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Truck accidents present unique challenges. These challenges can mostly be attributed to the fact that trucks are much larger than a standard vehicle, and they may cause significant damage to you and your property.
Truck accidents can cause minor injuries, severe injuries, or even fatalities. No matter the circumstance, victims of a truck accident should not have to go up against the trucking companies without an experienced lawyer on their side. Our attorneys are happy to speak with you today free of charge in order to discuss your claim and what we may be able to do to help. If we are unable to win your case, you owe us nothing.
What to Do After a Truck Accident?
Here are a few steps you can take after a truck accident to make the process of seeking compensation for any injuries as easy as possible:
1. Seek Medical Attention
After suffering any accident, the best thing to do is to seek medical attention by going to a hospital. Even mild injuries need to be evaluated by a medical professional. Get official records of your injuries from medical staff to use as evidence in your case.
2. Report the Accident
Contact law enforcement as soon as possible. The police play another important role in documenting the accident by filing an official report. This report can be very helpful later on when filing a personal injury claim.
3. Document the Scene
You need evidence to prevail on your claim. Do everything you can to document the scene of the crash in case you forget important details later on. This can include simple tasks such as taking pictures or getting names of any witnesses.
4. Call an Attorney
Opposing parties and insurance companies sometimes take advantage of injured victims. If a truck has hit you, the best way to make sure you are treated fairly and receive fair compensation is to hire an experienced attorney.
Read More: How to Prevent Truck Accidents
Truck Accident Statistics
According to the most recent data from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), the number of large trucks involved in injury crashes increased by 5% from the year 2016-2017. Additionally, the number of large trucks involved in roadway fatalities increased 10% within the same annual period. Overall, there were over 400,000 police-reported crashes involving large trucks in 2017.
Common Trucking Accident Injuries
With any type of accident, it’s important to know that injuries vary. Truck accidents can yield both mild and/or severe consequences. Some of the common injuries that may occur after a truck accident include:
- Back and neck injuries
- Head injuries
- Brain injuries
- Broken bones
- Spinal injuries
- Cuts and scrapes
- Internal injuries
- Emotional trauma
- Catastrophic injuries
The person at fault for a truck accident is the individual or entity that was negligent. In truck accident claims, this could be a number of individuals or companies. In order to establish negligence, the injured person needs to show that a truck driver or trucking company owed a duty of care to other motorists, breached that duty and caused harm to another driver.
Establishing duty is a simple step. All truck drivers and their employers owe a duty to you to operate their vehicles in a safe manner and supervise their employees in accordance with state, local, and national regulations. Showing that a truck driver or trucking company has breached their duty is the more difficult task. This breach can occur from failing to adhere to a number of rules and regulations, especially if the accident involved an interstate trucking company. For example, an injured individual may be able to show a breach of duty by the truck driver where the truck driver was speeding, driving while distracted, driving while under the influence, or by not exercising proper discretion when driving in difficult weather conditions. A trucking company may be said to have breached their duty when they do things like order a truck driver to haul too much weight, fail to do proper safety inspections on their trucks, fail to do proper background checks on their drivers, or even fail to make sure that their employees are getting enough rest before driving.
What if I am Partially at Fault?
However, sometimes the blame can be partly attributed to the injured party themselves. If you are found to be partially at fault for your truck accident, this may affect your ability to seek compensation. This is known as comparative fault. In a nutshell, comparative fault is a law that allows liability in an accident to be split amongst the party bringing suit and the party who is being sued in instances where both of these parties contributed to the accident. Each state handles comparative fault differently, but usually the amount you can ultimately seek is reduced by the percentage you are to blame. For example, if you are seeking $1,000 for your injuries, but you are determined to be 20% to blame for the incident, your settlement may be limited to $800. If you are over 50% responsible, you may be unable to seek any compensation.
Who Can I Sue?
Who you can sue for your injuries depends on who is liable. The truck driver may be liable, the trucking company that employs them may be liable, or ultimately you may be liable. As mentioned above, those who operate commercial trucks are expected to demonstrate reasonable care while driving on the roads. This expectation is the same no matter where you live. The party that fails to meet this expectation and causes you harm, is the party you may sue.
The truck driver themselves may be held liable if they fail to adhere to the rules and regulations set fourth by their employer, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), or your state’s Motor Transportation Division. The truck driver may also be liable for simply failing to adhere to the rules of the road the same way that any person driving a car can be responsible for an accident.
A trucking company is expected to follow the same rules and regulations that a truck driver is. A trucking company may be help liable for failing to adhere to those same regulations, for negligent hiring or retention, or by engaging in unsafe practices with their employees.
How to File a Claim
1. Call a Truck Accident Lawyer
In any personal injury accident, especially a truck accident, you may want to consider consulting an attorney. Trucking companies have a team of attorneys working in their favor and they will likely act quickly and aggressively to try and avoid liability. Having an experienced attorney on your side is the best way to make sure you don’t get taken advantage of.
Initiating a prompt and thorough investigation into the truck accident is a crucial step in order to gather valuable evidence to fight your claim. You want to gather the physical evidence resulting from a truck accident while it is still fresh. An attorney can play a special role by conducting this investigation. They will know how to interview witnesses, review and analyze documents, and whether to hire any experts.
3. Case Settlement
Often times the insurance provider for the trucking company will offer the victim of an accident a monetary amount if the victim agrees to cease pursuit of further legal action. However, these settlement offers can often be minimal and inadequate. An experienced attorney may provide advice about whether you should accept a settlement offer or negotiate further.
After a truck accident or any personal injury, different types of compensation may be awarded to help you get your life back on track. If you have been injured in an accident, you may be entitled to both economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages cover expenses that can be straightforwardly quantified, which may include:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Property damage
- Other incidentals
Non-economic damages are based on emotional injures and may include:
- Pain and suffering
- Physical impairment
- Loss of enjoyment of life
Statute of Limitations
Time is always an important consideration if you are thinking about filing a claim for compensation after suffering injuries in an accident. Each state has what they refer to as a statute of limitations. This is a time limit that the state places on your ability to file a legal claim. In the instances of a truck accident, you will be concerned with your state’s limitations on personal injury or wrongful death claims depending on the circumstances of the accident. In order to determine your state’s statute of limitations for your claim, you can consult an attorney or even do a quick search on the Internet.
Failing to bring a claim within your states legally permissible time limit may result in being barred from pursuing a claim.
CONTACT THE TRUCKING ACCIDENT ATTORNEYS OF ZINDA LAW GROUP
The truck injury lawyers at Zinda Law Group have extensive knowledge of federal and state trucking regulations. Our team of semi-truck accident lawyers may use the facts of your case and gather evidence to establish liability. We may also be your voice and advocate when dealing with insurance companies. We won’t let them offer you less than you are entitled to after your accident.
Our team of 18-wheeler accident lawyers want to seek the fair compensation you may be entitled to. Don’t get stuck paying the price for a truck driver’s negligence. Call Zinda Law Group at 888-337-9042 today to receive a free consultation with our truck accident attorneys.
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