A truck accident injury case is more complicated than a standard car accident for several reasons. Victims of trucking accidents are often injured more severely than those in car accidents, and filing an action against a trucker, his or her employer, the owner of the vehicle and cargo and other parties can quickly become complicated. In addition, trucking companies often have numerous attorneys and insurance adjusters at their disposal, ready to “prove” that the accident was not the truck driver’s fault. It is very important to choose an attorney who has experience in dealing specifically with truck accident cases in order to have the best possible outcome.
Truck Accident Statistics and Facts
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2012 there were 3,921 people killed and another 104,000 people injured in crashes that involved trucks with a gross vehicle weight of over 10,000 pounds. This was a four percent increase over the previous year. Semi trucks, which often have a gross vehicle weight of more than 30,000 pounds, account for a large percentage of these accidents.
Also known as “Class 8” trucks, semis respond differently to various road conditions than smaller passenger vehicles. Fully loaded, a semi can weigh more than 80,000 pounds, representing tremendous force in the event of a collision. Furthermore, semis are frequently much taller and much wider than standard vehicles. Their stopping distances is much greater in the event of a sudden obstacle in the road, and they have a tendency to jackknife with sudden maneuvers, often crushing smaller vehicles riding next to them.
In order to operate a semi truck, the driver is required to have a special license known as a CDL license. The driver is also bound by certain federal and state regulations that govern the appropriate total weight of the vehicle, how long the driver can operate the truck without a rest break, and how often the truck must be serviced to meet standards. City and county ordinances may also affect where semi drivers are allowed to drive and park. In all, there are hundreds of regulations on large truck drivers that must be obeyed. In any given trucking accident, there is always a chance that the driver, his or her employer or both violated at least one of these regulations. If so, the victim’s chances of recovering damages may be greater if that violation can be leveraged.
Filing a Truck Accident Injury Case
Filing a truck accident injury case is not like filing a regular car accident lawsuit.
For one thing, there are likely to be multiple defendants in a truck accident case, including the driver, his or her insurance company, the trucking company and its insurer, the owner of the cargo and even the people who service the rig. It is not unusual for a truck accident case to encompass multiple defendants and involve large amounts of potential compensation.
Furthermore, trucking companies often have insurance carriers who will vigorously defend their interests in a case. Because there is so much potential compensation involved, the trucking company may choose to fight a lawsuit rather than simply settle. This means that the victim’s attorney will need to be prepared for stalling tactics and other methods used by trucking company attorneys and insurers to discourage lawsuits.
Investigating a trucking accident case is also complicated. There are numerous records such as driving logs and maintenance reports that should be accessed. Furthermore, an attorney must be prepared to employ advanced technology such as GPS records and even the reports of accident reconstruction experts to fight trucking company lawyers. For additional information on florida truck accident claims, be sure and read our Florida truck accident FAQ article.
Choosing the Right Truck Accident Attorney
It is critical to choose the right attorney for your truck accident case. You need an attorney who has experience with large truck accidents and who understands the complications posed by these cases. With the right attorney for your truck accident case, you may be able to collect significant damages for your injuries. The truck accident attorneys at David and Philpot, P.L. have been helping victims of semi-truck accidents for over 20 years. We have the experience and knowledge necessary to take on the big insurance companies and protect the rights of those who have been harmed. If you or a loved one has been injured in a semi-truck, 18 wheeler, or commercial trucking accident fill out our free case evaluation form today and we will contact you immediately about your case. You can also call us anytime at 800.360.7015. There is no fee or obligation for the consolation. We are here to help!