Truck accidents can lead to devastating results for the individuals that are injured. It can lead to serious and life-threatening injuries or possibly death. The sheer size of the trucks means that the nature of the impact is always severe in nature.
If you or someone you know has been a victim in a truck accident, you stand entitled to win compensation. The amount of the compensation needs to be commensurate to the nature of damages and injuries you have faced.
Most people are unaware that seeking any settlement amount that is fair and just is difficult. Trucking companies and insurance partners are notorious for building arguments that pin the blame squarely on the victim’s faults and negligence.
In this article, we look to help victims of truck accidents understand how they can win settlements. We speak to the best truck accident lawyer in Atlanta, GA to help us with the finer legal points of the article.
- 1 Proving Negligence in a Truck Accident: What you need to know
- 2 Who are Potential Defendants in a Truck Accident?
- 3 Legal Considerations and Exceptions that you need to know in Truck Accidents
- 4 Understand the Basics of Truck Accidents from Legal Experts
- 5 The Final Word
Proving Negligence in a Truck Accident: What you need to know
The first thing that you need to know about a truck accident is that it falls within the purview of personal injury lawsuits and civil legislation. According to legal experts, proving fault means looking at establishing negligence.
There are three important things you need to know about proving negligence-
- The Defendant in the event of a truck accident lawsuit is the driver and the trucking company. These entities need to observe certain safety rules and regulations when they are on the road. Proving negligence means that they failed in their duty to adhere to the same. The driver and the company need to be mindful of the presence of other motorists.
- Proving that the defendant in this specific case, i.e., the driver and the company breached the rule of reasonable care and concern and this is what caused the accident. It can mean the driver dozing off or the truck company not investing in vehicular care. Evidence needs to support how the principle of reasonable care was breached.
- The nature of the injury that was received and experienced by the plaintiff (victim) happened because the defendants failed in their duty. Establishing the cause and effect in a truck accident lawsuit is of primary importance. Everything from broken bones to mangled car damage all happened since the defendant abused the principle of care.
As you can see, the onus of proving fault and negligence lies squarely with the plaintiff and his or her attorney. You need to prove negligence for the settlement offer to come from the defendant’s side. If you are unable to prove the same, then you do not have a case.
Who are Potential Defendants in a Truck Accident?
According to legal experts, there are four main parties that can act as defendants in a truck accident. Let us look at them in some detail-
1. The Trucking Company-
Trucks are owned by large commercial transportation corporations. DHL, FedEx, and UPS are some major operators of large commercial trucks. In a truck accident, the trucking company needs to be liable for the maintenance of the truck’s condition, service, and upkeep.
2. The Contracting Company-
In most instances, large trucks and companies work through contractors. These are logistics companies that employ trucks to run the supply chain on goods. The contracting company’s strict deadlines could have forced the driver to drive the truck at a speed that was not appropriate.
3. The Employers at the Trucking Company/Contracting Firm-
If the truck driver was forced to work long hours with little or no result it might be because he was forced by an employee of either the trucking company or the contractor. The employer needs to be held liable for forcing the truck driver to do something out of their comfort zone.
4. The Insurance Companies-
The insurance companies are a major part of the defendant’s team simply because they would be the ones that will be coughing up the settlement amount. In most instances, the major fight for reduced settlement comes from insurance companies. They want to protect every dollar.
Legal Considerations and Exceptions that you need to know in Truck Accidents
While there are plenty of different types of truck accidents, two kinds have been accorded exceptions. In this section, we are going to look at them-
1. Jack-Knifing Accidents-
In this specific type of accident, heavy braking causes the trailer to turn at ninety-degree angles to the cabin. As the weight of the trailer is immense, the momentum from heavy braking makes the trailer fall out of line with the cabin.
This makes the truck sway horribly and leads to oncoming traffic crashing against the length of the trailer. A truck driver and defendants might not be held liable if the driver braked due to slippery road conditions, or to prevent an accident to a nearby motorist.
2. Wide-Turning Accidents-
Trucks are notorious for having difficulties while taking even routine turns. If an accident happened when the truck was taking a turn, the defendants cannot be held liable. This is because the mechanical structure of the big truck is such that it requires a wide turning aperture.
Bigger rigs might need both lanes for turning in. In this instance, if they cross lanes and someone comes and hits them, the same cannot be held liable for negligence. Proving the fault of the driver in this situation becomes difficult and, in most situations, does not hold up.
Understand the Basics of Truck Accidents from Legal Experts
When it comes to fighting a settlement or going to trial in a truck accident, you should take help from seasoned professionals. Make sure you choose a personal injury attorney that has won settlement amounts in truck accidents.
While no two truck accidents might be the same, someone that has taken on big trucking corporations and insurance companies can help you get the settlement you are after. If the settlement is inadequate and the case goes to trial, you need an attorney with trial experience.
There are tons of intricacies that make every truck accident different from one another. By paying attention to the points mentioned in the article, you can ensure a fair chance at getting a just settlement offer.
Legal experts point out that the settlement offer needs to cover the following-
- Medical bills
- Surgery Costs
- Post-Surgery Recovery
- Lost Wages
- Mental Harassment
- Emotional trauma
The Final Word
In this article, we have tried to highlight some of the essential elements of claiming settlements in a truck accident. Hiring the best legal professionals is critical to determining the successful outcome of your case. If you have any other questions, you would like us to address on truck accidents, feel free to ask them in the comments.