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Richmond Personal Injury Lawyer / Blog / Truck Accident / Liability for Tractor-Trailer Accidents in Virginia

Liability for Tractor-Trailer Accidents in Virginia


There are several major highways that run through Virginia, as well as other roads on which large trucks travel. In the Richmond area alone, large trucks transporting goods up and down the eastern seaboard, as well as across the country from coast to coast, not to mention in the mid-Atlantic region, frequently travel on I-64, I-95, and I-295. The Richmond area also has a range of primary and secondary roads where tractor-trailers may be required to travel to make deliveries and pick up goods for transport. Whether a collision occurs on a major interstate or on a smaller local road, it is often the occupants of smaller passenger vehicles, or motorcyclists or pedestrians, who are seriously injured or killed in crashes involving tractor-trailers.

Indeed, according to the National Safety Council (NSC) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), occupants of other vehicles represent more than 70 percent of deaths in tractor-trailer crashes, and the rate of large truck serious injuries and deaths has been rising since 2020. When these collisions occur, who is liable? In many cases, more than one party may be legally responsible for injuries. Consider some of the following possibilities.

Truck Driver 

The truck driver’s negligence is often the primary cause, or a causal factor, in a trucking collision. You may be able to seek compensation by going through the truck driver’s insurance company or suing the truck driver. Negligence often involves distracted driving, aggressive driving, intoxicated driving, or fatigued driving.

Car Driver 

Other motorists on the road can also cause trucking collisions or crashes involving tractor-trailers due to negligence. In these situations, you may be able to obtain compensation by filing a third-party insurance claim or filing a lawsuit against the at-fault driver.

Employer of the Truck Driver

 Although many truckers are independent contractors, some are employed by large companies that also tend to have deeper pockets and can be liable for the truck driver’s negligent actions or omissions.

Owner of the Truck 

The owner of the truck may be a party separate from the truck driver, and negligence in having the truck maintained or serviced can result in liability.

Loading Company 

Tractor-trailer collisions frequently result from negligent or improper loading of the trailer. Under these circumstances, the company that loaded the trailer could be liable.

Designer of a Defective Vehicle Part 

When tractor-trailers jackknife or are involved in other collisions due to defective vehicle parts like defective tires or braking systems, the designer or manufacturer of the defective truck part may be responsible for resulting injuries from the crash.


Sometimes a mechanic’s negligence can result in a collision, and it may be possible to hold that mechanic or the garage itself accountable in a civil lawsuit.

 Contact a Richmond Tractor-Trailer Collision Lawyer for Assistance

Traffic collisions involving tractor-trailers are often devastating for vehicle occupants, as well as motorcyclists and pedestrians. Anyone who has been injured in a crash involving a large truck should begin working with an attorney as soon as possible to determine liability and to begin the process for filing a claim. It is often possible to obtain compensation through an insurance claim, but given the severity of many tractor-trailer accidents, it is often necessary to move forward with a civil lawsuit, especially in the event of a wrongful death arising out of a large truck crash. If you have any questions or need assistance seeking compensation, one of the experienced Richmond tractor-trailer accident lawyers at Latham & Martin can speak with you today and begin working with you on the claims process.





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