Over the last couple of years, truck wrecks have steadily increased. Based on a past report from the Federal Motor Carrier Association, over 345,000 trucks in the USA were involved in collisions that caused significant property damage in 2014.
Truck wreck often leads to severe physical and psychological injuries; commercial trucks’ sheer size predominantly causes this. So, when an accident happens, the damage can be devastating. The events following an accident involving a commercial truck can leave you shocked.
However, you must start dealing with the issue immediately. This is because you may be eligible to receive compensation for your injuries or damages.
Here are the vital things you need to know about a commercial truck accident lawsuit and rights for compensation.
Federal And State Laws: Which Way?
Commercial trucks are large and hence pose a significant risk to other road users. Because of this, the commercial trucking industry is highly regulated.
The industry is regulated by federal and state laws, with stringent laws to safeguard the public from such accidents. Since this is a complex area with complicated legal matters, you have all the reasons to call a truck accident lawyer when filing your claim.
The commercial trucking industry is covered by Federal Trucking Regulations and State Trucking Regulations. The former is involved in regulating and offering safety oversight for commercial motor vehicles. The latter requires all truck drivers to follow state rules.
You May Encounter Insurance Complications
If you’re involved in an accident, you and the other driver should exchange insurance and contact details. This helps you to follow up after the accident. Additionally, this should include their employer’s information as well.
Truck wrecks today have changed, and one single misstep could see you lose your full compensation if you’re not careful. Even though this process is typically straightforward in an ordinary accident, it’s a bit complex in a trucking accident.
Every trucking company has its business structure and insurance requirements. Because of these indifferences, the insurance policy may be the trucker’s own, or perhaps, the trucking company may provide it.
This means you’ll need to collect all this information at the scene of an accident. It will come in handy in the aftermath of the accident.
Commercial Truck Accident Damages
The state and federal laws may entitle you to compensation for your psychological, physical, and financial injuries; This is also known as damages. Damages can include economic, non-economic, and punitive damages.
Under economic damages, you can demand compensation for your injury-related expenses. These expenses include lost wages, medical expenses, and diminished earning capacity. Non-economic damages cover all types of damages that aren’t tangible.
Even though these damages are harder to prove, you are still entitled to compensation. They include issues such as emotional distress, mental anguish, physical suffering, and pain, among others.
Finally, punitive damages are only available in certain circumstances. Such damages aren’t available when the at-fault party is guilty of ordinary negligence.
Even The Playing Field
As a truck wreck victim, you’re at a disadvantage to the insurer and trucking company. You’re physically hurt and are immediately focusing on your medical care and recovery. On the other hand, investigators are gathering evidence.
They’ll be taking pictures, inspecting the truck, recording eye witlessness’s statements, and retrieving the black box data. In most cases, the trucking company controls the evidence and gets to it first. This downside doesn’t mean you can’t get compensated fairly.
You can and should hire a reputable truck wreck attorney who will start probing into your case immediately. They’ll also access the evidence and hire professionals to assess what happened. With a good lawyer on your team, you have a high chance of getting compensated.
Liability In Commercial Truck Accident Lawsuits
To emerge victorious in your lawsuit, you’ll need to do several things. First, you need to show that the truck driver or any other at-fault parties (such as the employer) are responsible for your injuries.
In some cases, a commercial trucking company can be liable for your damages through what lawyers call “The legal theory of vicarious liability.” It means that an employer is liable for accidents their staff gets into during the ordinary business course.
How do you prove this? The best way is to show that the truck driver or trucking company broke the law. This automatically proves negligence.
You’ve seen how truck accidents can be more complex than an ordinary accident between two passenger cars from the information above. It will help if you hire a reputable attorney to handle your claim.
He or she will prove invaluable both in seeking a settlement and in pursuing litigation. This means they’ll get the compensation you need for your recovery. Over to you!