No matter what kind of collision you are involved in, accidents are a source of great stress and expense. Truck accidents can result in serious consequences and can get complicated when it comes to determining liability. This is where the guidance of an experienced lawyer can be of great benefit.
How Truck Accidents Differ From Car Accidents
Truck accidents are different from your average passenger car accident for the following reasons. Note how each of these factors can complicate your case – which gives you all the more reason to consult the attorneys with Judd Shaw Injury Law before making any life-changing decisions.
1. Truck accidents often have more severe consequences
Truck accidents often result in serious injury and vehicle damage. According to the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety, trucks can weigh 20 to 30 percent more than a typical passenger car. This leaves vehicles involved in a truck accident in a more vulnerable state.
According to a 2020 study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 4,965 people were killed and 146,930 people were injured in accidents involving large trucks. The majority of those killed or injured are passengers in other vehicles. Considering the severity of the injuries truck accidents cause, you want to make sure that you get adequate compensation for the pain and suffering that resulted from the accident.
2. Multiple parties may be liable in truck accidents
Compared to passenger car accidents, multiple parties may be at fault for a single truck accident. Although the accident could have been partly because of negligence on the driver’s part, it could also be the responsibility of the company that owns the truck or does maintenance on it.
Who May Be Liable for Your Truck Accident?
When a collision involves a truck, liability could fall on multiple parties, not only each driver. The factors leading to an accident could have started long before the truck driver started driving. A lawyer can look into the specifics of your accident.
1. Truck drivers
Most truck drivers are licensed professionals who are trained to handle large vehicles. However, a lack of training or experience can contribute to errors.
Although the truck driver may have been well trained, he or she could have been fatigued or distracted at the time of the collision. Federal regulations state that a truck driver can’t work for more than 14 hours or drive for more than 11 hours after a 10-hour rest period.
If the truck driver was speeding, he or she may not have had adequate distance to stop the vehicle in time. It is estimated that trucks require 20 to 40 percent more stopping distance than a passenger car. This would also establish a case for negligence on the driver’s part.
Truck drivers have a great responsibility since they are entrusted to safely maneuver a vehicle that could cause great damage. If they failed to drive with due caution and contributed to an accident, they would be liable for the resulting injuries and damages.
2. Trucking companies
Companies have the responsibility of maintaining the trucks that they own. If regular maintenance was not done, or if they failed to address a request for maintenance, then the companies may also be liable for the injuries of the victim.
Since the trucking companies are also responsible to provide safe working conditions for the drivers, if the employer failed to provide working conditions that follow federal regulations and establish reasonable working hours, he or she could also be partially responsible for a collision.
3. Maintenance companies
Many drivers and trucking companies entrust maintenance companies with the task of caring for their vehicles. If these contractors did not do their job of repairing an issue that led to a truck malfunction, they could be liable for the accident.
4. Cargo companies
If the cargo wasn’t secured and loaded according to regulations, it could prove to be a safety hazard. A cargo-shift can leave disastrous consequences for the truck driver and the cars surrounding it, especially if it makes the truck rollover. The cargo loader and loading company could then also share responsibility for the accident due to improperly loading the vehicle.
5. City or state government entity
If there was neglect in the maintenance or a problem in the design of public roads that caused your accident, then the city or state entity responsible for that road could be held liable. Making a case against government agencies can be particularly difficult without a knowledgeable lawyer working for you.
Benefits of Having a Truck Accident Lawyer at Your Side
There are various benefits of having a truck accident lawyer on your side. Note the following advantages, for example.
1. Lawyers have a deep understanding of the law
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association has many regulations to ensure the safety of everyone that is sharing the road with a truck. However, the complexity of these regulations can make it difficult to see which regulation may have been broken in your particular case. Lawyers with experience specifically in truck laws can be a great asset to prove your case.
2. Lawyers can gather vital data on your behalf
Lawyers will gather the necessary documents, including police reports and medical documents. They may also contact trucking companies to collect information on the truck driver’s history and other incidents he may have caused in the past.
Depending on who may be liable, the lawyers will contact the trucking company and government agencies. This allows you to focus on your own recovery. You can be at ease knowing that lawyers are working on your behalf.
3. Your lawyer will fight for you
Insurance adjusters will likely get on your case for a quick and easy settlement. In the case of a trucking accident, you may be dealing with multiple insurance adjusters: those of the truck driver, the trucking company, the truck itself, and the cargo carried. However, they may not have your best interests at heart and you may lose out on receiving full compensation for your injuries. Consult with a lawyer to ensure you get the compensation you deserve.
With a multitude of possible liable parties, having a lawyer can be a beneficial resource to fight your case on multiple fronts. Lawyers do not shy away from stating a case against companies and government agencies on your behalf.
Lawyers will make sure that you not only receive compensation for the medical expenses and damages but can also make sure you receive compensation for loss of income and other non-economic factors. Rather than looking to settle the matter quickly, the right attorney for you will work to ensure that you receive the fair and just compensation that will help you on your recovery.
Why Contact Judd Shaw Injury Law
Truck accidents are far more complicated than your typical passenger vehicle accident. Given the complexity of these cases, having a team of experienced lawyers at your side can make an immense difference.
Judd Shaw Injury Law is an ethical law firm with strong core values that, you will see, center around you and your needs. Our passion and motivation come from making our clients happy and giving you the legal support you need. We abide by the Judd Shaw Way, promising you the highest level of service.
Contact us at 1-866-909-6894 or complete our online form to get a free case review. We’re available 24/7. With our No Fee Guarantee®, you only pay us if you get money for your claim. Our New Jersey truck accident attorneys have many years of experience helping our clients and are dedicated to helping you.