When to Hire a Trucking Accident Lawyer
If you have been involved in an accident with a truck, you may be asking yourself when to hire a trucking accident lawyer. You need to reach out to a lawyer as soon as possible even if you are injured, grieving, and confused. You can be sure the trucking company will have its own lawyers and insurance company experts working for its side to try to prove that you-not the truck driver-were at fault.
Considering that a fully loaded semi-truck can weigh 40 times more than a passenger car, its no wonder that accidents with trucks are particularly devastating. Accidents involving trucks account for a high percentage of fatal vehicle accidents. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has found that in accidents involving large trucks, 1 percent were fatal and nearly 20 percent had one non-fatal injury.
A trucking accident lawyer can help you determine who is at fault in your accident and what types of damages you may be entitled to. Parties at fault may include:
The truck driver: In a trucking accident, the driver may bear most of the responsibility. There are a number of things that a driver can do that can lead to an accident, including being distracted while driving, driving under the influence, talking on a cell phone or texting, speeding, or being fatigued.
The trucking company: When a driver works for a trucking company, the trucking company may bear some of the liability, particularly if the driver had a poor driving record or the company was pushing the driver to fudge driving logs and drive more hours than legally allowed.
Trucking companies know they may be at least partly responsible and are willing to spend a lot of time and money to prove they dont have any liability in an accident. They will exploit all the legal arguments they can, and the laws are not always clear since there can be gray areas between state and federal trucking regulations.
Along with its own lawyers, the trucking company will send investigators to collect evidence that the driver of the passenger car was at fault, possibly because the driver was impaired, broke traffic laws, or was driving recklessly.
The truck manufacturer: Evidence from the trucking accident may point to an equipment malfunction. If thats the case, filing a product liability claim against the manufacturer may be an option.
A lawyer who concentrates on trucking accidents can help you determine the best way to proceed with your case and who may be liable for the accident. Your lawyer can also help identify the types of damages you may be entitled to, including economic damages, for medical bills, rehab, and loss of earnings; pain and suffering; and punitive damages if the trucking company acted in bad faith.
A trucking accident can be a painful, traumatic, and life-changing event. A trucking accident lawyer can help you through this difficult time by ensuring you get the compensation you deserve.