Commercial trucking companies make their money by delivery goods to customers all over the United States. Because these trucks log so many miles each week, accidents are common. In 2015 alone, over 3,800 people died in accidents with commercial trucks, most of which were passengers riding in smaller cars and SUV’s. The following is an overview of how personal injury law relates to commercial truck accidents and who you can sue if you are injured due to the negligence of a truck driver or the company they drive for. If you have been the victim of an accident, contact a personal injury lawyer to discuss your options.
The government requires all semi-truck operators, owners and manufacturers to follow strict federal and state guidelines. Some of these guidelines list how many hours a driver can work, how much weight the truck can haul and employee screening. State and federal guidelines also require trucking companies and operators to carry higher insurance limits than regular drivers.
Common Trucking Accident Causes
There are many different things that can cause trucking accidents to occur, but some are more common than others. The majority of personal injury cases in the United States are filed due to:
- Driver Fatigue
- Drug, Bong, Or Alcohol Use On The Part Of The Driver
- Driving Overloaded
- Manufacturer Defects In The Truck
- Failure To Properly Inspect Commercial Trucks
- Not Maintaining Trucks In The Proper Manner
- Aggressive Driving Or Road Rage
- Distracted Driving
- Unsafe Hiring Practices
Who Can I Sue After A Trucking Accident?
Personal injury law provides accident victims with several ways to seek compensation after an accident. Some people who may be held liable for your injuries and accident related expenses may include:
- The Truck Manufacturer
- The Trucking Company Owner
- The Truck Driver
- Government Agencies If Road Hazards Caused The Accident
Who Is At Fault?
Every personal injury case hinges upon proving who was negligent in an accident. Some states allow the blame for an accident to be placed on more than one driver. This can affect the financial settlement an injured party receives. Other states do not follow comparative negligence laws, but negligence must be proven to obtain compensation for accident related injuries. Proving fault can be difficult in any personal injury case and for this reason it is usually best to hire an attorney to represent you.
What Can An Attorney Do To Help Me Win?
Hiring an attorney can greatly improve the chances of obtaining a favorable settlement in your trucking accident case. Studies have shown that accident victims who are not represented by an attorney are routinely offered lower settlements than those who hire legal counsel. Your attorney may be able to help you win by:
- Hiring Accident Investigators
- Obtaining Your Medical Records
- Requesting Police Reports
- Locating And Interviewing Eyewitnesses To The Crash
- Speaking With The Trucking Company’s Insurance Carrier
- Talking With Medical Experts
- Filing Your Case In Court
- Attending And Representing You At Trial
How Much Can I Win?
If you are successful in your personal injury case, you may be awarded certain damages for your accident related expenses and physical injuries. While it is impossible to tell exactly how much you may recover, the court can award a monetary settlement for damages such as:
- Lost Wages
- Emotional Distress
- Pain And Suffering
- Hospital Fees
- Ambulance Bills
- Surgery Costs
- Cost Of Medical Devices
- Price Of Alternate Transportation
- Future Lost Wages If You Are Disabled Because Of The Accident
Contact an experienced personal injury lawyer today to discuss all of the options you may have after an accident. Hiring a lawyer can help reduce the stress and anxiety associated with trucking accident cases. This is one of the best ways to move toward a brighter future.