Interstate 95 is the main artery of the East Coast, crossing through most of the major cities on its way from Florida to the Canadian border. This is especially true in Virginia, where it connects the Commonwealth to the D.C. area, Baltimore, the Chesapeake area, and the rest of the North. It also links Richmond down to Petersburg, and into North Carolina and is one of the main tourist routes to get to Virginia Beach, or for Virginians to get to the Outer Banks, NC.
Regularly traveling this highway puts you tire-to-tire with the thousands of trucks that make use of I-95 every day, and it sometimes puts you, literally, bumper-to-bumper with these trucks. No one enjoys driving alongside trucks, but much worse tragedy can occur when one of those trucks causes a crash. Hundreds of people die from crashes with trucks every year, but more often than not in those fatal crashes, the truck driver walks away, and the drivers of regular cars are not so lucky. If you or a loved one has been involved in a car crash with a tractor-trailer, it is important to know what you can do, especially if you have medical bills stacking up.
Truck Crash Injuries in Virginia
Tractor-trailers carry tons of freight on our highways every day and weigh many tons, even without cargo. Truck drivers need special licenses and certifications in order to drive such heavy trucks, but that does not stop truck accidents from happening. Once trucks get up to speed, it is significantly harder to stop them; they may even need up to forty times the distance a car needs to stop. Often, these behemoths end up in crashes involving other trucks but also involving much smaller passenger vehicles.
Because these trucks can cause such intense, crushing damage to smaller cars, and even SUVs, it is common for the injuries sustained in truck accidents to be especially severe. Common injuries like cuts, bruises, and scrapes may not be particularly severe but can stack up with other injuries. Whiplash, concussions, and back injuries are quite common with car crashes, but that does not negate their potential seriousness. More severe forms of this neck, back, head, and spinal injuries can cause permanent damage. Even worse, many of these severe injuries may not be immediately apparent after a car crash; it could take until the next day or even the next week before the signs and symptoms become recognizable.
Even worse, truck accidents can cause permanent injuries or even fatalities. Loss of limb can easily occur due to the crushing force of a truck. Injuries to the back and spine, through which all the nerves in your body pass to reach your extremities, can end up causing permanent paralysis or loss of feeling in your lower extremities. Of course, even worse, these injuries can cause death.
If You Were in a Truck Accident on I-95 in Virginia, Our Lawyers Can Help
When you have been hurt, that does not always mean that you need to pay the cost of repairing your injuries. Much of the law focuses on righting the wrongs that have been done to people, and those wrongs associated with injury from a truck crash are no different.
Any injuries caused by the crash can lead to compensation. Medical bills can be expensive, especially for debilitating injuries like loss of limb, brain damage, or paralysis. You may be able to get compensation not only for medical expenses you already paid for to recover from your injuries but any continuing or future medical bills, such as the cost of surgery, prosthetic limbs, wheelchairs, etc.
If you have missed work or are no longer able to work because of your injuries, you may be able to get compensated for those lost wages. Any other changes, such as at-home care or assistance in getting around may also be compensable for you and possibly for your spouse.
Though it is hard to put a price tag on, your pain and suffering may also lead to financial compensation. It is difficult for others to understand how much something hurts, so this is often very case-specific. In Virginia, there are no limits on damages for pain and suffering, and so a jury may award as much as it wants to compensate you for your pain.
There is another type of damages, called punitive damages, that you may be able to get in a truck injury case. Because trucking companies may, in order to make a profit or increase truck driver wages, require longer hours for drivers and trucks, they may make their trucks and drivers even more unsafe. Drivers may turn to drugs, drinking, or driving on little to no sleep to increase their road-time and payday. When this occurs, a court may punish the trucking company by awarding extra damages. Though, in Virginia, those damages are “capped” to a limit of $350,000.
If you are looking for options to help you recover after an injury in a crash with a truck, or you are grieving the loss of a loved one who was in a truck accident, call The Reiff Law Firm or contact us online. Our trucking accident attorneys work in Virginia and other states to fight big truck companies and get their victims the financial compensation they need.