You received injuries in an accident with a large truck. The police officer at the scene determined that the truck driver was at fault for the accident. The trucking company that owns the truck does not want to use its insurance to pay you for your accident damages.
So, the company offers you a small settlement. Should you accept the offer? Since you are unable to work due to your injuries, the payment will help you out. You also have medical bills and a damaged car. However, before you accept a settlement, you need to consider the following information about accidents with large trucks:
Major Causes of Truck Accidents Due to Driver Errors
In 2014, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that 130,000 people received injuries in accidents with large trucks. In addition, 3,903 people died in trucking accidents. In a recent study, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration states that 88 percent of accidents happen because of truck driver errors. Accidents due to driver errors happen 10 times more than weather or road conditions. Here is a list of common truck driver errors that causes accidents:
- Drowsiness from alcohol and drugs
- Fatigue and lack of sleep
- Driving at fast speeds
- Inexperience driving the truck
- Unfamiliar with the area
- Distractions such as texting, watching movies, and playing games on electronic devices
- Overloading or misloading truck cargo
Parties Liable for the Accident
Even though the truck driver caused the accident, several parties may be liable for your damages. You will need to gather as much information as possible about these parties:
- Driver of the truck
- Owner of the truck and trailer such as a trucking company
- Truck manufacturer
- Truck tire manufacturer
- Truck loading company
- Defective part manufacturer
- Third party maintaining the truck
Damages for Your Expenses and Losses
You have expenses and losses due to the accident. You are also unable to work because of your injuries. You can receive damage compensation for the following expenses and losses:
- Inpatient hospital expenses
- Doctor visits
- Ambulance service
- Loss wages while recovering from injuries
- Loss future earnings due to disability relating to accident
- Car replacement
- Loss of consortium with spouse
Outcomes of Accepting a Settlement
The trucking company will want you to sign an agreement. That document will prevent any future legal actions on your behalf. An inadequate settlement may provide short-term coverage for your expenses and losses. Once you exhaust those funds, you will not be able to claim future damages due to the accident. You will be responsible for your potential earnings, medical expenses, and property loss.
Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer
Before you accept an offer from the trucking company, you need to talk to a personal injury lawyer. The attorney should be familiar with the state and federal trucking laws. A personal injury lawyer may be able to help you get the best possible settlement.
Also, this truck accident attorney may be able to help you determine which parties are liable for your injuries and losses. If the parties are unwilling to offer a fair settlement, the lawyer should be prepared to file a lawsuit. Here are some documents the attorney may need for your claim:
- Police report
- Copies of all correspondence with the trucking company
- Truck driver’s information
- Trucking company information
- Medical records for your injuries
- Copies of your medical bills including hospital, doctor, and rehabilitation
- Your prescription bills
- Your healthcare information
- Proof of earnings from your employment
- Property damage information
If you are in an accident with a large truck, you may be eligible for compensation for your injuries and losses. You should consider calling an experienced lawyer such as the Virginia Truck Accident Lawyer with experience in truck accident claims.
Thanks to authors at Martin Wren P.C. for their insight into Personal Injury Law.
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