Truck accident lawsuits are filed when a person sustains serious injuries as a result of a truck driver’s distracted or impaired driving, moving violations or other negligence. A truck accident lawyer can help victims get money to offset treatment costs for injuries sustained during a crash, as well as ongoing expenses like physical therapy and lost income due to disability.Injured in a commercial truck accident? Contact a vehicle accident attorney now
Who Needs a Truck Accident Attorney?
More than 4,100 people died in trucking accidents in the United States in 2017. Sadly, the people most at risk in a truck accident are those driving other, smaller vehicles, such as passenger cars and motorcycles. Even when drivers practice safe driving habits, they and their passengers can fall victim to a semi-truck accident if the truck driver is not paying attention, gets distracted or is driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
If you or a loved one has been the victim of a motor vehicle accident involving a large truck, you should talk with a personal injury attorney right away to see what compensation is available to you. Money can go toward medical bills, replacing your vehicle, substituting lost income and other related expenses resulting from the truck crash.
Should I Call a Truck Accident Attorney?
- Were you recently in an accident involving a truck?
- Was the accident the fault of the truck driver?
- Did you suffer serious injuries?
If you answered yes to these questions, you should get a free case review today.
Should You File a Truck Accident Lawsuit?
Highway accidents involving tractor trailers, 18-wheeler trucks, “big rigs” or other commercial vehicles often lead to devastating injuries due to the impact forces caused by the weight and size of those vehicles. Serious injuries, such as brain or spinal trauma, a severed limb or other disfigurement, can lead to lifetime medical problems, including permanent disability. If you or a family member are injured due to the negligence of a tractor trailer driver, it is essential to talk with a lawyer who is an expert in truck accident injury cases right away.
Legal Requirements of Truck Drivers
Truck drivers are professionals who are held to high standards of conduct while on the job. They log many hours on the road and operate large vehicles that can inflict significant harm on other drivers.
Truck drivers and the companies that employ them are required to follow strict federal guidelines designed to improve the safety of our highways. Federal laws require truck owners and drivers to maintain vehicles, secure their loads, and prevent drivers from driving while intoxicated or fatigued. Knowing which federal guidelines come into play is important for winning your case, and an experienced truck accident attorney will look at every possible angle to help you win.
Most Common Causes of Truck Accidents
- Unsafe or improper lane changes
- Reckless driving
- Texting while driving
- Driving while impaired
- Driver fatigue
- Driving too many hours per day
- Failure to properly secure cargo
- Overloaded trucks
- Bald or defective tires
Gathering Evidence After a Truck Accident
Time is of the essence when investigating a serious truck accident. Many types of important evidence can disappear as time passes, and unfortunately some truck companies will do whatever it takes to avoid or reduce the amount of compensation they have to pay.
Government agencies like the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) have established rules that require trucking companies to preserve evidence from a collision for a certain period of time. An experienced truck accident lawyer will increase the likelihood that all important evidence is preserved, giving you a much better chance at winning your case.
The specific evidence used in truck accident cases is different for each situation. Some of the most common types of evidence gathered are listed below.
Types of Evidence in Truck Accident Lawsuits
- Photographs of the damaged vehicles
- Tire and skid marks on road surfaces
- Witness statements
- Dashcam video footage
- Electronic “black box” data
- GPS and communication systems data
- Expert witnesses
- Driver licensing and qualifications
- Driver training and driving history
- Documented hours of service
- Truck inspection and service records
- Drug and alcohol screening results
- Load and cargo records
- Bills of lading (detailed list of freight)
- Trip envelopes
- Dispatch instructions
Insurance vs. Truck Accident Attorneys
For many people involved in a truck accident, the first instinct is to submit an insurance claim. However, insurance companies have large budgets and teams of lawyers dedicated to making sure you receive as little compensation as possible. Insurance companies are famously bad at protecting the rights of injured parties, and in many cases the only way to get the compensation you deserve is to file a lawsuit. Their loyalty is to their bottom line, and they will do whatever they can to withhold or delay payments to accident victims.
Truck accident lawyers can go up against insurance companies by hiring their own private investigators, accident reconstruction experts and medical professionals to strengthen your case. Pulling together the right resources quickly is important for documenting and preserving key evidence that can put you in the best position to receive full compensation for your injuries.
Workers’ Compensation and Third-Party Truck Accident Claims
Victims who are hit by a truck while on the job may be eligible for workers’ compensation, which is a type of insurance that pays medical expenses and partial wages for work-related injuries. Workers’ compensation protects both workers and employers from costly litigation, guaranteeing a set of benefits for injured employees while preventing employers from being held legally liable.
While you may not be able to sue your employer for a truck accident that injuries you while at work, you could have a third-party claim against another company or individual, depending on the situation. Examples of third parties you may be able to file a lawsuit against include:
- The truck driver
- The truck owner
- The company that hired the driver
- The truck manufacturer or the maker of a defective part
Knowing all your options for filing a truck accident lawsuit is important. Your lawyer will go over the choices available to you during your free case review.
Truck Accident Lawyer FAQs
How Much Does a Truck Accident Lawyer Cost?
Personal injury lawyers will often work on contingency. That means they will not get paid unless they help you recover compensation as part of your case. After you receive a settlement or favorable verdict, a portion of that money will go toward paying the legal costs of the case, including lawyer fees. Be sure to discuss payment with your lawyer during your free evaluation.
What Compensation Is Available for Truck Accident Victims?
The amount of compensation truck accident victims receive differs from case to case depending on a wide variety of factors:
- Severity of injury – victims who suffer severe injuries like brain injuries, spine injuries, broken or severed limbs, or death, are likely to receive more compensation than less severe injuries
- Medical costs – likewise, the cost of treating injuries, including costs of therapy and ongoing care, are taken into account as part of the total compensation
- Disability – temporary and permanent disability are factored into the final amount that a truck accident victim can receive
- Lost income – lost income can be recovered as well, including in some cases income lost by family members who take off work to take care for an injured loved one
- Pain and suffering – the amount of pain and suffering caused by the accident will be worked into the final amount, including mental and emotional anguish
- Property damage – costs of repairing/replacing your car or other property damaged in the accident can also be part of a settlement or verdict
Limits on some of these types of damages may apply in certain states. Get a free consultation to find out which forms of compensation may apply to your case.Are You a Truck Accident Victim?
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