The stakes of any injury claim increase when a semi-truck—whether it is a tractor-trailer or another type of truck—is involved in a motor vehicle accident. Understanding that 18 wheeler truck accident claims are immediately complicated by a number of factors is important for those involved in these types of collisions.\
Of course, a lot of trucking firms and their insurance providers have a lot of experience dealing with injury claims resulting from collisions involving their drivers. Insurance companies frequently exert intense pressure on victims to accept lump-sum settlements that are significantly less than what they are legally entitled to.
You should look for legal counsel as soon as you can if you were involved in a commercial truck accident in the greater San Antonio area and sustained severe injuries or a loved one was killed. Commercial truck accident claims are considerably more complicated than typical auto accident claims, and an accomplished personal injury lawyer will be of great assistance to you in guiding you through the difficult legal process.
The Way We Work For You To Get Paid is As Follows:
- collect the proof
- We work with the insurance providers.
- File all forms and notices.
- confrontational negotiating
- Use the years of experience we have everywhere.
Different Rules Apply to Commercial Drivers
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) states that individuals who possess a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL), such as truck drivers, are held to a higher standard when operating any type of motor vehicle on public roads. The operation of trucks with double or triple trailers, trucks with tanks, or trucks carrying hazardous materials may require special endorsements, which commercial truck drivers must obtain through their home states.
The FMCSA has stricter requirements for these drivers’ state licensing exams. Additionally, 18-wheeler drivers are subject to stringent rules regarding
- duration of service (governing how long they can drive in one stretch)
- testing for drugs and alcohol (including a lower limit for blood alcohol content for DWI charges)
- phone usage (including restrictions on the use of any handheld device)
Your attorney must act quickly after a truck accident to preserve trucking company evidence and ascertain whether any rules or laws were broken. This is an essential step in demonstrating negligence in your case involving a truck accident.
More severe injuries result from truck collisions
The large size and heavy weight of commercial trucks (which can weigh up to 80,000 pounds) frequently results in much more severe injuries to other parties. Drivers and other passengers in passenger cars who are involved in collisions with 18-wheelers frequently sustain severe injuries that could change their lives, including:
- neck wounds
- back problems
- Seatbelt accidents
- Bone fractures
- torso and rib injuries
- head trauma
- Traumatic encephalopathy
- spinal cord damage
- injuries to internal organs
- burn wounds
Commercial trucks also significantly raise the possibility that a collision will be fatal. The family of the deceased person may decide to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the reckless truck driver and the business that employed the driver if the person was killed in a commercial truck accident.
18-Wheeler Accidents Cause More Damage
Truck accidents frequently result in serious injuries and significant property damage, so victims must frequently seek much higher damages than in other cases.
The majority of truck accident cases are settled through settlements, and a just offer should account for all of the victim’s current and future expenses for care, medical bills, and other expenses. Since trucking companies and their insurers frequently don’t want to risk losing a case at trial, settlements are common. However, some disputes cannot be resolved through settlement talks and must instead be resolved in court. In either case, you must have an experienced 18-wheeler accident lawyer on your side.
On your behalf, a skilled attorney can seek both monetary and nonmonetary damages. Economic damages are sums awarded as compensation for actual expenses a victim has incurred or will face, like:
- The price of medical care (current and future)
- lost wages due to time away from the workplace
- Replacement or repair of your vehicle
- loss of potential earnings due to disability
- modifications to homes and medical supplies
Noneconomic damages are much more arbitrary and frequently lack a monetary value. They may consist of:
- Distress and suffering
- emotional angst
In a small number of circumstances, punitive damages may also be appropriate, but they are much more challenging to obtain. Punitive damages are only given to defendants in cases of especially egregious negligence, like drunk driving.
More Liable Parties Are Involved in Semi Truck Accidents
The main factor that makes 18-wheeler accidents unique is determining who is to blame for the collision. A truck accident may result from multiple parties’ negligence, as opposed to the majority of motor vehicle accidents, which only involve the negligent driver.
Following a truck accident, several parties may be named as defendants in a lawsuit, including:
- drivers of trucks
- vehicle owners
- Those who hire truck drivers
- vehicle manufacturers
- maintenance businesses
- cargo owners
- those who operate and own other vehicles
When there are several liable parties, they might start pointing the finger at one another in an effort to downplay their own degree of negligence. You require legal representation that can hold each and every guilty party fully accountable.
Larger Trucks Have More Comprehensive Insurance Plans
Insurance for commercial motor vehicles can be significantly more expensive than what most consumers pay to insure their own personal vehicles because the damages in a truck accident claim can be so severe. This also implies that the policy’s limits are much higher and that there is more money at risk.
Because there is more money at stake in a truck accident claim, insurance providers and trucking firms will use every legal means at their disposal to deflect responsibility, reduce settlement amounts, and even reject claims. To handle your claim, you should hire a lawyer with a history of dealing with combative truck insurance companies.
We at Ketterman Rowland & Westlund have a long history of obtaining the highest settlements possible for truck accident victims. We are not afraid to take a case to trial if a trucking company or insurer refuses to provide a just settlement because our committed attorneys are also accomplished litigators. Please get in touch with us right away for assistance with your claim if an insurance company has gotten in touch with you or tried to make a quick settlement offer after a truck accident.
Different Evidence Is Used in Truck Crash Cases
A victim of a motor vehicle accident often has the ability to obtain some of the best evidence for their case by taking as many pictures of the accident scene as they can with their cellphone’s camera. Any pictures you can get will be extremely helpful later on because crash scenes are usually cleaned up fairly quickly.
The same police reports that would be used in the majority of cases involving motor vehicle accidents are still crucial in cases involving trucks. Additionally useful in situations where a truck driver may have been inattentive are cellphone records.
There are, however, additional forms of proof that are unique to these kinds of cases, such as:
- The training and qualification files for drivers
- documentation of service hours
- Truck inspection records
- maintainance logs
- drug testing results
- Onboard system downloads
- delivery paperwork
- Dispatch guidelines
- ticket weights
- Orders for services
Our personal injury lawyers have the expertise and resources to gather every scrap of information that could be used to establish who is responsible for your accident.
To sum up
A collision involving an 18-wheeler or another large commercial vehicle may have injured you. Contact a legal team that has handled many 18-wheeler accident cases.
Ketterman Rowland & Westlund has assembled a strong group of experienced truck accident lawyers. All different kinds of truck accident claims have been handled by our attorneys, who fought for full and just compensation for their deserving clients. Additionally, we have fought on behalf of families who have lost loved ones in tragic truck collisions that were avoidable.
To arrange a free consultation with our experienced team, please get in touch with us right away. To discuss the specifics of your accident and get any questions you may have answered, our attorneys are available to meet with you in person. As we proceed with your compensation claim, we’ll go over your legal options and what to anticipate. And you can relax knowing that you owe us nothing unless we succeed in getting compensation for you.