Can I Sue a Semi-Truck If I Was Ran Off the Road?
June 28, 2021 | Truck Accidents
If you are merging onto the on-ramp of a highway or driving on an interstate, and a semi-truck suddenly encroaches upon your lane and runs you off the road, you could sue the truck driver for damages. Negligence takes place when a driver acts in a dangerous or harmful way and causes injuries or damage.
If a semi-truck driver acts negligently while driving, even if they don’t strike your vehicle, you can hold them liable for damages that you experienced from being run off the road. Read on to learn more about your potential claim from our St. Louis truck accident lawyers.
What Should I Do If a Semi-Truck Runs Me off the Road?
When a semi-truck runs a passenger vehicle off the road, it can cause serious injuries and financial damages to the passenger vehicle occupant. If this happens to you, stay calm.
If you can:
- Take a photo of the truck driver’s CDL license
- Get the name of the company they drive for
- Gather evidence from the accident scene, such as road marks and debris
- Call the police
If the semi-truck driver stays at the scene, swap contact information with them and take down their insurance information. Then, seek immediate medical treatment and speak with your lawyer about the accident.
Even if the semi-truck didn’t physically touch your vehicle, the driver’s negligence caused your vehicle to run off the road, and in most states, they must compensate you for damages caused by the crash.
What Damages Can I Sue a Semi-Truck Driver for If I Was Run Off the Road?
Trucking companies are heavily insured and typically settle cases outside of court. If a semi-truck ran your vehicle off the road and you were injured, you could recover compensation for your financial damages and injuries from the crash.
With proper evidence from the accident and an experienced lawyer by your side, you could recover compensation from the truck driver and their employer.
Some of the most common damages that you can sue for after a semi-truck runs you off the road include:
- Medical bills
- Mental, emotional, or physical distress caused by the accident
- Lost wages
- Property damage from the crash
- Loss of affection, which the spouse of an injured driver can claim
How Do I Seek the Money I Need for Future Injury Expenses?
Accidents involving semi-trucks can devastate those in smaller vehicles. Even if the semi-truck did not crash directly into your car, you could deal with serious injuries after a negligent driver runs you off the road.
You could seek compensation for your past and present damages as well as future expenses related to the injury, such as rehabilitative care. If you cannot earn income as you did before the accident, you could also seek compensation for any reduction in your future earning capacity due to your injuries.
If you seek guidance from our team, we can review your prognosis and build evidence to show the extent of your injuries. We can gather evidence from your medical records and testimony from your doctors and other expert witnesses to show the impact of your injuries on your life, health, and finances. We can help you seek all the compensation you need to cover the costs of your recovery.
What Happens if I Need to File a Lawsuit?
If an insurance company refuses to agree to a fair offer, we can take your case to court to seek damages. We can prepare your case for trial and handle every aspect of the legal process for you. While a court case can take longer than an insurance claim, it may be the best option for seeking the compensation you deserve.
However, there is a deadline to file a lawsuit to claim compensation after an injury. These deadlines are known as statutes of limitations, and they vary by state.
- In Illinois, you have two years to file suit, per 735 ILCS 5/13-202.
- In Missouri, you have five years to file a lawsuit, per Missouri code § 516.120.
If a negligent semi-truck driver ran you off the road, we encourage you to start on your case as soon as possible. If you miss the deadline to file a lawsuit, you cannot seek compensation—even if you have a compelling case against the truck driver.
Who is Liable if a Semi-Truck Runs Your Car Off the Road?
Unlike car accidents, liability in truck accidents isn’t always easy to determine. The semi-truck driver who caused the accident may need to compensate you for damages, but additional parties can contribute to the driver’s negligence.
If the driver was on the clock at the time of the crash, whether as an independent contractor or a direct employee of a trucking company, you could claim damages from the truck driver’s employer.
Other potentially liable parties in a truck accident include the shipper of hazardous materials and the manufacturer of defective truck parts. If the driver leased the truck or trailer, you could pursue the rental company they rented from.
If you need help determining whom you can recover damages from after a semi-truck ran you off the road, consult a lawyer. A lawyer from our team can assess your case, create a personalized plan, and do everything in our power to recover the most damages possible for your case.
How Can I Prove What Caused the Accident?
Several forms of negligence may have led to an accident in which a semi-truck ran you off the road. We will investigate the accident to determine the ultimate cause of the accident.
Truck driver negligence that may have led to your accident include:
- Drunk or impaired driving
- Drowsy driving
- Road rage or aggressive driving
- Improper lane changes
- And more
Forms of negligence on the part of the trucking company may include:
- Negligent hiring practices
- Failure to maintain
- A track record of service hour violations
- Inadequate driver training
- And more
You can get help from our team in proving negligence. We can investigate black box data, driver logs, records of prior violations on the part of the trucking company, and other sources of evidence to build your case.
What Happens When I Need to Seek Compensation from a Trucking Company?
Even experienced lawyers find semi-truck accidents complex to deal with. Trucking companies are insured by large insurance companies and typically have additional insurance coverage aside from the general liability insurance that drivers must carry.
Large insurance policies can be good when negotiating a settlement from a truck driver, but generally, ruthless insurance agents accompany them.
The truck driver’s insurer will likely attempt to get you to accept a lower insurance settlement to protect their client.
Tactics can include:
- Getting an immediate statement from you right after the accident
- Providing a low offer to see if you know what your claim is really worth
- Making you a mid-priced offer for less than the settlement you could claim with a lawyer
- Giving you a deadline for accepting their offer in an attempt to lowball you
This is one reason why you may wish to work with someone from our team, as we can handle these and any other conversations with the insurance company for you. We will work to protect the value of your case and ensure that you don’t leave any money on the table.
Should I Work with a Lawyer on My Case?
You may find it helpful to work with a lawyer from our team for many reasons. You may not wish to deal with legal details while you heal from painful injuries.
- Determine the full, fair value of your case
- Gather evidence and prove liability
- Negotiate your settlement
- Litigate on your behalf, if necessary
- Apply our understanding of injury law to seek results for you
- Advocate for your best interests in a claim or lawsuit
- Advise you through every step of your case
Why Choose The Dixon Injury Firm?
At our firm, we take pride in representing victims of injury in the St. Louis area.
In addition to offering free consultations to help you learn your options for a recovery:
- We work based on contingency fees: You don’t have to pay us anything upfront to get started on your case. We only receive payment for our services out of any settlement or award we win for you.
- We know the St. Louis area: We help clients from Missouri and Illinois who are victims of injury in the St. Louis area. We will bring our deep knowledge of the city and surrounding suburbs, using our knowledge of local thoroughfares, from the Delmar Loop and Grand Avenue to Kingshighway and Interstates 65, 55, and 40, to better understand your case.
- We have a track record of results: We have a history of securing multimillion-dollar settlements for our past clients. We will work hard to seek the best possible results for you.
What Next Steps Should I Take to Support My Case?
If you need to take legal action, you can continue protecting your case. In the days and weeks following an accident:
Avoid Making a Recorded Statement with an Insurance Company
The trucking company’s representatives or insurance agents could contact you soon after the accident and they may ask you to give a recorded statement about the accident. You are under no obligation to provide a recorded statement, even if you feel pressured to do so
—and it’s a bad idea. Let us provide any necessary information to an insurer for you. This way, they cannot use what you say to lower the value of your case.
Avoid Posting on Social Media
We understand that you may turn to social media to get support after an accident. However, we recommend that you avoid posting anything about the crash or your injuries on your social media accounts, as the insurance company can use this material against you in a claim or lawsuit.
Get the medical care you need and continue seeking treatment
If you pursue an injury case, document your injuries, follow your doctors’ recommendations, and seek any required treatment through to conclusion. An insurance company can use any gap in your treatment as a sign that you made your injuries worse.
Get free advice from our team
We can offer you a free case review so that you can learn your legal options and begin formulating a path to seek the compensation you deserve. We can help you understand what to do after a negligent semi-truck driver runs you off the road.
Consult Our Team About Your Case Today
The best way to ensure that the insurance company doesn’t take advantage of you during this trying time is to hire a truck accident attorney. An experienced attorney from our team can protect your rights, defend your claim, and negotiate for the maximum amount of compensation for your case. If you want a st. louis personal injury lawyer to help you sue a semi-truck driver who ran your car off the road, contact the Dixon Injury Firm today to discuss your case at (314) 208-2808.
The Dixon Injury Firm
9666 Olive Blvd #202,
St. Louis, MO 63132