Truck accidents can have serious consequences. If you have been hit by a large delivery truck it is possible that you will be badly injured. If you were not to blame for the incident, you should consider making a personal injury claim to recover the cost of your injuries.
You should be able to claim for hospital or other medical costs and any lost earnings at least if you have proof of who was to blame for the crash. A personal injury is advisable if you are going to make a claim against a powerful corporation.
Delivery trucks can be seen speeding along just about every major highway in the U.S. delivering goods for sale to the hundreds of stores across the country. You would be unlucky to be hit by one of these trucks, but it could happen.
Determining the At-Fault Party in a Truck Accident
As with any personal injury claim, it is important to establish who was at fault. Proof that the truck driver, or some other party, including the company itself, was to blame for the accident, will be necessary to enable you to receive compensation.
In some states, it is possible that even if you were judged partly responsible for the accident that you could be awarded a portion of the full compensation you have asked for. In some states, the personal injury laws may make it impossible to file a claim if you are partly to blame for the accident. Your attorney can explain the laws more fully before you file a claim.
Components of a Truck Accident Personal Injury Claim
Every personal injury case is different as the circumstances of each accident are never the same. The main components in any personal injury claim, including a truck accident claim are the costs of medical treatment, repair or replacement of any property damaged, as well as any lost earnings.
Evidence of how much this has cost you together with any accurate estimate of potential future costs must be made available to back up your claim.
An accident in which a truck fails to yield the right of way at an intersection and slams straight into the side of your car, is going to result in more serious injuries than if it just nudges your rear fender, even if this gives you a severe jolt.
In many states further payments may be awarded in a personal injury claim. These include an amount for “pain and suffering” due to the injuries, “loss of enjoyment of life” and punitive damages if the degree of negligence was judged to be severe.
Damages That May Occur
Any kind of truck accident can cause very serious injuries to the occupants of the vehicle that has been hit and severe property damage as well. Every truck accident is unique so there are no hard and fast details of injuries and car damage that can be described without considering the specific circumstances involved.
Factors to be taken into consideration include:
- the relative size differences between the truck and the vehicle struck;
- the speeds of the two vehicles at the time of the impact;
- where the impact took place e.g. was it a rear-ender accident or a head on collision accident, etc.?
The most severe damage would be if a truck struck a much smaller car when both vehicles are traveling fast. This could happen, for example, when there was a head on collision between the truck and the car on a main highway.
If the truck was attempting to overtake another vehicle on a one lane rural highway and struck your vehicle head on, then the consequences are likely to be very severe. Head on collisions and side-on collisions tend to be more severe than rear end or side swipe accidents.
Damage to the smaller vehicle could include any or all of the following:
- fender damage;
- broken windshield;
- broken side windows;
- broken side mirrors;
- scratches and dents in the bodywork;
- damaged tires and / or wheels;
- engine damage;
- transmission damage;
- total irreparable damage to the whole vehicle.
It is likely that any collision with any truck, unless it was very minor, would cause significant injuries.
If you intend claiming against the company responsible after a collision with one of their delivery trucks, you will need to back up your claim with all relevant documentation. Claims are often denied initially, at least, because of missing documentation.
You should make sure that even if you are only slightly injured that you see a doctor as soon as you can and have yourself examined. Obtain a report about your injuries from the doctor. All subsequent medical treatment should be documented as well, including the following:
- ambulance fees;
- all test results, such as x-rays and scans;
- hospital visits;
- medication prescribed;
- specialized equipment.
If the injuries are serious, you may need long term treatment or have a permanent disability. It can be difficult to accurately estimate the full cost of expected treatment and support you may need, but you could be out of pocket if these costs are not included in your claim. Your attorney could help with evidence from medical experts.
Also make sure you have confirmation from your employer showing what you normally earn and how long you are off work because of the injuries from the truck accident. All damage to your car and any other property should be documented, such as a crash report from the car repair yard, cost of towing the vehicle away from the crash scene and repair bill.
Use a Personal Injury Attorney if Considering Making a Claim
It is hard enough just coping with serious injuries and the trauma of a serious truck accident. Trying to fathom out the complexities of a personal injury claim can be too much to deal with mentally and emotionally. This is when a personal injury attorney, especially one that has had experience with truck accidents before, can help you.
The attorney will first assess the accident circumstances and provide an opinion about the chances of success if you do decide to file a claim. If the attorney thinks that a claim is worthwhile, based on the evidence available, then he or she can help to negotiate a satisfactory and fair outcome on your behalf.
*Disclaimer: The content of this article serves only to provide information and should not be construed as legal advice. If you file a claim against Home Depot, or any other party, you may not be entitled to any compensation.