Every year in America, thousands die in collisions with large trucks or tractor-trailers. In 2021, 4,714 people died in large truck crashes. This was an increase of more than 17% since 2020.
Most of the fatalities involved occupants of cars or other passenger vehicles. A fully loaded commercial truck can weigh 30 times more than a typical car. It should come as no surprise that people in passenger vehicles suffer the brunt of the injuries in fatal semi-truck accidents.
Common Causes of Large Truck Accidents
Most people don't like sharing the road with commercial vehicles. They are afraid that the truck driver won't see them. They're also fearful that they will be seriously injured or even killed if they do get into an accident.
It wouldn't be fair to say that commercial truck drivers cause all truck accident injuries. Many things can cause this type of motor vehicle accident. Some of these include:
- Driver fatigue
- Driver inexperience
- Lack of training
- Carrying a large load
- Distracted driving
- Drunk driving
- Failure to yield
- Overturned tractor-trailer
Regardless of the cause, there are specific steps you need to take after your truck accident. This is the only way your personal injury attorney can get you the compensation you deserve.
What To Do After a Trucking Accident
There are things all truck accident victims need to do to preserve their truck accident claims. If you follow the steps outlined below, your experienced truck accident attorney will have a better chance of getting you compensation for your severe injuries and property damages.
The first thing you need to do is contact the police. When you call 911, the dispatcher will send a team of officers to the accident scene. Once there, the officers will conduct a thorough investigation of the crash. They'll put their findings in their police report. This report will be crucial for your personal injury lawyer.
The second thing you must do is go to the emergency room for immediate medical attention. Most truck accident victims suffer serious injuries. For example, you may have a brain injury or other internal injury. The only way to know is to undergo the necessary diagnostic tests at the hospital.
Finally, once you receive the medical care you need, you should seek legal representation. You can contact a truck wreck law firm and schedule your free case evaluation.
Litigating a Truck Accident Case
Most truck accidents involve multiple legal issues. For truck injury accidents, as with other car accidents, your attorney will have to prove negligence on the truck driver's part.
Anybody injured in a commercial truck accident must show that:
- The defendant had a duty to exercise reasonable care to avoid injury under the circumstances
- The defendant failed to exercise such care
- Their breach of the duty of care caused your injuries
- You suffered harm as a result
You may be entitled to damages if you can prove the truck driver was at fault.
Another avenue your attorney may pursue is checking to see if the defendant followed the rules set forth by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. The FMCSA oversees the rules and regulations for commercial drivers. If the defendant violated one of these rules, proving fault will be a lot easier.
What Damages Can You Demand?
You sue somebody to receive financial compensation for your physical, emotional, and financial losses. In most truck accident cases, your attorney will demand some or all of the following types of damages:
- Reimbursement for medical bills
- Compensation for future medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Property damage
- Lost wages
- Lost future income
Ideally, the defendants' insurance policies will cover your total loss. If so, your attorney will try to negotiate a fair settlement with the insurance adjusters. If that isn't possible, you may have no choice but to file a truck accident lawsuit against multiple parties.
Your Truck Accident Attorney May Have To Pursue Multiple Parties
One of the unique things about truck accident cases is that there are often several defendants. This means you may need to file a claim with multiple insurance carriers. You will need to pursue an injury claim against the driver, and you may also have to sue their employer.
In addition, you may need to file a legal claim against the truck manufacturer. If your attorney can prove a defect with the commercial vehicle, the manufacturer may be liable for your economic and non-economic damages.
Potential Truck Accident Defendants
An attorney will try to identify all possible defendants to collect for injuries suffered in a truck accident. Depending on the circumstances, a truck accident lawsuit may include a claim against several trucking companies, contractors, employers, vehicle manufacturers, and insurance companies.
If the truck driver is a trucking or shipping company employee, that company may be held legally liable for the driver's negligence. Things tend to get murky if a truck driver is an independent contractor of a larger company. Usually, companies are not liable for the actions of an independent contractor or consultant. This is the case in the trucking industry.
How Can a Truck Accident Attorney Help?
If you or a family member are injured in a truck accident, you may be entitled to significant compensation. This is especially true if your loved one suffered a wrongful death. Unfortunately, some people do not survive their truck accident injuries.
An attorney can review your case and help protect your legal rights. They will ensure that you get the medical care you need. More importantly, your lawyer will be there with you every step of the way. These cases can become complicated rather quickly. You want to ensure you have someone in your corner to go up against the big insurance carriers.
An experienced truck accident lawyer won't accept a lowball settlement from the insurance company. They will work hard to make sure you get the money you deserve.
Contact a Semi-Truck or Commercial Truck Accident Lawyer Right Away
If you're hurt in a trucking accident, you should contact a lawyer right away. However, you don't want to call a regular personal injury lawyer. You want to talk to a semi-truck or commercial truck accident lawyer. These attorneys specialize in these types of cases. They know what it takes to get favorable verdicts in truck accident cases and understand that these cases are different from ordinary auto accident cases.
We suggest you schedule your free initial consultation as soon as possible after the crash. Since truck accident lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, you won't have to pay anything upfront.
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