Accidents that involve a semi-trailer truck are unique because of the parties usually involved. In a car accident between two private parties the matter is often handled between themselves and their personal liability insurers. But with a semi-trailer truck accident the driver of the semi-trailer is almost always driving under the employment of a trucking company. The truck is the driver’s place of work and the insurance obligation and liability are the responsibility of his employer.
There are usually much higher insurance policies for a company with a fleet of large trucks capable of incredible damage.
Someone injured by a semi-trailer truck looking for proper compensation is immediately going up against a large company and a professional insurance company incentivized to protect their drivers, to protect their company’s reputation, and to pay out as little as they possibly can.
Determining the Cause and Liability of a Truck Accident
Evidence will be used during the process of assigning liability and figuring out what caused the accident. This evidence can include any physical evidence from the scene of the accident, photographs taken of the accident or the injuries to the people involved, or eye witness accounts of the accident.
In any auto accident it is important to try and document every possible thing you can that might seem relevant later in assessing fault. Taking photos of the accident as soon as safety permits and getting statements from witnesses while their memory is still fresh can be important later.
Both sides of an accident will have the opportunity to gather and present evidence. Depending on what picture that evidence paints can determine if a party wants to settle or take a case to court.
Often during the course of determining fault the various parties involved in the truck accident will be assigned partial fault. This partial fault will inform who pays what portion of a settlement or judgement.
Injuries and Compensation
In accidents involving trucks the injuries can vary from minor to loss of life. In the situations where an injured party is taken to the hospital the resulting medical bills can pile up quickly. When thinking of accident liability, the most obvious consideration is to medical care related to physical injuries. However, in addition to physical injuries a participant in the accident can sustain lasting emotional injuries such as PTSD, fear of driving, or depression.
There are also costs associated with lost potential for an injured party. This can include lost wages and loss of future earning capacity.
These types of compensation are complicated and require a professional to truly discover the overall costs that result from a truck accident. If there is any injury sustained during an accident with a semi-trailer truck it is a good idea to get in touch with an attorney to ensure you are calculating the full compensation you require.
Potential Causes for a Semi-Truck Trailer Accident
In any workplace there is often added pressure to perform to the expectations of the company. The trucking industry is no different. Sometimes, however, trucking companies take shortcuts or don’t take the necessary steps to ensure that their drivers are operating with the utmost safety.
When trying to determine who is at fault a truck accident includes unique avenues to look down. Was the driver driving in a safe manner and obeying all traffic laws? Was the driver in good physical condition or had they been driving too much and beyond what they could handle? Had the driver been properly trained and did the driver have the experience necessary to perform the route he was assigned? Was the driver of clear mind or were they under the influence of drugs or alcohol? These are all questions a personal injury attorney will seek to answer when investigating a case.
The driver is also but one piece of a large piece of machinery that many parties have joined together in creating. An 18-wheel semi-truck trailer is a complicated vehicle that requires proper maintenance and regular checking to make sure that all the parts are safe to drive on. If a hardware malfunction played a role in the accident this could add an additional party for potential fault.
A semi-truck trailer is also at the mercy of the environment around them. An accident could also be caused by an outside force.
All of these things will need to be investigated by an attorney to make sure that all liable parties are accounted for and a clear picture of what caused the accident is determined.
Personal Injury Attorney Benefits
If injuries have been sustained or income lost because of a truck accident it is best to hire a personal injury lawyer.
A personal injury law firm, like The Ryan Law Group, is a group of professionals with experience in semi-trailer truck accident cases. They know how to find all parties with potential responsibility. They know how to communicate with insurance companies to get the largest settlement possible. Their reputation is often a key factor in getting a settlement as opposed to the long process of taking a case to trial.
A personal injury lawyer is also well versed in ensuring injured parties receive the medical care they need. A person who was injured in an accident shouldn’t have to worry about navigating the complicated world of hospital bills and insurance companies. A law firm deals with these issues daily and will be able to take care of everything.
Los Angeles holds the distinction in California for having some of the busiest roadways. During 2015 on any given day, 3,000 to 11,000 commercial and commuter passenger trucks traveled on one of Los Angeles County's routes. Here, we are talking about truck accidents involving semi-trucks, tractor-trailers, 18-wheelers and other commercial vehicles.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration reported in 2014 almost 600 drivers of large trucks died in truck accidents. During the same period more than 2,000 drivers of other vehicles involved in large truck accidents died.
The evidence confirms the high rate of death for other vehicle drivers is due to the size and weight of commercial trucks. Reports and statistics verify the likelihood of significant long-term life threatening conditions and serious damage to property.
If you have been involved in a commercial truck accident, you need to contact truck accident attorneys specializing in personal injury law. The owner of the truck, the driver, insurance company and the regulatory agencies all play a role as responsible parties in establishing the settlements. Because the paperwork can be a nightmare, it is in your best interest to hire truck accident attorneys to protect your individual rights.
California Truck Accident Measures
The average commercial truck weighs in at 80,000 pounds compared to the average passenger vehicle at 4,000 pounds. You can understand why insurance companies require trucking companies to carry higher liability insurance. The settlements from a truck accident compared to a passenger vehicle are much higher.
By law, if the truck driver is at fault, you are able to seek full compensation for all injuries and health care services due to the accident. This includes medical care, rehabilitation, nursing home if necessary and domestic care services. Usually, the loss of earnings or business losses are also subject to recovery. Besides physical damages, accidents trigger emotional and mental suffering.
In the State of California, it may be possible to sue for noneconomic damages as part of a personal injury suit for property damage or wrongful death.
If you have been seriously injured in a truck accident, recovery may include intensive treatment and extended care. Truck accident attorneys are experienced with California truck laws ensuring the highest possible settlement to cover all your expenses.
Contact The Ryan Law Group
Your first course of action should be to make notes of the accident. The more you recall the more information your attorney will have to determine the best tactics for your case. Contact The Ryan Law Group today to schedule a no cost consultation with an attorney experienced in recovering compensation following a trucking accident.