Determining liability for truck accidents in Virginia can be challenging. Unlike “regular” car crashes, accidents with commercial trucks often involve multiple parties with complex corporate structures and insurance policies.
At Geoff McDonald & Associates, we can help you establish who was responsible for the accident and seek compensation from all liable parties. Call us at 804-409-0821 in Richmond, VA, or fill out our contact form to book a free consultation with an experienced truck accident lawyer from our team.
Parties That May Be Liable for Truck Accidents in Virginia
Depending on the circumstances of the accident, one or more of the following parties could be financially liable:
- The truck driver: Truckers may be personally liable if they drive negligently or recklessly, or make a driving error, such as getting tired or distracted, or driving too fast for the road conditions.
- The trucking company: Trucking companies are responsible for their drivers, their company policies, and the condition of their vehicles. The company may be liable for your accident if it hired an unqualified driver, didn’t provide adequate training, failed to maintain the truck properly, or practices unsafe policies that expect truckers to skip breaks and drive long hours.
- The cargo loading company: Improperly balanced, overloaded, or unstable cargo can affect the behavior of the vehicle and cause an accident.
- The truck mechanic(s): Mechanics subcontracted by trucking companies may be responsible for accidents if they don’t maintain the vehicles properly.
- Truck parts manufacturers: If the accident was due to a design or manufacturing flaw in one or more truck components, such as the brakes or steering system, the manufacturer may be liable. Manufacturers are responsible for testing their products and issuing recalls if they discover any defects.
Why It Is Essential to Identify the Responsible Party in a Virginia Truck Accident
If you have been involved in a truck accident in Virginia, it’s critical to understand how state law determines liability for truck accidents and how this could affect your ability to seek compensation.
Virginia is one of the few states that determine liability using a model known as pure contributory negligence. In a pure contributory negligence system, you can only seek compensation via a lawsuit or an insurance claim if you didn’t contribute to the accident. If you were partly at fault, even just a little, you generally wouldn’t be able to pursue compensation.
For instance, if a speeding truck ran a red light and crashed into your car, but you didn’t notice the oncoming vehicle because you were texting on your phone, you likely won’t be able to seek compensation.
Other states use a comparative negligence model, which allows you to seek compensation even if you contributed to the accident. Your compensation will be proportionate to your level of fault deducted from 100%.
Virginia’s pure contributory negligence system can make it challenging to prove fault and claim compensation. Trucking and insurance companies will likely try to avoid liability by shifting the blame onto you. Our experienced truck accident lawyers at Geoff McDonald & Associates can ensure that doesn’t happen: We can investigate the accident and collect evidence that shows you weren’t at fault.
Talk to an Experienced Truck Accident Lawyer Today
Establishing liability for truck accidents in Virginia is tricky. At Geoff McDonald & Associates, we can examine your case and help you identify all potentially liable parties. If you are eligible to pursue compensation for your injuries, property damage, and other losses, we can support you at every step of the process.
Call or fill out our contact form to book a free consultation with our experienced truck accident attorneys.