Handling the aftermath of car accidents is never easy, and that’s especially true if you’re needing to file personal injury claims or lawsuits to cover your damage and medical expenses. But if you’ve been involved in an accident with a commercial vehicle such as a large truck, the situation may be even more complicated than you think. There are three things that tend to make trucking accidents more legally complex than accidents involving only passenger vehicles:
- Shared Fault
Truck accident statistics show both that the drivers of passenger vehicles often contribute to trucking accidents (by following too closely, changing lanes at unsafe times or underestimating truck stopping time), but are also far more likely to be seriously injured in them due to the comparative sizes of the vehicles involved. That means it’s quite likely that if you’ve been hurt in a trucking accident, you’ll also be in a situation where the fault was determined to be shared. In most states, this won’t disqualify you from receiving an award (based on a principle called “comparative negligence”), but it will make negotiating a fair settlement trickier.
- Shared Ownership
Even if it’s clear that the truck caused the accident, it can be unclear which party you should be dealing with in terms of getting reimbursed. The truck driver may be at fault, if he or she didn’t follow certain laws laid out for commercial drivers, but the companies that own the truck, maintain the truck, own the trailer or even loaded the goods into it might also be considered at fault depending on the details of the accident. That can make it tough to figure out the best course of action in getting the settlement you deserve.
- Legal Backup
If you get into an accident with another driver, you may not need to get lawyers involved. But with truck accidents, you should assume that the various parties listed above will each have a legal team on standby to cover situations just like this — and their singular goal will be to pay out as little as they can. That means that hiring trucking accident lawyers of your own significantly increases your chances of getting a fair and prompt settlement so you can get back to your normal, everyday life as soon as possible.
Are there any questions you’d like to ask truck accident attorneys, or do you have some experience to share? Join the discussion in the comments.