A Virginia Department of Transportation contracted truck was involved in a deadly accident near Woodbridge Virginia last week, leaving three people injured and one person dead at the scene, after a truck pulling a fifth wheel trailer crashed into it, and then a second vehicle hit that truck. Large truck accidents sometimes occur due to mechanical or equipment malfunctions causing the inability to move off the roadway in a short amount of time, denying other drivers time to adjust to a heavy immobile object in their direct travel path.
A truck’s heavy weight and length can compromise maneuverability and braking distances leading to crash, jackknife and rollover scenarios where multi-vehicle involvement may occur. Contact an attorney regarding injury or loss of life from a truck accident to determine if negligence played a part and if legal action is required.
Highway dangers amplified by size of trucks.
Thousands of lives are still taken every day in the United States due to accidents involving trucks. Every incident is unique, and damages can be settled based on the information obtained by the victims, witnesses and professionals who arrive at the scene. Multiple factors will assist in the determination of fault, and it is imperative to file legal action in the allotted amount of time specific to the parties involved in the truck accident. In cases of wrongful death and bodily injury with multiple parties, a thorough investigation by professionals will best support legal actions and insurance settlements.
Restrictions to increase safety.
Commercial motor vehicles including large trucks have restrictions imposed on their drivers because the vehicles already pose a danger to passenger cars on highways due to their size, braking distance, and cargo loads. Federal and Virginia State impose mandatory regulations for truck drivers that include:
- Truck Drivers must keep accurate activity logs.
- Truck Drivers can only drive for a certain amount of time per day.
- Tractor Trailers and other Commercial Vehicles must be properly maintained.
- Commercial Vehicles must maintain and not exceed certain speeds relevant to regions traveled and cargo loads.
- Certain roadways, tunnels and bridges cannot be used for travel due to weight, size and cargo carry limitations including grade restrictions.
- All other safe driver responsibilities that Virginia licensed drivers must adhere to must be followed.
Time period to file claims.
Generally, the statute of limitations for wrongful death claims in Virginia is two years under Virginia Code §8.01-50, and section 8.01-243 mandates anyone who was injured in a car accident must file suit within two years of the date of the car accident. If you are claiming property damage only, the statute of limitation is 5 years.
Under Section 8.01-244, the statute of limitations for wrongful death lawsuits is two years from the date of death. Designated individuals to the estate must file within two years of the death.
When government entities are involved, it may be necessary to file claims within a shorter period of time depending upon the state or local entity and the involvement of the driver working under their employer umbrella. It is best to consult with an experienced accident lawyer to make sure you do not miss this important deadline.
An accident victim, or their family in the case of personal injury and/or wrongful death, can sue for economic damages to cover loss of wages, medical bills, and property damage, and non-economic loss to victim due to pain and suffering. Legal counsel can help to assess a dollar figure to remedy losses.