Hold the Person Who Caused Your Truck Accident Responsible
Every year, thousands of people die in truck accidents. About 98% of these accidents result in the death of someone in the other vehicle. Roughly 15.5 million trucks are operating on U.S. highways and roads today, so you could be involved in a collision with a truck at some point.
Common Injuries in Trucking Accidents
After you collide with a truck, you are likely to sustain serious injuries. After all, trucks weigh several tons, and your small passenger vehicle doesn’t stand a chance against a large semi. Therefore, it won’t be surprising if the serious injuries you experienced may take years to heal. Your injuries may even be permanent.
The most common injuries that occur in a collision with a truck include the following:
- Concussions and traumatic brain injuries
- Damage to internal organs, such as the lungs, kidneys, pancreas, spleen, bladder, and liver
- Burns: Because trucks have such large fuel tanks, explosions are highly likely to occur. When this happens, passengers in the other vehicle can be severely burned, and these burns can be fatal.
- Crush injuries: These are common in collisions with trucks, and they cause people to experience acute compartment syndrome, fractures, rhabdomyolysis, internal organ damage, and compressed nerves.
- Neck injuries: When the head is whipped around forcefully, this can cause whiplash and may even result in paralysis.
- Back strains and sprains, compression fractures, spinal cord injuries, and herniated discs: These are all common in truck collisions.
- Wrist injuries: It is also likely that your wrists will be damaged in a collision with a truck. For example, your wrist may hit the dashboard, the steering wheel, the airbag, or the windows. These incidents could result in crush injuries, ligament tears, tendon damage, dislocated joints, sprains, or fractures.
Determining Fault in Trucking Accidents
If you have been injured in a collision with a truck, you need to hire a truck accident attorney. In your trucking law case, your attorney must determine which driver caused the collision. In your situation, your lawyer will try and demonstrate that the truck driver is the guilty party.
When assigning blame for a truck accident, your attorney will examine the actions of several parties, which may include the following:
- The truck driver
- The trucking company
- The manufacturer of the truck
- The manufacturer of the truck’s parts
Your attorney will also examine several documents, including truck accident reports, GPS records, safety inspections, driver logs, and maintenance logs.
Determining Negligence in Trucking Accidents
After the guilty party has been identified, your attorney will attempt to demonstrate to the court that the guilty party was negligent. This is one of the most important aspects of any truck accident case.
In a court of law, “negligence” is determined by the assumption that drivers have the obligation to exercise a “duty of care” when they are operating their vehicles on highways and roads. In addition to that, the court will need to determine whether or not the truck driver was more careless than the driver of the other vehicles.
If your case goes to trial, your attorney will try to show that the truck driver is the negligent party by presenting evidence, such as the police reports and any eyewitness statements.
After blame has been assigned to the guilty parties, your attorney will seek to demonstrate that one or more of the following is the case:
- Driver was negligent
- Driver failed to abide by trucking laws and regulations
- Driver or business failed to properly load the truck
- Driver or trucking company failed to properly maintain the truck
- Trucking company hired drivers who were not prepared to do the job
- Truck had failing parts
- Driver operated truck under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Driver was fatigued while driving
Trucking accidents occur most often for the following causes:
- Errors perpetrated by the truck driver: Truck drivers are under the obligation to provide a “duty of care” for the other drivers on the road, but their duty of care is heightened in these cases. Even so, they can fail to live up to those standards. It is unfortunate, but truck drivers get behind the wheel while they are tired, drunk, high, or distracted. They also drive recklessly at times.
- The failure to properly maintain the truck: Commercial trucks can be on the roads for several hours per day. These vehicles endure a tremendous amount of wear and tear. It is up to the trucking company, the driver, and the maintenance crew to ensure that the trucks are always in working order. The driver is required to inspect his or her vehicle before taking it on the road. If this isn’t done, the driver is considered negligent.
- Equipment failure: If the equipment fails, it may be because the parts were defective, and several parties could be held responsible for the trucking accident in this case.
- Adverse weather: Truck drivers need to be trained to drive in all kinds of weather conditions. If they’re not, accidents can be the result. In addition to that, it is hard for trucks to drive on snow and ice because their loads are so heavy. If the drivers fail to drive at a safe speed, their trucks are in danger of jackknifing, skidding, and hydroplaning.
- Improper loading: Trucks need to be loaded in the most appropriate way. Anything to the contrary can cause the load to fall off the truck. Cargo-loading teams are required to follow all of the truck industry’s rules for loading these vehicles so that the truck driver can avoid causing an accident.
Damages in Trucking Accidents
If you have been severely injured in a trucking accident, you may not be able to work. The bills will pile up, and your present and future medical treatment is going to be extremely costly. On top of that, you still have to pay for groceries, utilities, and your mortgage or rent. Another part of your accident lawyer’s duties will be to try and obtain compensation for your injuries from the guilty parties.
Compensatory damages are monetary awards that the party determined to be negligent in your accident will be ordered to pay by the court. Some of the reasons that you may be awarded compensatory damages include the following:
- Past, present, and future medical bills
- Any income that you lost because of the accident
- Pain and suffering
- Anxiety and depression
- Bodily disfigurement
- Loss of consortium
The amount of money that you could be awarded will depend on several factors, such as the severity of the injuries you sustained. The court will consider how long you suffered and the type of injury. In addition to that, your age may be a factor that is important to the court as well as what you do for a living. The amount of money that you owe the hospital is also important for deciding these claims.
If you were the victim in a trucking accident, contact Rebenack Aronow & Mascolo, L.L.P. today to speak with a truck accident lawyer. Our office in New Brunswick is available at (732) 247-3600. Our office in Somerville is available at (908) 448-2560. You can also email us at email@example.com.