Perhaps one of the most devastating types of accidents that can occur is one involving a large truck. Most victims of trucking accidents experience life-altering injury, and even death. In fact, in 2014 the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reported 3,660 deaths in large truck crashes, and thousands more sustained serious injuries. The sheer size of commercial trucks, their hampered breaking abilities and the weight of their loads can pose grave risks on the roadways.
That is why it is imperative that drivers and trucking companies keep their trucks as safe as possible when on the road. If they fail to fulfill that responsibility, you may be able to seek compensation for your injuries and the emotional or financial losses you suffer after an accident involving such a truck.
Damages in Truck Accident Cases
Truck accident cases cause injuries that can lead to substantial medical bills, and this is definitely one of the first places many injured people look for compensation. However, the initial medical bills are just one type of pressing expense than can arise in these situations. Injuries sustained can cause ongoing medical needs that require continuous therapy, support or assistance. Those costs are also considered damages. Missed work or the inability to return to work after a serious accident can lead to financial losses that should be included in the damages. Emotional strain and trauma can also be part of the lawsuit. If the injured party dies, then the case can certainly include wrongful death charges. Working with an attorney will help protect your best interests as they can assist you in considering all of types of compensation you deserve.
Who Is Really at Fault in a Truck Accident?
In all types of accidents, the injured individual must prove that the other party is at fault. The person or entity accused of being at fault is known as the defendant. In a trucking accident, the defendant could be any number of individuals.
The truck driver is quite often listed as a defendant in a trucking accident, but not always, and not always alone. Additionally, the trucking company can be named as they may be legally liable for the actions of their drivers and overall condition of the truck. If the truck was carrying hazardous materials that contributed to the injuries, then the manufacturer or shipper could also be listed as a defendant.
When outlining a case, naming as many defendants as possible will help build a strong suit thus increasing chances of bringing full compensation for the injuries incurred. Your attorney will help you determine who could be a potential defendant in your case through careful analysis of all aspects of the accident.
Considerations in Truck Accident Cases
If you are facing a personal injury case involving a truck, you must first be able to prove that the commercial truck driver or the company running the truck was liable for the accident. Often, this requires proving negligence in some way on the part of the driver.
One way to prove negligence is to show that the defendant had a duty to exercise care in an effort to avoid the accident. Then, the case must clearly demonstrate that the defendant failed to act in a safe or reasonable manner. Finally, the case must be able to prove that the accused failure to exercise reasonable care caused the injury.
If the case involves a truck that jackknifed, you may find it more challenging to prove negligence. Historically, courts have ruled for the defendant in a truck accident case in instances where jackknifing could not be avoided even with reasonable care. For example, an abrupt turn to avoid a collision or slippery roads could potentially create a jackknife situation, even with the safest driver.
If you or someone you love is dealing with injuries following a devastating trucking accident, contact our firm today to discuss your rights. You may be eligible for compensation for your injuries.