,750 per offense.

 

no free promise

Virginia Truck Accident Attorneys

If you or a loved one have  been injured in a Virginia accident that was caused by someone else driving a tractor-trailer, dump truck, cement truck, cargo tank, tour bus, or any other type of commercial vehicle, you should contact a qualified attorney.  Setup A Free Consultation 877-544-5323. No Legal Fees Unless we Settle or Win Your Case. 

Virginia Tractor Trailer Accident LawyerAutomobile drivers face a lot of dangers on the road, and one particularly frightening danger is the possibility of a collision with a tractor trailer. There are a variety of reasons that trucks can cause an accident – sometimes the truck driver is at fault, sometimes motorists in passenger vehicles aren’t being careful enough, or sometimes road conditions contribute to collisions.

The remarkable growth of America’s trucking industry has put more big rigs and truck drivers on the road than ever before. These days, large trucks account for about a large number of accidents in Virginia, with many of them being fatal.

Motorists need to educate themselves about the dangers of truck accidents, and it can help to know ahead of time what to be aware of if you are unfortunate enough to collide with an 18-wheeler.

4 Things You Need to Know About Truck Accidents

  • #1 Trucking companies have their own lawyers and investigation teams. That’s right, if you’re involved in an accident with a tractor-trailer, you may find the scene of the accident crawling with representatives from the trucking company. They aren’t there to help you, they’re there because they know there is a good possibility they’ll face legal action and they want to gather as many facts as possible as quickly as possible. Protect your own interests if you’re involved in a truck accident and speak to your own lawyer as soon as possible.
  • #2 There are a lot more insurance companies involved in truck accidents. Consider your own driving insurance – you probably just have one insurer, and one policy. Not the case for large trucks. In an accident, there may be multiple insurance companies involved, which can greatly complicate you getting what you deserve for your injuries. Your attorney can help ensure your rights are protected when dealing with the trucking company’s insurance company, the owner’s insurance company, the driver’s insurance company, and possibly others.
  • #3 Large trucks handle differently than passenger vehicles. This statement may seem obvious, but many motorists drive as though the big rig next to them has the same braking and handling capability as their minivan. When sharing the road with large trucks, remember that they have bigger blind spots, they need more time to break – and most importantly, they can weigh up to 80,000 pounds – a great reason to give them a wide berth. Accidents with vehicles of this size mean that attorneys and investigators need to have an appreciation for truck dynamics in order to fully understand your accident case.
  • #4 Tractor trailers have different rules and regulations than passenger vehicles. If you’re involved in an accident with a large truck and you believe you need representation for your case, then you’ll want an attorney who knows these types of accidents. There are a myriad of laws governing the ownership, maintenance, and operation of these enormous vehicles, and its important that your attorney ensure all applicable laws were being followed at the time of the accident.

 

no free promise

Virginia Truck Accident Attorneys

If you or a loved one have  been injured in a Virginia accident that was caused by someone else driving a tractor-trailer, dump truck, cement truck, cargo tank, tour bus, or any other type of commercial vehicle, you should contact a qualified attorney.  Setup A Free Consultation 877-544-5323. No Legal Fees Unless we Settle or Win Your Case.