There are more commercial trucks, semi-trucks, big rigs, 18-wheelers, and tractor-trailers on the road today than ever before. Drivers in the commercial trucking industry often travel many hours over long distances. Strict deadlines can cause truck drivers to skimp on sleep – with catastrophic consequences for other drivers on the road.
A semi-truck crash could lead to severe injuries or even the death of a loved one. Those who survive catastrophic injury from a truck accident are often left unable to work for an extended period of time, causing costly medical bills and other expenses to pile up as they recover.
Because cargo trucks are so much bigger and heavier than other vehicles on the road, they carry much more serious risks to people traveling in passenger cars. Big rigs have larger blind spots and take longer to slow down and stop. Commercial trucks might carry hazardous materials or travel with improperly secured loads that get loose in transit.
Even vehicles like buses, concrete trucks, delivery vans, garbage trucks, or fire trucks present extra risk factors on the road – though you may not think of them as “big rigs.” All of these trucks can be incredibly destructive on impact, especially when traveling at highway speeds.
After a truck accident, a personal injury lawsuit can help you:
- Hold the responsible party accountable for the accident, and
- Recover monetary compensation for property damage, lost wages, medical bills, pain and suffering, and other losses you’ve incurred as a result of the accident.
If you’ve been injured or you’ve lost a loved one in a trucking accident, call our passionate truck crash lawyers at Wilshire Law Firm now for your FREE consultation at (866) 877-4189. Our client-focused legal team is available to take your call 24/7 every day.
The sooner you talk to a personal injury lawyer about your case, the sooner we can get you the just compensation you deserve.
Injured in California? Check out our California truck accident guide.
What Are The Most Common Causes Of Truck Accidents?
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), the most common causes of truck accidents on U.S. roads are:
- Truck driver mistakes caused by fatigue, distracted driving, speeding, and other reckless behavior behind the wheel;
- Vehicle issues such as improper maintenance, brake or tire problems, overweight trailers, and unsecured loads that cause road hazards; and
- Environmental issues like strong winds, rain, snow, or ice that cause adverse road conditions leading to trucks hydroplaning or slipping out of control.
Truck driver mistakes are by far the leading cause of truck accidents and crashes, accounting for 87% of all large truck accidents. If you get caught up in a trucking accident, chances are the circumstances were totally out of your control.
What Are The Most Common Types Of Truck Accident Injuries?
Truck crashes can cause life-threatening and catastrophic injuries. If you’ve experienced this type of injury after an accident, you’re not alone. Over 100,000 Americans are injured in large truck accidents each year, and each one of these victims can suffer a wide range of injuries.
Common semi-truck accident injuries include:
Many truck accident injuries are latent – you may not realize you’ve been injured right away because of adrenaline or shock. You may even feel “fine” with pain showing up hours later. Some injuries like concussions don’t become apparent unless you specifically get checked by a medical professional. This is why it’s important to get checked out by a doctor right away after your truck accident, whether you think you’ve been injured or not.
In addition to getting your health back on track, seeing a doctor starts a paper trail of your injury. Evidence of your injury and the effect it’s had on your life is one of the most important parts of proving your personal injury case. If you wait too long after your accident to get treatment for your injuries, you could have a harder time connecting your injury to the crash.
Uninsured Motorist Property Damage – this type of policy covers damage to car and property. UM only covers bodily harm but not car repairs. Ask your insurance broker if this is available in your state. Clarify if the coverage is only for simple repair or if it has a car replacement option based on the current market value of your car.
Underinsured Motorist Protection – this policy applies to at-fault drivers whose insurance coverage is not enough to pay for the damages. If you have this situation, your insurance company will cover the difference without deducting it from your comprehensive insurance policy.
What Types Of Damages Can You Get In A Truck Accident?
Lawsuits work to make injury victims “whole,” as if the accident never happened. Of course, some injuries simply can’t be undone. United States law uses monetary compensation to make up for the injuries and losses you’ve suffered as a result of your trucking accident.
Damages cover both economic and non-economic damages, including:
- Current and future medical bills
- Loss of income or earning potential
- Property damage, vehicle repair, and other transportation needs
- Mental anguish, suffering, emotional distress, and pain as a result of your crash
Some states allow for punitive damages in personal injury cases. These types of damages are meant to punish the responsible party for especially bad behavior – for example, if a trucking company has blatantly or knowingly failed to comply with federal and state guidelines for their fleet, putting other drivers’ lives recklessly at risk.
Trucking accident lawsuits could end up recovering damages in the hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars depending on the severity of your case.
Can You Recover Damages If You Were Partly At Fault In Your Accident?
Yes. Most states across the country have comparative negligence rules, which means you can still recover damages if you were partly at fault in your accident. In some comparative negligence states, your recovery may be reduced by the proportion of your own fault. So if you were 25% at fault, you could receive 25% less compensation.
When it comes to accidents involving trucks, passenger car drivers can only control so much. Our attorneys work hard to establish fault where it belongs – whether that’s on the truck driver, their company, the manufacturer, maintenance crew, or someone else.
How Do You Determine Fault In A Trucking Accident?
In most passenger car accidents, just one party and their insurance company are liable. However, when it comes to truck accidents, everyone from the truck driver to the crew that loaded the truck to the manufacturer of the truck or its safety equipment can potentially be found liable.
While some trucks may be driven by independent contractors, others may be operated by the government or a private employer like a commercial trucking company. Depending on the specific facts of your case, there may be multiple parties responsible for your accident:
- The actual truck driver involved in the crash and their insurance company
- The company that owns the truck or employs the driver (such as for failure to comply with safety protocols)
- A mechanic who failed to properly repair malfunctioning parts on the truck
- The truck manufacturer for defects in the truck as it was designed or built
- The owner of the property for environmental conditions where the accident occurred
In addition, you may have to deal with truck driver unions.
Determining fault and responsibility can get complicated with so many parties involved. That’s where our legal team’s expertise comes in. Not only are we used to successfully taking on the most challenging personal injury cases, but other law firms send us their hardest cases, too.
Our truck accident lawyers have extensive experience helping victims of big rig crashes get the medical attention they need so they’re able to move forward with their lives. You can trust us to fight for the maximum amount you’re owed in a settlement or court judgment.
Truck Accident Settlements
You may be daunted by the idea of facing a large trucking company or their insurance company. You may even be tempted to accept the first settlement you’re offered just so you can get something to cover your bills and move on with your life.
Insurance companies regularly lowball early settlement offers, hoping you’ll do exactly that. You should always talk to a lawyer before signing any settlement offers. If you accept a settlement without talking to an attorney, you may be leaving thousands or even millions of dollars on the table. Once you sign, you could lose the chance to protect your rights.
No Recovery, No Fee — Call Today!
Make sure you get the help you need after your truck accident. Our attorneys have handled major truck crashes from all over the U.S., and they understand how to navigate the complex web of state and federal laws that govern this industry.
At Wilshire Law Firm, we work on a “No Recovery, No Fee” basis, which means you don’t pay us unless you win your case. Additionally, if you’re worried about covering your medical bills now while your case resolves, our law firm has medical professionals on retainer on a lien basis. That means you can set up your medical bills to come out of your settlement or court award.
Our knowledgeable team of truck accident lawyers at Wilshire Law Firm can help you successfully overcome the challenges of your injury. To get started with your FREE case consultation, call us today at (866) 877-4189 or fill out our online form now.