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Understanding the Complexity of Truck Accident ClaimsOctober 14, 2019 0 Comment Category: Personal Injury
Truck accidents usually involve serious injuries and/or damages to property, leading to complicated insurance claims. Although filing a lawsuit against any type of vehicle accident can be very complex, those involving big commercial trucks can be even more complicated. There are a lot of aspects that you need to understand before filing a lawsuit for a truck accident, which may be very different from other vehicle accident claims. It is always important to hire a reliable and experienced truck accident lawyer to represent your case and help you get the most favorable results.
The laws that govern commercial truck drivers are a lot different from the laws that regulate other vehicle drivers. Similarly, the insurance policies that a commercial truck company has can also be a bit complicated to understand for the average American. However, a professional truck accident lawyer would know how such laws and insurance policies work and can easily lead the case to get the maximum compensation for your damages. Below is a quick look at the various aspects that come into play when you file a truck accident lawsuit in California.
The Severity of the Injuries Sustained
The injuries sustained in a truck accident can be very severe. While there have been cases where the plaintiff suffered serious spinal injuries and/or internal organ damages, victims of a truck accident can also experience long-term problems like quadriplegia, paralysis, and many other permanent disabilities. Therefore, it is important to consider the severity of your injuries before filing any lawsuit against the truck driver or the trucking company.
Note that in some cases, truck accidents can also lead to the death of the victim. This can make the victim’s partner eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the guilty party. This is why you should consult your lawyer and figure out all your options to file a lawsuit and get compensation for damages. An experienced truck accident lawyer will know how to handle complicated disputes that involve serious medical issues and sophisticated medical evidence.
The Laws That Apply to Commercial Truck Drivers
Lawmakers realize how much danger a commercial truck can pose when it is on the road. Due to its large size, any mistake or negligence in handling the truck can lead to catastrophic damages. Therefore, the federal government has enforced some special laws to regulate the operation of large vehicles and semi-trailer trucks. All truck drivers are required to follow special licensing requirements as well as various other rules and regulations to qualify for the job.
Many states have also enacted strict laws to govern truck companies and truck drivers. For instance, most of the states in the US have a specific “Hours of Service” rule to dictate how long a truck driver should operate their vehicle. This ensures that truck drivers get the proper amount of rest and sleep so that there is no negligence on their part due to tiredness. However, some commercial trucking companies over-schedule their drivers to work. This can, in turn, lead to a situation of drowsy driving which can be as dangerous as driving under the influence. Reports say that around 40% of truck accidents happen because of impaired driving.
The Parties Involved in the Truck Accident Case
Truck accidents can sometimes involve many corporate parties. A large corporate entity would have enough resources to establish that they are not responsible for the accident and might even refuse to compensate you for your losses. That is why you should have a reliable truck accident lawyer on your side to prove the fault of the truck driver or the trucking company in the courtroom.
Your lawyer might also try to negotiate with the corporate parties involved outside of court and come up with an agreeable settlement amount. Sometimes, the insurance company might approach you with a deal as well. In such a case, do not discuss the details of the lawsuit with them, but instead, talk to your lawyer and see if the compensation amount offered is enough to cover all your damages.
Remember that it is very important to find who is at fault for the accident before filing the lawsuit. It can be the truck operator, who hired an unqualified driver negligently, or the supervisor, who failed to manage the scheduling of the driver. However, it is usually the negligence of the truck driver, which causes the accident. Any form of carelessness from the driver’s part, such as not following the traffic rules, driving under the influence, drowsy driving, violating the Hours of Service rule, distracted driving, or aggressive driving, can be cited in court to prove your case.
In some cases though, the driver might not be at fault at all. Semi-trailer trucks and other large vehicles involve many complicated pieces of machinery. The sophistication of the truck’s design often makes them prone to defects at the mechanical level. For instance, most of the tractor-trailer accidents happen because of a mechanical problem related to the parts that connect the trailer to the tractor. In such a case, the truck manufacturer or the trucking company might be held liable for the accident because of their negligence in maintaining the truck properly. Consult with your truck accident lawyer to determine who is at fault for the accident and work together to build a strong case to get the right compensation for your damages.