Whenever a big rig, 18-wheeler, tractor-trailer, or other large commercial truck strikes a smaller vehicle, the smaller vehicle’s occupants almost always suffer the more severe injuries.
Victims of serious truck accidents may file a claim with the at-fault truck driver or trucking company’s insurer. However, in most situations, these insurance companies are extremely difficult and will do everything possible to undervalue the amount of money an accident victim recovers. Insurance companies look out only for themselves, and they want to keep as much of their money in their possession as possible.
If you suffered injuries in a recent truck collision, one of the most important steps you can take is to retain an experienced truck accident attorney in Madison to represent you throughout the legal proceedings.
Experienced truck accident lawyers know how these insurance companies work and are familiar with their business models. A knowledgeable lawyer will know the tricks and tactics that insurance companies routinely use to undervalue claims and can combat those tactics with aggressive settlement negotiations.
Additionally, if the insurance company does not make you a fair monetary settlement offer, your lawyer may file a lawsuit in the court system on your behalf and take your case to a civil jury trial.
Throughout the process, your lawyer will aggressively advocate for your legal rights and interests since those interests oppose the insurance company’s interests.
Your attorney will also answer all your questions and ensure you know all potential legal options in your case. Your attorney will obtain as much financial compensation for you as possible, given the facts and circumstances of your case and the injuries you suffered.
Common Causes of Local Truck Accidents
Local truck accidents frequently occur when truck drivers and employer trucking companies make serious mistakes and commit wrongful acts. Truck driver negligence usually involves a driver violating one or more traffic laws or state/federal motor carrier regulations.
Common traffic laws that truck drivers violate and may lead to severe accidents include right-of-way, speed limit, and turn signal laws, including executing the appropriate turn signal when switching travel lanes.
Serious truck accidents may also happen when truck drivers and trucking companies violate both state and federal motor carrier regulations. The purpose of these regulations is to promote safe truck operations and prevent accidents from occurring. However, serious accidents are far more likely when truck drivers and trucking company employees violate these regulations.
Some of the most common rules that truck drivers and trucking company employees violate include:
- Failing to follow weight limits that apply to the particular commercial vehicle and the roadway where the vehicle is operating
- Failing to properly secure truck cargo and contents to the trailer bed so that the load does not fall off the trailer and into the middle of the road
- Failing to properly load and unload truck cargo so that the vehicle does not become unbalanced or top-heavy
- Failing to ensure that the tractor and trailer remain in good working order and that all overhead and undercarriage lighting is working at all times
In addition to these violations, truck accidents may happen when drivers become sleepy while behind the wheel. Often, trucking companies financially incentivize their drivers to operate for long hours without taking rest breaks.
However, if tractor-trailer drivers do not get enough sleep, they are more likely to become inattentive or fall completely asleep at the wheel, losing control of their trucks. When that happens, serious accidents and injuries may occur.
Another common cause of truck accidents is road rage, where a driver exhibits various types of reckless driving maneuvers to move ahead of other traffic. Some of these maneuvers may include tailgating other vehicles, speeding, failing to use turn signals, cutting off other vehicles in traffic, or weaving around traffic without using the proper turn signals.
Truck accidents can also happen when truckers drive while they are under the illegal influence of alcohol or drugs.
While the blood alcohol concentration limit for most passenger vehicle operators is 0.08 percent, commercial vehicle operators, including truck drivers, must have a BAC of 0.04 percent or lower. Otherwise, they are legally intoxicated and subject to arrest for DUI.
Additionally, a convicted DUI offender may be subject to criminal, civil, and administrative penalties, including loss of a CDL. If an intoxicated truck driver causes an accident in which other individuals suffer physical injuries, they may have to pay civil damages through their insurance company.
The dangers associated with intoxicated truck driving are apparent in any circumstance. Those dangers include impaired vision, delayed reaction time, limited concentration, delayed reflexes, lack of motor skills, poor coordination, and impaired judgment.
All these symptoms may severely incapacitate a truck driver and prevent them from operating their vehicle safely and carefully.
Finally, some truck accidents happen when drivers become distracted at the wheel.
For example, instead of watching the road, a truck driver might be adjusting the volume on their radio, making a cellular phone call without using a hands-free Bluetooth device, texting and driving, or programming a GPS navigation device.
These activities may cause a driver to take their eyes off the road and lose their mental focus, preventing them from safely operating a vehicle.
In addition to truck driver negligence, trucking company negligence may lead to severe accidents. Trucking company negligence usually occurs when a company negligently entrusts one of its vehicles to an irresponsible driver with a poor driving record or a history of DUI convictions.
If the driver subsequently causes a collision, the trucking company may share some or all of the responsibility for the resulting injuries and damages.
You are not alone if you sustained injuries in a recent truck accident involving a truck driver or trucking company negligence. However, you need to speak with a truck accident attorney in your area as quickly as possible.
Your lawyer can probably investigate the accident circumstances and develop a plan of action to move your case forward to an efficient and successful resolution.
Ways That an Experienced Truck Accident Lawyer Can Help with Your Personal Injury Claim or Lawsuit
In a personal injury claim or lawsuit that involves a truck accident, a skilled truck accident attorney can help.
First, your lawyer can investigate the accident circumstance and, if necessary, retain a certified accident reconstructionist who can testify in your case about how the accident occurred.
Additionally, your lawyer can gather all the documents necessary to prove the legal elements of your truck accident claim or lawsuit. These documents may include copies of police reports, accident scene photographs, property damage photographs, medical treatment records, lost-wage documents from an employer, medical bills, and injury photographs.
The insurance company adjuster handling your claim will synthesize all this information and contact your lawyer about settlement negotiations.
A knowledgeable truck accident lawyer can also handle all communications with insurance companies on your behalf.
During settlement negotiations, your lawyer can gradually push for a higher offer amount from the insurance company. Moreover, if the insurance company does not make you a fair settlement offer, your lawyer can file a personal injury lawsuit in the civil court system.
If your case ultimately proceeds to litigation, your lawyer can handle every step of the process for you, from answering written interrogatories to representing you and preparing you for a discovery deposition.
Your lawyer can also attend all court proceedings on your behalf, including settlement conferences and your civil jury trial.
Many cases settle at some point during the pretrial process, though a trial might be necessary if you have particularly severe injuries or the defendants dispute liability. If your case goes to a civil trial, the judge or jury will decide the outcome of all issues in dispute, including monetary compensation.
However, as an alternative to a jury trial, your lawyer might pursue binding arbitration or mediation as a favorable means of resolving your case out of court.
During binding arbitration, for example, a neutral arbitrator will review documentary evidence in the case, listen to testimony during the binding arbitration proceeding, and decide the amount of monetary compensation to award the accident victim for their injuries.
Every step of the way, your lawyer will keep you aware of changes in your case, including increased settlement offers. Your lawyer will also make sure you understand all potential legal options so that you can make intelligent, informed decisions at every stage of the proceedings.
These are only some of the many benefits of a truck accident attorney, so seek a free consultation today.
Recoverable Monetary Damages for Truck Accident Injuries
Upon sustaining injuries in a truck accident, you can recover various types of monetary damages, depending on the severity of your injuries, the amount of time you missed from work, the extent of your medical treatment, and the total cost of your medical treatment, among other factors.
Compensatory damages that truck accident victims may recover include loss of earning capacity (like if you have to switch to a lower-paying job due to your injuries), lost income, related past and future medical expenses, loss of spousal consortium and companionship, lifetime or long-term care costs, permanent scarring, permanent disability or disfigurement, pain and suffering, inconvenience, mental distress, loss of the ability to use an injured body part, and lost quality of life.
Your attorney will push for the highest amount of settlement compensation possible in your case, helping you become whole again after your truck accident.
Contact a Truck Accident Lawyer in Your Area Today
Victims of truck accidents must file a personal injury lawsuit within three years of their accident date. Otherwise, the court will prevent them from recovering any monetary damages for their accident-related losses.
Given the time constraints of the statute of limitations, retain an experienced attorney to represent you throughout your case as quickly as possible. As soon as a personal injury lawyer becomes involved in your case, they can begin advocating for you and your legal interests.
In addition to investigating the accident circumstances, your lawyer can aggressively negotiate with insurance company adjusters and, if necessary, pursue the litigation result you need and deserve in your case.
The last thing anyone wants is to deal with a pushy insurance adjuster over the phone. When you hire a truck accident lawyer to represent you, you give yourself the peace of mind of knowing that you have given yourself the best chances of financial recovery while you focus on recovering from your injuries.