Whenever a truck accident occurs, the aftermath is usually tragic. According to the U.S.Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), thousands of people lose their lives in accidents involving commercial trucks every year. Victims who sustain severe injuries in these accidents require extensive medical treatment, and it could take them several months before they can work again.
Unlike other claims, truck accident cases tend to be complex and require you and your lawyer to make special considerations if you’d like to recover compensation for all losses incurred. The following are some factors that make truck accidents more complex compared to the average car accident:
Multiple Parties May Be Liable
Even though it’s not always clear who is at fault in a car accident, the list of potentially liable parties is usually short. In most cases, the only liable party you end up dealing with is the other driver. However, more than one party may be liable when it comes to truck accidents. This is because different people and organizations are involved in the truck’s operations.
Therefore, you might have to pursue one or more of the following parties for compensation:
- The truck driver
- The trucking company
- The truck manufacturer
- The parts manufacturer
- The team responsible for loading cargo
- The truck owner
- The mechanic who recently serviced the truck
- The cargo shipper or receiver
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Truck Accident Claims May Be Worth More Money
If you’re involved in a car accident, you’ll typically only have two insurance companies to deal with—yours and the other driver’s. However, due to their size and interstate movements, commercial trucks are required by law to bear extensive and multiple insurance policies, especially if the trucking company doesn’t own the truck.
A commercial truck can carry an insurance policy worth more than 50 times that of an ordinary passenger vehicle. These insurance policies are necessary due to the severe damage and harm that truck accidents can cause. With more money at stake, truck accidents become even more complicated. Trucking companies and their insurance providers may try to avoid paying the total compensation to an injured motorist or several road users.
You’ll likely get a low settlement offer from the insurance companies that is not enough to cover your medical expenses, property damage, lost wages, and non-economic damages. That’s why you may want a truck accident lawyer on your side to represent your interests and ensure that you get the compensation you deserve.
Unique Laws and Regulations Apply to Trucks
Even though all vehicles on the road must observe traffic rules, trucks are subject to more strict federal rules and regulations. Since commercial trucks tend to make interstate deliveries, trucking companies must register with the U.S. Department of Transport (DOT) and the FMCSA. Commercial trucks must follow the laws and regulations set by both bodies to maintain safety on the roads.
These laws and regulations govern the following:
- Record-keeping requirements
- Hours of service rules
- Drug and alcohol testing
Your truck accident lawyer must verify whether the truck driver or the trucking company violated any laws and regulations during the investigations. This will help determine liability in the case.
Different Types of Evidence to Gather
Following a car accident, the evidence is usually limited to photographs, police reports, physical traces, witness statements, and medical reports. When it comes to a truck accident, there are other types of evidence that you can use to prove liability and support your claim.
As such, your lawyer must move quickly to recover the following evidence before it is lost or destroyed:
- Hours of service logs
- Dashcam footage
- Company hiring records
- Truck’s black box data
- Maintenance logs
- Cargo loading manifests
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Damages and Injuries Can Be More Severe
A fully-loaded commercial truck weighs approximately 80,000 pounds, about 20-30 times the weight of a passenger vehicle. Consequently, trucks can inflict severe damage to regular passenger vehicles, even at low speeds.
Truck accidents are also more likely to result in serious injuries, such as organ damage, burns, broken bones, traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), and spinal cord injuries. In more severe cases, truck accidents can be fatal.
Contact Isaacs & Isaacs Personal Injury Lawyers for a Free Case Review
Trucking companies and their insurance providers will work to protect their bottom line and offer an insufficient settlement to victims who don’t know their legal rights. As a result, many victims may end up paying for medical expenses and other damages out of pocket. If you’ve been injured in a truck accident, hire a truck accident lawyer from our team to help with your case.
Isaacs & Isaacs Personal Injury Lawyers has over 400 years of collective legal experience and has won over $1 billion in settlements and court awards. Call us today for a free case review.