If you were injured in a truck accident in Virginia, you might be thinking about obtaining compensation through a personal injury claim. You do not have to go through this alone. Consult with an auto accident attorney in Virginia Beach to help you collect evidence and seek compensation while you focus on your recovery.
How Long Do You Have to File a Truck Accident Claim in Virginia?
Under the Code of Virginia § 8.01-243, persons have two years to pursue a personal injury claim following an auto accident, truck crash, or any other traumatic event caused by someone else’s negligence.
Since the two-year deadline may feel like a long time, many Virginians choose to postpone the process of collecting evidence and submitting their truck accident claim. “I’m going to focus on my medical treatment first and then handle the claims process when I’m feeling better,” many of them think.
However, this is the wrong approach for various reasons. One of them is that beginning to pursue a truck accident claim when the two-year deadline is approaching decreases your chances of success. After all, key evidence can be lost, destroyed, or tampered with as time goes by.
Preserving and Collecting Evidence for a Virginia Truck Accident Claim
Evidence is going to have a tremendous impact on your chances of recovery. Thus, you need to begin preserving and gathering evidence for your truck accident claim as soon as possible after the crash. Evidence for a personal injury claim following a truck collision includes not only physical evidence at the accident site but also evidence from the trucking company and records showing the driver’s negligence or lack of experience.
Physical Evidence After a Truck Crash
There can be various sources of physical evidence at a truck accident site, including:
- Photos of the aftermath of the accident;
- Surveillance footage showing how the crash occurred;
- Police or accident report;
- The truck’s event data recorder (EDR) or “black box”;
- Documentation of damage from the wreck; and
- Evidence of any faulty or defective part in the truck or another automobile.
Evidence from the Trucking Company
Since trucking companies have to comply with strict federal regulations and must keep their records for a short period of time, you need to hire a Virginia Beach truck accident lawyer to preserve the following pieces of evidence from the trucking company as soon as possible:
- The driver’s logbook to ensure that fatigue, exhaustion, or lack of rest was not a factor;
- The driver’s work status;
- Records of the truck’s inspection, maintenance, and repair to ensure that the vehicle was in good working condition;
- Documentation of the truck’s weight and cargo at the time of the crash to ensure that the vehicle was not overloaded;
- The trucker’s training documentation to ensure that he was qualified to operate the vehicle;
- The driver’s past accident record; and
- The driver’s alcohol and drug test to rule out drunk driving.
Obtaining Compensation via a Truck Accident Claim in Virginia
Unlike many other states, Virginia follows the principle of “pure contributory negligence.” What that means is that any person who contributed to their injury is deemed partially at fault and thus is not eligible for any compensation.
In other words, if you were even 1% negligent in causing the truck accident, you may be barred from obtaining compensation. While this may sound unfair, this is how Virginia’s pure contributory negligence doctrine works.
In light of this, it is critical to be represented by a truck accident attorney in Virginia to prove the other party’s negligence and ensure that they do not shift the blame onto you. Contact our lawyers at Breit Law PC for a case evaluation. Call at 757-456-0333 to get a consultation.