A truck driver speeds along the highway with the landscape in the background.

Have you been injured in a Norfolk trucking accident?

If you suffered injuries or property damage after an accident with a big truck in Norfolk, our team of Norfolk truck accident attorneys are here to help secure the compensation you need and deserve. Contact us for a free case review.

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Accidents involving trucks can be catastrophic, leaving victims with significant injuries, emotional trauma, and financial burdens. In these moments, what you need is a Norfolk truck accident lawyer who is not only assertive in seeking justice but also caring about your situation. Our team of personal injury lawyers in Norfolk combines professionalism with empathy to stand up for your rights and secure the compensation you deserve after a trucking accident.

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Help is just a phone call away, so you won’t even have to leave your house to start protecting your rights today.

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If you were hurt by someone else’s recklessness, you deserve compensation. The Wolf Pack™ is here to defend you.

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We don’t charge anything for your case review. You also won’t owe a dime if we don’t win your case for you!

How Our Norfolk Truck Accident Attorneys Can Help You

Our truck accident attorneys provide invaluable legal support while offering assistance during your recovery. Our skills and experience can be the difference between you securing the compensation you need and being left to cover expenses on your own during a difficult recovery period. We’re here to help make sure you’re covered and to provide some peace of mind.

Here are a few key ways our truck accident lawyers can help:

  • Thorough Investigation: Our attorneys conduct detailed investigations to determine the cause of the accident, including driver negligence, faulty equipment, or regulatory violations.
  • Professional Negotiation: We negotiate with insurance companies and other parties to ensure you receive fair compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. We negotiate with insurance companies all the time–we know their tricks!
  • Professional Legal Support: We will handle all paperwork filing, court proceedings, and complex legal procedures, relieving you of the stress and confusion often associated with these legal matters.
  • Emotional Support: Beyond legal assistance, our attorneys provide as much support and guidance throughout the recovery process as we can. We know the challenges you face after a traumatic truck accident go beyond the legal proceedings, and we’ll do our best to provide some peace of mind throughout the process.
  • Maximizing Compensation: By working with us, you increase your chances of maximizing the compensation you deserve, helping you rebuild your life and future with the necessary financial resources.

How To Determine Liability in Virginia Truck Accident Claims

Determining that the other party is liable in your truck accident case is fundamental to securing compensation for your injuries and damages.

The basic legal requirements for establishing liability in truck accident cases include proving negligence, regulatory violations, employer liability, and/or product liability.

  • Negligence: Demonstrating that the truck driver or associated party failed to exercise reasonable care is the most basic form of proving liability. This involves showing that the party’s action or inaction directly caused the accident and resultant damages (Virginia Code § 8.01-44.5).
  • Regulatory Violations: Establishing liability may also hinge on proving violations of federal and state trucking regulations by the driver or trucking company, such as those pertaining to hours of service (49 CFR Part 395), vehicle maintenance (49 CFR Part 396), and load securing (49 CFR Part 393).
  • Employer Liability: Under the legal principle of “respondeat superior,” trucking companies can be held liable for their employees’ actions performed within the scope of employment (Virginia Code § 8.01-50). Demonstrating the company’s negligence in hiring, training, or supervising can also prove liability.
  • Product Liability: If a defective component contributed to the accident, liability might extend to the manufacturer (Virginia Model Jury Instructions – Civil No. 30.010 and No. 30.020). This requires showing that the defect, existing at the time of manufacture, directly caused the injury.

Gathering Evidence

The key to proving liability, in whichever form it takes, is to collect and submit comprehensive evidence. This is why our truck accident lawyers conduct independent investigations. During our investigation, we will collect, review, and consult for sources of evidence such as:

  • Police Reports: Often contain valuable information on the circumstances of the accident
  • Eyewitness Testimonies: Can provide unbiased accounts of the accident
  • Truck Electronic Logging Devices (ELD): Records driving hours and can indicate driver fatigue
  • Maintenance Records: Help establish whether the truck was properly maintained
  • Accident Reconstruction Experts: Professionals who can help determine how and why the accident occurred

Who Can Be Sued in a Norfolk Trucking Accident Lawsuit?

In Virginia trucking accident lawsuits, there are multiple parties that can potentially be held liable. Commercial vehicle accidents–like those involving semi trucks, tractor trailers, delivery vehicles, etc.–will often involve more than one liable party. Which parties can be held liable in your specific case depends entirely on the unique circumstances of the accident. Identifying all liable parties is important to ensure you recover the full compensation available.

Common Liable Parties in Commercial Trucking Accidents Include:

  • Truck Drivers: The driver of the truck is the most common liable party. Common reasons include driving under the influence, fatigue, speeding, or violating traffic laws.
  • Trucking Company: The company employing the truck driver can often be held liable under the legal doctrine of “respondeat superior,” which holds employers responsible for their employees’ actions performed within the scope of employment.
  • Cargo Loaders and Shippers: If improperly loaded or secured cargo contributed to the accident, the parties responsible for loading the truck could be liable.
  • Truck Manufacturers and Parts Manufacturers: If a defect in the truck or any of its components played a role in the accident, the manufacturer could be held liable. This applies to both the vehicle’s manufacturer and manufacturers of specific parts.
  • Maintenance Providers: Companies or individuals responsible for the truck’s maintenance can be sued if their failure to properly inspect and maintain the vehicle led to the accident.
  • Other Negligent Drivers: In cases where multiple vehicles are involved, drivers of other vehicles who contributed to the accident through their negligence can also be held liable.

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Compensation Available to Truck Accident Victims

In truck accident personal injury cases, the forms of available compensation (or “damages”) can be categorized into economic damages, non-economic damages, and punitive damages.

Economic Damages

Economic damages compensate for the financial losses directly resulting from the accident.

Common examples of economic damages include:

  • Medical Expenses
  • Lost Wages
  • Property Damage

Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages cover losses that are not financial but have a significant impact on the victim’s life and overall well-being.

Common examples of non-economic damages include:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of Enjoyment of Life
  • Loss of Consortium

Punitive Damages

Punitive damages are not directly related to the financial or emotional impact on the accident victim. They are instead intended to punish the defendant for any particularly reckless or egregious behavior as a means to deter such behavior in the future.

Common circumstances that may lead to punitive damages in trucking accidents include:

  • DUI
  • Falsifying logbooks
  • Aggressive driving

Important Laws To Know for Your Truck Accident Claim

Virginia’s Contributory Negligence Law

Virginia follows the strict doctrine of contributory negligence, which means that if you are found even 1% at fault for the accident, you may be barred from recovering any compensation. This makes establishing the other party’s full liability critical.

Virginia’s Personal Injury Statute of Limitations

Virginia law requires that personal injury lawsuits, including those for truck accidents, be filed within 2 years of the date of the accident (Virginia Code § 8.01-243). For property damage claims, the statute of limitations is 5 years (Virginia Code § 8.01-243). Missing these deadlines will typically bar you from pursuing compensation through the court system.

What To Do After a Truck Accident (To Help Your Case)

Following these steps after a trucking accident will improve your chances of a favorable outcome in your personal injury case.

  • Ensure Safety: Move to a safe location, if possible, to avoid any further harm to you and others.
  • Call 911: Report the accident to the police. A police report is a critical piece of evidence that will be used during your case.
  • Seek Medical Attention: Even if you believe your injuries are minor, it’s important to be examined by a healthcare professional. Not only will this help ensure your health and well-being, it will create medical records of your injuries which serve as vital evidence in your case.
  • Document the Scene: If you’re able, take photographs and videos of the accident scene. The more of the accident you can get on camera, the more evidence you’ll have.
  • Gather Information: Exchange contact and insurance information with the truck driver and any witnesses. Make note of the truck’s license plate, the company name, and any identifying details about the driver.
  • Follow Up With Medical Care: Follow your doctor’s advice. It’s best for your recovery and for building up medical evidence.
  • Keep Records: Keep all medical records and evidence organized and ready to share with your attorney.
  • Contact a Trucking Accident Personal Injury Lawyer

Important Notes:

  • DO NOT admit fault or make any statements that could be interpreted as admitting liability. These comments can be used against you.
  • You are not required to talk to any insurance company, whether your own or the other party’s, before talking to a lawyer.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Consider hiring a truck accident lawyer as soon as possible after the accident. This is important for a few reasons: ensuring evidence is preserved, getting professional legal advice on your rights and options, and protecting yourself from making any statements or actions that can be held against you.

To best prepare for a semi-truck accident lawsuit, be sure to document everything associated with the accident (medical records, bills, other driver info, eyewitness contact info, etc.). The more you’re able to collect and organize, the better equipped you’ll be.

In Virginia, the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury lawsuit–including trucking accident cases–is generally 2 years from the date of the accident. Failing to file within this time frame can result in losing the right to sue. There are certain circumstances that might alter this period, so consult with a lawyer to ensure compliance with all relevant deadlines.

The national average trucking accident settlement is around $70,000. However, the value of trucking accident settlements varies widely depending on the specifics of each case. Settlements can range from thousands of dollars to millions of dollars. A lawyer can help evaluate your case and provide an estimate of potential compensation.

Virginia follows a “pure contributory negligence” rule, which means that if you are found even slightly at fault for the accident, you may not be able to recover compensation from the other parties involved. This rule makes it even more important to have skilled legal representation on your side.