Being in a traffic accident — whether as a pedestrian, bicyclist, motorcyclist, or motorist — often results in injuries and damages. When that accident involves a truck, those injuries can be catastrophic. To recover your damages, you likely need a truck accident lawyer.
Why are Truck Accidents Often so Devastating?
Accidents that involve trucks, semis, 18-wheelers, or other commercial vehicles often lead to severe consequences and significant injuries and damage. For starters, trucks are massive: they can weigh twice or thrice as much as cars, weighing in at as heavy as 80,000 pounds. Because cars are so much smaller, they can be seriously crushed by a commercial vehicle in a crash, absorbing most of the impact. Additionally, commercial vehicle accidents often take place on the highway, at high speeds, which can increase the severity of the accident and resulting damages. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were 5005 fatalities involving large trucks in 2019, and 4895 in 2020.
Trucking accidents can be caused by a number of factors. Driver error is often the main cause, whether due to distracted or drowsy driving, impairment, or reckless driving, such as ignoring the rules of the road. In some cases, the blame lies with the trucking company, particularly if it failed to maintain or inspect its fleet, failed to properly load cargo, or failed to properly train its drivers. Mechanical failures are yet another reason commercial vehicle accidents occur. Because so many different parties are often involved, the complexity of commercial vehicle accidents can be difficult to navigate without the advice of an experienced personal injury lawyer.
What Injuries are Common in a Truck Accident?
18-wheeler accidents often result in very serious injuries. Head injuries, traumatic brain injuries, concussions, and brain damage are common, as are back and spinal injuries, paralysis—and in the worst cases, wrongful death. Not surprisingly, those personal injuries can result in severe damages, such as:
- Medical bills, including invoices for hospital stays, doctors’ visits, prescription costs, and medical testing and imaging
- Lost wages or income as a result of the victim being unable to work
- Damage to your personal property, such as your vehicle, culminating in mechanics’ bills or even a total loss
- Pain and suffering that you are experiencing as a result of the accident, as well as any loss of bodily functions
- Mental anguish and psychological trauma, necessitating mental health or therapy expenses
- The loss of your quality of life, including the loss of enjoyment of activities you previously enjoyed
The process of recovering for your damages in a trucking accident typically begins by filing a claim against any insurance companies involved. This starts the process of negotiating with both the insurer and the trucking company or its driver, in order to recover the fair and reasonable settlement you deserve for the damages you have suffered. If negotiations fail, your attorney will file a lawsuit on your behalf in the appropriate court. Generally, the lawsuit will assert a claim of negligence, which requires you to prove that the other party breached their duty of reasonable care on the road, directly causing your damages.
How Can a Truck Accident Lawyer Help?
Both trucking companies and insurance companies have a lot more resources than most victims of trucking accidents. That makes the balance of power shift in the companies’ favor, making it very difficult for victims to prevail in negotiations. The goal of the insurer and the trucking company is to minimize the payout. A knowledgeable truck accident attorney can help build your case based on the evidence so that you receive the maximum compensation.
Should settlement negotiations fail, a truck accident lawyer will be invaluable as you file your lawsuit in court. Your lawyer will be familiar with the litigation process, appropriate court procedures, and the law.
When you hire a truck accident lawyer, you are also hiring someone with the expertise to help value your damages. Some damages, such as pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment, are difficult to quantify, which can make the other party or insurance company take advantage of a plaintiff without the requisite knowledge about valuing damages.In your 18-wheeler truck accident claim, your attorney is your best asset. It is absolutely imperative that you hire an experienced truck accident attorney to represent your interests. The Francis Firm is made up of experienced Texas personal injury attorneys. Michael Francis, our managing partner, worked as a defense attorney for some of the largest trucking companies for almost a decade. He now puts that expertise to work in representing their accident victims. Your first consultation is free, and you do not pay any legal expenses unless you have a successful settlement or trial. Let the experienced trial lawyers at the Francis Firm help you understand your rights, get the medical care you need and the settlement you deserve. Contact us today to discuss your case.