Why Truck Accident Lawsuits Require Experienced Legal Representation
There are roughly 15.5 million trucks driving on the roads and highways in the United States, so it isn’t unusual when a private vehicle collides with one of them. These collisions result in 41,000 to 45,000 fatalities every year. The victims with the most serious injuries tend to be pedestrians and motorcycle riders.
The Rules of Trucking Law
Trucking law is different than the law that governs private vehicles. For example, truck drivers are required to maintain their trucks in the manner set forth by the industry. Truckers also must carry a different type of driver’s license. Before getting a commercial license, they must meet certain extra requirements. The trucks must also undergo annual inspections, and drivers must record everything in the company’s logbooks. All of these factors will be important to an accident attorney who is investigating a large truck accident.
Common Injuries Suffered in a Collision with a Truck
Some of the most common injuries in these accidents include the following:
- Broken bones
- Spinal cord injuries or paralysis
- Injuries to the back, neck and/or head
It’s important to note that post-crash pain may not arise right away. In cases of whiplash, it may take weeks before your neck or back start hurting. That’s why it’s important to closely monitor even the smallest injuries following a crash.
The Treatment Needed after a Collision with a Truck
After you are involved in a collision with a truck, you may require a significant amount of treatment to recover from your injuries. If you haven’t been to the emergency room, it is imperative that you go right away. You may have broken bones or even a concussion, and you will need to be treated for these injuries. The hospital staff will also record your injuries so that your attorney will have them while he or she is conducting the investigation of your accident.
Truck crash victims may also need to receive physical therapy. This therapy is ideal for back pain, whiplash or neck ailments. In some cases, people benefit from treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder as well. Without treatment for this condition, you may suffer from the effects of the accident for a much longer period of time. No matter what kind of treatment you require, it could take you several years to recover. This makes monetary compensation from the guilty party who caused your accident very important.
Common Causes of Truck Collisions
The most common causes of truck collisions include the following:
- The truck malfunctions.
- The weather makes it difficult to see.
- The road is in bad condition.
Because there can be so many different possible reasons behind an accident, your attorney may find that more than one party is responsible for the collision. The common causes listed above may implicate the trucking company, mechanics, parts manufacturers and the city.
Of course, the collision may have also been caused by the truck driver. For example, the trucker may have contributed to the collision in the following manner:
- Driving carelessly or recklessly
- Driving too fast
- Not obeying the traffic laws
- Being under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Driving while using a cell phone
- Inadequate experience
Holding the Guilty Party Responsible
If you have been hurt in a collision with a commercial truck, don’t allow the guilty party to get away without paying you the monetary compensation you deserve. You may have been paying your medical bills yourself, and this is not fair. Someone else caused your accident, and this person is responsible for your injuries. In addition to that, pedestrians, motorcycle riders and passengers receive much more serious injuries when they are involved in a crash with a truck. After all, a commercial truck is much larger than your average passenger vehicle. The property damages are also worse than a collision with another car, and this requires compensation.
The Importance of Hiring an Accident Attorney
If you have been in pain since your collision with a commercial truck and the trucking company hasn’t helped you in any way, it’s time to consider hiring an attorney. You could try to negotiate with the trucking company’s insurance company, but as was mentioned above, trucking law makes things more difficult for you if you are unfamiliar with the rules. Your attorney will have experience litigating these types of cases. For example, a truck accident attorney may do the following:
- Talk to the at-fault driver’s insurance company
- Gather evidence that points toward the other driver as the at-fault driver
- Gather all of your medical bills and records
- Keep in close contact with your doctors and stay informed on your recovery progress
- Collect medical evidence that supports your claim that the other driver is responsible for the accident
- Prepare the evidence so that it can be presented to show that the other driver is liable
- Negotiate with the insurance company for a fair settlement for your injuries
Not every accident claim can be negotiated. Sometimes, the at-fault party’s insurance company refuses to accept responsibility and pay what you deserve. In this case, your lawyer will prepare to take the case to court.
If you were hurt in a collision with a truck, the medical bills may be piling up. The injury may not be able to attend work either, which makes it even harder to cover health care costs. This is why you need an attorney to help you recover damages that will help you pay all of your bills. As you might expect, establishing that the driver, trucking company or city is liable for your injuries and must be responsible for your bills can be extremely difficult. That’s why you should consider hiring an attorney to prove that you deserve to have your medical and other bills paid by the guilty party.
Your attorney may ask the court to award you damages that will compensate you for the following:
- Payment for your medical treatment
- Payment for psychological trauma
- Payment for any disfigurement that you suffered
- Payment for the loss of consortium
- Lost wages
- A sum of money for the pain and suffering that you have experienced
The court may also award you punitive damages that are meant to punish the guilty party for the egregious behavior that resulted in the crash. While punitive damages aren’t common in other personal injury cases, judges are more apt to order them in truck accident lawsuits under certain circumstances. For example, punitive damages may be ordered if the trucking company forced its drivers to be on the road for 10 hours without stopping. Ultimately, courts expect fleet owners to take their responsibility for safety seriously.
If you need a truck accident attorney, you’ve come to the right place. Rebenack Aronow & Mascolo has a legal team that’s ready to fight for your best interests. We have experience handling truck accident cases and negotiating with stubborn insurers. To learn more or schedule a consultation, call our New Brunswick, NJ, office at (732)247-3600. You may also reach us at our Somerville, NJ, office at (908)448-2560.