Were You Injured in a Commercial Trucking Accident?
If you have been involved in a car crash with a large commercial truck, or have been injured by the negligence of a truck driver, you are not alone. There are roughly 13 million trucks on the roads today and 3 million of those are categorized as large trucks or tractor trailers. Every 16 seconds, there is at least one fatality or injury caused by a large truck and almost 5,000 people are killed in semi truck accidents each year. Many of these accidents are caused by driver and operator error with an astonishing 25% of truck drivers reportedly asleep at the wheel of their 70,0000-pound truck filled with cargo. Often, these trucks have mechanical and maintenance issues leading to disastrous life-changing consequences.
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A credentialed truck accident lawyer knows exactly what to do immediately after a truck accident and it is critical that you retain a law firm that specializes in truck accidents. That truck accident law firm will handle your case in a professional, compassionate manner, determine the negligent parties in your truck accident, and help you recover from your tragic losses.
Injury lawyers will help you sort through the complicated issues that arise when you are in a car accident with a large truck. They can determine who’s vicariously liable for your accident because trucking companies are responsible for the negligent acts of their truck drivers, for poor truck maintenance, and for violations of safety rules. A truck accidents attorney can also help you evaluate the layers of insurance that exist for the truck and truck driver. Trucking companies are legally required to have insurance policies that are quite large, often millions of dollars and there can be multiple entities and insurance companies responsible.
Our truck accident attorneys have decades of experience litigating truck accidents. Our trucking law credentials are impeccable; we’re board certified by the NBTA in truck accident law, have won billions in settlements and verdicts for clients, and are considered among the best truck accident law firms in the country. We’re the only law firm to have two lawyers lead the AAJ’s Trucking Law Group and we educate and lecture other lawyers about truck crash negligence, liability, and damages because we are nationally known as truck crash legal experts. More importantly, we care about our clients and treat them with the respect and compassion they deserve.
Table of Contents
- Does a Truck Accident Lawyer Offer Free Accident Case Evaluations?
- Do I Need a Truck Accident Law Firm?
- What Will a Truck Accident Lawyer Do To Help Me After My Truck Accident?
- Can Truck Accident Lawyers Determine Who is Responsible for the Truck Accident?
- How is Negligence Established in Truck Accidents?
- What Compensation is Available Following a Truck Accident?
- How Much is My Truck Accident Case Worth?
- How Long Does It Take to Settle Your Truck Accident Claim?
- How Long Do I Have to File a Lawsuit With Truck Accident Lawyers After a Truck Wreck?
Does a Truck Accident Attorney Offer Free Accident Case Evaluations?
All consultations are free, so please call, chat online, or fill out an evaluation form at no cost to you. A highly ranked truck accident lawyer, along with our rapid response investigations team and expert witnesses, can help you today. We represent truck injury victims, including truck drivers, and know how to handle all big rig accidents.
Do I Need a Truck Accident Law Firm?
Yes, you need a truck accident law firm. Truck accident lawyers are personal injury lawyers that specialize in crashes with large trucks; semi trucks, tractor trailers, eighteen-wheelers, dump trucks, delivery trucks, flatbed trucks, taker trucks, bobtail trucks, and others designated as commercial vehicles. Trucking accident attorneys know the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Act inside and out and understand the rules and regulations that govern trucking companies and truck drivers along with their insurance. A truck accident attorney near me will be able to determine if the at-fault parties breached their duty of care.
Many times, truck drivers are involved in an accident with another large truck. Truck driving is one of the most dangerous jobs in the United States and the leading cause of death among truck drivers. Statistically, truck driving has the eighth-highest fatal injury rate and ranks 65th for nonfatal injuries. We have represented many truck drivers in truck accidents and are proud to do so.
What Will an Injury Lawyer Do To Help Me After My Truck Accident?
From the minute a large commercial truck is involved in an accident with a car or another truck, the trucking companies will be on the scene investigating and truck accident victims should immediately hire a lawyer that will do the same. Immediately after a truck collision a seasoned truck accident lawyer will:
- Find the name of the trucking company and the driver, including the USDOT number.
- Obtain a TRO from a judge in a court of law and impound the truck after the office work is done. The day a truck accident lawyer is retained that lawyer will go to court to request a temporary restraining order, impound the truck, and secure all physical evidence of how the accident happened. The truck can be a trove of information about why and how the truck accident occurred and the truck must be inspected before that evidence disappears. Too often, things like faulty lights on the trailer, the semi’s tire tread depth, or evidence that truck drivers have not obeyed the rules can be easily masked or repaired or can be lost forever.
- Immediately conduct a full inspection of the accident scene. The trucking accident attorney must go to the accident scene as soon as possible to locate all of the evidence and details of how the accident happened.
- Hire the best team of truck experts available. An expert truck accident lawyer will have the most qualified engineers available to inspect the truck, the accident scene, and the cab of the truck.
- Search for witnesses to the truck wreck. Often bystanders and other road and highway drivers may have photos to share or videos to share of the truck crash that could be invaluable to your case.
- Order the police report and review it for details and accuracy.
- File a lawsuit against the trucking company.
- Send out a request for the production of documents, which will include requests for material information such as cell phone data, driving records, maintenance records, and truck company policies involving hiring, training, entrustment, and supervision.
- Check the truck information through the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to look for the motor carrier safety and performance information.
- Request documents through the Freedom of Information Act to get more details about the truck and trailer maintenance.
- Review the truck’s black box. Truck accident lawyers can locate, preserve, and download the tractor trailer’s black box. The truck’s black box contains information about the truck at the time of the crash, including speed, tire pressure, breaking, the truck driver’s actions, and the condition of the truck at the time of the crash. The recordings often prove crucial to a personal injury plaintiff’s ability to prove a trucker’s negligence. Black box data can be difficult to obtain, and trucking companies don’t provide black box information and may destroy it. Don’t wait and contact our attorney to get your claim started to receive your compensation.
As the case proceeds, your lawyer can negotiate with the defendant trucking company lawyers, send out a demand for settlement of your case, file motions, take depositions, reconstruct the accident, and go to trial and appeal.
Can Truck Accident Lawyers Determine Who is Responsible for the Truck Accident?
Yes, after the accident investigation is completed, your accident lawyer will understand who was responsible for your accident. When you are in a truck crash, many parties may be liable or vicariously liable for your medical injuries including the truck driver, truck owners, truck manufacturers, the brokers and shippers that loaded the cargo, the insurance companies that insured the truck, and the government entities. The truck and trailer may also be owned by different trucking companies.
Because there may be many companies that breached their duty of care to you in a truck accident, you may be able to recover from several different insurance companies. Trucking companies are required to carry a minimum of $750,0000 in insurance, and your truck injury lawyer will examine all insurance policies and those insured by those policies and determine what is relevant to your accident.
How Do I Choose the Best Lawyers for Truck Accidents?
The best lawyer to handle your truck accident case will depend on a number of factors:
Understanding of Truck Accident Law
You will first need an attorney who has a deep understanding of truck accident litigation. Trucking cases are far more complex than any other auto accident and your trucking lawyer will need all the information about your case to determine who are the potentially responsible parties.
Before meeting with any accident lawyer, make sure you have relevant information about the incident, such as police reports, eyewitness accounts, videos and photos of the accident scene, and your insurance information.
Expertise and Experience With Truck Crashes
Many personal injury lawyers claim they have experience in handling truck accident cases but only a few have the expertise needed to handle such complicated claims.
Take the time to do your research. Make sure the personal injury attorney has extensive experience in truck crash law. Verify the success of their previous cases and check their credentials and testimonials to find out more about the lawyer.
Communication and Accessibility to the Attorneys
Having a solid working relationship with your truck crash lawyer is key to success. You want to choose a lawyer who is quick to respond to your questions and provide regular updates on your case.
Choose a lawyer who is available to speak about your case and can easily explain legal terms clearly.
Consult with several attorneys before making a decision. Evaluate your comfort level and the lawyer’s communication style. Choose someone who represents your interests and trust your instincts.
How Is Negligence Established in Truck Accidents?
Attorneys who practice truck accident law are well-versed in trucking rules and regulations, that are governed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The NHTSA provides the rules and regulations for commercial vehicles and truck drivers and violation of those laws can establish negligence.
The most common cases of negligence in a truck accident are:
- Driver error: Truck drivers often drive recklessly. To reach their destination quickly, truck drivers ignore reduced truck speed limits, drive fatigued, text and drive, watch movies while driving, and drive distracted or under the influence. According to the Harvard School of Public Health, 20 percent of truck accidents are a result of truck drivers falling asleep at the wheel.
- Poorly maintained vehicles: Tractor trailers are constantly on the road, which can cause dangerous wear and tear if the vehicle is not consistently maintained. A study by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration found that almost 55 percent of trucks involved in crashes had at least one mechanical violation and approximately 30 percent had at least one condition serious enough to be taken out of service immediately. Accidents are commonly caused by:
- Defective or uneven truck tire tread
- Broken brakes, and axles on the truck
- Incomplete tractor trailer maintenance logs
- Training and employment history of the truck driver
- Criminal record/background of truck driver
- Cell phone usage at the time of the truck accident
- Equipment failure: If the truck manufacturer knowingly created or installed a defective part on the semi truck, it may be the cause of a truck accident. The FMCSA further found that 29 percent of all large tractor trailer crashes were the result of an issue with the braking system.
- Improperly loaded cargo: If a truck isn’t loaded properly it could make the vehicle unbalanced causing the load to shift in the trailer and resulting in tip-overs. The FMCSA discovered that 4 percent of trucking accidents were the result of shifting cargo.
- State and federal violations
What Compensation is Available Following a Truck Accident?
Two types of compensation are available for injury victims – economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages include any financial losses related to the trucking accident.
- Medical expenses: Truck accidents can result in serious injuries, such as traumatic brain injury, back and neck injuries, paralysis, disfigurement, broken bones, and death. You could be facing astronomical medical bills that include ER visits, surgery, rehabilitation, or long-term care. Many of these bills may be placed on credit cards or you have to take out a personal loan that collects interest as time progresses.
- Lost wages: You may be able to recover wages that were lost because of the truck accident injury, including future wage loss.
- Loss of earning capacity: If you are unable to hold the same position and your earning capacity is reduced, compensation may be owed to make up the difference in income.
- Funeral Expenses: If you lost a loved one in a truck accident, you can recover funeral and burial costs.
Non-economic damages compensate the victim and their family for personal injuries.
- Pain and suffering: You may be compensated for physical or mental pain that you sustained as a result of the car crash with the truck. The length of time that you suffered will be calculated into the award, as well as the seriousness of the injuries.
- Loss of enjoyment of daily activities.
- Loss of consortium and loss of companionship: If you and your partner are unable to hold an intimate relationship or you have lost a companion, you may recover damages.
Punitive damages may be awarded if the defendant’s actions were willful, malicious, fraudulent, or reckless.
How Much Is My Truck Accident Case Worth?
The exact value of your truck accident claim is hard to determine until you speak to your truck accident attorney. The best thing you can do is call a truck accident law firm immediately and let them get to work investigating your case. Truck accident cases can settle for small and large sums of money depending on the liability and the damages in your individual case. Contact one of our trucking accident lawyers to process your claim and get compensation for your truck accident.
How Long Does It Take to Settle A Truck Accident Claim?
It’s hard to give an exact time frame without knowing the details of your truck accident. Each accident case is different. A straightforward car accident case may settle within a few months. However, most truck accident lawsuits are complicated and it can take several years to reach a verdict or settlement.
Factors that can lengthen the time it takes to resolve your accident claim include:
- Determining parties or tortfeasors liable for the wreck
- Researching insurance companies and policyholders
- The severity of the victim’s injuries and length of recovery time
- Wrongful deaths caused by a truck crash can take additional time to litigate
Truck accident cases may settle out of court but going to trial is possible if the trucking company or truck companies do not value your case and injuries properly. Our trucking accident attorney will fight for the process or your compensation.
Truck accident trials can be frightening, but a skilled, professional tractor trailer accident lawyer can obtain millions for their client in trial and may be able to get punitive damages awarded from a judge or jury. Of course, nothing is certain, and trucking companies can also win at trial. Contact us to get the best trucking accident attorney to help win your case.
It is important to hire a trial lawyer with experience in the courtroom to make sure that when you go to trial, you have real trial lawyers on your side to give you the greatest chance of prevailing.
Munley Law Trucking Accidents Attorneys are here to help you with your case. Our experienced attorneys have succeeded with many accident cases, including car accident claims.
How Long Do I Have to File a Lawsuit With a Truck Accident Lawyer After a Truck Wreck?
The statute of limitations to file a personal injury lawsuit is generally (2) two years from the date of the existing truck accident, but you don’t want to wait that long to file a claim. Contact our attorneys immediately or find Munley Law on the map following your accident and make your claim. Our trucking accident lawyers will help process your claim and get you the compensation you deserve by law.