When looking for a personal injury attorney after a large truck accident, be sure to choose someone with experience in settling and litigating this type of claim. A large truck accident is different than a car accident or a motorcycle accident – or even a pedestrian accident. The mechanics of the case are the same: You can try to settle with the insurance company or litigate the matter, but this type of case has several additional issues.
The Type of Vehicle
A large truck is a heavy vehicle, which means that injuries you suffer have a higher chance of being catastrophic injuries, such as traumatic brain injuries and spinal cord injuries. These types of injuries often lead to long-term or permanent disabilities.
When you have long-term disabilities, you could be entitled to more money, including future lost wages and future medical expenses. A truck accident attorney has experience with taking various long-term or permanent injuries into consideration when helping you craft an offer to an insurance company or when asking for a certain amount during litigation.
Truck accident injuries are more often catastrophic because of the weight and size of the truck. A tractor-trailer truck that is fully loaded could weigh up to 80,000 pounds. It’s easy enough to get caught under a trailer, especially if you drive a subcompact vehicle. The truck driver may not even know you are there. Or, if a truck tips in a curve because of high winds, the weight of the truck could crush even a large pickup truck.
Multiple Insurance Companies
Another issue when dealing with truck accidents is the possibility of having more than one person or company share in the liability for your injuries. The parties that could share in a liability claim include:
- The truck driver
- The truck owner, if he or she is not the driver
- The truck lessee and / or lessor
- The trucking company
- Truck maintenance and repair technicians
- Truck manufacturers
- Aftermarket parts manufacturers
- Those who load the trucks, if not the trucking company that owns the truck
- The city, state, or county that maintains the roads
For example, a truck driver is an independent contractor who hauls for Company A. Company B is contracted by Company A to perform maintenance on independent trcuks as a perk for the independents. The technician installs the brakes incorrectly. The independent driver, who is responsible for his own inspections, notices the brakes seem faulty, but loads up and takes off anyway.
The brakes on the truck fail and the driver runs into you, causing catastrophic injuries that lead to permanent disabilities. You could sue the independent driver, Company A and Company B. If the investigation finds that the brakes were defective, you might also have a claim against the brake manufacturer.
The issue here is figuring out how much liability each person at fault has and negotiating with their insurance companies to ensure you get a fair and reasonable settlement that covers future lost wages and future medical expenses.
If you suffer from injuries because of a truck accident, contact us; a truck accident attorney as soon as possible.