Cases involving injury from a truck accident will face unique concerns as opposed to other vehicular incidents. That’s because unlike regular vehicles, semi truck drivers are required to follow complicated state and federal rules, as well as regulations from their own companies. The trucks also usually carry higher insurance premiums, making settlements more taxing than they should be.
This is on top of severe injuries that the plaintiff has suffered. While there could be several complications that would arise in commercial truck accident settlement cases, here are the top three:
1. Proving fault in a truck accident case.
Just because you were injured in a semi truck accident doesn’t mean the driver was at fault OR that you will receive a huge settlement amount.
As previously mentioned, there are many factors involved – including a (perhaps) long and arduous factual background investigation. If you feel that you were NOT at fault, there needs to be evidence that shows the defendant had violated the rules or regulations, leading to the incident. Chances of winning a trial might increase once proof is established.
After an accident, involved vehicles and their contents would be impounded for investigation. The important thing is to ACT quickly so that crucial evidence is preserved. It’s also wise to seek expert legal help so that you’ll know the next steps to take.
2. There might be multiple defendants.
During the investigation, it might be presumed that multiple parties (e.g. the trucking company, vehicle and/or parts manufacturers, etc.) are accountable. This would make the case more difficult because it would take a while to establish the proportions of fault. This is important in determining the settlement amount for the plaintiff.
For example: in a commercial truck accident where you suffered multiple fractures, it was found that both the driver and the trucking company were at fault: the driver for forcing himself to drive while exhausted, and the company for pressuring the driver to work longer hours.
If proportions of fault are unclear, the case might go to trial. This is where it becomes lengthy and demanding. There’s also a likelihood that the defendants would only pay for the damages they caused – NOT damages to the plaintiff.
3. Amount of settlement to be claimed.
A truck accident can be a real nightmare not only because of the legal procedures involved, but mostly due to the severity of injuries one can suffer. As trucks are bigger and heavier, incidents often lead to serious injury or even death. Large amounts would be needed for hospitalization, rehabilitation, and reimbursement (e.g. lost wages).
Even though semi trucks carry higher policy limits in terms of coverage, certain policies, language, and restrictions make it tough to quickly arrive at a settlement. If cases are not settled, it could go to trial – making the entire incident difficult for everyone.
If you or someone you know has been severely injured in a commercial truck accident, seek help from a legal representative who specializes in big rig cases immediately. A commercial truck accident lawyer can properly advise you on the next steps to take following the event. Make sure you get the important details, such as truck driver information and the name of the trucking company (if applicable).
Last, communicate during the entire process and keep an open mind. Commercial vehicle accident settlement cases are NOT easy – but with a skilled professional by your side, you can win.