If you have been injured or lost a loved one in a truck accident, there are a number of parties, including the truck company and their driver, who may be liable for your losses; however, it is not uncommon for these parties to deny fault or liability for a crash. An attorney can help establish liability for your crash, collect evidence to strengthen your claim and help ensure compensation is sought from the appropriate parties. Following a crash, the trucking company and their insurance company will start an immediate investigation of the scene. These companies have specific and detailed procedures on handling truck accident claims designed to limit the recovery of those injured in the crash. They may record statements from witnesses, take photos of the accident scene, and examine the vehicles to determine the extent of damage caused by the crash. State authorities may also launch their own investigation into the accident at this time, which may prove beneficial for your claim.
TYPES OF TRUCKING ACCIDENTS
NEGLIGENCE: Lawsuits filed to recover compensation for injuries sustained in a truck accident will often be based the truck driver’s negligence. To prevail in a negligence lawsuit, the injured will have to show the truck driver had a duty of care to other vehicles on the road, the driver breached this duty through some action or failure to act, an injury was sustained, and the breach of duty caused the injury. Some common indications of negligence include:
- LACK OF TRUCK DRIVING EXPERIENCE
- OVERLOADING TRUCKS
- OPERATING OVERSIZED TRUCKS ON NARROW ROADS
- FAILURE TO SEE OTHER VEHICLES DUE TO THE TRUCK’S LARGE BLIND SPOT
- FAILING TO OBEY TRAFFIC LAWS
- DRIVING FOR TOO LONG WITHOUT TAKING A BREAK
- FAILURE TO MONITOR THE DRIVING HOURS OF THE TRUCK DRIVER
- NOT KEEP THE TRACTOR AND/OR TRAILER IN A SAFE, WORKING CONDITION
- HIRING AN UNQUALIFIED OR UNFIT TRUCK DRIVER
- FAILURE TO PROPERLY SUPERVISE THE TRUCK DRIVER
- FAILURE TO PROPERLY TRAIN THE TRUCK DRIVER
- SELECTING AN UNQUALIFIED OR UNFIT TRUCK COMPANY
PRODUCT LIABILITY: If a defect in the truck or one of its components contributed to the accident, there may be a viable claim against the product manufacturer(s). Product liability suits may also be sought under strict liability where proof of negligence is unnecessary; however, claimants must prove the defect originated in the manufacturing process to prevail. This will require analysis, testing, and testimony by experts. Product liability lawsuits based on manufacturer’s negligence will require the injured party to show:
- THE DEFECTIVE TRUCK OR A PARTICULAR PART WAS “UNREASONABLY DANGEROUS”
- THE TRUCK WAS BEING OPERATED AS THE MANUFACTURER INTENDED
- THE TRUCK’S PERFORMANCE HAD NOT CHANGED SINCE ITS INITIAL PURCHASE
WRONGFUL DEATH: Many times, truck accidents are so severe that the victim does not survive the crash. In some cases, the family may bring a claim on behalf of their loved one to recover compensation for their losses. Wrongful death claims require the family to prove the same facts as the deceased, had they survived and pursued a claim on their own. An attorney can help family members recover economic, non-economic, and, in certain cases, punitive damages for the loss of their loved one.
COMMON COMPENSATION RECOVERED FROM TRUCKING ACCIDENTS
Compensation for injuries and damages resulting from a truck accident is typically separated into two categories: economic and non-economic. Punitive damages may available, in some cases. Economic damages attempt to compensate the injured victim and/or family for their monetary losses, including:
- CURRENT MEDICAL EXPENSES
- FUTURE MEDICAL EXPENSES
- LOST WAGES
- LOSS OF EARNING CAPACITY
- PAIN & SUFFERING
- MENTAL ANGUISH
- LOSS OF CONSORTIUM
DO YOU HAVE QUESTIONS ABOUT INJURIES RELATED TO A TRUCKING ACCIDENT?
The damages that can result from a trucking accident can be both physically and emotionally daunting. When you have your future on the line, you cannot afford to put your trust in an inexperienced attorney. Instead, you need to seek the guidance of attorneys who have extensive experience and resources to either reach a favorable settlement or win your case at trial. We have done both on behalf of our clients on numerous occasions. At Fulmer Sill, we are proud to deliver high-quality assistance to all of our clients. Should you choose to seek our legal representation, we are confident that our experience and knowledge will produce a favorable outcome for you. All initial consultations are free, and we don’t charge any up-front fees for representation. We handle all fees on a contingency basis, meaning that unless we’re successful, you don’t have to pay us. Please contact Fulmer Sill at (405)510.0077 for a free consultation.