Why Should I Hire a Lawyer That Specialized in Trucking Injury Cases Instead of Just a Personal Injury Lawyer?
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Motor vehicle accidents can involve all types of vehicles and legal issues, but those accidents involving 18-wheelers stand apart from the rest. Semi-trucks are much larger, heavier vehicles that tend to cause significant damage to other vehicles when involved in an accident.
Trucking accident attorneys know that accidents involving large commercial vehicles call for a different approach, and possess an understanding of the unique legal issues that go with them.
WHAT IS A PERSONAL INJURY ATTORNEY?
Personal injury attorneys specialize in an area known as tort law. Specifically, personal injury attorneys help victims seek compensation for their injuries, which may include physical or psychological injuries resulting from the negligent or careless acts of another person or entity.
WHAT IS A TRUCKING ACCIDENT ATTORNEY?
While any personal injury attorney may be licensed to handle car accident cases, it’s the experience in the details of truck accident cases that makes a trucking attorney. Only an experienced trucking accident attorney knows how to collect and interpret the specific evidence you’ll need to present and prove your claim.
Trucking accidents often cause serious emotional and physical damage to victims and involve a number of complicated legal issues, such as personal injury, negligence, and product liability theories. Because of this, you may want to consult with one of our trucking accident attorneys, who have experience in this complex area of the law.
WHAT MAKES TRUCKING CASES UNIQUE?
There are many aspects of truck accidents that make your case unique. Here are some important factors you may want to consider:
1. UNIQUE STATE FEDERAL LAWS THAT REGULATE TRUCK DRIVER CONDUCT
Truck drivers are regulated by federal and state laws that establish standards that must be followed by all trucking companies and drivers. For example, the State of Colorado has adopted and enforced the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, which ensures the safe operation of all commercial vehicles and operators within the state.
Trucking companies and drivers must follow many laws, including:
- Commercial Driver Licenses: If the truck driver involved in your accident did not have the proper license or permit, it may affect your legal case against them and the driver’s employer.
- Maximum Weight Permitted: Overloading a truck is dangerous. Determining what the truck was carrying and when it was last weighed could be important factors to consider when evaluating your accident.
- Quality of Trucks: Both manufacturing and repairs of commercial trucks are regulated to ensure quality control. If there was a defect in the truck involved in your accident, then you may have a claim against the manufacturer, supplier, or the truck’s mechanic.
- Regulating Hazardous Waste: Safety regulations exist regarding the transportation of hazardous materials. If you have been injured by a truck driver who did not follow those guidelines, you may have a claim against the truck driver, their employer, and/or the company shipping the hazardous material.
- Rest for the Driver: The amount of time a driver of a commercial truck is permitted to drive without taking a break is regulated. This is referred to as the “hours of service.”
2. TRUCKING ACCIDENT CAUSES
An important part of any lawsuit is the determination of who is at fault for your injuries. In order to determine fault, it’s important to understand the cause of the accident. Truck accidents are often caused by:
- Driver fatigue
- Defective equipment
- Poorly maintained truck
- An overloaded truck
- An improperly loaded truck
- Lack of driver training
- Excessive speed
- Driver distraction
- Dangerous roads or weather conditions
- Defective roadways
Trucking companies have an obligation to the public, including you, to make sure that their drivers are trained and their trucks properly maintained. Failure to meet these obligations may establish liability.
3. INJURIES IN TRUCK ACCIDENTS
The speed and size of semi-trucks often make injuries from accidents more severe than the average car crash. Victims who survive these accidents may suffer devastating and debilitating injuries, including:
- Head and brain injuries
- Loss of limbs
- Neck and back injuries
- Internal injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
Truck accidents often result in serious and catastrophic injuries, so it’s important to have competent legal representation that can help you recover compensation for your losses after an accident. Our Colorado trucking accident attorneys at Zinda Law Group are dedicated to pursuing the compensation you may need.
3. LIABILITY OF TRUCKING COMPANIES AND DRIVERS
When dealing with truck accidents, there are many parties who may be responsible for a victim’s injuries, including:
- The truck driver
- The trucking company
- The person or company that leased the truck from the owner
- The manufacturer of the truck
- The person or entity responsible for loading the truck
After determining the liable parties, you must prove negligence through an insurance claim or through a personal injury suit. A negligence claim involves situations where a person or entity did not act how it should have, and as a result, you have suffered compensable harm. Specifically, the four elements of negligence necessary to prove your claim are:
- The other party had a duty to act as a reasonably prudent person
- The other party breached this duty of care
- The other party’s breach caused your injuries
- You have suffered injuries that may be compensated by the other party
In order to obtain proof of liability and negligence, your trucking accident attorney will help you compile:
- The police report relating to your accident
- Witness statements
- The driver’s background, such as driver training and driving records
- The truck’s maintenance records
- The driver’s service hours records
- Photos of the scene of the accident, including photos of the damaged vehicles and any injuries you may have sustained
- An expert’s opinion
- The driver’s cell phone records
- The truck’s data recorder, otherwise known as a “black box”
HOW TO FILE A CLAIM
Dealing with injuries after a trucking accident can be hard enough as it is, and figuring out how to file a lawsuit on top of that only makes your recovery more difficult. If you’ve been injured in a trucking accident, you may want to consider taking these steps:
1. COLLECT NECESSARY INFORMATION
You should collect as much information regarding the accident as possible. This may include information on the company the driver works for, the truck driver’s insurance information, witness contact information, and any photos of the accident. You should also seek medical attention immediately after the accident; medical records can also help prove that your injuries were caused by the trucking accident.
2. TALKING WITH INSURANCE ADJUSTORS
It’s likely that insurance adjustors will contact you for access to your medical records and other evidence relating to the accident. It is important not to accept a settlement that does not adequately cover your losses.
3. CONSULT WITH AN ATTORNEY
A trucking accident attorney may not only help with gathering your claim documentation, but may also help you establish liability and seek and negotiate fair compensation for your injuries. At Zinda Law Group, our experienced trucking accident attorneys may help walk you through the steps necessary to seek maximum compensation.
4. COMPENSATION IN TRUCKING ACCIDENT CASES
The types of damages you may be entitled to receive for your injuries after a trucking accident include:
- Reimbursement for medical bills or prescriptions following the accident. This may include physical therapy and future medical expenses.
- Lost income and future income.
- Loss of companionship. This can be either the loss of relations in a marriage or, in wrongful death cases, the loss of the loved one.
- The cost to fix or replace your vehicle. This may include the cost of a rental car while your vehicle is undergoing repair.
- Non-economic damages. This may include damages for physical and/or emotional pain and suffering.
- Punitive damages. Punitive damages may be appropriate in accidents where the conduct of the driver or trucking company was extreme and outrageous.
Speaking with an attorney can further assist you in estimating the value of your claim.
CALL THE 18-WHEELER ACCIDENT LAWYERS AT ZINDA LAW GROUP
At Zinda Law Group, our trucking accident attorneys have the experience and knowledge that has helped many injured victims recover compensation after suffering an injury from a trucking accident. We have the knowledge and resources necessary to help you build the strongest case possible and to seek the maximum compensation you deserve.
Our firm also believes that an injured victim should never have to worry about their ability to afford excellent legal representation. That is why we offer 100% free consultations, and why you will pay nothing unless we achieve a favorable settlement, judgment, or verdict for your personal injury claim. That’s our No Fee Guarantee.
Meetings with attorneys by appointment only.