Though tractor-trailers account for only an estimated 2 million of the approximately 276 million registered vehicles in the U.S. today, truck accidents cause a high rate of injuries and fatalities. In 2019, 5,237 large trucks were involved in collisions that led to deaths, and most of those injured or killed in truck accidents were passenger vehicle occupants.
While it’s typical to blame the accident on the trucker, determining fault in truck accidents is a complex matter. Multiple parties are responsible for ensuring a semi is safe on the road. Establishing liability requires understanding the trucking industry and its regulations, relevant state laws, and how to utilize evidence to build a strong case.
In 2019, trucks moved nearly 12 billion tons of freight across the U.S. Getting this cargo to its destination safely involves a network of individuals and companies, each of which could potentially be at fault in a collision involving a tractor-trailer. When any node in the network fails to uphold its responsibilities, it risks the safety of other drivers on the road. Parties that are potentially liable include:
Determining responsibility in a truck accident requires the ability to analyze the evidence for linkages between all potentially responsible parties in the trucking industry.
It’s easy to understand why most people look to truckers and the trucking industry to collect damages in a tractor-trailer collision. However, other parties may share some of the blame. When determining fault in a truck accident, it’s necessary to look at the evidence from every angle to discover all potentially responsible parties, which may include:
Even when fault seems obvious, it rarely is as straightforward as it appears. If you sustained injuries in a truck accident, you want to ensure a fair settlement. Hiring an experienced and knowledgeable truck accident lawyer may improve your chances of receiving compensation from all at-fault parties.
Dealing with a truck accident claim is time-consuming. It can also be stressful, especially when trying to recover from your injuries. An attorney can reduce your burdens while possibly improving your chances of receiving the compensation you deserve. At Fielding Law, you get personalized support from the moment you sit down for your case review until your claim is settled.
An experienced truck accident lawyer knows how to navigate the insurance and legal landscape in these cases. They differ significantly from typical traffic accident claims and require a wider range of experience and legal knowledge.
An attorney can review the evidence in your case to determine its merit, providing you with a review of your options and the benefits and risks for each. At Fielding Law, we are up-front with our clients, informing them of the strengths and weaknesses in their cases. Once you have all the information, you can decide how you want to proceed.
If you decide to hire attorneys to handle your case, they investigate the accident to uncover the evidence. They may draw on any of the following in their investigations:
Through their investigations, they work to build evidence of liability to construct a solid case for your claim.
The lawyers calculate your damages. They determine what the amount is by considering both economic and non-economic losses. Your damages may include your current and future medical expenses, lost wages, reduced work capacity, rehabilitation and emotional and physical therapy costs, and pain and suffering.
Insurance companies often attempt to offer a quick settlement that is unlikely to cover all your losses. They hope to entice you with the fast cash. If you accept the offer, you lose your ability to recover any more damages in the future. Truck accident attorneys know how to negotiate with the insurance companies, regardless of who they represent.
You may find that your own insurance company does not want to provide you with sufficient compensation for your losses or that the at-fault party’s insurer tries to deny your claim. Insurance companies don’t part with their money easily. An experienced lawyer understands their tactics and isn’t afraid to engage in negotiations to achieve a fair settlement.
When the insurance companies don’t agree on a sufficient settlement, you may need to file a lawsuit to seek the compensation you deserve. Truck accident attorneys represent you in a legal claim. They work with the defendant’s representatives to come to an agreement. Most of these lawsuits never see the inside of the courtroom because they settle out of court. However, should the case proceed all the way to the courts, your attorney represents you there as well.
At Fielding Law, we work hard to ensure you receive fair compensation for your truck accident injuries. We provide personalized assistance from your initial consultation until your case is closed. You can count on us to walk with you every step of the way. Get in touch with us to schedule a free case review.