How to File a Truck Crash Lawsuit
After a collision with a truck, you need maximum compensation for your injuries
The nation’s #1 semi-truck accident lawyers explain how to file your truck crash lawsuit
As the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) reports, 499,000 trucks crash each year. Correspondingly, those collisions cause 107,000 serious injuries. In addition, 4,415 semi-truck accidents are fatal. Truck crashes cause tremendous pain and suffering for accident victims and their families. Because filing, fighting, and winning a truck accident lawsuit is incredibly difficult, these collisions also cause a lot of confusion. To answer some of the most frequently asked questions, the nation’s #1 tractor-trailer accident lawyers explain how to file a truck crash lawsuit.
For the best chances for winning your truck accident case and maximizing your compensation payout, you need to hire an experienced semi-truck collision lawyer. Who you choose matters. To speak to an award-winning and record-setting truck crash lawyer from Munley Law for FREE, schedule a free consultation today.
Truck crash lawsuits: What you need to know
Every lawsuit has many components and truck accident claims are no exception. As a result, it is important that you understand each requirement before filing your truck crash lawsuit in court. To do so, make sure you can answer each of these questions. If you need help, don’t hesitate to contact a Munley Law truck accident lawyer. Today and every day, the consultation is 100% free.
Do you know who to sue for your truck crash injuries?
Depending on the facts of your case, you may be able to sue multiple people and/or companies. However, understanding who are the defendants in a truck accident lawsuit can be complex. These are the most common semi-truck collision defendants:
- Truck drivers
- Tractor-trailer manufacturers
- Owners of commercial semi-trucks
- Parent companies
- Third-party maintenance companies
In order to determine precisely who you will sue, you will need to assess your accident, injuries, and other damages.
Are you clear about what claims to include in your semi-truck crash lawsuit?
Just like choosing the proper defendants to sue, you will need to pick the right claim(s). To do so, you must consider:
- The circumstances surrounding your catastrophic accident
- The nature and extent of your injuries
- Whether someone died in your car crash
- What other damages you suffered and/or continue to suffer
- The state or federal law governing your case
The claims that you choose will dictate what you need to prove in order to win at trial. This is important. Claims for negligent driving claim vs. faulty truck part products liability vs. wrongful death are all different. They each require plaintiffs to show different kinds of evidence in order to prevail. There are difference defenses available against each. Similarly, not all claims allow plaintiffs to recover the same amount or kinds of damages.
The best way to guarantee that you will choose all of the right claims is to hire an experienced truck accident lawyer. To speak with an award-winning semi-truck crash lawyer from Munley Law, call us today.
Do you know where you can file your truck accident lawsuit?
Many people are surprised to learn that not every truck crash lawsuit can be filed in every court. In order for a court to handle your claims, they need to have what is called “jurisdiction” over your case. Jurisdiction is a legal word that means the right to hear your case. This sounds simple, but many times there are major legal fights over whether a court has jurisdiction over a case or even a single claim within a case. Other common issues include whether your claim can be filed in federal court vs. state court, which state’s courts can hear your case, and which court within a state has jurisdiction. These factors often affect jurisdiction:
- Where the collision occurred
- The type of claim(s)
- Where the defendant lives
- Whether the plaintiff and the defendant live in the same state
- If there are multiple defendants, whether the defendants live in the same state as each other
To make things more confusing, a Pennsylvania court might agree to hear your case, but that does not necessarily mean that they will be following Pennsylvania law. Depending on the nature of your claim, you could be in a court in Scranton, Pennsylvania but the judge may be required to apply and follow New Jersey law.
Do you know when you must file your tractor-trailer collision lawsuit?
Every state sets time limits for filing lawsuits in court called “statutes of limitations.” These time limits vary both by state and by type of claim. Thus, you might have 4 years to a claim in New Jersey but only 1 year if you file that same type of claim in Pennsylvania. Importantly, courts take statutes of limitations very seriously. If you miss the time limit for filing your lawsuit by even one day, a court will be barred from hearing your case. That means that even if you would have won millions at trial, you will walk away with absolutely nothing.
Is settling your truck crash case an option?
Many plaintiffs do not realize that almost all truck collision cases settle out-of-court. In fact, less than 3% of these cases actually go to trial. While many accident victims are eager to take their claims to trial and prove that the defendant acted wrongfully, this approach can be short-sided. There are many benefits and advantages to settling a case.
- Settling a case guarantees that tractor-trailer accident victims will get compensation for their injuries. Juries are risky, even in the strongest of cases. At trial, the plaintiff has the burden of proving each element of a claim by a “preponderance of the evidence.” If a jury finds that this standard is not met for even the smallest, least important requirement, they must find for the defendant and you will walk away with absolutely nothing. By settling, you avoid the risks of trial and guarantee you will get paid.
- Plaintiffs who settle get paid faster. When a case settles, it ends before a trial and therefore ends much sooner. There are no post-trial motions to resolve or fight about. This helps speed up how quickly accident victims get paid.
- Going to trial is costly, draining, and painful. Trials cost a lot of time, money, and energy for every party involved. By settling the case, you will save litigation costs, the time that would have been spent preparing for and during the trial, and the emotional baggage that comes with being forced to testify and be subject to cross examination.
To be clear, not every truck crash case will or should settle out-of-court. However, much of the time, settling can present a much more lucrative option for the victims of tragic semi-truck collisions.
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