Large commercial trucks, like semis, tractor-trailers, and 18-wheelers are common sights on all sorts of roads from busy highways to rural roadways. In 2015, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) reports that large trucks traveled a combined 275 billion miles.
With such a large presence on heavily-traveled roads, accidents involving truck accidents and standard passenger vehicles are all too common occurrences. Often, the majority of damage as a result of these accidents happens to the standard motor vehicle since commercial trucks are much larger and heavier.
But property damage and vehicle repairs aren’t the only costs associated with truck accidents. If you’re hit by a commercial truck and end up hurt and out of work, you may have additional damages like:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Emotional distress
- Pain and suffering
One of the most effective ways to collect compensation after a truck accident is to file a personal injury claim. A personal injury claim allows you the opportunity to prove the truck driver was at fault and responsible for the accident and injuries you received.
How to Determine Fault in a Truck Accident
Typically, the burden of proof in a personal injury claim falls on you, as the plaintiff. This means you will have to show that the company. or its driver was in some way negligent for the accident that caused your injuries.
Proving negligence in a personal injury case makes all the difference in whether or not you will collect any compensation and how much will be awarded to you. In some cases, the type of negligence proven may even allow you to collect “extra” compensation known as punitive damages.
Punitive damages are awarded in some cases where gross negligence is proven. Gross negligence is any action or behavior that is considered to be extremely careless or dangerous. For example, driving while heavily intoxicated can sometimes result in a driver being found “grossly negligent” for any injuries they cause.
However, the most common factor that contributes to truck accidents is driver fatigue. If a driver fails to take the required rest periods all truck drivers must take, they may be negligent for an accident as a result of their fatigued driving.
In addition to driving while overly tired, truck accident frequently happen due to:
- Traveling too quickly, especially in poor weather
- Driving while distracted
- Failing to react appropriately (like overcorrecting or under correcting)
- Improperly secured cargo (freight that comes loose and becomes a road hazard)
If you’ve been injured after being struck by a truck, you should hire a personal injury attorney for help. He or she will be able to investigate the facts of your case and help prove negligence for your accident so you can recover the compensation you’re entitled to under your state state’s laws.
How to File a Claim
Although most every transportation company offers a robust training program, accidents do happen. If you are in an accident with a any driver, you should start compiling evidence for your case as quickly as possible. If you are physically able to, this starts at the scene of the accident. Make sure to record:
- The license or truck number
- The driver’s contact information
- Witness statements and contact information
- Photos of the accident to record damages
As you recover, be sure to:
- Save all medical bills
- Record diagnosis to predict future medical bills
- Track all lost and future lost wages
- Note major changes in lifestyle
If you are able to gather all of the proper documentation, you will be able to prove negligence and the extent of the damages you suffered. This will go a long way toward receiving the compensation you deserve.
Get the Help You Need
Truck drivers are held to different regulations than other drivers. If you’ve been injured in an accident with a truck, you should hire a personal injury attorney who understands these complex laws unique to truck accidents.
He or she will understand the safety standards that govern truck accidents and will assist you in filing a claim.
With an attorney in your corner, you can receive the representation you need to navigate complicated truck accident claims in order to recover compensation that will help you move on with your life.
*The content of this article serves only to provide information and should not be construed as legal advice. If you file a claim against Prime, Inc, or any other party, you may not be entitled to any compensation.