Getting into any kind of accident is a scary situation. However, when you are involved in an accident with a commercial truck, the consequences can be dire. Because these types of trucks weigh so much more than the average passenger vehicle, even when they are not carrying a load, they can cause catastrophic injuries and death.
Determining what your commercial truck accident case is worth will depend on various factors. Some of them will include the extent of your injuries and property damage, but it will go much further than that, especially if multiple parties are involved.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), commercial truck accidents are common since they take much longer to stop because of their great weight. This can have tragic consequences that impact the lives of the victims.
What Are the Most Common Causes of Commercial Truck Accidents?
One thing that is similar with commercial truck accidents and other motor vehicle crashes is that they often involve driver error. Operating a commercial truck requires special skills and full attentiveness. Every truck driver must comply with the proper training, regulations, and maintenance. When trucking companies don’t follow established safety protocols, it puts everyone on the road in extreme danger.
With commercial truck accidents, the most common causes include aggressive driving, defective parts, distracted driving, driver exhaustion, inexperienced drivers, excessive cargo, improper loading, intoxication, lack of proper truck maintenance, speeding, or violations of federal trucking laws.
Who Can Be Held Liable for Negligence in a Truck Accident?
If you were involved in an accident with a commercial truck, the truck driver might be held liable. But it could also be the fault of the trucking company or the manufacturer of the truck. Should this be proven true, your case could be worth more.
When a truck driver commits an error that causes an accident, it affects the trucking company’s reputation because the trucking company is responsible for the performance of its employees. If the truck had any parts that were defective, the truck manufacturing company would be held responsible. You will most certainly want an experienced truck accident lawyer to help you get the compensation you deserve after a devastating truck accident.
What Factors Affect the Amount of a Truck Accident Settlement?
In California, there is no set number of what your truck accident case is worth. It will need to be determined based on the unique factors of your case. Certain factors will certainly affect that amount.
As mentioned, there may be multiple liable parties for the accident that caused your injuries. Investigations will determine if it was only the truck driver who was at fault. It could also have been a defect in the truck, making the manufacturer or another third party liable. Something else to consider is if you had any fault in the accident. California is a pure comparative negligence state. This means the amount of compensation you recover will be reduced by the percentage of your fault in the accident.
The Severity of Your Injuries
In general, most people that live to tell about being in a commercial truck accident will have major injuries. The severity of your injury will be factored into the settlement amount for your commercial truck accident case. The more severe the injury, the larger the payout.
Additionally, it will be considered whether or not you will be entitled to recover for loss of income or earning capacity. If you had a pre-existing medical condition, this would also weigh in on the decision of the compensation you will receive.
The insurance coverage in effect at the time of the commercial truck accident may also impact your settlement amount. The truck driver and trucking company must meet the minimum insurance coverage depending on the type of transported freight. In the case of hazardous materials, that minimum coverage is set at $5,000,000.
What Damages Can You Recover Compensation for in a Commercial Truck Accident?
Because every commercial truck accident has unique factors, these will all determine how much the case is worth. As it depends on your injuries, the facts of the case, and even the insurance policy limits, this number can vary widely.
When you are filing a case for a commercial truck accident, you may be able to recover damages that include the burial and funeral costs if it results in the wrongful death of a loved one. Suppose you were the one who was hit by the commercial truck. In that case, you could pursue compensation for your current and future loss of income, current and future medical expenses, ongoing care costs, diminished quality of life, disfigurement, disability, paralysis, loss of companionship, property damage, pain and suffering, and emotional distress.
How Is a Case Prepared for a Commercial Truck Accident?
If you were in a commercial truck accident, you should enlist the services of Brown & Gessell truck accident lawyers. They will have the experience you need to investigate the accident and handle all claims from start to finish.
As with any accident, evidence will be required. With such severe injuries, it may be difficult for you to gather all the necessary evidence. However, your lawyer will work on your behalf to obtain what is needed to help you recover damages.
They will do so by using industry experts to reconstruct the accident scene. Additionally, they will also collect information from the black box of the commercial truck. Talking with first responders and accident investigators will help them gather accident information and provide the crucial evidence needed to prove liability.
Additionally, a truck accident lawyer will also go above and beyond to look into the safety records for the truck driver and the trucking company. With this information, they can determine if there were any violations regarding motor safety regulations and determine who is at fault for the accident.
Even if you were partially at fault, you could still recover compensation for your truck accident. It is imperative that you discuss your case with an attorney and let them handle the situation. This way, you can focus on your road to recovery.