In the aftermath of a car accident, you’ll agree that the trauma of being in an accident will never entirely pass. However, when the accident involves a vehicle as significant as a truck, the injuries you sustain can be life-changing.
Truck drivers often work long hours. It is not uncommon for them to be involved in severe crashes, but what can you do to ensure that you can recover the appropriate amount of compensation to cover your injuries and loss of earnings?
Types Of Truck Accidents Caused By Trucker Negligence
Truck accidents are a hazard on the highways of America. They can result in death, serious injury, and property damage. Therefore, it is worthwhile to understand the different sorts of negligence that truck drivers can be accused of before embarking on litigation.
This is because each case is different. In fact, these jackson personal injury lawyers note that “no two personal injury cases are the same.” Therefore, to get the best results, it is essential to understand the case at hand.
The most common types of truck accidents that occur are rear-ending, side-swipes, and rollovers. There are some other common types of truck accidents that can be construed as negligence, including:
- Driving under the influence (DUI): DUI stands for driving under the influence, which means that the driver would be drunk while driving or impaired due to drugs like cocaine or marijuana. The term does not refer to a person who has taken prescription medications such as painkillers without proper instructions from their physician (some medications, however, can be dangerous if taken while operating heavy machinery).
- Speeding: Commercial vehicles traveling faster than the posted speed limit have much longer stopping distances, putting drivers at risk of losing control.
- Irresponsible driving: This can include anything that is considered reckless or careless.
- Aggressive driving: A truck driver may display indicators of prospective road rage and engage in a variety of excessively aggressive behaviors that result in accidents.
- Hours of service (HOS) violations: The number of hours a truck driver may work in a day or week is highly regulated, yet some drivers willfully exceed these limitations in fulfilling deliveries faster.
- Driving while distracted: Federal legislation prohibits heavy truck drivers from using mobile phones and other mobile devices while on the road. Talking or texting on a mobile phone continues to be a leading cause of automobile accidents, and truck drivers are particularly vulnerable to the impulse to respond to recent updates on their mobile devices.
- Changing lanes improperly: Due to the large blind spots that hinder a truck driver’s view, they are more susceptible to improper lane changes, which could cause an accident.
- Inadequate vehicle inspection: Before hitting the road, truck drivers are responsible for examining their trucks. It’s conceivable that a driver is to blame for a collision caused by a mechanical flaw that might have been detected during a pre-trip examination.
- Inadequate training: In some cases, the truck driver may not have received adequate training to operate the vehicle safely.
Understanding What It Takes To Prove Negligence
In a truck accident case, proving negligence usually depends on the available evidence and whether it can be legally interpreted. Different types of evidence need to be analyzed and evaluated before a negligence claim can be proven. In order to prove negligence in court, an attorney must prove specific requirements. These requirements include:
- What duty of care do they have: This revolves around whether the truck driver followed the law and common sense.
- Did they violate their duty: The truck driver would be considered to have breached their duty if they did not follow the law or drove inappropriately, as mentioned above.
- What caused the accident: Was it the truck driver’s negligence that caused the accident, or was it something else. For example, the truck driver may have gone over their HOS, but if you were DUI, you might be unable to claim against the driver as both parties would be considered negligent.
- What injuries were received: The extent of your injuries and potential loss of earnings.
Consult A Lawyer
Should you feel aggrieved and believe that the truck driver or haulage company was negligent, you should consult with a lawyer to get the compensation you may be owed. The first step is to search for a law firm specializing in personal injury and motor vehicle accidents. You can ask your friends and family for recommendations or look online for those in your area. As an aside, you should hire a company familiar with the jurisdiction where the accident occurred. For example, if you are from California but were traveling in Mississippi for work and where you had the accident, you should hire lawyers from Mississippi to represent you. This is because different jurisdictions will have specific laws surrounding what constitutes negligence and various statutes of limitation, and so on.
Asking The Right Questions Will Increase Your Chances Of A Favorable Outcome
In truck accident situations, it’s critical to hire an attorney who is both skilled and experienced. Truck accidents include highly specialized, one-of-a-kind regulations that aren’t considered in the usual vehicle accident case. As a result, you should inquire about the lawyer’s expertise in truck accident cases by asking the following questions:
- Do you have any experience handling truck accident cases?
- What percentage of your cases involve truck accidents?
- When working on truck accident cases, have you had a lot of success?
- Have you ever handled a truck accident lawsuit involving the haulage company in this case?
- Do you have the time or resources to look over new or complicated trucking laws?
- Are you familiar with the laws that strictly apply to drivers of trucks and trucking companies?
You will increase your chances of winning if the case goes to trial if you ask these questions and consider the answers. Your lawyer may suggest an out-of-court settlement in some cases. Consider accepting if you feel that the amount is comparable to what you would demand at trial. However, you should always follow the advice of your attorney.
A truck accident lawyer could help you if you were injured in an accident caused by a negligent driver. They can help you understand if you have a viable claim and how to go about filing a claim.