What to Do After Semi Truck Accident?
If you were hit by a semi truck, you may wonder if you can sue. The reality is that it depends on the circumstances of the collision. If you suffered serious injuries as a result, you may be able to seek legal action via a civil lawsuit. In this case, a personal injury claim will be your next move.
As truck accident victims, those involved in collisions with truck drivers should not have to shoulder the cost of medical expenses, lost wages, and future medical care. If you’re asking yourself “Can I sue for being hit by a semi truck?”, call the semi truck accident lawyers at Munley Law today to schedule a free consultation.
Who Can Be Held Liable in a Semi Truck Accident?
Depending on the circumstances surrounding your truck accident case will help your truck accident lawyer and the insurance companies establish negligence.
Given its size, should a truck driver lose control of a semi truck, the results can be catastrophic for the driver and passenger vehicles on the road. In many cases, there is more than one party liable in a commercial truck accident. It can be the driver, the trucking company, other drivers, the manufacturer, as well as other parties. An experienced truck accident lawyer at Munley Law will review your claim, and help you pursue a personal injury lawsuit against the following parties who may be held liable:
Truck Driver’s Negligence
Though truck drivers must follow strict federal and state regulations, oftentimes, it is driver negligence that causes semi truck accidents.
Often, drivers find themselves needing to meet delivery demands which means working more than the legally allotted time. Even when a driver does get sufficient rest, other factors can lead to an accident. This can include:
- Distracted driving. Considered one of the most dangerous truck driver behaviors, truckers may find themselves compelled to check their phone, fiddle with the radio, or simply zone out, leading to a semi truck crash.
- Drunk driving. Considered dangerous for all motor vehicles, if a trucker consumes more alcohol than the legal limit, which for semi truck drivers is .04%, half of the limit of regular drivers, they can be held liable in truck accident claims.
- Road rage and aggressive driving. Road rage on the highway between two small vehicles can be dangerous enough–but when you add in 40 tons of metal, it can result in mass casualties. If a trucker is engaging in aggressive driving behavior that results in a truck accident, you should be able to seek compensation.
- Falling asleep behind the wheel. Many truckers find it difficult to sleep when they are on the clock. However, they are supposed to sleep and rest for so many consecutive hours before hitting the road once more. Unfortunately, this does not always occur and can result in a driver falling asleep, and other cars being hit by a semi.
- Losing control. In some situations, a truck driver loses control of the rig, leading to a collision with a passenger vehicle. It can be due to weather conditions, fatigue, or the load not being placed on the truck correctly.
Accidents can occur, but because of the size of semi trucks, a simple fender bender is never a small incident–these accidents can result in catastrophic injuries. If the trucker was at fault, they need to be held accountable to ensure they do not repeat the same action against another innocent driver.
Trucking Company Negligence
In addition to the semi truck driver being negligent, the trucking companies can also be found liable. In a truck accident claim, the victim would need to show that:
- The semi truck was not loaded properly
- The truck was not being maintained regularly
- The company employee violated either state or federal regulations
- The truck driver was told to ignore the hours of service regulations
- The truck driver did not receive proper training or was inexperienced
In cases where the driver does not have insurance or was a full-time company employee at the time of the accident, injured victims could pursue civil litigation against the trucking company.
These companies are required to carry certain levels of insurance, so do not fear that you are without options. Should it be found that they do not have the proper coverage, there are still avenues available to you for recovery of damages.
Sometimes an accident is not a result of truck driver negligence or negligence by the company–instead, it can be a result of mechanical failure as a result of a manufacturer utilizing knowingly faulty or dangerous parts.
This may include things like brake failure, the engine overheating, the truck not being able to stop in a timely manner, etc.
In these cases, the truck accident lawsuit may be more complex and your truck accident lawyer will need to start with your own insurance company, and then move into the line of communication from the driver, to the company to the manufacturer to determine who knew these parts could have a fatal flaw.
Government Agency Negligence
Should there be nothing wrong with the vehicle, the semi truck driver was operating the semi truck appropriately, and the trucking company was in legal compliance, the semi truck accident may then be a result of poor roadways or other maintenance issues that should otherwise be controlled by a government agency.
Other Vehicle’s Negligence
Finally, other personal vehicles involved could be the cause of your semi truck accident. Say another personal vehicle drives through a red light, causing the semi truck to veer off the road, and into your vehicle which could not be seen in the blindspot, you as the victim could potentially seek compensation for your semi truck accident injuries from the other passenger vehicle driver.
A personal injury lawyer will help you determine if liability can feasibly be broken down this way.
Can I Sue the Truck Driver?
Depending on the severity of the semi truck accident injuries will ultimately determine who you can sue for being hit by a semi. Remember, the reason to pursue civil action is that the insurance companies cannot or will not cover the damages related to the semi truck accident.
However, if you have already accepted a settlement from the liable party or your own policy provider, you have likely barred yourself from seeking additional compensation and pursuing legal action. This is why you should speak to an attorney as soon as possible following your accident.
No matter if it is the driver, the trucking companies, or any other party at fault, you have a right to seek compensation for serious injuries.
How Does a Truck Accident Claim Work?
There are several steps involved when filing a personal injury lawsuit:
- After hiring a truck accident attorney, they will begin the investigation process to discover who is responsible for the accident. This includes gathering evidence such as photos and the police report, speaking with witnesses, and hiring expert witnesses.
- Once the investigation is finished, we will have a rough estimate of how much your case is worth. With this information, your legal team will begin negotiations with the insurance company.
- When the insurance company does offer a settlement, our lawyer will discuss the settlement with you and advise you on whether to take it or continue negotiations. You are the one who will make the decision.
- If you decide the settlement is not enough and negotiations break down, then our truck accident lawyers are prepared to take your case to court. Negotiations will continue as the discovery process begins.
- If your case goes to court, we will present the evidence we have to the jury and show who was at fault for the accident.
Remember, we work on a contingency basis. What this means is you do not pay a lawyer’s fee until the case is settled. If your case does not have a favorable outcome and you do not receive the compensation that you deserve, then you do not owe a fee.
What Will a Truck Accident Lawyer Do for Me?
Some people think if the accident only resulted in damage to the car and minor injuries, they don’t need to seek legal representation however, that may not be the case. Some injuries from these accidents do not appear immediately and rather, take days or even weeks before they become known.
Following your accident, you need to give yourself time to heal and emotionally cover the incident. If you jump into insurance negotiations right away or give a formal statement too soon, you can hurt yourself more than help.
Tasks You Should Not Take on Your Own
We know that truck accident are complicated, but a truck accident lawyer will be able to help you:
- Negotiate with the insurance company
- Prove negligence
- Keep track of medical bills
- Provide legal representation in and out of court
- Recreate the accident scene if needed
- Discuss your long-term costs with medical professionals
- Calculate non-economic damages
- Hold the negligent party accountable for wrongful death
- Seek punitive damages to maximum compensation
After you’ve been hurt, the last thing you want to think about is how you are going to pursue semi truck accident cases against those who did you wrong.
But realize that the trucking industry is massive, and though many truck drivers are independent contractors, you still must hold liable parties accountable. And we can help.
Contact a Truck Accident Lawyer at Munley Law Now for a Free Consultation
If you want proof that not all personal injury firms are created equal, take a moment to review our impressive track record– we have recovered more than $1 billion in settlements and verdicts for our clients.
If you need a team to fight for a fair settlement for you, look no further than Munley Law. When we work towards a settlement for our clients, we make sure you get the medical attention you need, while we pursue legal action.
Whether you need compensation for property damage, or to cover the cost of medical treatment, we can handle all legal aspects of your case.
Munley Law Is Here For You
If you are in need of legal advice and are wondering if you can sue for being hit by a large truck, contact us for a free case review of your truck driving related incident. Your personal injury case will be handled with the highest regard, making sure you can focus on what matters most–your health and well-being.
The success of a claim against a semi truck depends largely on the legal team behind you. That’s why we offer a free case evaluation to ensure we are a good match for your truck accident lawsuit.
Contact Munley Law for a free legal consultation by calling or emailing us today.