Do I Have a Truck Accident Claim?
February 22, 2019 | Truck Accidents
Commercial trucks can cause severe injuries and financial damages. If you or someone you love has been in a truck accident, it’s crucial to act quickly and speak with an experienced injury lawyer about the options available to your truck accident claim.
Who is At Fault in a Commercial Truck Accident?
Large truck accidents can be traumatizing. Frequently, the passenger vehicle occupant is critically injured or their vehicle is damaged, while the truck driver sustains minor injuries and damages from the crash. If you have been in a truck accident, it’s essential to gather evidence immediately after the crash occurs. If your injuries prevent you from collecting evidence yourself, you can send someone to do this for you. Failure to collect evidence after an accident happens could cause details of the crash to be lost or allow the at-fault driver room to blame you for the accident.
Commercial truck companies are insured by large insurance companies that are skilled in settling claims for the lowest amount possible. If you have substantial evidence from your accident, a police report, and a medical report, your truck accident lawyer can use this to negotiate for the maximum amount of compensation for your claim. Depending on the circumstances of the accident, you may be able to recover damages from additional parties. The truck driver’s employer or even the manufacturer of the goods that they were hauling at the time of the accident are two examples of who can be held liable.
If there is proof that the truck driver that caused the accident is a direct employee of a company, the driver’s negligence can be linked to their employer. If there is evidence that the cargo the truck driver was hauling at the time of the accident played a part in the crash, you could be eligible to seek compensation from the cargo’s manufacturer. It can be difficult to prove that the driver’s employer and the cargo’s manufacturer are liable, but your truck accident lawyer can create a compelling plan against all responsible parties to win the most damages for your case.
How Does a Truck Accident Claim Differ from a Car Accident Claim?
Truck accidents are eligible to recover the same type of damages that can be claimed with a car accident claim, but there are a couple of elements that may differ. If you have been in a truck accident and the semi-truck “jackknifed” and hit your vehicle, you might not be able to claim damages. In some accidents, a semi-truck that has jackknifed wouldn’t be held liable if the incident occurred due to unexpected road conditions such as a slick road or snow. If the truck driver in your accident isn’t at fault for the crash, your lawyer can help you explore other options for recovering damages.
Similar to jackknifing, turning accidents may not be seen as negligent in all situations. Commercial trucks often take two lanes to turn because of their large size and can cause an accident if the driver isn’t careful. Some courts have elected to not automatically rule truck drivers in these crashes. As with all accidents, the circumstances of each case differ, so the outcome for cases can greatly vary. If you are ready to file a truck accident claim against the responsible party, speaking with a truck accident lawyer is the first step.
What Type of Damages Can I Recover with a Truck Accident Claim?
Truck accident claims follow the same process as car accident claims. It is crucial to gather as much evidence as possible, call the police, seek medical attention, and consult a lawyer about your case. Trucks accidents often cause severe injuries due to the sheer weight of commercial trucks and their inability to stop quickly. The average weight of a semi-truck is upwards of 70,000 pounds. If you have been injured in a truck accident, your truck accident lawyer can help you file a compelling claim to recover damages. The most common types of damages that are recovered with truck accident claims include the following:
- Medical expenses – if you suffered any injuries during the truck accident, medical expenses associated with those injuries can potentially be recovered. This includes medical bills, cost of medication, medical accessories, ambulance fees, and any other expenses related to the treatment of your injuries
- Pain and suffering – injuries aren’t always physical. If you have experienced emotional or mental distress after a truck accident, you could be eligible to recover pain and suffering damages. Insurance companies use complex formulas to calculate this type of damage. Additionally, any out-of-pocket costs that you’ve had to pay for such as therapy, medication, and more could potentially be recovered.
- Lost wages – if you have been unable to work because of your injuries or have had to take any time off work because of your injuries, any lost wages that are associated with your injuries from the truck accident could be recovered
- Bodily vehicle damages – if your vehicle was damaged at all in the accident, the cost to repair your car or the amount of your vehicle (whichever amount is less) can be recovered with a valid truck accident claim
If someone is injured or killed in a truck accident, in most states the injured driver is eligible to recover compensation from the negligent driver. Traffic and personal injury laws vary from state to state, so this might differ from one state to the next. In Missouri, if a person is injured in a car accident that is caused by a truck driver, they can seek compensation for the damages listed above, plus their spouse can claim loss of consortium or “loss of affection” that was directly caused by their spouse’s injuries.
In other states such as Colorado, which is a no-fault state, injured victims are only eligible to recover damages by filing a claim against their own insurance company. Most no-fault states don’t have a damages cap, or if they do, it only applies to pain and suffering damages. In Colorado, however, it applies to economic damages (medical bills, lost wages, property damage) and pain and suffering damages (therapy, medication, mental/physical distress from the accident). If you are unsure of what your state’s fault rules are, a truck accident lawyer can help.
Consult a Truck Accident Lawyer About Your Case
Truck accidents can be traumatizing and leave victims searching for guidance on what they should do. A lawyer can provide guidance for your case and make sure that you and your family are taken care of during this difficult time. Christopher R. Dixon and the Truck Accident Lawyers at the Dixon Injury Firm have recovered more than $35,000,000.00 in injury settlements for their clients, and every year that number continues to rise. If you or someone you love has been injured in a truck accident, contact Dixon Law today to explore the options that are available to your case.