Why You Need Highly Qualified Truck Accident Lawyers
Truck accidents are quite common on America’s roads and highways. Owing to the sheer size of commercial trucks (each can weight 18,000 lbs or more), a truck accident almost always results in damages to properties, life-threatening injuries, and even death. According to the National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA), 35,092 people died in motor vehicle accidents in the USA in 2015. Of these, nearly 4,000 were killed in collisions involving trucks and more 70% of the victims were occupants of other vehicles.
But if you are under the impression that the injured or deceased will be duly compensated without dispute, then you haven’t heard the whole story. Truck accident claims can be incredibly complex and, without a good lawyer, victims are often forced to walk away with inadequate compensation. For this reason, it is very important to hire experienced truck accident lawyers if you are involved in one.
There are three main reasons that truck accident claims are complex. They are as follows:
Trucking companies will fight tooth and nail:
Many truck companies are huge operations with a lot of resources at their disposal. They usually have far more money than the claimants and thus have access to near-limitless legal and financial resources. This means that they and their insurance companies often refuse to pay up without a fight. They will fight hard against any claim and often try to intimidate the claimants into dropping their case entirely or substantially reducing the amount. Faced with such tough opposition, many victims of truck accidents choose to quietly settle for much less than they deserve.
The reason truck companies will fight tooth and nail is that extensive damages can be claimed by the victim of a truck accident. These include medical expenses (including surgeries, doctor visits and ambulance bills), costs of physical, occupational or rehabilitation therapy, lost wages, loss of ability to earn an income, loss of lifestyle, necessary medical equipment, compensation for pain and suffering, and costs of psychological and emotional counseling.
Multiple parties are involved
Unlike in a car accident, where the driver of the car that caused the accident is generally held liable for injuries and damages, a number of different parties may be held liable in a truck accident. The defendants may include the driver of the truck, the owner of the truck, the party that leased the truck from the owner, the manufacturer of the truck, the manufacturer of parts, and the shop that last repaired the truck. This makes determining liability a highly complex process.
While having multiple defendants may mean more sources of compensation in theory, in reality the lawsuit can get incredibly complex because of the involvement of multiple insurance companies and truck accident lawyers. As you may expect, the defendants will have plenty of resources at their disposal and they will not yield without a tough fight.
Trucks are subjected to more regulations
A vehicle as massive as a truck is capable of causing more severe injuries and higher number of fatalities than lighter vehicles. Therefore, trucks are more rigorously regulated than other vehicles in the United States. They are regulated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Established in January 2000, the purpose of this agency is to formulate and enforce regulations to prevent injuries and fatalities resulting from accidents involving commercial motor vehicles.
FMCSA has stringent rules regarding commercial vehicles and fines and penalties regarding accidents involving such vehicles. These regulations are applied in every state, regardless of whether a state has its own regulations regarding trucks or not. Any violation of the FMCSA regulations can have a bearing on civil claims, which complicates the matter further.
In light of how complex a truck accident claim can be, you should contact experienced truck accident lawyers without any delay if you are injured in an accident involving a truck or if any member of your family is injured or killed. Failure to do so may not only result in inadequate compensation, but also having to walk away with zero compensation.