Frequently Asked Questions
Truck accidents in Virginia, Maryland, and DC
Karp, Wigodsky, Norwind, Kudel & Gold, P.A. is a preeminent group of seasoned, successful truck accident lawyers and litigators recognized by clients and peers for their professional knowledge and skill and the results they achieve. Here, they answer some important questions about tractor-trailer and semi-truck accidents.
Making justice a reality for our clients
Our firm is committed to undertaking major cases, changing lives, and making justice a reality for our clients.
All truck accident cases are handled on a contingent fee basis. You pay no legal fees unless and until we secure a monetary recovery for you.
For a free initial consultation on your truck accident case, call 888-335-2199 or contact us online. Our offices are conveniently located in Washington, DC, Rockville, Baltimore, Bethesda, Frederick, and Alexandria.
Who is liable for my injuries in a truck crash?
Typically accidents happen due to carelessness or negligence. In a truck accident lawsuit, it is up to the injured individual to prove the negligent party is legally liable for suffering and damages. It is this rule of negligence that determines who is at fault for an accident. An experienced Virginia truck accident attorney can evaluate the truck collision and your case to determine who was liable. The Virginia truck accident lawyers at Karp, Wigodsky, Norwind, Kudel & Gold work with accident reconstruction specialists to determine the exact cause of an accident.
What can I do to avoid involvement in a truck crash?
Knowledge and awareness can go a long way towards saving your life. Being alert to your surroundings on the roadways is your first step to safety and avoidance of a truck accident. Some basic things to do:
- Obey the speed limit. Speeding around large trucks can cause a truck to swerve or lose control when the truck is cut off by your car pulling in front of it rapidly.
- Maintain a safe following distance and remember that you may be in the truck driver’s blind spot.
- Watch signs on the road for curves or ramps, as this is where many truck accidents occur.
- Even if a truck does not have a turn signal on, but appears to be turning, do not get in the arc of the swing because as he straightens out the bed of the truck, you will get caught in a squeeze play.
- Be extra alert in case of a tractor-trailer tire blowout.
- Use all of your mirrors to see who is around you and use your turn signals so you do not surprise a trucker.
- Pass a truck only on the proper side of the road.
- Avoid distractions.
How should I choose a lawyer to represent me in my truck accident case?
When interviewing a Virginia trucking accident lawyer, understand that the quality and forcefulness of the firm representing you can increase the value brought to your case. Ask questions like these:
- How long has your practice been in existence?
- How many truck accident cases has your firm won, and were they similar to my case?
- Are your firm’s lawyers peer reviewed? If so, what were their scores? (Karp, Wigodsky, Norwind, Kudel & Gold, P.A. holds the prestigious AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review RatingSM by Martindale-Hubbell®, the highest rating available for professional competence and ethical integrity.)
- What kinds of legal problems does your firm handle most often?
- How do you differ from other Virginia law firms?
- How often are you able to acquire a satisfactory settlement? How many cases like mine have you taken to trial and won?
What are the steps in a trucking accident lawsuit in Virginia?
The steps involved in a trucking accident lawsuit in Virginia include—
- Filing a complaint with the court—This complaint identifies you as the plaintiff and identifies the defendants—the truck driver, the trucking company, and the insurance company. A skilled Virginia truck accident attorney will be able to identify all negligent and responsible parties. This petition also outlines the case and includes a demand for judgment explaining what the plaintiff wants the courts to do—to require the defendants to pay damages, for example. The states have statutes of limitations on filing a complaint in a trucking accident. Not filing in a timely manner could prevent you from receiving payment for your suffering.
- Summons—A summons is then served to each party being sued. The defendant is then given a specific time period to respond.
- Discovery—This is a critical step in a truck accident lawsuit. At this juncture all information is gathered—from medical documentation to police reports to employment information. Expert witnesses are also brought in, including medical experts to substantiate your physical and psychological injuries, and accident reconstruction specialists who can recreate the exact accident. Each side must be very thorough in their discovery in order to build the strongest case.
- Court motions—Questions or issues to be resolved by a judge or motions to dismiss by the defendant are brought before the court preceding a trial. When key facts are not disputed, a summary judgment may be requested and a ruling granted at this time.
- Trial or settlement—In Virginia, the parties involved may decide to settle a trucking accident lawsuit. A settlement should include payment for damages, past and future medical expenses, lost wages, and future lost earnings. It also should adequately compensate you for all pain and suffering—current and future.
- When both parties cannot reach a settlement agreement, the case proceeds to trial, where a jury or judge will determine a verdict and award.