Who can be at-fault parties in Virginia’s large truck crashes?

On Behalf of | Jul 7, 2023 | Truck accidents

A large truck crash is more than just a driver at the wrong place and time. Often, it is the fatal result of multiple parties’ misconduct at the expense of someone else’s safety.

Last year, Virginia’s Department of Motor Vehicles reported a total of 2,981 large truck accidents, 2,077 of which accounted for property damages, 844 injuries and 60 fatalities. These large trucks were tractor-trailers, and double or semi trucks.

To recover damages for your tragic injuries and losses, you must determine who bears responsibility.

Possible at-fault parties

After gathering adequate evidence and coordinating with reliable witnesses, in most cases, you may sue either of the following parties:

  • The truck driver: They may show negligent behavior, such as intoxication, speeding or reckless driving. They may also violate federal regulations about the allowable time trucks should be on the road.
  • The trucking company: Under the “respondeat superior” rule, they are accountable for their employee’s actions, who is doing work-related tasks when the accident happened. They may also violate federal laws by permitting the driver to operate beyond the allowable time. There are times when companies try to shift the blame by claiming that the driver is an independent contractor, thereby not within their authority or control.
  • The truck manufacturer: They may share fault if the collision occurred due to a defect in a truck part or component.
  • The shipping company: They may be liable if they unevenly loaded the truck with cargo, causing the truck to tip or overturn due to overloading.

Since Virginia law is one of the few states adhering to a pure contributory negligence rule, even the slightest hint of fault attributed to you prohibits you from recovering any form of damage. This rule makes it even more crucial for you to gather precise and compelling proof to solidify your lawsuit.

Build your case

With a lot on the line and several parties involved, you need someone on your corner to address your catastrophic circumstances. After receiving urgent medical attention, you can start working with a legal team ready to fight with you in upholding your rights and safety.