I pride myself in helping clients through their toughest times.- Bill O’Mara
Attorney at Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers
Questions About Tractor-Trailer Accidents
What damages are typically sought in a truck accident lawsuit?
Damages in your truck accident lawsuit depend on the type and extent of your injuries. In most cases, we will seek the following damages in a truck accident case:
Current and future medical expenses
Impacted quality of life
Pain, suffering and inconvenience
Past and future loss of income
We will work with you to fully understand the impact your injuries have had on your life and how they will continue to affect you into the future. Based on these findings, we will calculate with you a reasonable amount of compensation to request in your case — and then fight to obtain it.
The elements of your damages are the same as any other accident, whether it's a fall or a car accident. However, in the case of a trucking accident, the consequences and resulting injuries are often much more serious.
Who can be held liable for a tractor-trailer accident?
Several parties can be involved in a truck accident lawsuit. Depending on the cause of your truck accident, those who may be held accountable for damages include:
The truck driver
The company the trucker works for
The company that loaded the trailer
A company that was leasing the truck
A parts manufacturer
The manufacturer of the big rig
Mechanics who worked on the truck
The cargo broker
After investigating your truck accident, our experienced Virginia truck accident attorneys will identify all responsible parties and fight to hold them accountable in your case.
Is drowsy driving a problem in the trucking industry?
Drowsiness is a big problem in the trucking industry where operators want to get the most out of their drivers by getting them behind the wheel for many hours at a time. The government has attempted to cut the death toll from sleepy big rig drivers by enacting “hours of service” regulations. They are still flouted.
Drivers must by law take a 30-minute rest break in the first eight hours of their shift to help them stay awake. There were also requirements for a 34-hour rest period known as a “restart.” They are currently suspended. Critics believe the government has been influenced by the power of the trucking industry and these rules to protect road users from drowsy truckers are inadequate. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration enforces these hours of service regulations.
Why can’t I just settle with the insurance company?
You can always settle with an insurance claims representative — but it is almost never in your best interest to do so. Trucking companies know what’s at stake when one of their drivers causes an accident. They will go to great lengths to get you to accept an inadequate settlement, knowing it will prevent you from filing a case and pursuing the full amount of compensation you are owed.
Settling may seem sufficient at the time, but it often pales in comparison to the financial hardship you will face in the long run because of your injuries. If you’ve suffered a serious injury that’s likely to have long-term repercussions, you deserve to be compensated for your losses both now and into the future.
Can I be denied a settlement if I’m partially to blame for my accident?
In the Commonwealth of Virginia and North Carolin, if you are even one percent responsible for your accident, you cannot win a personal injury lawsuit. Knowing what to do after a truck accident can be very helpful in these instances. Do not give a recorded statement to the trucker's insurance agent. Truck accidents can be caused by many different factors, and you may not have the experience necessary to determine what caused yours. Only an experienced truck accident attorney can investigate your accident, determine liability, and fight for the maximum compensation you are due.
What can I do if a loved one was killed in a tractor-trailer accident?
If you have lost a loved one in a fatal truck accident, you can file a wrongful death lawsuit against the responsible party. These lawsuits seek compensation for economic losses such as future income, funeral bills and healthcare costs. They can also seek additional damages for the emotional turmoil caused by the tragic loss of a loved one. The survivors or the family members of the deceased can make a claim if a trucker has caused a death. The particulars of your claim can be determined during your consultation with attorneys Jim Hurley, John Cooper, Bill O'Mara or Griff O'Hanlon.
For information and advocacy regarding your incident, contact our well-informed legal team
If you have further questions about truck accidents, please call our firm, Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers, at 757.455.0077 or contact us online today to schedule a free consultation. In tractor-trailer cases with significant injuries, we are ready to help you anywhere in Virginia, from Franklin to Fredericksburg. We have helped people hurt in trucking accidents or the families of those who have been killed on I-64, I-95 and I-81 in Virginia. We have helped those who have been involved in trucking wrecks in other states. We have offices in Norfolk and client meeting locations in Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Suffolk, Portsmouth, Newport News, Hampton and on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. Our trucking accident lawyers represent clients throughout Virginia and in North Carolina and West Virginia.
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.