With some of the most traveled highways in the state on its doorstep, Richmond has seen many truck accidents.
In 2020, more than 2,350 truck accidents occurred in Virginia, which equates to around six crashes per day. Many of these accidents happened on I-95 and I-64, within just 5-10 miles of downtown.
While truck accidents only make up about 2% of all crashes in the state, they are some of the most dangerous.
If you sustain an injury in a truck accident, our Richmond, Virginia, truck accident attorneys are committed to fighting for the support you need to recover. Our goal is to provide a personalized approach that allows you to focus on recovery.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents
With truck accidents, it may be difficult to determine the exact cause. In some cases, the driver of the truck may be negligent.
However, in many instances, their employer may be responsible. No matter what the cause may be, our Richmond, VA truck accident attorneys know what to look for.
On long trips, a truck driver may get distracted easily. Unfortunately, it only takes a split second for a mundane route to turn into a disaster.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 15% of all crashes with a reported injury in 2019 involved a distracted driver.
In a recent study published in Occupational and Environmental Medicine, around 30% of truck drivers admitted that they took amphetamines on the job.
These stimulants often lead the driver to make risky decisions while driving. Once the stimulants wear off, the driver is also at risk of falling asleep at the wheel.
Since truck driving is a stressful job with tight deadlines, many truckers get little sleep. With several days on the road, many drivers may find it difficult to concentrate or doze off.
While there are regulations in place to alleviate truck driver fatigue, many companies don’t follow them.
If a truck driver is late making a delivery, their employer may pressure them to drive faster, even if it is unsafe to do so.
Unfortunately, many drivers may speed to make the delivery on time. This can be dangerous for any passenger car in the path of their truck.
Poor Driver Training
In order to drive a truck, the driver must have a valid Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) from their home state. They may also need endorsements if they carry hazardous cargo or drive a larger vehicle with more trailers.
Virginia Statute of Limitations for Truck Accident Claims
According to § 8.01-243 of the Code of Virginia, a personal injury case must be brought within two years after the cause of the injury. This means that you have two years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit against the other party.
Federal Hours-of-Service Regulations for Trucking Companies
Even though the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) tries to regulate hours of service, many companies push the limit. This often leads to truck driver fatigue, and increases the risk of a serious accident.
According to the FMCSA, no trucker may drive for more than 11 consecutive hours after 10 consecutive hours spent off duty. In addition, truckers may not drive past the 14th consecutive hour since first starting their shift.
Even if part of that time is off-duty, the driver cannot drive past the 14th hour. Finally, the FMCSA states that a trucker may not drive after 60 or 70 hours on duty in 7 or 8 consecutive days.
There are a few instances where these regulations change. For example, if a trucker takes 34 or more consecutive hours off, the 60/70 hour limit resets.
The FMCSA also allows truckers to extend their driving and shift limits by two hours during adverse weather conditions.
With these confusing regulations in play, it’s important to hire an experienced Richmond, VA truck accident attorney. They not only know the ins and outs of federal trucking regulations, but can identify any violations by the trucking company.
How a Richmond Truck Accident Attorney Can Help
Whether you suffer an injury due to the negligence of a truck driver or their employer, Lantz & Robins, P.C., can help.
Our Richmond, VA truck accident attorneys know what it takes to help victims recover from a traumatic crash and get back on their feet. If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident, contact us today to schedule a free consultation.