The 2019 Pocket Guide to Large Truck and Bus Statistics, a report by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), paints an even clearer picture of how many accidents are caused by semi-trucks. According to the report, “In 2017, among the 272,480,899 total registered vehicles in the United States, 9,336,998 were single-unit trucks (straight trucks), 2,892,218 were combination trucks (tractor-trailers), and 983,231 were buses.”
Commercial truck and car accidents happen in the blink-of-an-eye, for a number of reasons, so if one should happen to you, it is important to know what steps to take following an accident.
It is critical to seek immediate medical attention and to document everything if you’re able to. Things to document from the crash are skid marks, debris from the accident, damage to vehicles, and photos of any injuries that you sustained.
You’ll also want to get witness testimonies if possible. The negligent driver’s insurer (if they have one) will attempt to get a statement from you immediately following the accident to get you to settle for a lower amount in damages if you were partially at-fault, but it is important to be silent and not give them any information.
You should then contact a car accident lawyer or commercial truck accident lawyer experienced in a variety of truck accident issues to protect your rights during this critical time.
Below, we’ve put together a list of the most common types of a car accident and commercial truck accident claims following a collision.
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1. Medical Expenses From Injuries Sustained in the Accident
The cost of injuries after an accident includes any medical bills that occur due to the car or commercial truck accident. The negligent party will reimburse for any hospital visits, ambulance rides, physical therapy, and so on.
In Missouri, compensation for medical damages following an accident includes compensation for present and future injuries related to the accident.
It’s important to keep track of any medical expenses following an accident to prove these expenses. A car accident lawyer or commercial truck accident lawyer will know what to do with this evidence and represent your case against the negligent driver and their insurance company.
2. Pain and Suffering Stemming From the Incident
Pain and suffering refer to physical, emotional, mental stress that is brought on by a car accident or commercial truck accident and the injuries and damages associated with it. To prove pain and suffering following an accident, it is essential to document and estimate the degree of your pain and suffering with a personal injury lawyer.
The amount received from these claims can vary, but a personal injury lawyer will make sure that you receive the most for your pain and suffering after a car or commercial car accident.
3. Lost Wages From the Accident
Following an accident, various injuries can prevent a person from working. To prove lost wages from an accident, it is necessary to gather evidence of past earnings, document any medical or therapy expenses that stemmed from the accident, and to consult a personal injury lawyer.
Our attorneys will take the evidence that you’ve documented and fought for your lost wages against the negligent driver and their insurance company. They will ensure that you will receive compensation for any lost wages that you have experienced due to the car or commercial truck accident.
4. Loss of Affection From a Car or Commercial Truck Accident
Car and commercial truck accidents can result in lasting damages or the complete loss of life. “Loss of Consortium,” or loss of affection and companionship, is when someone close to the injured party (spouse or child) claims that there has been a loss in their involvement in their relationship. This can involve the injured party neglecting parenting duties after an accident, relationship duties with their spouse, or any altered plans that the injured party previously intended to keep.
For example, an injured spouse planning to have kids with their spouse before a car or commercial truck accident, and then due to injuries from the accident, not being able to have or take care of kids due to injuries. This can be proven by our personal injury lawyers, but it is important to keep in mind that there is a statute of limitations on these claims.
In Missouri, the statute of limitations is five years, and claims must be made within five years of the accident, or they will not be valid in court. However, any delay in starting the claim can result in lost evidence and an uphill battle obtaining compensation.
5. Vehicle Damage
Missouri is an “At-Fault” state. This means that if someone is in a car accident, it has to be proven that it is “more likely than not” that the negligent driver caused the accident. Proving that a driver is at-fault in an accident requires the injured party to document the scene of the crash, show that the other party caused it, and then file a claim with their insurance company and contact our car and commercial truck accident, lawyers.
Our attorneys will deal with the insurance company, and make sure that you’re entitled to everything you deserve from the negligent party and their insurance company following the accident.
6. Personal Property Damage
At the time of an accident, not only can someone recover damages for their vehicle, but they can receive damage compensation to any personal property that was inside of the vehicle. This is not typically covered under a standard auto insurance policy. Damaged items can be added to a car accident claim by an experienced legal attorney to be reimbursed by the negligent party in the accident.
The Difference Between Truck Accidents and Passenger Vehicle Cases
A trucking accident where a semi-truck hits a smaller vehicle can cause catastrophic injuries. These motor vehicle collisions often result in serious injuries because of the difference in the size and weight of the vehicles.
Large trucks are about 20 times larger than cars, and while most passenger vehicles weigh about 5,000 pounds, semi-trucks weigh about 35,000 pounds unloaded and 80,000 pounds loaded.
Who Is Liable in a Truck Accident?
It is often difficult to determine who is liable in an accident between a passenger vehicle and a large truck. The trucking company may not be willing to admit fault even if the car was totaled and the passengers required medical care.
So, even if it’s obvious to the driver of the car and witnesses at the scene that the truck caused the collision, the driver of the passenger car may still need to hire a lawyer with experience handling lawsuits for truck accidents.
Common Types of Truck Accidents
Common causes of truck accidents often include driver fatigue or bad weather and truck crashes between a tractor-trailer and a passenger vehicle can happen in various ways:
- A jackknife occurs after big rig twists and the cab swings to a right angle from the trailer because the trucker hits the brakes too hard.
- An underride occurs when a truck stops suddenly and the vehicle behind it gets lodged under the truck because it can’t brake quickly enough.
- A rollover occurs after a truck driver loses control and the truck rolls over onto motorists in their passenger vehicles alongside the truck. This type of accident often causes wrongful death.
- Rear-end collisions occur after a large truck bears down on a slow-moving or stationary car.
- Tire blowouts can happen to a truck or a car. A collision occurs because of the wayward movement of the out-of-control vehicle.
- Head-on collisions occur when either the truck or car coming from the other direction changes lanes directly in front of the oncoming vehicle.
Common Types of Car Accidents
Although the types of road accidents and causes of road accidents are often difficult to classify, the most common types of car accidents appear to be the following:
- A vehicle rollover is an auto accident when a passenger car loses control, flips onto its side, and rolls over a few times.
- An example of a common collision type is a rear-end collision, which occurs when one car runs into the back of another car. This usually happens when one car is stationary because it’s waiting at a stop sign or has stalled and the speeding car behind it can’t apply brakes in time.
- A side-impact collision usually occurs when a car that doesn’t stop at a red light is hit on the side by another car coming at it from a right angle.
- A head-on collision typically occurs when traffic is coming from both sides of the road and one car crosses over into the other lane to hit the oncoming car.
Types of car accident injuries vary but the most common car accident injuries after these types of accidents seem to be whiplash, scrapes, cuts, head injuries, broken ribs, broken bones, herniated disks, broken bones, knee trauma, and internal bleeding.
How to File a Claim for a Car or Commercial Truck Accident
In order to obtain fair compensation offers from large insurance companies, accident victims need the help of a law firm to file a personal injury claim. In particular, truck accident injuries, i.e., commercial truck accidents with a car, require skilled legal representation because these types of accidents not only cause serious injuries but also result in financial devastation because of high medical expenses.
Contact Our Car Accident and Commercial Truck Accident Lawyers Today
Although it is difficult to say with certainty what type of crashes are more common than any other type of crash, those listed here represent what we can glean from statistical data. So, while the list above breaks down the different types of car accident claims that can be made following a car or commercial truck accident, this is by no means a full list.
We hope that the information listed above has made things a bit more clear for you following your car accident, and has provided a good starting point for filing a claim with a car accident or commercial truck accident lawyer.
If you or your loved one has been involved in a vehicle accident, then you will need to get legal advice from a personal injury attorney; and, if the accident involved a commercial truck, then you will need the help of an experienced truck accident attorney. Each car or commercial truck accident case varies, so it’s essential to contact a legal representative to handle your personal case.
As always, you can contact the Dixon Injury Firm at (314) 208-2808 for a free consultation and case review today.