Collisions with large trucks are a special subset among motor vehicle collisions. With the physics involved (usually large masses traveling at high speeds), the amount of force generated in a collision between a truck and a typical motor vehicle can be much greater than that generated in a collision between two typical motor vehicles. For those of you unfamiliar with basic physics, that means a collision caused by a loaded tractor trailer, even one moving at a low speed, can exceed the forces created by two smaller cars colliding at higher speeds. The forces generated in a collision impact the humans in the vehicles and cause injuries. And, often the greater the forces involved, the greater the injury impact upon those in the typical motor vehicles. In short, big trucks can cause terrible injuries or death.
Truck accident cases are also different from typical motor vehicle collisions in that trucking is a highly-regulated business with specialized equipment and its own terminology and “language”, if you will. There are multiple parties who may have liability in tractor-trailer wreck cases, and being able to determine who may potentially be involved can be challenging. Trucks have a large body of law that govern them as common or contract carriers. Those trucks engaged in interstate commerce are subject to stringent Department of Transportation regulations. Among those many regulations, a number have to do with promoting safety on the highways and the failure of any one of these regulations could lead to catastrophic results on the road.
When a truck-typical vehicle collision occurs, the sooner the injured party’s lawyer and/or investigators are on the scene, the better any violations which may have occurred and contributed to the collision can be documented. In addition, the sooner your lawyer is on the case, the easier it is to preserve evidence captured by onboard computer devices that measure things like speed, deceleration, etc, cabin and other video surveillance and cellular or other communications data. Prompt notice to the adverse party may prevent the destruction of evidence, an act called “spoliation”.
Thomas M. Hunter, Attorney at Law, is a dependable truck accident injury lawyer who is committed to helping victims of truck accidents get the compensation that they deserve.
5 Reasons Why You Should Hire Thomas Hunter Law Firm
An average car weighs about 4,000 pounds. A fully loaded tractor trailer (18-wheeler) can weigh up to 80,000 pounds, or about 20 times the weight of a car. Therefore, in a collision involving a car and a large truck, your chances of being seriously injured are substantially higher than in a collision involving two automobiles. And, as we have said many times before, serious injuries deserve serious compensation.
If you are injured by a negligent tractor-trailer driver, you’ll need a competent and experienced personal injury attorney on your side. Trucking firms have enough money to compensate you for your injuries, but they will not pay fair compensation willingly. Those same companies also have enough money to pay their lawyers, with the hope of minimizing your compensation. You would be at a distinct disadvantage in a personal injury case, if you do not have a good personal injury lawyer on your side.
1. Alone, You Won’t Be Fairly Compensated
The nature and scope of an injury dictates the amount of compensation, not the type of collision involved. It takes time to determine the full extent of your injuries and damages. It’s not the fact that a tractor trailer was involved in the collision, rather, it is the nature and scope of injury caused by that tractor-trailer that supports the damage claim. So, once the cause of the collision has been ascertained and fault attributed to the tractor driver, the treatment and injuries are what drive the claim value. As with any injury, do not sign anything or settle any claim without the advice of competent legal counsel.
2. Your Lawyer Will be Your Spokesperson
Expect to receive calls from insurance company representatives, asking for additional information when an accident you’re involved in causes significant damage. This can be worrisome, because you’re unfamiliar with the process and you may be concerned that you may say something that could be misconstrued. If anyone calls to talk to you about the truck accident, just refer them to the lawyer you hired to represent you on your claim. Once the other side knows that you have legal counsel, they will not contact you again, unless permitted by your lawyer
3. Truck Driver’s Error May Not Only Be the Problem
Always remember that you have the right to demand compensation from anyone whose negligence resulted in the accident that caused your injuries. You must establish that this party owed others a duty of care not to endanger them and that they failed to fulfill that responsibility by creating unsafe conditions or that the other party is vicariously-liable for the driver’s misconduct. The trucking company may have breached its duty of care by failing to provide proper training to the truck driver, failing to conduct background checks that would have revealed a history of unsafe driving or recent substance abuse, or requiring driving longer shifts than allowed by federal and state law.
Although the transportation firm is the most apparent defendant, it is far from the only one. For example, if a part in the vehicle malfunctioned due to a manufacturing defect, the truck manufacturer might be held accountable. This is known as product liability. (It is the trucking company’s job to examine and maintain their trucks; if they malfunction due to poor maintenance, it is the trucking company’s fault.) Or, a loading company could be held liable, if the truck was overloaded or loaded unevenly.
4. Non-Economic Damages Can Be Recovered With the Help of a Truck Accident Attorney
A personal injury lawyer will seek to recover all of your damages – economic and non-economic – in any motor vehicle claim, including those involving trucks. Economic damages are things like medical expenses and income losses. Non-economic damages are, among others, things such as pain and suffering, mental anguish, worry, fright, loss of enjoyment of life and temporary and permanent loss of bodily functions. Being able to document how the injury has affected your daily living goes a long way toward making sure the jury understands and appreciates what you have gone through with your injuries.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do You Need a Truck Accident Lawyer?
If you were injured in a motor vehicle-truck collision and you were injured, you should contact a truck accident attorney immediately. Even if the truck driver’s insurer accepts full responsibility for the collision, you should consult with a truck accident attorney to ensure that your claim to full compensation is realized.
What Attributes Do You Look for in a Good Truck Accident Lawyer?
A good truck accident lawyer must be able to get working on an accident case quickly in order to preserve valuable evidence and needs to have investigators available to assist. Knowledge of the specialized laws involving the trucking industry, experience and a solid work ethic are all valuable assets.
How Can a Truck Accident Lawyer Help?
A truck accident lawyer can help you know your rights if you are involved in a truck accident. In addition, your lawyer can find the responsible person or parties, gather evidence, interview eyewitnesses, negotiate with the insurance company, and, if necessary, take the matter to trial.
Truck Accident Lawyer With 42 Years of Experience
Being injured in a truck accident is a serious matter and requires the help of a knowledgeable and experienced lawyer. Thomas M. Hunter, Attorney at Law, is a competent personal injury lawyer with 42 years of experience.
Mr. Hunter will help prosecute your claim and seek full compensation for your medical bills, lost earnings, and other injury-related expenditures and damages.