Settlements for truck accidents can be more complicated than other types of accidents. Find out how a truck accident lawyer can help you.
An accident with a large truck often has different legal implications than a regular car accident. If you or a loved one were recently involved in a truck accident, you are likely stressed, confused, and possibly injured. The Personal Injury Center wants you to focus on your recovery after this traumatic incident and let a truck accident attorney help with the legal process.
Getting partnered with a lawyer familiar with truck accidents means that they can navigate the legal avenues required to get you the compensation you deserve. Truck accident lawyers can pursue the truck driver, trucking company, or insurance company to determine who might be liable for the accident and what kind of reparations you’re supposed to receive. Promptly getting the guidance and help of a lawyer will allow you to focus on your physical and emotional recovery after such a traumatic event.
Truck accident lawyers can fight on your behalf and seek compensation for the following costs and expenses:
- Lost wages or loss of earning potential
- Car damage repair or car rental costs
- Medical treatment reimbursement
- Pain, suffering, and emotional distress
You shouldn’t have to suffer alone—find out what compensation you may be entitled to by contacting The Personal Injury Center today. Upon your request, we will refer you to experienced lawyers who will get you the help you need so that you can focus on making a speedy recovery.
Can a Truck Accident Lawyer Help Me?
You may be confused about whether your crash requires a truck accident lawyer. However, the sooner you enlist the help of an attorney, the sooner you will be able to relieve yourself of this ordeal. Get started today with a free, no-strings-attached case evaluation with an experienced lawyer at The Personal Injury Center.
The following are several of the key services they will help you with to ensure that you get the outcome you deserve:
Find Relief from Medical Expenses
At this time, you should be focused on recovering from your injuries so that your life can also get back to normal. Medical expenses, loss of wages, and inability to work, which could lead to a loss of earning potential, are extra stress you don’t need.
A truck accident lawyer will handle the process of securing compensation for these expenses while you focus on recovering and moving on.
No Commitment Necessary
To determine your option, get a free consultation today from an attorney with an exemplary track record. You are not powerless and should not have to suffer alone—visit The Personal Injury Center now to access the help you deserve.
A Trusted Law Firm for All Your Needs
The Personal Injury Center is a leading and trusted firm. Their client testimonials and track record with settlements prove that they have the experience and means to provide you with the best service and outcome possible.
What Does a Truck Accident Lawyer Do
A truck accident is stressful, upsetting, and confusing. You may be facing traumatizing injuries and associated medical expenses, or you may have expensive repairs necessary on a vehicle that was damaged in the crash.
It’s completely natural to be unsure of how to navigate the process of getting compensation for these injuries. This is where a personal injury attorney can help you.
Determining Liability in a Truck Accident Case
A truck accident attorney will investigate the accident to determine who is liable. The parties that could be held liable include the driver, the trucking company, and the insurance company.
Your lawyer will determine whether the driver complied with regulations set by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), such as not exceeding the maximum hours of service.
There may also be negligence on the driver’s part or that of the trucking company. Generally, multiple parties are liable in a truck accident, and your lawyer will know what to look for to determine who will be held accountable.
Building a Compelling Case
To receive sufficient compensation, your case must be compelling and based on evidence. Once liability is determined, your lawyer will examine documents, such as police reports, medical reports, and information from the trucking company, to back up your claim, which will help build a compelling case. Therefore, make sure to save all medical documents and police reports and give them to your lawyer immediately.
Proving Your Truck Accident Case
Your lawyer will look into the accident to determine whether you have a case. This may include hiring a team to recreate and examine the scene of the accident to figure out how it happened. They will also compile all relevant documents, which will serve as evidence that an accident occurred and will work to prove that the other party was at fault.
What Must You Look for in a Truck Accident Lawyer
An experienced truck accident lawyer will relieve you of the pressure of navigating the complex legal process of getting compensation for your injuries.
Ability To Get the Best Outcome
Your lawyer will know what avenues to pursue, who to hold accountable, and what claims to make to represent you well and treat you fairly during this stressful time.
Everything You’ll Need From a Lawyer
Get started with just a click! Begin a free case evaluation today to find out your options. The Personal Injury Center lawyers have all the resources and experience you will need.
Familiarity with Truck Accident Cases
Truck accident cases are a specific branch of personal injury cases, and the attorney you choose must have experience with commercial truck accidents. An excellent way to determine if your lawyer has the relevant experience is to look at previous client testimonials to see what they have said.
Accidents involving a commercial vehicle are not the same as regular car accidents, as the applicable laws are different, and more than one party may be liable.
Familiarity with Truck Carrier Regulations
Truckers are subject to strict laws and regulations set by the FMCSA, which include rules about the maximum hours of service, enforced rest periods, and employment relations. Being familiar with the FMCSA’s regulations is essential to your lawyer’s job, as it may be a vital part of the case.
Since commercial truck drivers are subject to different laws than ordinary motorists, a personal injury lawyer that typically works on passenger car accidents may not be familiar with them. Therefore, it’s very important that the lawyer you choose has experience with truck accidents.
Familiarity With Truck Accident Investigations
Investigating a truck or semi-truck accident is an enormous task and requires experience to know what to look for. In fact, your lawyer will determine how much to seek in compensation for your injuries.
They will also assess and take inventory of property damage and the costs of repair. Moreover, your lawyer will identify which parties are responsible and investigate the scene of the accident to confirm what exactly occurred. This is a fact-intensive process; therefore, the lawyer must know what he or she is doing.
Overview of Truck Accident Law in the US
Both federal and state laws apply to truck drivers. In fact, the following federal agencies may be involved when a truck accident occurs:
- US Department of Transportation (DOT)
- The Federal Highway Administration for issues concerning highway transportation
- National Transportation Safety Board
Much of the regulations for the DOT and FMCSA are under Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations. On the other hand, each state in the US has its own department responsible for monitoring and regulating large commercial trucks. Although trucking regulations and laws may vary between states, they typically fall under similar categories, such as the following:
Drivers Licenses for Truck Drivers
Truck drivers must follow the laws of the state where they drive. If the truck driver who is responsible for the accident doesn’t have a license, then, in addition to a claim for compensation, other cases can be filed against both the driver and the trucking company.
Specified Rest Periods
Like any employee, drivers should only work during standard service hours. The FMCSA has mandates on how long drivers can work, depending on the vehicle type they are operating. For instance, drivers of property-carrying vehicles cannot drive for more than 11 hours after being off duty for ten straight hours. On the other hand, drivers of passenger-carrying vehicles can only drive a maximum of 10 hours after being off-duty for eight consecutive hours.
The FMCSA also has specific mandates on driving breaks, working during storms and other adverse conditions, and provisions for sleeping berths for drivers.
Trucking companies and drivers are expected to follow these rules to prevent driver fatigue, which also helps to protect others on the road.
Maximum Load Allowed
In the US, the size of the truck determines the weight the vehicle is allowed to carry. For instance, trucks with a single axle can transport up to 20,000 lbs. On the other hand, two-axle or tandem trucks are permitted to carry a maximum of 34,000 lbs.
Like any vehicle, it’s important to know how much it can carry at any time. Going over the weight limit can cause issues on the road, which imperils the safety of others.
When a truck accident occurs, part of the investigation will involve looking into the big rig’s weight. Doing so can help determine if the vehicle’s cargo had anything to do with the accident.
Condition of the Truck
Trucks undergo quality control before they are released. After the manufacturing phase, each one has to be carefully inspected to ensure that rigorous standards are met. For example, a commercial vehicle must meet federal guidelines on air brake systems before it is considered safe to drive.
If you or your lawyer can prove that a defect caused the accident, you may be able to get compensation from the truck’s manufacturer or the supplier. A truck accident lawsuit can also include the mechanic or repairer if the vehicle was repaired.
Transportation and Management of Hazardous Waste
The DOT has also established safety standards for transporting waste and hazardous materials. Get legal representation if you or a loved one were injured by a truck carrying dangerous materials. An experienced lawyer will know whether to file a claim against the driver, their employer, the company that shipped the load, or a combination of the parties.
Proving liability is one of the most important aspects of winning a lawsuit. However, there are many factors to consider when trying to determine liability. For example, if someone borrowed your car and got into an accident, you can be held liable even though you weren’t driving the vehicle.
This is referred to as vicarious liability or negligent entrustment, which also applies to employers, who could be held responsible for accidents their employees cause while operating company vehicles.
Showing driver negligence is another way to prove liability. For example, drinking while driving is against the law. Confirming that the person operating the vehicle was under the influence of drugs or alcohol demonstrates that the driver was negligent.
What Damages Can You Receive in a Truck Accident Case
Motor vehicle accident victims will receive compensation, known as damages, for the injuries they have suffered. Victims can receive compensation for physical, psychological, emotional, and financial injuries.
Economic damages are easier to calculate as they are determined by a monetary loss. If you experience financial loss for any of the following expenses, you may be eligible for compensation:
- Medical bills: These can include hospital stays, doctor’s professional fees, emergency medical treatments, medications, physical therapy, and other short or long-term medical care.
- Transportation to and from medical facilities: You can collect damages for travel expenses to and from your doctor’s clinic or medical office.
- Lost wages: An injury due to a semi-truck accident can prevent you from getting back to work. You can ask for compensation for “loss of earning capacity.”
- Loss of future wages: Permanent injury can prevent you from earning an income or limit your ability to complete tasks. Claiming loss of future wages can help make up for it.
- Funeral and burial expenses: If you lost a loved one due to an accident, you might be able to get back some of the costs of the cremation or funeral by filing a wrongful death lawsuit.
- Legal fees: These include any costs related to hiring your attorney and other court-related fees.
Another kind of injury in a truck accident claim is non-economic damages, which are more challenging to quantify and calculate than economic damages. The monetary compensation is not often adequate or is a poor substitute for what the victim goes through. However, it is one way of holding the party-at-fault accountable.
Pain and suffering
People don’t usually see the amount of pain and suffering the victim goes through after an accident. The compensation the claimant gets is independent of medical expenses.
A truck accident can leave mental scars from flashbacks, depression, and trauma. Hiring the right lawyer can help you receive compensation for any mental and emotional distress you experience.
Loss of consortium
Some people change significantly after an accident, which can allow them to seek damages for loss of consortium. Perhaps you have difficulty completing household chores, or you can’t perform sexually, or you’ve lost affection towards your family and friends. If you can’t do the tasks you used to do before the accident, or you can’t enjoy your relationship with your family and friends, you may be eligible for compensation.
Permanent scarring or disfigurement
Scarring on a visible part of the body or disfigurement can negatively impact a person’s life. It can leave the person feeling stressed, depressed, or even suicidal. Scarring may also affect how others see the person, which can result in discrimination or bullying.
Decreased quality of life
You may not have noticed how the accident has affected you or the quality of your life until weeks or months after the accident. Physical injuries may prevent you from playing sports or with your children. Going to your medical appointments can also eat away at your free time.
As it is difficult to determine how your life has changed, your personal injury lawyer may recommend keeping a journal to list the changes. The journal, and statements from your friends and family, can be submitted as evidence, showing how the accident has affected your way of life.
Punitive damages are awarded to punish the party at fault, which will hopefully deter him or her from causing injuries in the future.
Not all plaintiffs in truck accidents are entitled to punitives damages. In fact, lawyers seek punitive damages if the defendant’s conduct was malicious, fraudulent, or purposeful. For example, if the driver was drunk at the time of the accident, the court may award punitive damages.
In some states, such as Florida, the complaint can also be modified to include a claim for punitive damages. However, the plaintiff needs to provide evidence in discovery to support the added claim.
To claim punitive damages, the party must prove at least one of two things:
- Intentional misconduct: The plaintiff needs to prove that the defendant knew that his actions would hurt another person or that it was wrong.
- Gross negligence: The plaintiff must show that the defendant’s action was so reckless that there was a total disregard for the safety of others, and even though the defendant knew that his conduct was dangerous, he did it anyway.
Get the Help and Compensation You Deserve
After your vehicle accident, you or a loved one may have serious injuries that have resulted in extensive medical bills, or you may be considering a wrongful death claim for the death of a loved one. You are likely bothered and confused about how to pursue your truck accident claim. Maybe your motor vehicle is damaged, or you can’t work because of your injuries.
At The Personal Injury Center, you can get a free case evaluation and be referred to an experienced truck accident attorney upon request. Your personal injury lawyer will effectively and sensitively handle your case. Don’t wait—help is just one click away!
FAQs on Truck Accident Lawyers
How do I find an excellent truck accident lawyer?
A good truck accident lawyer should have experience dealing with truck accident victims, be informed about FMCSA regulations, and be familiar with investigating a truck accident claim. If you are struggling to find a lawyer who meets these standards, visit The Personal Injury Center to be matched with an experienced and high-quality lawyer.
How does the truck accident claims process work?
After the free consultation, your lawyer will investigate the accident, determine who may be liable, and then file a claim to seek compensation.
How do I decide which truck accident lawyer is the best for me?
When choosing a truck accident lawyer, read previous client testimonials and focus on lawyers with relevant experience with truck accident cases.