Accidents with large trucks can be very damaging. If you have been involved in an accident with a commercial truck, the following questions can help you understand what to do and what rights you have.
What qualifies as a commercial truck?
A commercial truck is a large vehicle that is used to transport commercial goods during the course of business. Usually, commercial trucks:
-Require a commercial driver’s license to operate
-Have a specific business purpose
-Are larger/heavier than normal vehicles
Some examples of commercial trucks are delivery trucks, tankers and 18-wheelers.
What are some of the common factors that cause accidents with trucks?
Driver errors are the most common cause of crashes between commercial trucks and passenger vehicles. Federal laws establish a limitation for truck drivers with respect to how many hours they can work consecutively; Failure to respect these laws can lead to fatigue and accidents. In addition, drivers must undergo drug-screening tests from the Department of Transportation (DOT) in order to obtain a commercial driver’s license.
Other contributing factors are the following:
-Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
-Unsafely loaded cargo
-Defective vehicles or equipment.
Drivers of passenger vehicles can also cause accidents with trucks if they drive in areas not visible to the driver of the truck or try to pass around the truck recklessly. It is difficult for the driver of the truck to respond in these situations, since the truck is harder to maneuver because of its size.
What is a “blind-spot” for a truck?
A “blind spot” or a “non-visible area” is the area in which the driver of the truck has little or no visibility. Usually, it’s the trailer behind the truck. Truck drivers are less likely to see another vehicle directly behind the truck when there is a short distance between the two vehicles. Other areas of little or no visibility are the left and right rear sides.
Are truck accidents more likely to cause personal injury than passenger cars?
A commercial truck can weigh more than 80,000 pounds when fully loaded. In comparison, a passenger vehicle weighs only about 3,000 pounds. Given the difference in size, commercial trucks have the potential to cause much more damage to smaller vehicles and more serious injuries, or even death, to occupants of passenger vehicles.
Can I sue the transport company for injuries?
The possibility that you can sue the transport company for your injuries depends on whether the driver was working for the trucking company when the accident occurred. If this is the case, then the trucking company can be held responsible for the negligence of the truck driver.
The problem arises when the driver of the truck is an independent contractor. The key to review, in this instance, is the specific job that the trucking company assigned the driver.
Can I receive compensation for days not worked after a truck accident?
Most often, yes. A successful personal injury claim can include compensation for the unearned income from your job. In order to obtain compensation, you must prove that the driver, the employer of the truck driver, the manufacturer or another party was negligent and that the negligence caused the injuries you sustained. If the injuries you suffered in the accident are severe enough that impede you from working, the settlement can also cover the loss of the ability to generate income.
Will it be easy to win a case after a truck accident or is it going to be a battle?
Each case can vary. Sometimes the process can be a fairly easy like in like in minor crash, or where the truck ran a red light and caused the accident. Unfortunately, some insurance companies, such as Allstate and Geico, prefer to litigate even in minor accident situations, and this will often lengthen the process until the victim sues and the process then goes into a litigation stage involving a plaintiff attorney and a defense attorney.
The victim may not get a reasonable offer that is acceptable until or leading up to a trial. There are all kinds of situations to evaluate, and the amount of time a case can take will be affected by the type of case and by the insurance company.
How long do these cases take on average?
The length of time a case can take will depend on the injuries and how agreeable the other side is willing to make a fair offer of settlement at anytime. Cases of severe injuries can take several years, since a lawyer can not determine the damages fully while the person is still undergoing treatments, surgeries or physical rehabilitation. The attorney cannot know the total and definitive damage that his client has suffered until the doctor discharges the victim from treatment and provides an additional prognosis to the diagnosis.
Cases of catastrophic injuries can also take several years, although this would be different from a death case, since in case of death the final damages can be determined quicker, so the case can be solved in less time. A minor car accident usually takes from a few months to a couple of years to resolve. Again, resolution time also depends on how quickly and how reasonably the trucking company or insurance company is with their offers of settlement, if any.
What can you be entitled to if your life changed completely due to the accident?
In that case, the person should expect the responsible party to have sufficient insurance coverage, but this is not the case in many situations. The minimum coverage in Texas is $ 30,000, so a person should do everything possible to get as much uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage (UIM) as they can afford to pay for because if they suffer injuries that prevent them from working for a long period of time and sometimes for the rest of their lives, they could get compensation in the millions of dollars.
Reaching such a settlement or jury award could not occur if the coverage of the at fault person’s policy was the minimum of $ 30,000 and the UIM was not sufficient to cover the actual damages.
Free cost evaluation with our truck accident lawyers
The truck accident lawyers at PMR Law can help you better understand the potential value of your claim. In fact, we are willing to do that free of charge and you wouldn’t have to pay a single penny unless we get you compensation in your case.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident, we are here to help you. To make an appointment for a free case evaluation with one of our attorneys please fill out a contact form on our website or call (832) 844-6428 immediately.