Whether you see big international company trucks zooming around town or small, local delivery services, delivery trucks are everywhere. However, these trucks are also clogging up the roads, making travel more difficult and potentially hazardous. Delivery drivers are trying to meet tight deadlines, ensure each delivery is made correctly, and make sure they are making the most efficient routing. All of this can create dangerous conditions on the road.
If you have been injured in a delivery truck accident, you may not know who is to blame. To help you, you should speak with a trusted lawyer.
When a delivery driver creates a dangerous situation, like running a red light or speeding, they can be held responsible for an accident. If the delivery driver owns their vehicle, they are most likely solely responsible for the accident. However, many drivers who are working for national and international companies may be independent contractors instead of employees of the company.
In the latter situation, a delivery driver may be required to carry additional insurance coverage; yet many do not. This could complicate a legal situation, especially if your injuries are severe.
In some cases, the delivery company does employ the driver. In this case, you may be able to name the delivery company as a defendant along with the driver. This can be a good strategic move because the delivery company likely has more financial resources than the driver, which could mean you get additional compensation necessary to help you cover your accident-related expenses.
Even if the delivery company does not employ the driver, they may still hold some liability for your accident. If the delivery company owns the truck, they have a duty to maintain it for safe operation on the road. If they failed in their duty, you could hold them partially responsible for the crash.
However, if you are owed a certain amount of compensation for your injuries and vehicle repairs, you cannot collect that amount from both the driver and the delivery company. That total amount would be divided between the two based on each one’s liability.
How Do I Prove Negligence?
To allege someone else caused your truck accident and your injuries, you may need to file a personal injury claim for damages. It is crucial that you speak with a lawyer right away so they can take on the legal burden of your lawsuit while you focus on your health and well-being.
In order to collect compensation from the negligent party, you have to prove they were at fault. You do that by showing the delivery driver, the delivery company, or both:
- Owed you a duty of care to drive safely and to properly train workers and to safely maintain the truck.
- Each party breached their duty of care by failing to drive safely and failing to properly train the driver and safely maintain the truck.
- Because of each party’s breach of duty, an accident occurred where you suffered injuries.
You will need to prove these elements with evidence, and that is why a lawyer can be a huge advantage to you as you recover from your injuries. They can conduct a thorough investigation of the accident, uncovering evidence of wrongdoing by either party, leading you to a better chance of recovering compensation.
When your lawyer files a personal injury claim on your behalf, they will allege that the delivery driver, the delivery company, or both, committed some form of negligence, which resulted in the accident and your injuries. They may try to get you compensation for the following:
- Pain and suffering.
- Emotional distress.
- Lost income.
- Lost earning potential.
- Loss of companionship.
- Loss of life enjoyment.
- Present and future medical expenses.
- Rehabilitation costs.
Depending on the severity of your injuries, you may be out of work for extended periods of time. This can severely limit your ability to financially support yourself, causing additional stress and anxiety. However, your lawyer may be able to get you compensation that covers your lost income.
Be aware that the insurance company representing the at-fault party may contact you just days after the accident. Their goal is to get you to take a lowball settlement because they want to protect their interests and not yours. Many people take the initial offer, thinking it is the best they will get and they do not realize just how costly their medical expenses could be following a truck accident. Even minor injuries, like a concussion, can cost a person thousands of dollars in medical costs.
When you have an experienced lawyer at your side, they can negotiate on your behalf with the insurance company. They can also work with you and your doctors to better understand how long it will take you to fully recover and be able to financially support yourself again. All of this information allows your lawyer to create an accurate estimate of your future medical and financial needs.
When Should I Pursue Legal Action?
When you have suffered serious injuries in a delivery truck accident, you may not be concerned about a lawsuit. However, you should know that you have limited time to file a personal injury claim, which is called a statute of limitations.
Virginia limits the amount of time you have to file a claim after your accident occurred. The sooner you speak with a lawyer, the sooner you can start that process and ensure you meet this tight deadline. If you miss this important filing deadline, you miss out on your chance of collecting any amount of compensation from the at-party who caused your truck accident and injuries.
Do not underestimate what you can face during this time. You could encounter the following after a delivery truck accident:
- Extended hospital stay.
- Multiple medical procedures.
- Extended time out of work.
- In-home care.
The sooner you speak with a lawyer, the sooner they can get to work on your case, speaking with witnesses, collecting evidence, and fighting aggressively to protect your rights. Once you make this call, you can then shift all of your focus on getting better.
Virginia Beach Truck Accident Lawyers Will Help You Hold the Right Party Responsible Following a Delivery Truck Accident
When you get in an accident with a delivery truck, your last thought is who is legally responsible. However, it is an important question to answer. To help you figure out who is to blame, speak with one of our Virginia Beach truck accident lawyers today. Our legal team at East Coast Trial Lawyers know how devastating a truck accident can be, and we will work hard to protect your rights. Call us today at 757-352-2237 or complete our online form to schedule a free consultation. Located in Virginia Beach, we serve clients throughout Chesapeake, Eastern Shore, Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, Portsmouth, and Suffolk, Virginia, as well as North Carolina and nationwide.