Truck Accidents Typically Involve Serious Injuries
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, large trucks are only responsible for 3% of motor vehicle accidents. So with any luck, chances are you'll never need to consult with a truck accident lawyer near you.
Although the percentage of accidents associated with big rigs is small, the seriousness of the injuries is often quite large. For example, tractor-trailer trucks weigh between 12,000 to 80,000 pounds. So that's 25 times more than the average car. At 65 miles an hour, they can be hard to stop and maneuver. As a result, truck accidents may often result in horrific injuries involving brain injury, paralysis, disfigurement, amputation, and, unfortunately, wrongful deaths.
Factors Required to File a Claim
As with any personal injury claim, the burden of proof falls on you. That means establishing the following items with the help of your truck accident lawyer:
- The trucker or trucking company failed to exercise a reasonable degree of care to avoid injury
- The trucker or trucking company breached the duty of reasonable care
- The trucker's or trucking company's failure to exercise reasonable care was the cause of the damage suffered
Truck accidents can be life-changing. If you've suffered an injury in a truck accident, make sure you have the right truck accident lawyer fighting for you.
From a practical standpoint, actions relating to the following can form the basis of a legal claim by your accident lawyer:
- Driver carelessness
- Driver fatigue
- Insufficient training or inexperience
- Violation of traffic laws such as speeding, failure to signal, running a red light
- Vehicle malfunctions
- Poorly loaded cargo
- Improperly attached trailers
During the process, it's essential to identify all responsible parties. For example, truck accident cases tend to be more complex than vehicle-to-vehicle crash cases. You may believe the truck driver is the only party at fault for the accident. However, that might not be the case. Your truck accident lawyer may include additional defendants with your injury claim, including:
- The truck driver
- The trucking company
- The truck manufacturer
- The shipping company (that loaded the cargo)
- Insurance companies
- Government entities
For instance, if the truck driver is an independent contractor of a larger truck company, an issue may be how much supervision the company executes over its contractors. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulates commercial trucks on U.S. roads.
So in many cases, a truck accident requires going beyond the driver and considering trucking companies, contractors, employers, and insurance companies that may have an obligation to compensate you for your injuries. For example, if there's an employment relationship between the truck driver and the shipping company, the latter may be held liable for the driver's negligence. That's a matter for a good truck accident lawyer from a reputable personal injury law firm to determine.
Consult with a Truck Accident Lawyer to Reach a Settlement
Every case and the events surrounding them are different. But four critical factors impact settlement amounts:
- State jurisdiction
- Severity of injuries
- Monies available.
For those reasons, it's challenging to determine an average settlement. As a result, settlements could range from hundreds of thousands of dollars to tens of millions.