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Truck accidents often 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. Fortunately, Zinda Law Group's truck accident attorneys are happy to speak with you today free of charge in order to discuss your claim. If we are unable to win your case, you owe us nothing.
What Should I 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, seek medical attention by going to a hospital or urgent care clinic. Even mild injuries need to be evaluated by a medical professional. After treatment, obtain official records of your injuries from medical staff to use as evidence in your case.
2. Report the Accident
Next, contact law enforcement as soon as possible. The police play 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
Furthermore, 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
Finally, 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 adequate compensation is to hire an experienced attorney.
Read More: How to Prevent Truck Accidents
Common Trucking Accident Injuries
As you probably know, truck accidents yield both mild and 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 negligent individual or entity. 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.
Put simply, 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 can 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 rests partly on 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 splits liability for an accident 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 falls 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. If someone fails to meet this expectation and causes you harm, you can bring an action against them.
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. Additionally, the truck driver may 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 must follow the same rules and regulations that a truck driver does. 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
First, in any personal injury accident, consider consulting an attorney. Trucking companies act quickly and aggressively to try and avoid liability. Having an experienced attorney on your side ensures you don’t get taken advantage of.
Second, initiating a prompt and thorough investigation into the truck accident helps in gathering valuable evidence to fight your claim. Also, gather the physical evidence resulting from a truck accident while it is still fresh. Fortunately, an attorney often conducts this investigation. They know how to interview witnesses, review and analyze documents, and decide on experts.
3. Case Settlement
Third, the insurance provider for the trucking company will oftentimes offer the accident victim a monetary amount if the victim agrees to halt further legal action. However, these settlement offers are often minimal and inadequate. An experienced attorney provides 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
State laws provide statutes of limitations. These are the time limits that the state places on your ability to file a legal claim. In 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. Speak with an attorney to determine your state’s statute of limitations.
Importantly, failing to bring a claim within your states legally permissible time limit may result in being barred from pursuing a claim.
CONTACT ZINDA LAW GROUP'S TRUCK ACCIDENT ATTORNEYS
The truck injury lawyers at Zinda Law Group understand federal and state trucking regulations. Our team of semi-truck accident lawyers are your voice when dealing with insurance companies.
Zinda Law Group's 18-wheeler accident lawyers want to seek the fair compensation you deserve. 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 lawyers.
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