Truck Accident Lawyer

Truck Accident Lawsuit

Passenger car drivers who were injured in an accident with a truck may be eligible to file a truck accident claim and lawsuit for financial compensation for the damages they sustained. Getting the help of a truck accident attorney can help injured victims hold the responsible parties liable.

There are an estimated 15.5 million trucks in the United States, many of which are operated by overworked drivers and carry hazardous cargo. With so many trucks using the highways every day, it only takes one mistake to cause a catastrophic accident and change your life in an instant. Typical semi-trucks weigh around 20 to 30 times more than a passenger vehicle and the risk of serious injury or death is very high with truck accidents.

If you or a loved one become a victim of a truck accident, getting legal help from an experienced attorney is crucial. Truck drivers are usually insured and there is often more than one party that can be held liable for the trucker’s negligence. Having an attorney on your side advocating for you can help ensure that all the necessary steps towards a successful lawsuit are taken. The litigation process for truck accidents is extremely complex and a determined truck accident lawyer from the Dash Injury Law Firm can help guide you through this difficult situation.

Common Causes of Truck Accidents

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, there are more than 4,000 deaths each year related to truck accidents. In 2017, at least 170,000 people were hurt, some with very serious injuries. Not all truck accidents can be prevented, but knowing the common reasons why they occur may help you and your loved ones avoid being injured in one.

Driver Fatigue

A study in 2007 by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that driver fatigue is estimated to be a major factor in 13% of all truck crashes and 30% of all motor vehicle accidents. Federal Hours of Service (HOS) regulations are supposed to mitigate this issue. The HOS regulations determine the number of hours a truck driver can drive at a time, how much break time between shifts must be taken, and the number of hours that can be logged within a week.

These regulations are broken every day and truck drivers frequently falsify their logs. Many trucking companies go as far as implying or negatively insisting that their drivers should disregard the HOS regulations to save costs and raise profits. Negligent trucking companies often push their truckers to work more than they should.

Truck Maintenance

Neglecting to keep up with regular oil changes and tire rotations on the average passenger car can be dangerous, but when a large semi-truck foregoes regular maintenance, the result could be devastating accidents. It is common for truck tires to be worn out or mechanical parts such as brakes and axles to be old and in disrepair. In order to lower costs and out of concern for the bottom line, truck companies often sacrifice the safety of their drivers and other drivers on the road by overlooking necessary truck maintenance.

Substance Abuse

Many truck drivers are overworked and underpaid. They are unfortunately on the road and alone for long periods of time, moving from city to city, with little time to see their families. It can be a difficult job, and sadly, many truck drivers turn to drugs and alcohol to deal with their stress. Studies have found that there are a high number of truck drivers who use substances like alcohol, marijuana, amphetamines and cocaine. These substances can have a major impact on a driver’s reaction times and perceptions, making it extremely dangerous for them to be operating a large vehicle.

Types of Truck Accidents Dash Injury Law Firm Investigates

  • Head-On Collisions
  • Jackknife Truck
  • Lost Loads
  • Rear Or Side Underride
  • Rollover
  • Side Collisions (T-Bone)
  • Tire Blowout
  • Truck Rollovers

Types of Trucks Involved in Truck Accident Cases

  • Commercial Vehicles
  • Semi-trucks
  • Tractor Trailers
  • Dump trucks
  • Delivery trucks
  • “Big Rigs” Or 18-Wheelers

If you do not know what type of truck was involved in your crash or if there were multiple vehicles involved, our legal team can help you find police accident reports to determine vehicle types.

Truck Accident Settlements

Those injured in truck accidents will want to know how much they can recover in a settlement. However, each case is different and there is no set standard for financial compensation in these matters. What determines a truck accident settlement amount are these five elements: liability, medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, and property damage.

Liability

The higher the percentage of fault the truck driver or truck company is attributed to, the higher the settlement amount. If the truck driver was intoxicated, the driver fell asleep at the wheel, or the vehicle was not maintained properly, the accident victim is likely to be able to demand a higher settlement. To prove such liability, you will most likely need an experienced truck accident attorney to properly investigate the case.

Medical Expenses

The severity of your injuries that you sustained in a truck accident will play a major role in determining the settlement amount. Generally, higher your medical bills mean more compensation. For example, an injury that puts you in a hospital or is life-changing such as permanent mobility impairment will result in higher compensation compared to an injury that only requires outpatient medical care. Medical costs that you may incur in the future will also be factored in when determining your settlement.

Lost Wages

Truck accident injuries are often serious enough to prevent the victim from working for an extended period of time. In some cases, victims suffer injuries so severe that they can never return to their normal job and must find another way to gain income. Any income that is lost or will be lost due to a truck accident will affect your settlement amount, this is called lost wages or lost earning capacity. Your inability to work must be proven and documentation from your employer that shows you cannot work is usually required. The amount of money you make will also affect your settlement. For example, a person making a six-figure salary will be entitled to more financial compensation than someone who earns a $30,000 salary.

Property Damage

Semi-trucks are some of the largest vehicles on the road, and a truck colliding with a car will result in far greater damage to the car. If the damage to the car is repairable, the driver’s insurance will cover the expenses and then the truck driver’s insurance will pay the car driver’s insurance. If a car is totaled and repair costs exceed the car’s value, then the insurance company must cover the fair market value or blue book value of the car. The amount of property damage, as well as the make and model of the car, will determine part of the legal settlement.

Pain and Suffering

The element that is the most difficult to legally determine is pain and suffering. Your truck accident attorney will have to review all of the above-mentioned factors and take into account the lost life experiences, physical limitations, stress, emotional harm, permanency, and other similar factors. The effect of the truck accident on your family and dependents must also be reviewed. These factors can be subjective and disputed during settlement negotiations or trial. It is precisely for this reason that one needs an experienced truck accident lawyer.

Proving the Truck Driver Was Negligent

To succeed in a truck accident lawsuit, you must show that the truck driver was negligent in his or her actions. Unfortunately, there is no straightforward test to determine a driver’s negligence. There is no law or statute that precisely specifies what constitutes negligence. Instead, negligence is determined by considering the facts and circumstances relating to a truck accident and applying a four-part test that has been established over hundreds of years of case law.

Proving Negligence

The first factor that must be demonstrated is proving that the driver owed a duty of care to you, the injured driver. A duty of care is a requirement that people have to not perform any actions that could harm another person. In this case, a truck driver has a duty to operate a vehicle in a safe manner that would not put others on the road at risk of injury.

Breach of Duty

The next factor is that the truck driver breached the duty of care mentioned above. A truck accident lawyer will be needed to prove this element since it takes a great effort to prove true. To establish a breach of duty, the attorney must prove that the trucker did not act as a reasonable trucker would under the situation’s circumstances. This involves showing how a responsible truck driver would act and comparing it to the defendant’s actions. For example, a truck driver who was driving while intoxicated could be considered to have breached their duty of care.

Injury

The third factor that must be established in a truck accident lawsuit is that you were injured. This will generally be apparent and is the easiest to prove, however the extent of the injuries is debatable for settlement purposes.

Cause of Injury

The last factor is establishing that the truck driver’s negligent actions were the proximate cause of your injury. In order to win the truck accident lawsuit, it must be proven that the he injuries you sustained in the accident were the result of the trucker’s negligent actions.

How Can a Truck Accident Lawyer Help?

Truck accident victims should speak with an injury attorney as soon as possible. The employer of the truck driver will most likely already have their own legal team on retainer ready to dispute any claims. Your attorney can help with the following:

  • Identifying liable parties
  • Conducting thorough and independent investigations
  • Determining what parties were negligent
  • Dealing with car insurance companies
  • Recreating the events of the accident
  • Negotiating a settlement
  • Completing lawsuit paperwork
  • Expert legal advice
  • Dealing with medical insurance

Contact Our Truck Accident Lawyers

If you or a loved one has been injured or killed as a result of a truck driver’s negligent driving, or due to suspected negligent conduct on the part of the trucking company, please call the skilled truck accident attorneys at Dash Injury Law Firm.

We help truck accident victims take legal action that advances their legal rights. Our personal injury attorneys are skilled and experienced in litigating truck accident lawsuits. We know how to handle insurance companies and trucking companies that have deep pockets.

Our truck accident lawyers will negotiate on behalf of clients for maximum financial compensation. We will work to resolve your case outside of court but will take the matter to a judge or jury if necessary.

Dash Injury Law Firm provides truck accident lawsuit services in the surrounding areas of the following locations:

Call Dash Injury Law Firm today at 888-(DASH-LAW) or fill out an online contact form for a free consultation.

The information contained in these pages should not be taken as a substitute for legal advice and it is in fact not legal advice, especially as to cases which are highly fact-specific.