I pride myself in helping clients through their toughest times.- Bill O’Mara
Attorney at Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers
Hampton Roads Chamber President is Concerned About Bigger Trucks in Virginia
Recently in The Virginian-Pilot, president and CEO of the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Bryan K. Stephens wrote an op-ed on solutions for Virginia’s transportation infrastructure.
The article pointed to the shortcomings of our roads. In the Infrastructure Report Card for Virginia, the American Society of Civil Engineers gave our infrastructure a “C-,” pointing out that it costs each Virginia driver $556 per year to drive on roads in need of repair.
In its role advocating for Virginia businesses, the Chamber of Commerce aims to improve transportation infrastructure in the Commonwealth. Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers is a member of the chamber. One measure to which the chamber is opposing is a new proposal in Congress that would raise maximum truck weights from the current 80,000 pounds up to 91,000 pounds.
Cooper Hurley's Bill O'Mara asks who can be held liable in a trucking crash
This is something that also concerns us as trucking accident injury lawyers. Big rigs cause horrendous injuries on our roads. The prospect of them becoming even larger is frightening.
“At a time when policymakers at every level and in every state are seeking sustainable funding solutions for infrastructure, it makes no sense to allow bigger trucks that would add to our challenges.”
In addition to concerns regarding infrastructure for Hampton Roads businesses, an increase in the maximum truck weight poses a risk to drivers. Large truck crashes are more deadly than those involving smaller vehicles. In 2015, 3,852 people died in large truck crashes. Only 16 percent of them were occupants of the trucks. Almost 70 percent were in other vehicles and 15 percent were motorcyclists, pedestrians or cyclists. See our common causes of tractor-trailer accidents here.
Accidents involving heavier trucks are more likely to cause great injury or fatalities. Additionally, an increase in the maximum weight poses a need for an increase in minimum insurance liability for big rigs.
For years many legislators, personal injury lawyers, and others have been alarmed at the low figure the federally mandated tractor-trailer liability insurance minimum limit has been set at. It has remained at $750,000. As heavier trucks on the road undoubtedly cause greater injuries, an increase the maximum truck weight without raising insurance requirements could potentially cause serious difficulties for injured drivers.
These proposals are extremely alarming as Virginia trucking accident lawyers who see the terrible impact of trucking accidents in the state. If you have been injured by a big rig, you should call Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers at 757.455.0077.
John Cooper is a veteran of personal injury law practice in Virginia. A native Virginian, he was raised in Norfolk and Virginia Beach. He has more than 20 years of experience handling personal injury cases and recently handled the largest auto accident settlement in 2010, according to VA Lawyers Weekly. The award provided $3.5 million to a child whose young father died when the vehicle he was a passenger in was rear-ended by a careless truck driver.
Jim Hurley has been practicing law throughout Virginia for more than two-and-a-half decades. During his career, he has tried more than 100 jury trials — a staggering number — and handled hundreds more that were settled out of court. He is guided by the principle that the client is in charge of his or her case and should be kept fully aware of the litigation process. Jim has been awarded an AV Rating by Martindale-Hubbell, the highest rating given, for his practice of law. He was named in Virginia Super Lawyers in 2014, 2015, 2016.
Bill O’Mara started his legal career in 2008, moving back to his home town of Chesapeake, VA. He has practiced in the field of plaintiffs’ personal injury and other litigation. He has gained extensive court room and trial experience, including contested trials before judges and juries across Hampton Roads. In 2014, Mr. O’Mara joined Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers as an associate attorney. He became a partner in 2017.
Cooper Hurley awards three $2,000 college scholarships annually to high school seniors in the Tidewater and Eastern Shore areas of Virginia. Eligible students can submit an essay of 500 to 1,000 words on the subject of Distracted Driving. We established this program to aid worthy scholars and to raise awareness of the tragic consequences of distracted driving, which we encounter too often in our practice.