Negligence in a Virginia Truck Accident Case 

There are a variety of causes of truck accidents in Virginia that could be deemed negligent on the driver’s part. Some of the most common include driver fatigue, driver inexperience, driver error, and trucking equipment failure with brakes, hitches or other equipment designed to control a truck.

Other examples are features of driving that occur with passenger drivers, but more commonly occur with truckers, like distracted driving, inability to gauge certain distances, and things of that nature. If you have been involved in a truck accident and need assistance proving negligence, talk to an experienced Virginia truck accident lawyer immediately.

Virginia as Contributory Negligent Jurisdiction

Virginia is a contributory negligence jurisdiction. This is the minority rule across the United States. Contributory negligence means that if either party contributes to their own accident, meaning they are partially at fault, they are legally barred from making a recovery. In the vast majority of states, comparative negligence and the amount of fault reduces the amount of recovery by that same percentage. Virginia is contributory, meaning that if a person is even 1% at fault, they may be barred from making a recovery in an accident case. Negligence in Virginia truck accident cases work in this manner.

Contributory Negligence and Virginia Truck Accident Cases

Contributory negligence comes into play because it is a strong defense that trucking accident defendants will use to defend themselves when involved in an accident. For example, if a truck fails to stop in time and strikes a vehicle from behind but that vehicle initially cut off the truck with an illegal lane change, the contributory negligence of the illegal lane change may be used as a defense, trying to bar the injured party from recovering.

In a Virginia truck accident case, that becomes a very good defense strategy. Whether or not it is a comparative state where it will be handled differently does not matter as much. Virginia is a contributory state and therefore, it is an all-or-nothing position. Often, the strategy of the defendant is to prepare a contributory negligence defense as a potential bar and use that both in negotiation and in trial, if necessary.

Ways Truck Accident Claims Are Handled in Virginia

Truck accident claims are handled similarly to all of the negligence claims, but there is more to it. Trucking claims may have a variety of different investigators, insurance claims adjusters, as well as defense attorneys depending on the structure and ownership of the truck, trucking company and insurance policies for each.

For example, when it happened, the drive may have one type of insurance, the trucking company may have another type of insurance, and there may be an umbrella policy specifically covering serious and exponential accidents, causes, or results of the driver’s negligence. There is a wide variety of players that may come into play in a Virginia trucking accident case when it comes to negligence.

Other Factors that Can Move Liability

There is a wide variety of factors that are considered when determining liability, like eye-witness statements, law enforcement statements, officer’s pictures, and accident reconstruction. All of these things will be considered in determining who is potentially liable in a trucking accident case.

It also could include certain empirical data available in trucking accidents that may not be available for motor vehicle accident cases. This is the so-called black box data or the trucking data recorder of how fast the truck was going, whether or not there was a system failure, and things of that nature that can be used in assisting a fact-finder in determining liability.