How We Can Help You Recover Damages
If you walk away from a truck accident, you are very lucky. 69% of accidents involving tractor-trailers result in fatalities.
In most cases, a commercial truck is the most dangerous vehicle on the road. Trucks can easily crush cars and trap the motorists inside. As a result, many motorists fear trucks and do everything they can to avoid a catastrophic accident. Unfortunately, truck drivers are sometimes not careful enough and some should have never been hired as truck drivers to begin with.
Truck accidents are much more dangerous because a truck can weigh over 80,000 pounds. Even a collision at a slow speed can lead to quite a bit of damage to your vehicle. There is no reason why you should be forced to pay for all of these damages yourself if you are not at fault for the accident.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents
In some cases, a truck driver might simply make a mistake. For example, a driver might misjudge the distance between your car and his while making a lane change. In other cases, the driver may be much more negligent.
Some truck drivers drive while exhausted. This can be because:
- The driver is working for too many hours
- The driver is suffering from a sleep disorder
- The driver has other responsibilities that leave him exhausted
Exhausted drivers will often rely on stimulants and may even abuse substances to remain awake. However, this does not leave the driver alert enough to safely operate the vehicle.
Some drivers are also distracted and might be checking their phones or the GPS navigation unit.
Should I Sue The Driver Or His Employer?
Some truck drivers are independent contractors while others are employees of a shipping company. When seeking compensation, you will need to determine how the truck driver is classified because this will affect who is liable.
When the driver is an employee, his company may be held liable for the accident. Employers are expected to show due care when hiring an employee and perform proper background checks. Also, employers are responsible for adequately training their employees. For example, commercial truck drivers must know how to drive in inclement weather because the much heavier trucks stop more slowly. Drivers should pull over if the weather is too extreme.
In some cases, drivers may be pressured to meet deadlines and their employers may instruct them to skip their legally required breaks. This can lead to the employer being liable for damages and may also be an EEOC violation.
If you are not sure who you should seek compensation from, it’s essential that you speak with a Kansas City truck accident attorney who will examine your case and determine which parties were negligent and are considered liable as a result.
Commercial Truck Driver Negligence
Truck drivers are placed under higher standards than your average motorist. Drivers are required to keep driving logs and regularly maintain their trucks. Commercial trucks also come with a black box that will record data that could be used as evidence to prove your version of the events. However, the owner of the commercial vehicle may try to make the black box unavailable.
To receive compensation for the accident, you must prove that the truck driver was at fault. An attorney will know how to obtain the black box and will also know other types of evidence you will need to prove your case.
The attorney has access to other forms of evidence that you cannot access such as:
- Driver’s log books
- Maintenance records
- Employment files
- The trucking company
- The specific trailer involved
However, you must obtain this information quickly or it may be lost forever.
Your lawyer will also conduct an accident investigation to find out exactly how the accident occurred. He may need to hire an accident reconstruction expert who can determine exactly how the accident occurred based on the evidence available.
After a trucking accident, your Kansas City truck accident attorney will help you calculate damages. These can include:
- Vehicle repair costs
- Vehicle replacement costs
- Rental vehicle costs
- Reimbursement for loss of use
- Medical care
- Future medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
Additionally, if the truck driver was grossly negligent, you may be entitled to punitive damages. However, to argue for all of these damages and receive the compensation you deserve, you must speak with your truck accident attorney about how to gather the evidence necessary to support your case.
Commercial Insurance Providers Will Not Help You
Commercial truck insurance premiums are worth millions of dollars. They have much higher limits than a standard car insurance premium, but commercial insurance providers will still do everything they can to avoid making payouts. Because the stakes are so much higher, the insurance provider will act more quickly because the stakes are much higher.
The adjuster may offer you a very low settlement that doesn’t come close to covering the damages you have suffered. They may accuse you of causing the accident and deny your claim outright. However, if your claim is denied, you can always turn to a Kansas City truck accident attorney for help.
An experienced attorney will make sure that you submitted all of the necessary documents to the insurance carrier. The process is very complicated and long. Your insurance carrier might even try to use anything that you say against you. For this reason, you should consider having all communication handled by an attorney.
Learning about the intricacies of commercial truck accident law can become like a full-time job. After you are injured, you may be incapable of managing a car accident case due to being incapacitated and a family member can work with your attorney on your behalf. If you or a loved one was injured in a trucking accident, give us a call today and schedule a free consultation.