What can I sue for in a truck accident? Many truck accident victims suffer injuries that leave them in permanent pain and discomfort. If you sustained injuries in an accident that resulted from a truck driver or trucking company’s negligence, you can file a claim or lawsuit seeking damages. As part of your claim, you may recover monetary compensation for lost wages, loss of earning capacity, pain, suffering, and inconvenience.
In addition to seeking prompt medical treatment for your injuries, you should contact a knowledgeable truck accident lawyer in your area as soon as possible. Your lawyer can review the facts and circumstances of your case and help you recover the total amount of damages you deserve—either through settlement or litigation. Your lawyer will work hard to ensure you recover the full and fair amount of damages you need for your injuries.
Types of Truck Accidents
When truck drivers operate their tractor-trailers, 18-wheelers, and big rigs in a negligent or careless manner, they are more likely to cause serious accidents. Common truck accidents include rear-end crashes, head-on collisions, sideswipe accidents, and broadside collisions.
A rear-end accident happens when the front of a large truck strikes the rear of another vehicle. These accidents typically occur at traffic intersections or on busy roadways where traffic slows down quickly. When truck drivers fail to observe the road, they may be unable to slow down in time to avoid an accident.
Head-on collisions occur when the front of a truck strikes the front of a vehicle moving in the opposite direction. These accidents can happen on two-lane roadways with one travel lane proceeding in each direction. An intoxicated, fatigued, or distracted truck driver might negligently cause their vehicle to cross the center line or concrete barrier, striking the front of an oncoming vehicle. When a head-on crash happens at a high rate of speed, the accident victim may sustain serious injuries, some of which are fatal.
A sideswipe accident happens when the front or side of a large truck strikes the side of another vehicle moving in the same direction, on the same roadway. These accidents frequently occur on multi-lane highways with several travel lanes. A distracted or intoxicated truck driver might negligently cause their vehicle to veer off into another travel lane, striking the side of another vehicle and causing the occupants to suffer serious injuries.
Finally, a broadside truck accident, or T-bone collision, happens when the front of a large truck strikes the side of a vehicle traveling on an adjacent roadway. These accidents frequently occur at traffic intersections, where a truck driver fails to yield the right-of-way to adjacent traffic, such as by running a red light or stop sign. At other times, these accidents happen on highway merge lanes, where a trucker fails to yield the right-of-way to oncoming traffic, merges too quickly, and strikes the side of a through-moving vehicle.
If you suffered injuries in one of these truck accidents that resulted from driver negligence, you have legal options available. A truck accident lawyer in your area can investigate the circumstances of your accident by speaking with eyewitnesses at the scene and reviewing a copy of the police report.
If the insurance company contests fault or liability in your case, your lawyer can retain an accident reconstructionist who can piece together exactly how the crash occurred. If you are eligible to file a personal injury claim, your lawyer can assist you throughout the process and work to maximize the damages you recover for your injuries.
Potential Truck Accident Injuries
Victims of severe truck accidents often sustain injuries that leave them debilitated, in pain, and unable to work after their accident. The injuries that a truck accident victim suffers will depend upon the type of accident that occurs, the way in which the accident victim’s body moves in their vehicle, and whether or not their body strikes anything in the vehicle.
For example, the impact force may cause a part of the accident victim’s body to hit the steering wheel, headrest, window, door frame, or dashboard, resulting in a traumatic brain injury or bone fracture. Moreover, if the impact from the truck forces the accident victim’s body abruptly forward and backward, the victim may sustain a soft tissue contusion, such as whiplash. Other common truck accident injuries include internal organ damage, spinal cord injuries, and paralysis.
If you suspect that you suffered one of these injuries in a recent truck accident, you should seek immediate medical treatment at a hospital emergency room or urgent care facility. The doctor on duty can physically examine you and review the results of X-rays, CAT scans, and MRIs, to render an accurate medical diagnosis. Finally, the provider can make recommendations for follow-up future care, which may include treating with your primary care doctor—or with an orthopedist, neurologist, or physical therapist.
While you focus all of your attention on recovering from your truck accident injuries, your lawyer can help you with the legal components of your claim. Specifically, your lawyer can gather your medical treatment records, lost wage documents, photographs, and other information and assemble them into a settlement demand package.
Once your medical treatment is complete, your lawyer can forward the demand package to the insurance company and begin negotiating a personal injury claim settlement on your behalf.
Common Truck Accident Causes
Accidents involving large trucks typically result from truck operator and trucking company negligence. Truck driver negligence usually includes some type of road rule violation, fatigued driving, distracted driving, or intoxicated driving. Truck accidents can also occur when truck drivers and trucking companies intentionally or negligently violate motor carrier regulations.
Truck drivers, like all other motor vehicle operators, must follow the rules of the road concerning speed limits, turn signals, and lane changes. When truck drivers violate the speed limit, aggressively weave in and out of busy highway traffic, exhibit road rage, tailgate other vehicles, and fail to yield the right-of-way at the appropriate times, they may inadvertently strike another vehicle, causing the driver and occupants to suffer serious injuries.
At other times, truck accidents happen when drivers are fatigued. Trucking companies often offer their drivers financial incentives to get their cargo to its final destination ahead of schedule. Consequently, some drivers refuse to stop and take breaks and operate their vehicles for hours on end. A tired truck driver may fall asleep at the wheel and strike another vehicle. Even if the driver does not fall asleep completely, they may still lose their ability to concentrate, negligently veering into another travel lane and striking a vehicle.
Some truck accidents happen when drivers are distracted or ignore the road. Common examples of distracted driving include programming GPS devices, sending text messages on a cellular phone or tablet while driving, and listening to loud music in the vehicle. When a truck driver turns their head or diverts their attention away from the road, they may fail to see an oncoming vehicle and negligently cause an accident.
At other times, truck accidents occur when drivers are legally intoxicated. A truck driver is intoxicated when they have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.04 percent or higher. Intoxicated truck drivers usually lose their ability to focus on the road and may experience delayed reaction time. Consequently, they may be unable to stop their vehicle in time to avoid a crash.
Finally, some truck accidents happen when drivers fail to follow motor carrier regulations with regard to lighting, weight limits, and loading procedures.
If you suffered injuries in a truck accident that resulted from a truck driver or trucking company’s negligence, you should contact an experienced truck accident lawyer right away. Your lawyer can help you file the necessary claim or lawsuit against all potentially responsible parties and pursue the monetary damages you need.
Recoverable Damages in a Truck Accident Claim or Lawsuit
After a truck accident, you can file a personal injury claim with the responsible driver’s insurance company. If the insurance company does not accept fault for the accident, or if they refuse to offer you fair monetary compensation, your lawyer can file a personal injury lawsuit on your behalf in the court system.
As part of a personal injury claim or lawsuit, you are eligible to recover various damages. The amounts and types of damages you recover in your case will likely depend upon the severity of your injuries, the extent of your medical treatment, and the amount of pain and suffering you endured following your accident.
First, as part of a truck accident claim or lawsuit, the accident victim may pursue their lost wages. Many accident victims suffer such serious injuries that they cannot perform their job duties in the days or weeks following their accident. They may also need to take time off work to attend medical appointments and physical therapy sessions. To prove that they are entitled to lost wages, the accident victim must typically introduce their employer documents showing the number of days they missed and the amount of money they lost. They may also need to submit medical reports in which a provider authorizes them to be off work for a certain period of time.
In cases where the accident victim’s injuries are so severe that they cannot return to the same job—and they have to switch to a less-strenuous job that pays less—they may be eligible to pursue a claim for loss of earning capacity.
In addition, truck accident victims can pursue damages for their past and future pain, suffering, and inconvenience resulting from their injuries. Past pain and suffering compensates accident victims for everything they endured between their accident date and the current date.
Future pain and suffering damages compensate accident victims for the symptoms that are likely to persist going forward. To prove that an accident victim suffered a permanent injury, a medical provider must ordinarily state in writing, and to a reasonable degree of medical certainty, that the accident victim’s injury is unlikely to improve with time.
In some instances, truck accident victims cannot use a particular body part. This usually occurs when the accident victim suffers a spinal cord or paralysis injury in their accident. When that happens, the accident victim can make a claim for loss of use when they file their claim or lawsuit.
Similarly, many truck accident injuries decrease the accident victim’s quality of life. For example, they may be unable to partake in recreational activities and sports they once enjoyed. They might also have to limit their contact with family members and friends due to the injuries they suffered. When that happens, they can pursue monetary compensation for loss of enjoyment of life in their claim or lawsuit. Finally, some accident victims suffer injuries that prevent them from being intimate with their spouses. When that occurs, they can file a claim for loss of spousal companionship and consortium.
A knowledgeable truck accident lawyer representing you will do everything possible to maximize the damages you recover in your personal injury claim or lawsuit. Your lawyer can do this by downplaying any weaknesses in your case and emphasizing the strengths. Your lawyer can also help you decide whether you should accept a pending settlement offer from the insurance company or litigate your case in the court system.
Call a Skilled Truck Accident Lawyer in Your Area Today
Suppose you suffered injuries in a truck accident that resulted from negligence. In that case, it is essential that you have an experienced local truck accident lawyer advocating for you every step of the way. The insurance companies are often quite large and have extensive resources. They often employ teams of adjusters and lawyers. Taking them on by yourself is never a good idea.
Your lawyer can guide you through the claims filing and litigation processes and advocate for your legal interests going forward. If the insurance company refuses to take your case seriously, your lawyer can file the necessary lawsuit in court and litigate your case to a prompt and favorable conclusion in court. Contact a lawyer today to receive your consultation.