What Happens in a Truck Accident Lawsuit?
If someone is hit by a commercial semi truck and the driver of the truck is at fault, the person who was hit can file a personal injury lawsuit against the truck driver’s insurance company — and/or the company that employs the truck driver — seeking compensation for damages.
An attorney will gather evidence and seek a settlement from the truck driver’s insurance company that covers all damages, including medical bills, automotive repairs, pain and suffering, and (when applicable) lost wages or loss of earning capacity.
If the other side is unwilling to settle the case for a fair amount, the injured party’s attorney may take the case to trial, where they will try to win a jury verdict in the client’s favor.
When Should I File a Truck Accident Lawsuit?
If you weren’t at fault for a collision with a truck in which you were injured and the truck driver’s (or trucking company’s) insurance company is unwilling to cover all the past and future damages you sustained, you should contact an attorney to determine if you have a case.
Don’t wait. Many states require that a motor vehicle lawsuit be filed within two years of the crash.
If I File a Truck Accident Lawsuit, Whom Do I Sue?
It depends. It’s common for an injured person to file a lawsuit against the truck driver’s (or the trucking company’s) insurance company, but there are several parties who could be liable for these injuries:
- The trucking company
- The owner of the truck
- The company leasing the truck or trailer
- The shipper whose cargo was being transported at the time
- The manufacturer of the truck, trailer, or parts therein
- The truck driver
For example, if a faulty party caused the crash, the manufacturer might be liable. If the trucking company forced the driver to work too many hours without rest and the driver dozed off, the trucking company might be held responsible.
All too often, the responsible party will deny liability and try to pay the injured person as little as possible. For that reason, after a truck crash, an injured person should always contact a licensed personal injury attorney to determine if they qualify for a legal case.
What Are the Most Common Truck Accident Injuries?
Generally speaking, the injuries sustained in truck accidents are more severe than those suffered in car accidents. In 2017, 4,761 people were killed in large-truck crashes, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration — a 9% increase over 2016 (4,369). In 72% of these fatal crashes, the person who died was not the truck driver but an operator or occupant of the other vehicle.
Some of the most common truck accident injuries include the following:
- Neck and back injuries (whiplash, herniated disc, etc.)
- Head injury/concussion
- Broken bones
- Internal bleeding
The medical bills, lost wages, mental anguish, and loss of enjoyment from these types of injuries can be overwhelming. That’s why it’s in one’s best interests to contact a licensed attorney who will fight for full and fair compensation.
How Can a Lawyer Help?
An attorney can help determine if someone should file a truck accident lawsuit. If so, they will help steer the plaintiff through the legal process, poring over police and medical records, interviewing witnesses, consulting experts, and negotiating with the other side. They will build the strongest possible case so the injured party can focus on getting better.
Importantly, most truck accident attorneys are free to hire unless the client wins a settlement or jury verdict, at which point the law firm accepts a percentage of the money recovered.
Truck crash injuries can have a devastating effect on a person’s health, career, relationships, and finances. As a result, there are many types of damages a person may be able to recover through a lawsuit:
- Medical bills (medication, physical therapy, etc.)
- Automotive repair bills
- Pain and suffering (physical pain and/or emotional distress)
- Lost wages and loss of earning capacity
- Loss of life’s enjoyment
- Funeral expenses
- Other damages (e.g., compensation for disability or disfigurement)
Full compensation for these damages can help a person get their life back on track. If you think you might qualify for a truck accident lawsuit, please don’t hesitate to contact us.