Personal injury is more than slip and falls, dog bites, and car accidents. A personal injury claim may also exist if you or someone you love was involved in a wreck with a tractor-trailer. Wrecks involving a tractor-trailer can cause serious injuries, mounting medical debt, job loss, and even years or a lifetime of medical problems.
Why Fault Matters
If someone wants to file a personal injury case, there are several elements that must be met. However, these elements really boil down to who was truly at fault for the injury. There must be a duty owed to the plaintiff by the defendant. The defendant must have breached that duty in some way (generally by either doing something they should not do or not doing something that they should do). That breach of duty must have caused the plaintiff to experience some sort of actual harm (be it physical, emotional, or property damage). Finally, that harm would not have occurred had the defendant not breached their duty. This means that had the defendant not been at fault, this damage would not have occurred.
That’s not the end of the fault discussion. In many jurisdictions, you must consider the legal concept of contributory negligence or comparative negligence. This means that If you have a personal injury claim, you could be considered at least partially responsible for your own injuries. In many states, if you have 51% or more responsibility, then you cannot recover any compensation.
Jane Smith is driving to the store. It’s snowing and the roads are wet and slick. She is looking at her phone instead of paying attention to the road. When she looks up, she must slam on her brakes to avoid hitting another driver. Behind Ms. Smith is a large delivery truck. For this, let’s say the driver is driving the speed limit. However, because this vehicle is much larger, it takes longer for it to come to a complete stop. The truck hits Ms. Smith from behind. In this instance, the court could very well decide that Ms. Smith had more than 50% fault despite the fact the truck hit her from behind. She was not paying attention to the road. Had she been watching the road instead of her phone, she may have been able to avoid the wreck. Now, if the other driver had been speeding or following her too closely, then the company may have more fault.
Involved in a Wreck With a Semi-Trailer?
If you or someone you love was involved in a wreck with a semi-trailer, it’s important that you speak with a qualified personal injury attorney. A personal injury attorney with a track record of successfully handling tractor trailer wrecks can help you protect your legal rights. Don’t leave your future up to the insurance company. Make sure that you get what you rightfully deserve. Contact a personal injury attorney today to find out if you have a case.
*The content of this article serves only to provide information and should not be construed as legal advice. If you file a claim against Old Dominion, or any other party, you may not be entitled to any compensation.