Truck Accident Lawyers
What is a Truck Accident Lawyer?
A truck accident lawyer is a lawyer who specializes in handling cases that involve accidents with at least one large commercially operated truck. There are several types of trucks in this category, including:
- Big rigs;
- Semi trucks;
- Delivery trucks;
- Cargo trucks;
- Tractor-trailer trucks;
- Transport trucks; and
- Other types of trucks.
A commercial truck typically weighs 25 times more than the average car. Because of their sheer size, any accident involving a truck can cause catastrophic injury and property damage. Truck accident cases are more complicated than accidents with regular vehicles.
Being in an accident involving a truck can be one of the most stressful events of your life. It is important to have an experienced truck lawyer on your side fighting to get you the compensation you deserve.
Why is it Important to Have a Truck Accident Lawyer?
As noted above, truck accidents are much more complicated than accidents involving regular vehicles. There are many issues that may arise, such as who is actually liable for the accident, the driver or the company for which they work. It is also important to note that most trucking companies will have the resources to fight a lawsuit for damages.
There are many issues that may cause a trucking accident. Some of the most common causes are speeding, poor weather conditions, and driver fatigue. In accidents caused by a truck driver, 87% were due to driver fatigue. Trucking companies often push for products to arrive on time, which may be a priority over a driver’s safety.
One of the most common causes of truck accidents is driver negligence. In order to prove negligence, a plaintiff must show the driver had a duty of care, breached the duty of care, that breach was the cause of the accident, and the plaintiff suffered damages. Each of these elements are complex and may be difficult to prove in court. Your truck accident lawyer will be experienced in proving these elements.
What are Some Other Issues Related to Truck Accident Lawsuits?
One of the nuances in trucking accident lawsuits is the driver. A truck driver may be liable for an accident if they intentionally caused the accident or they were an independent contractor. However, if the driver can show that the accident was not intentional and they are an employee of a trucking company, the trucking company itself may be liable.
Under the legal doctrine of respondeat superior, an employer is always held responsible for unintentional accidents caused by an employee. There are many reasons an accident can occur that could place direct blame on the trucking company, including when the company:
- Encourages unsafe driving in order to fulfill an order;
- Forces drivers to be on the road beyond hours that are permitted under state and federal regulations;
- Hires drivers without conducting proper criminal background checks, drug or driving tests, or mental examinations; or
- Fails to consistently conduct inspection, maintenance, or repairs to their fleet.
In some cases, it may be advantageous to file a lawsuit against the trucking company rather than the driver. Typically, the trucking company will have more financial resources than the driver with which to compensate an injured plaintiff. A trucking attorney can analyze this issue for each case, as each case is unique.
There may also be a case where the goods inside the truck were hazardous, including solids, liquids, or gasses that are harmful to people, other living creatures, property, or the environment. In those cases, you may be able to sue the shipper of the goods, especially if the shipper failed to inform the truck driver or trucking company that the goods were dangerous.
Trucking accident issues can be complex and it may be difficult to obtain the evidence necessary to prove your claim. A truck accident lawyer will be experienced in navigating these complex cases and obtaining the evidence necessary to get you the compensation you deserve.
Do You Need a Lawyer for Your Trucking Accident Case?
Absolutely. A truck accident lawyer is essential in a trucking accident case. As previously discussed, these cases are complex and involve evidence that may be difficult to obtain. It may also be difficult to show which party is at fault for the accident.
Additionally, trucking companies will likely have the resources and desire to fight any lawsuit filed against them. Damages in a truck accident usually include a monetary damages award. You may be compensated for medical bills and lost wages related to the accident.
Truck accident cases involve in depth factual and legal analysis to determine what party is at fault and if negligence occurred. Having any attorney on your case will provide you with the best chance at obtaining an award. Such assistance will adequately compensate you for losses and injuries you suffered as a result of your trucking accident.