Every person that is involved in truck accidents should understand how difficult the claim process can be. Unfortunately, these are collisions that can lead to very serious injuries and huge property damages. As a result, it is highly recommended that you hire an experienced 18-wheeler accident lawyer as soon as you can after the crash so that your best interests will be respected and you will get the financial compensation you are entitled to by law.
The Dangers Of Truck Accidents
You just need to know that a semi-truck can weigh around 80,000 pounds and 18-wheelers are even bigger. Compare this with the average US car weight of 4,000 pounds and it is easy to realize what type of damage can appear from a collision. Unfortunately, in some cases, even surviving is unlikely.
You should also be aware of the fact that there are more accidents involving commercial motor vehicles than many believe. In the US alone, there are around 500,000 happening every year.
Truck Accident Causes
Several causes of collisions are possible. The most common ones are distracted driving, reckless driving, driver fatigue, inadequate maintenance, poorly loaded cargo, overweight cargo, defective mechanical parts, and insufficient training. The cause of the accident will influence the options you have available after the car accident.
The Evidence You Need To Collect At The Scene
This is one of the last things you will think about but it is very important to keep track of what happened. In time, you will forget details so collecting evidence at the scene of the truck accident is a very good idea.
The best evidence you can collect is visual. So try to shoot some videos and take as many photographs as possible that show damages and injuries. Also, after the collision, make sure to keep all medical records.
Responsibility In Truck Accidents
When it was the 18-wheeler that caused the collision, several at-fault parties might exist, like:
- The trucking company
- The cargo company
- Parts manufacturers
- Truck manufacturers
- The truck driver
When you pursue claims against any of the parties mentioned before, there are subtle differences you have to be aware of. This is why the work of a truck accident lawyer is so important.
How Is Negligence Proven?
When negligence was involved in the truck accident, the attorney needs to prove the following:
- Duty of care – The point is to show that the truck driver had to respect the law.
- Breach of duty – Rules were not followed and duty of care was breached.
- Damages – The injuries of the victim require financial compensation.
- Causation – The breach of duty is what caused the injuries.
What Damages Are Offered?
In truck accident claims, 2 major damage types exist:
- Compensatory Damages – This includes things like property damage and medical bills. Also, unquantifiable factors can be claimed, like loss of opportunity and pain and suffering.
- Punitive Damages – These are rare but they apply when it is considered that the behavior of the defendant warrants disciplinary actions. This is meant to act as a warning for others not to do the same thing.