Accidents with commercial trucks are common on highways and injuries involved in them are often serious. Fortunately, you can seek compensation for both economic and non-economic injuries through an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit. However, a mishap with a commercial truck differs from a normal car crash. Obviously, you can expect the claims procedure to vary as well. These mishaps require in-depth investigations while the compensation claims can be very complex. Moreover, you will find yourself facing a powerful commercial entity rather than a driver. Having an expert legal professional representing your case surely makes sense. Here are some more facts that you need to be aware of.
Difference between a personal vehicle and commercial truck accident claims
When it comes to a personal injury claim for a truck crash, your attorney will investigate it differently. As compared to a mishap with a personally-owned vehicle, there is much more data and documentation that needs to be reviewed for determining the cause of the crash. Determining the liability for the accident is also more complicated because the negligent driver may not actually be the party that is liable for compensating the victim. As the truck driver may be an employee of a commercial company, the liability could be of the company. Also, the evidence and witnesses needed to prove negligence and liability in such cases need to be more solid. For example, your lawyer may call mechanical, electrical, engineering and accident reconstruction experts in addition to eyewitnesses to testify in the court.
Determining liability for a commercial truck accident
In most of the commercial truck crashes, the liability may not straightforward as in case of a car accident. There are several factors that are to be investigated for determining the liability. Only expert truck accident lawyers can help you determine the party that was negligent and the one that is liable to compensate as both may not be the same. Here are some facts that your lawyer will investigate for this purpose.
- The professional and personal driving history of the trucker
- His commercial driver’s license and endorsements
- His mental state at the time of the accident
- His physical condition at the time of the crash
- The repair and maintenance history of the truck
- Whether the vehicle was properly loaded
- Whether it was within the legally permissible weight and size limits
- Whether the trucker and carrier were following the federal and state regulations
Pursuing your compensation after commercial truck accident
Like any road mishap, compensation for a commercial truck accident can be sought through an insurance claim or a lawsuit, depending on the circumstances. If you go ahead with an insurance claim, you will file a claim against the trucking company even if the crash is caused by the driver. The reason is that the employer is responsible for the action of their employees while at work. The other alternative is a personal injury lawsuit, which gets you a fair settlement if things do not work out with negotiation. If the driver was at fault, you may sue the employer. In some cases, you can sue other parties such as the loader, maintenance provider, or a parts manufacturer depending on the cause of the accident.
Considering the complications of determining the legal liabilities and handling the claim against a commercial company, it is best to have a seasoned truck accident attorney to litigate your claim. They will definitely ensure just and fair compensation for you.