Did you realize that over eleven million tractor-trailers are on the road in the United States, many of which are driven by overworked drivers transporting hazardous materials?
With so many commuters depending on roadways to reach work every day, it only takes one overtired truck driver to change your life forever. Furthermore, considering that trucks weigh 20-30 times more than a typical car, the damages from a car/truck crash can be magnified significantly.
Do I Need a Truck Accident Lawyer?
In trucking accidents, determining which insurance policies to pursue is difficult because the vehicle and trailer are frequently insured by different firms, with either or both parties possibly being at fault.
If you or a loved one has been in an automobile accident with a truck, you will need the assistance of a competent personal injury/truck accident lawyer. As truck drivers are frequently insured in the millions and more than one person or entity can be held accountable for a driver’s mistake, having an attorney on your side as promptly as possible will ensure that your case is handled in the most professional way.
What Should I Do Following a Truck Accident?
Following a truck accident, there may be a lot of uncertainty. You’ll want to ensure that the police and any required emergency workers are notified as soon as possible. The police will take extensive notes and photographs during their accident report. They’ll also take statements from all the involved parties and witnesses, but you should also document everything you can, including witness testimonies. If your phone’s camera is operational, snap as many photographs of the damage to your car and any injuries you and other passengers may have incurred. This can help you document anything the police officers may have missed.
What Are The Leading Causes of Truck Accidents?
- Driver error – Even though truck mishaps have increased in size and severity, truck drivers frequently operate irresponsibly. They’re often encouraged to drive drowsy to fulfill their firm’s mileage requirements. Unfortunately, they might also be driving while intoxicated or distracted.
- Poorly maintained trucks – Trucks are frequently driven hundreds or thousands of miles each week. Under such a workload, if a truck isn’t properly maintained, it can become a deadly risk on the street fast. For example, worn brake pads or a shattered windshield are problems that need to be fixed on any vehicle, but they could easily contribute to a deadly traffic accident on a larger commercial truck.
- Equipment failure – A vehicle’s parts may not be the driver’s fault, but they can become deadly. Again, your lawyer will be able to determine if a trucking company or manufacturer is to blame in addition to the truck driver.
- Improperly loaded cargo – Commercial trucks must be loaded carefully and lawfully. If a truck is loaded improperly, the crew’s carelessness may result in the vehicle’s contents spilling onto the road, causing collisions and injuries that might have been avoided.
How Do Commercial Truck Accidents Differ From Car Accidents?
Trucks that transport goods can weigh up to 80,000 pounds, about 20 times more than passenger cars. Despite regulations limiting truck drivers to driving no more than eleven hours each day, they are frequently rewarded financially for completing longer trips faster, which may negatively influence the safety of others on the road.
- Larger insurance policies – Truck drivers’ insurance coverage is fifty times greater than automobile accident coverage. This can push the overall value of insurance into the millions. You can be certain that the various insurance companies named in a lawsuit will do everything possible to demonstrate their non-liability. Adjusters with prior experience will be called in to use complex strategies, such as promising a seemingly-large payout. This is a scam to get you to accept money quickly if your claim is worth significantly more. It’s easy to be intimidated by insurance adjusters. Having a Tupelo personal injury lawyer on your side can simplify the procedure while also improving your chances of receiving the compensation you deserve.
- Increased property damage – As previously said, the weights and dimensions of 18-wheeler commercial-freight trucks are significantly greater than those of a normal car. As a result, the surrounding property will be affected more than in a crash involving two cars.
- More serious injuries – Frequently, the injuries that occur in truck accidents are far more serious and might require extensive medical treatment and expenditures. From severe whiplash and fractured bones to brain trauma and significant lacerations, the injuries suffered in a truck accident can be life-altering.
- Much larger medical bills – The length of time spent in a hospital is generally far greater than that for automobile accident injuries. Truck accidents can leave victims disabled and unable to work for a lengthy period of time, if at all. The medical expenses and lost income might be overwhelming, especially if the accident was due to someone else’s negligence. At Richard Schwartz & Associates, we can accurately calculate your present and future pain and suffering to earn the compensation you deserve.
- Greater chance of fatalities – An accident between a car and a large commercial truck has a much greater possibility of fatalities than a crash between two cars. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), there are between 3,000 and 5,000 truck-related deaths every year in the United States. Considering the number of things that can go wrong in a truck accident and the resources of trucking firms and insurance adjusters, it is advised to get a FREE case evaluation as the first step in the process after an accident with a truck.
Who Is Responsible for My Injuries in a Truck Accident?
There may be several parties responsible for your injuries or the death of a loved one in a truck accident. These organizations are frequently accused of denying culpability or responsibility for an incident. The responsible parties may be:
- Truck driver
- Trucking company
- Owner of the truck
- Company leasing the truck
- Company leasing the trailer
- The shipper who wanted the load transported
Are There Different Types of Truck Accident Lawsuits?
Truck accident lawsuits fall into three main categories:
If a commercial truck driver hurt you or a loved one, you will have to show negligence by the truck driver and any other parties you believe to be culpable. Your lawyer will present the truck driver’s duty of care and show that your injuries and related expenses were due to a breach of that care, and demonstrate that the accident was due to negligence.
Some indications of negligence:
- Driver inexperience
- Driver fatigue
- Overloaded or improperly loaded trucks
- Driving on too narrow roads
- Driver’s inability to see other vehicles due to the truck’s blind spot
- Disobeying traffic laws
- Company’s failure to monitor the driver’s hours on the road
- Not keeping the tractor and/or trailer in a safe, working condition
- Failure to properly supervise the driver
- Failure to properly train the truck driver
- Selecting an unqualified or unfit trucking company
If a truck or one of its components was to blame for the accident, a product manufacturer(s) could be held responsible. Product liability claims based on manufacturer carelessness need the injured person to demonstrate that:
- The defective truck or a particular part was “unreasonably dangerous”
- The truck was not being operated as the manufacturer intended
- The truck’s performance had diminished since its initial purchase.
A manufacturer may be held liable for harm caused by its products under strict liability if no proof of negligence is required; nevertheless, claimants must show that the flaw developed during the manufacturing process. Again, analysis, testing, and testimony by experts will be required.
Truck accidents frequently result in fatalities, particularly when the vehicle is carrying hazardous materials. A truck accident may sometimes be brought as a claim on behalf of their loved one to receive compensation for their losses. Wrongful death claims necessitate proof of the identical facts as those demonstrated by the deceased if they had survived and pursued a claim on their own. Family members can obtain economic, non-economic, and, in certain circumstances, punitive damages for the loss of their loved one with the assistance of an attorney.
How Will My Truck Accident Attorney Help Me?
Our truck accident lawyers at Richard Schwartz & Associates are well-versed with the many methods used by insurance firms to reduce your compensation. We have a large network of skilled witnesses and investigators who can thoroughly examine every detail of a truck accident. Following a collision, the trucking firm and its insurance carrier will immediately investigate the situation. They may document witness interviews, photograph the accident scene, and examine the vehicles to assess the level of damage. State authorities may also launch their own inquiry into the accident, which might assist your claim. We immediately examine every element of your case when you choose to employ a Richard Schwartz & Associates truck accident lawyer, for instance:
- Reviewing camera footage
- Interviewing witnesses
- Reviewing police and accident reports
- Analyzing and reviewing medical records
- Examining the vehicles to assess the degree of damage caused by the accident
- Consulting experts to reconstruct the accident scene and recreate the accident
- Obtaining alcohol and drug testing from the truck driver
- Obtaining data from the truck’s Electronic Control Module (ECM; i.e. “black box”)
Before any important evidence is lost or destroyed, our attorneys will ensure that critical evidence is not tainted by sending a spoliation letter to the truck company. After receiving this letter, truck companies must retain evidence related to the case, such as driver logs and black box information. This letter is sent right after an accident because truck firms are permitted to destroy these documents as part of their regular operations.
How Is Compensation Determined Following a Truck Accident?
The kinds of compensation available to those who have been injured as the consequence of a truck accident fall into two categories: economic damages and non-economic damages.
Compensation for economic damages covers specific monetary costs, such as:
- Current Medical Expenses
- Future Medical Expenses
- Lost Wages
- Loss of Earning Capacity
Non-economic damages compensate the victim and/or family for non-financial, intangible losses, such as:
- Pain & suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of consortium
Get the Support You Need. Call Our Tupelo, MS Truck Accident Lawyers Today.
When you hire Richard Schwartz & Associates, we’ll conduct a thorough accident investigation to determine the cause of your accident and gather evidence that may assist you in filing an injury claim for compensation. This evidence can often include the Hours of Service log, the presence of drugs or alcohol in the cabin, or maintenance records. In addition, we will look at the police accident report and contact any witnesses who may know how and why the collision occurred. As a result, you can feel confident that we will explore every avenue in our investigation, and that we are aware of what it takes to build a strong case for our client.
The mental, emotional, and financial strain of a physical injury is enough to handle without having to worry about how you’re going to pay your bills. We recognize how stressful this situation may be, so we do everything in our power to relieve our clients’ anxiety and return their lives to normal as swiftly as possible.
Call the experienced Tupelo, Mississippi, Truck Accident lawyers at Richard Schwartz & Associates today for your FREE consultation.