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Where Do Most Truck Accidents Happen In Salt Lake County, Utah?

Utah highways and interstates are packed with large commercial trucks carrying heavy cargo loads at all hours. Given a semi’s significant size and weight, the damage it can cause to a smaller vehicle is substantial. Additionally, the victims of truck accidents sometimes face a cumbersome process when trying to recover compensation because the question of liability in these cases is often complex. If you suffered an injury or lost someone you love in a truck collision, a personal injury lawyer can help you understand the legal options available to help you get your life back on track.

Who Is Liable for a Truck Accident in Utah?

Liability in a truck accident lawsuit can be complex. For example, in a car crash involving more than one vehicle, one or both drivers are at fault. However, if the truck is at fault in a truck accident, the truck driver is not always the at-fault party. The potentially liable parties in a truck accident case include:

  • The trucking company. The trucking company is responsible for ensuring its trucks undergo routine inspections and maintenance. Any accident caused by truck failure after missing an assessment or failing to complete maintenance would likely be the company’s fault. Additionally, companies must train drivers and perform thorough background checks before hiring them. Failure to do so could also result in accident liability.
  • A third-party maintenance company. If the trucking company outsources inspections and maintenance to a third-party mechanic, issues leading to an accident will make the maintenance company liable.
  • The truck manufacturer. The manufacturer could be liable if a faulty part on the truck fails and causes an accident. However, if the manufacturer recalled the part and the trucking company failed to respond, the blame would then fall on the trucking company.
  • The party that loaded the truck. Federal and state laws heavily regulate semi-truck cargo loading. Cargo weight limits depend on the build of the truck. Exceeding the limits, failing to load correctly, or failing to secure the load could result in objects falling on the road or the trailer tipping over. In either case, the party that loaded the truck would be responsible. That party could be the driver, the trucking company, or a third party.
  • The truck driver. If the truck driver violated road laws or company safety standards, they could be liable for the accident. 

Sometimes truck accident cases involve more than one at-fault party or more than one type of lawsuit. If you have questions concerning liability in your case, talk to a truck accident attorney about seeking compensation. You may still be eligible even if you bear partial responsibility for the accident.

Potential Lawsuits After a Truck Accident

Several factors can affect what type of lawsuit your case requires, and truck accidents can result in multiple types of personal injury lawsuits. These include:

  • Truck accident case. If the trucking company, loading party, truck driver, or third-party maintenance company were at fault, you would likely file a truck accident claim seeking damages from the insurance provider of one of those parties.
  • Wrongful death case. You would file a wrongful death claim if you lost a spouse, parent, or child due to the accident. These claims also have specific damages. For example, you could request compensation for funeral and burial or cremation costs, loss of inheritance, loss of companionship or consortium, loss of the love and nurturing provided by the deceased, and loss of benefits the deceased provided. You may also be more likely to receive punitive damages, depending on the details of the accident.
  • Product liability case. Product liability cases result from a malfunctioning product leading to injury or death. You would sue the manufacturer or distributor for compensation in this case. For example, if the steering system failed, causing the truck driver to lose control, you would sue the manufacturer. However, if the steering system failed because the maintenance crew did not replace a worn part, you would sue the company in charge of maintenance.

Under certain circumstances, you may have more than one type of case for a single accident. Speaking with an experienced truck accident attorney will help you better understand the nuances of your case.

What Damages Can You Recover From a Truck Accident?

The legal term damages refers to anything you lost directly from the accident and your injuries. In Utah, personal injury law allows you to sue the at-fault party should your losses exceed the limitations of personal injury protection insurance, which is often the case with truck accidents. Unless you have legal experience, you may not know all the damages available to you. Still, an attorney can help you accurately value your claim, starting with identifying the compensatory damages.

Compensatory Damages

Every accident case is different, with some variation in the types of damages available. However, there are some commonalities in personal injury. For example, any losses you suffer fall under two categories: economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages include:

  • The cost of treating your injuries, including emergency medical care, surgeries, hospital stays, prescription medicine, doctor visits, rehabilitative treatment, and any medical devices necessary for your injuries
  • The income lost due to missing work days or losing your capacity to earn the income you earned before the accident
  • The cost of property damage, such as repair or replacement of your vehicle
  • The cost of any other associated expenses, such as assistance with in-home duties or childcare

Proving these losses requires collecting all the paper evidence, such as medical bills, property damage estimates, in-home care receipts, and pay stubs showing missed work. However, the non-economic damages, which are the psychological effects of the accident and injuries, are not as easily proven. These damages include:

  • Pain and suffering, including emotional distress and mental anguish
  • Depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Loss of the ability to enjoy life
  • Disfigurement
  • Disability

To provide evidence of these losses, your attorney would collect statements from those closest to you and your written statement.

Punitive Damages

An award of punitive damages is not as common. The court reserves punitive damages for victims of gross negligence or malicious intent. For example, if the truck driver was speeding and driving while impaired when they hit your car, the court may make them pay more than just the compensatory damages to stop them from behaving that way in the future.

When Should You Contact a Truck Accident Lawyer?

Truck accidents can result in catastrophic injuries and are among the most deadly types of auto accidents. However, victims do not have to face the financial consequences alone. In Utah, you can sue the at-fault party in your case and get the compensation you need to rebuild your life.

At Fielding Law, our legal team deals with truck accident cases on a regular basis. We understand the burdens you face and offer our services at no upfront fee to ensure you have aggressive legal representation. Our goal is to reach a fair settlement as quickly as possible. We will handle the insurance companies, prepare all the paperwork, investigate your accident, collect the evidence you need to support your claim, and offer you compassionate support along the way. If you have questions about the details of your case, do not hesitate to call us at (877) 880-4090 for your free case evaluation or complete the online form.