Truck accidents frequently leave drivers and passengers with severe injuries. If you or someone you love suffered injuries in a truck accident that resulted from a truck driver or trucking company’s negligence, the truck driver’s insurance company may offer you a settlement to resolve your case. However, initial settlement offers from insurance companies are usually far below the actual value of a truck accident claim.
One of the most important steps you can take following a truck accident is to retain experienced legal counsel to represent you throughout your case. Your lawyer can file a claim with the appropriate insurance company and engage the adjuster in ongoing settlement negotiations on your behalf.
If the adjuster offers you sufficient monetary compensation to resolve your case, your lawyer can conclude the matter. However, if the insurance company does not provide you with favorable settlement compensation, despite several negotiations, your lawyer can file a lawsuit in court on your behalf and litigate your case through the system. Your truck accident lawyer’s primary goal will be to resolve your case through settlement or litigation for the most money possible.
Who Must Pay for My Truck Accident?
In most instances, truck collisions happen because truck drivers and the trucking companies that employ them are negligent in some way. Driver error can take many different forms, but it usually involves some deviation from traffic laws or national motor carrier regulations.
One of the most common traffic law violations that lead to truck accidents is speeding. When a large truck, tractor-trailer, or big rig driver exceeds the speed limit, their chances of causing an accident increase significantly. Many commercial trucks carry several tons of cargo, making it much more difficult for drivers to stop when traveling at high speeds. Moreover, when truck drivers fail to leave enough stopping distance between themselves and the vehicle in front of them, they may cause a rear-end collision if they are driving too fast.
In addition to speeding, other truck accidents happen when drivers fail to follow national motor carrier regulations. The primary purpose of these regulations is to ensure safe truck operation and to prevent accidents from happening. When truck drivers and trucking companies fail to follow truck weight limits or do not utilize the proper measures when loading or unloading cargo, they may inadvertently offset the truck’s center of balance, causing it to tip over while on the road.
Additionally, some truck accidents happen when truck drivers and trucking companies fail to properly secure cargo to the trailer bed. They may not use the proper fasteners or may fail to ensure that the fasteners are tight before embarking on a long trip. When truck drivers fail to properly secure cargo to a trailer, the shipment may roll off into the road while the truck is in motion. As a result, an oncoming vehicle may strike the cargo, causing severe accidents and injuries.
Truck accidents may also occur when drivers fail to observe the road. Electronic devices in the truck’s cab sometimes distract a driver from their primary duty of watching the road.
Instead of paying attention to the road, a truck driver might be programming a GPS navigation device, adjusting the volume on their radio, listening to loud music, or sending a text message on their cellular device. When the driver looks to the side or looks down instead of watching the road and their mirrors, a severe accident may occur.
Next, truck accidents sometimes result from fatigued driving. Trucking companies usually offer their drivers financial incentives if they get their cargo to its final destination ahead of schedule.
To accomplish this feat, many truck drivers will resort to stimulants and other drugs to try and keep themselves awake for long hours. However, these substances sometimes make a driver tired, limit their concentration, and prevent them from operating their truck safely and carefully. Moreover, if a truck driver falls asleep at the wheel, they may lose control of their vehicle, causing multiple collisions and injuries.
Finally, some truck crashes happen when people drive under the influence of alcohol. Alcohol is a depressant, and as such, it may slow down a truck driver’s central nervous system. Truck drivers who drive while under the influence of alcohol may experience dizziness, nausea, delayed reflexes, and delayed reaction time, all of which may cause a severe accident.
In addition to jail time, monetary fines, and other criminal penalties for a DUI conviction, an intoxicated truck driver or their insurance company may have to pay civil damages if they cause an accident that injures one or more other individuals.
In addition to negligent truck drivers, employer trucking companies are sometimes fully or partially responsible for crashes. If the truck driver was on the job at the time of their accident, and the driver was acting within the scope of their employment. The employer trucking company may be vicariously responsible for the subject accident. In addition, a trucking company may be liable if they were aware of the truck driver’s prior moving violations or history of infractions yet continued to allow the driver to operate a vehicle on the road.
Negligent truck drivers and trucking companies must be accountable for the accidents and injuries that result. Therefore, if you or someone you love suffered injuries in a recent truck accident that resulted from negligence, you should speak with a truck accident lawyer in your area as quickly as possible. Your lawyer can evaluate your legal options, help you file a claim or lawsuit promptly, and work to negotiate the favorable settlement compensation that you need for your injuries.
Injuries in Truck Crashes
When a large, fast, and heavy commercial truck hits a smaller passenger vehicle, motorcycle, bicycle, or pedestrian, the resulting accident and injuries can be catastrophic and deadly.
When a large truck strikes a passenger vehicle, the force of the crash may be so strong that it physically ejects a driver or passenger from their car or causes a part of their body to make contact with something inside the vehicle, like the steering wheel, door frame, window, or headrest. For example, if a driver’s head strikes the window with a significant degree of force, they may suffer a concussion or other traumatic head injury.
Other common injuries that accident victims suffer in truck crashes include cuts, bruises, spinal cord injuries, paralysis, whiplash, rib fractures, broken bones, and internal organ damage.
All of these injuries may require some degree of medical treatment, although some injuries are far more severe than others. Certain types of traumatic head injuries, as well as broken bones, spinal cord damage, or paralysis, may result in permanent complications. A permanent injury is unlikely to get better over time and may cause the accident victim pain and other symptoms for the rest of their life.
To ensure that your injuries do not become worse, it is best to seek same-day medical treatment following your truck accident. You should undergo this treatment in a hospital emergency room, even if you are unsure about the nature and extent of your injuries. After all, an injury that goes untreated for a significant period may become far worse.
In addition to seeking the prompt medical treatment that you need, you should reach out to an experienced truck accident lawyer in your area as soon as possible after your accident. Even if you are still receiving treatment for your injuries, your lawyer can begin advocating for you and preparing the necessary documents to file a personal injury claim with the at-fault truck driver’s insurance company. Once your medical treatment is complete, your lawyer can begin negotiating a financial settlement with the insurance company on your behalf.
Can I Recover Monetary Compensation in My Truck Accident Case?
To be eligible for monetary compensation in a truck accident claim or lawsuit, the accident victim must legally prove each and every element of their claim. First, they must demonstrate that a truck driver or trucking company did something wrong under the circumstances. For example, a truck driver might have violated a traffic law, disregarded a motor carrier regulation, or operated their truck while under the influence of alcohol, negligently causing the crash.
Next, a truck accident victim must demonstrate that the truck driver or trucking company’s breach of their legal duty was both the foreseeable and actual cause of the truck collision.
Finally, the accident victim must show that they suffered physical injuries or other losses as a direct result of the truck accident. Sometimes, accident reconstructionists, medical experts, and others can help you prove the legal elements of your truck accident claim or lawsuit. For example, a medical expert, such as a treating medical doctor, may need to testify to establish that your injuries directly resulted from your truck accident.
When accident victims can legally establish the elements of their claim or lawsuit, they may be eligible to recover various monetary damages, depending upon the circumstances.
Potential monetary damages that accident victims may recover include compensation for:
- Loss of earning capacity
- Lost wages
- Emotional distress
- Permanent disfigurement or disability
- Loss of the ability to use a body part
- Loss of life enjoyment
- Loss of spousal companionship and consortium
A truck accident lawyer near you can assist with satisfying your legal burden and proving your eligibility for various monetary damages.
Call a Truck Accident Lawyer Near You Today
If you suffered injuries in a recent truck accident, you should immediately take legal action. Waiting too long to file a claim or lawsuit for monetary damages may jeopardize your right to receive the fair compensation you deserve. Some might think their case is simple enough that they don’t need a lawyer. Generally, this is a mistake.
A knowledgeable personal injury lawyer in Edmonton can immediately file a claim or lawsuit on your behalf and begin negotiating the settlement compensation you deserve. If litigation becomes necessary in your case, your lawyer can represent you in court, such as at a jury trial or binding arbitration hearing. Your lawyer can highlight the strengths of your case and advocate for your legal interests to help you maximize the monetary damages you recover.
Hopefully, you are already on the road to physical recovery from your injuries. Start the process of financial recovery by seeking a free case evaluation today.