3 Major Differences Between Truck and Car Accidents
A truck accident is one of the most devastating collisions involving vehicles. The average semi-truck weighs 80,000 pounds when fully loaded, so when one of these huge machines hits a car, the results are often catastrophic for the car driver, as well as any passengers who may be inside. There are lots of potential causes of a trucking accident, but trucker negligence is often a major contributing factor.
If you’ve suffered an injury in an accident involving a large commercial truck, the attorneys with the Jones Law Group may be able to help you obtain compensation. You’re probably facing incredibly expensive medical bills, and you’ve probably lost substantial wages from work. A Jones Law Group attorney will work to make sure those responsible for your suffering are held accountable.
Here are just three of the many ways that a trucking accident is far different than a case involving any other type of vehicle collision.
1. Complexity: Understanding Third Party Liability
Any kind of personal injury accident can be complex, but a truck accident case is even harder to win. The biggest reason why is that the stakes are typically much higher when it comes to trucking accidents. Insurance policies that cover trucks are a lot more expensive than the ones that cover passenger cars. Also, the injuries are much more severe.
One of the main complicating factors in a truck accident case is the fact that there can be more than one party that faces liability for damages incurred by injury victims. The driver of the truck may have been behind the wheel in violation of Federal regulations. These regulations are designed to reduce truck driver fatigue, by placing limits on how long they can operate a rig without rest.
But the company that owns the truck could have been liable as well. It could have failed to properly maintain the truck, and the brakes could have malfunctioned, or a tire could have blown out as a result. Even the company that loaded the cargo could be partially responsible for the accident. Workers may have been negligent while loading, causing an imbalanced load. This often causes trucks to roll over while on the highway.
This is one of the many reasons why you’ll need to hire a skilled truck accident attorney as soon as possible. An attorney will be able to determine all the potentially liable parties in your accident, and pursue compensation from all of them. There is a chance that could make a significant impact on the amount of money you may be able to get.
2. Severity: Lifelong Damage from Traumatic Injuries
Again, truck accidents tend to lead to catastrophic injuries due to the sheer size difference between a truck and the average passenger car. Huge trucks subject the occupants of passenger cars to much greater forces. Even crashes at relatively low speed can lead to horrible injuries and an incredible amount of property damage.
The more severe an accident victim’s injuries, the more money it will take to treat those injuries. When someone suffers spinal cord damage, or they suffer a traumatic brain injury, medical costs can easily reach into the hundreds of thousands of dollars – perhaps even more.
With this much money on the line, you can be sure that the trucking company and its insurance company will do everything possible to either reduce the amount of money they have to pay out, or deny compensation entirely. However, an experienced attorney will know how to counter whatever tactics they will employ in order to keep you from getting what you deserve.
3. Payout: Fighting for a Fair Settlement
Even if an insurance company makes a settlement offer, the odds are that the offer won’t come close to paying for an accident victim’s damages. But some people make the mistake of accepting the first offer that comes their way. They’re so worried about the future, they want their money now. It’s not until later they realize just how much of a mistake they’ve made.
Please don’t do this. If you accept a low-ball offer, you won’t have any recourse to get exactly what you deserve.
Insurance companies use sophisticated calculations to determine how much a personal injury claim, such as a truck accident, is worth. They know full well, of course, that any settlement offer they make will be far less than the true value of the claim.
Insurance Companies Will Try to Low Ball Your Personal Injury Claim
Again, insurance companies and trucking companies are incredibly resourceful when it comes to protecting their money. They have high-priced, highly-skilled adjusters and lawyers on their side. When an accident victim tries to take on this talent alone, they almost never get the money they deserve.
On the other hand, when insurers and trucking operations know an accident victim has strong legal representation on their side, that changes things dramatically. Low-ball offers get significantly higher. The reason is that they know if they went up against a good accident victim attorney in a court of law, they’d probably wind up having to pay much, much more.
But you’ll still need strong evidence to have the best chance of winning your case. There are some things you can do to gather that evidence, such as getting the contact information of any witnesses, taking pictures of the accident scene, and keeping all documents pertaining to your medical treatment.
However, your attorney can do much more. Attorneys can open their own investigation into a truck accident, determining exactly what happened and how it happened. They can bring in accident reconstruction experts who can piece together the circumstances that led to the crash.
Your attorney can also obtain evidence you probably couldn’t gather on your own. For instance, they could obtain security footage from nearby cameras that might have footage of the accident. They can also get access to driver log books, or the truck’s “black box” data. These sources could provide invaluable evidence.
Hire the Experienced Truck Accident Attorneys at Jones Law Group
Jones Law Group attorneys have the resources and skill to perform thorough investigations into trucking accidents. We may be able to obtain the proof you need to have the best possible chance of winning your case.