Accidents involving large tractor-trailer trucks are usually more serious than collisions that just involve passenger vehicles. The injuries are often more severe because of the size and weight of large trucks. The settlement of an accident claim involving a large truck can be far more complicated because trucking companies are required to carry sizable amounts of liability insurance and the stakes are higher.
Becker Law Office helps truck accident victims in. Our lawyers can help if you have been injured or lost a family member in a commercial truck accident. You can learn more through our frequently asked questions below, or by contacting us for a free initial consultation today.
The size and weight of a large commercial motor vehicle greatly increases the likelihood that a truck accident will cause serious injury or death. An 18-wheeler filled with cargo can weigh 80,000 pounds or more. When a large truck carrying a full load collides with a passenger vehicle at full speed, the result can be disastrous.
If a large truck collides with a passenger car or truck, the people in the smaller vehicle are far more likely to be hurt. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says about 80 percent of fatal crashes involving large trucks are multiple-vehicle crashes, compared with less than 60 percent for passenger vehicles.
Passenger vehicle occupants hurt in truck accidents are likely to suffer serious injuries such as head and traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), neck and spinal cord injuries, or broken bones. You may have permanent injuries that require ongoing care or leave you unable to handle the job you previously had. In addition to personal injuries, truck crashes can cause extensive property damage, which may include environmental damage if a truck spills hazardous waste or toxic chemicals.
Your losses in a collision with a commercial truck may be extensive. Contact a Becker Law Office truck accident attorney to find out how we can help you.
How do the trucking company and federal regulations make it harder to obtain compensation after a truck accident?
Trucking companies, known as “carriers,” are often large multi-state corporations with deep pockets and legal teams prepared to protect their interests after a truck accident. Federal regulations that govern the trucking industry are complex. A lawyer who understands them can make them work in their client’s favor.
It is very likely that you will hear from the trucking company’s lawyers and/or insurance company soon after a serious truck accident. They work to minimize the cost of an accident as well as the potential liability if negligence on the part of their driver or the company itself is found to have caused a serious wreck.
If you hear from the carrier or anyone representing it, it is best not to accept any money or sign any statement unless an experienced truck accident attorney has reviewed it with you.
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations govern commercial drivers’ licensing and time spent behind the wheel, vehicles and trucks’ components, trucks’ cargo and how it is loaded, and more. If the trucker or trucking company violated regulations, they can be held liable if this violation led to an accident and injuries.
But it takes a lawyer who knows FMCSA regulations and has the resources to investigate a truck accident to determine and prove a truck driver’s or trucking company’s liability. When you engage a Becker Law Office truck accident attorney, that’s what you get.
The truck driver, the company that hired the driver or a third party connected to your crash may ultimately be found to be liable for your injuries if their negligence caused the accident that hurt you.
- Traveling too fast for conditions
- Following too close
- Inadequate surveillance (failure to look)
- Illegal maneuvers
- Internal driver distraction
- External driver distraction
- Brake problems
- Tire problems
- Cargo shift (improperly secured cargo)
Vehicle problems may be a maintenance issue, which implies carrier liability, or a design or manufacturing defect that a third party might be liable for. The study also cited work pressure from the trucker’s employer, which may lead to fatigued driving or driving too fast to meet a delivery deadline. Roadway problems, which are a factor in some accidents, could lead to a claim against a local government or contractors who failed in their duty to ensure proper road maintenance or design.
After a proper investigation by the Becker Law Office, any of several people or organizations might be held liable for your truck accident.
You may be able to hold the trucking company, or “carrier,” liable for your losses in a truck accident. Trucking companies are responsible for the truckers they employ and for the operating condition of the trucks they put on the road.
Interstate trucking companies are regulated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). A trucking company may be held liable if maintenance problems caused a truck owned or leased by the company to crash. A trucking company that pressured a driver to drive too far without adequate rest in violation of FMCSA Hours of Service regulations could be held liable for an accident caused by a drowsy driver. A carrier that hired a driver who had previously had multiple traffic or FMCSA violations might be liable if the trucker’s negligence caused a wreck.
Whether the trucking company involved in your accident is a regional or national company, it will most likely call upon legal resources to fight a claim that could prove costly. Even a smaller trucking company will deploy lawyers, insurance adjustors and others in hopes of quickly settling a claim and thwarting a full investigation. Some companies will declare bankruptcy to escape liability for a serious wreck, only to emerge soon afterward under a new name.
A truck accident attorney who understands the relationship between truck drivers and their employers, like ours at the Becker Law Office can investigate your accident and press for compensation from all parties liable for your losses.
Lawyers who handle personal injury or wrongful death claims, such as in truck accidents, protect the rights of people who have been injured or lost loved ones in accidents that were not their fault. Your primary right after being involved in a truck crash is the right to be made financially whole for what has been unjustly taken from you.
In most cases, the amount of compensation you can obtain after being injured in a truck crash or similar accident is limited by the amount of insurance coverage available. But insurance payouts ultimately cost the companies or individuals who are covered.
A trucking company has a financial interest in making sure your accident does not cost them too much money or attract too much attention from federal regulators or the public. Insurance adjustors and lawyers representing trucking firms are trained to settle matters quickly and inexpensively. You may have already received an initial low-ball settlement offer, which you should decline.
Meanwhile, once you make a claim, the trucking company’s lawyers will work to minimize or deflect any blame for the wreck from the trucker or the trucking company. If left unchallenged, this can result in your settlement being less that it should be or even in your claim being denied.
You stand a much better chance of obtaining an appropriate settlement after a commercial motor vehicle accident with the assistance of an experienced truck accident lawyer. A lawyer who represents your interests can level the playing field. In a complex claim, your attorney’s legal team can investigate to determine how and why your accident happened and hold all responsible parties liable.
You owe us no legal fee unless we obtain compensation for you.
Our lawyers pursue personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits on a contingency-fee basis. This means our fees depend on the amount of the settlement or court award we obtain for our client. If we obtain nothing, we are paid nothing.
We meet with potential clients and review the circumstances of their accidents and losses at no charge and with no further obligation from either side of the table. If we agree to move forward, we investigate cases at no charge up front.
Our retainer agreement will stipulate the percentage of the final settlement or court award that our firm will retain as a fee. We will also be reimbursed for expenses required to develop the case, which we pay up front, such as fees for police reports, medical records, filing the lawsuit, and hiring expert witnesses and court reporters who record depositions.
This protects our firm and our clients, because it ensures that we only pursue cases that we expect to be successful. We won’t take frivolous lawsuits.
We investigate cases thoroughly and work hard to obtain the compensation our clients deserve. If you’re ready to get started, contact the Becker Law Office today.