Understanding Fault in Fatal Virginia Truck Accidents

When a truck or tractor-trailer strikes a car, the collision is too often fatal due to the large size of a truck. When fatal truck accidents occur, the responsible truck driver may attempt to claim that the deceased was at fault for the accident. While other witnesses may have observed the crash, the victim is not alive to directly counter a truck driver’s version of events. However, an experienced personal injury attorney can work with clients in developing a strong case theory to argue that the deceased was not at fault.

For example, a news article reported that a man died in a recent Baltimore, Maryland truck accident. The victim was driving near the intersection of I-95 South when a tractor-trailer struck the rear end of his vehicle. Sadly, the man died at the scene. A passenger in the car was transported to the hospital to receive treatment for his injuries.

Can You Bring a Wrongful Death Action After a Fatal Virginia Truck Accident?

If your loved one has died in a Virginia truck accident, you can bring a wrongful death action to recover damages against the responsible driver. The intent behind a wrongful death action is to prevent a negligent driver from escaping liability just because the victim has died. Therefore, to prevail on a wrongful death claim, the deceased’s personal representative bringing the suit must prove the required elements of negligence that the deceased would need to prove if they had survived. To hold a truck driver liable for damages, the plaintiff must prove it is more than 50% likely that the truck driver owed the deceased victim a duty of care, that their negligent action or inaction violated that duty and caused the fatal accident and that the victim died as a consequence of the truck driver’s negligence.

Can You Receive Damages If You Were At Fault For a Truck Accident?

Virginia is one of the few states that does not allow plaintiffs to recover damages even if they share only a minor degree of fault for the accident. Specifically, the state follows a system of contributory negligence. Under this theory of liability, if the plaintiff is even 1% at fault for the accident, they cannot recover any damages from the defendant. Therefore, if the deceased victim of a Virginia truck accident was partially at fault for the crash, their surviving loved ones also cannot recover any damages against the truck driver. By contrast, most states follow a system of modified comparative negligence, which reduces a plaintiff’s damages award by their degree of fault. Most states still bar plaintiffs from recovering damages if their share of fault is over 50% or 51% depending on the state’s laws.

Have You Lost a Loved One in a Fatal Virginia Truck Accident?

If you or a loved one has suffered injuries or died in a fatal Virginia truck accident, contact the skilled attorneys at The Schupak Law Firm today. The Virginia personal injury attorneys on our team possess decades of combined experience fighting for accident victims and their families. Through our zealous and dedicated representation, we will work tirelessly to pursue the damages you deserve. To schedule a free initial consultation, contact our office at 240-833-3914.

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