commercial truck injury lawyer

Why You Need a Commercial Truck Injury Lawyer

Tarun Sridharan Legal Editor & Attorney Contributor Read Time: 11 minutes

Why You Need a Commercial Truck Injury Lawyer

If you’ve been involved in a commercial truck accident, then you may have sustained serious injuries. Commercial truck accidents can lead to severe consequences due to their complexity and the multiple parties involved, making it crucial to hire experienced truck accident attorneys. Chances are that you are interested in exploring your legal options with a commercial truck injury lawyer, and whether you have a path to obtaining compensation that can cover your losses in a truck accident case. Truck accident disputes can be complex and challenging, especially for a first-time plaintiff — that’s why it’s so important to work with a skilled commercial truck injury lawyer who can help you navigate the litigation process effectively.

We encourage you to contact us at 1-800-THE-LAW2 to set up a free consultation with a qualified commercial truck injury lawyer in your area, but if you’d like to learn more before you call in, read on! We’ll explore some of the basics about truck accidents, and how best to move forward with the legal process.

Why are truck accidents often severe?

Truck accidents are often the most dangerous type of auto accident, and there are many reasons for that — a large truck can be unwieldy on the road, and this lack of maneuverability can expose others to a serious risk of injury, especially in poor weather conditions. Handling a truck crash requires expertise and experience due to the complexities involved. Unlike regular car accidents, truck accidents often result in more severe injuries and damages due to the size and weight of commercial trucks. Further, when a collision does occur, the size and weight of the vehicle (along with cargo) increases the impact force to levels that can crumple smaller vehicles and cause life-altering injuries, or even death. A truck accident lawyer can offer free evaluations and consultations to help you understand your legal options and the statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit after a truck accident.

Given the potential for substantial losses, it’s that much more important to push forward with litigation to secure the maximum possible compensation to cover those losses. If you’ve sustained life-changing injuries, it’s only right that those responsible pay for the losses that you incurred.

Commercial truckers have greater responsibilities

In truck accidents involving a commercial truck driver, it can be easier to establish liability as they have a commercial driving license (CDL).

A trucking company also has significant responsibilities in ensuring the safety and maintenance of its fleet, as well as hiring experienced and safe drivers. The CDL imposes heightened responsibilities on truck drivers — that’s because what is “reasonable” behavior for a professional truck driver is going to be different than “reasonable” behavior for a regular driver. Professional drivers are expected to obey traffic rules more strictly and are expected to make more intelligent, safe decisions on the roadway. Their failure to abide by these expectations could expose them to liability.

What are the damages I can get in a commercial truck accident?

The compensation you can access in your truck accident dispute will depend on the damages you sustained — in other words, the total of the losses you experienced as a result of the defendant’s negligent, reckless, or intentional actions. Filing a truck accident claim can help you seek compensation for the damages you sustained. Claimable losses include:

  • Lost wages
  • Loss of earning capacity
  • Loss of property
  • Medical expenses (i.e., medical bills)
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Loss of companionship
  • And more

It’s important to understand that every case is different. Your personal life circumstances will determine your compensation to a significant degree, because the losses you sustain may be unique.

For example, suppose that you are injured in a commercial truck accident. In Scenario A, you are unemployed at the time of the accident. As such, you experience no wage loss damages. In Scenario B, however, you are employed and cannot return to work for a year due to the injuries. Your wage loss damages are likely to be significant (it will be equivalent to your yearly salary!).

Given the inequity in damages from case to case and the fact that damages can be highly circumstantial, it’s important to work with experienced attorneys who understand how to “work up” your case and build a strong damages claim that is well-supported by the evidence.

Who can you sue in a commercial truck accident dispute?

In a truck accident dispute, you could potentially sue the following parties:

  • The other driver who directly collided with you
  • Various other drivers who indirectly contributed to your collision
  • The auto manufacturer, if some defect of your vehicle (or another vehicle) contributed to the accident and your injuries
  • The City, if the roadway was defectively designed or poorly maintained such that it contributed to the accident and your injuries
  • A private property owner whose condition of property contributed to the accident and your injuries
  • The employer of any driver involved, if the driver was acting within the course and scope of their employment when they contributed to the accident
  • And more

Trucking companies can also be held liable if they fail to adhere to safety regulations or if their negligence contributed to the accident.

As you can see, there are many potential defendants in a truck accident dispute. Suing these defendants can be useful because it allows you to access “deeper pockets” in some cases.

For example, a commercial trucker is most likely employed and acting within the scope of their employment (i.e., they’re delivering goods) at the time of the accident. If they collide with your vehicle, and you try to sue them, you might find that they do not have sufficient personal insurance to cover your losses. But the law entitles you to sue their employer under the theory of vicarious liability — the employer is liable for the negligence of their own employees.

Under vicarious liability, you could sue the employer and access their insurance coverage to cover your losses. As a business, they are likely to carry more insurance coverage. They are also likelier to settle early, as they have a business incentive to avoid negative publicity for their brand (in the event of a lawsuit).

What if I’m partially at fault for my injuries?  Can I sue for damages?

If you’re partially at fault, you may still be able to sue for damages, depending on the state law that applies to your case. In a commercial vehicle accident, determining fault can be complex due to the involvement of multiple parties and regulations. That’s because different states implement different “fault” systems or doctrines.

In some states, there is a fault doctrine known as “pure comparative fault.” Under the pure comparative fault doctrine, the injury victim can sue for compensation even if they are partially at fault. The injury victim can be up to 99 percent at fault! The kicker is that they can only recover a percentage of the damages that are attributable to the fault of others. So if they are 60 percent at fault, then the courts can award them 40 percent of the total damages.

In other states, there is a fault doctrine known as “modified comparative fault.” Under the modified comparative fault doctrine, the injury victim can sue for compensation even if they are partially at fault, but only if their contribution of fault (as a percentage) is 50 percent or less. If they contributed 51 percent fault or more, then they are prohibited from recovering compensation at all.

In a small minority of states, there is a fault doctrine known as “contributory fault.” Under the contributory fault doctrine, the injury victim is prohibited from recovering any compensation if they are even 1 percent at fault. That doesn’t mean you can’t recover if you’ve made a mistake of some kind — your attorney will simply have to prove that your mistake did not contribute to your own injuries.

Truck accident lawyers are important — but why?

Truck accident lawyers are more than just courtroom advocates. They handle a wide range of duties throughout litigation. These include:

  • Communicating with opposing counsel, law enforcement, insurance carriers, insurance adjusters, and others on behalf of the client
  • Identifying, gathering, and preserving relevant evidence
  • Developing a persuasive legal argument based on said evidence
  • Working with experts and witnesses to build supportive testimony
  • Negotiating a potential settlement agreement
  • Navigating court hearings and other processes
  • Pushing forward to trial if a favorable settlement is not reached
  • Securing whatever compensation is awarded by the court
  • And more

Though you are within your rights to move forward without an attorney, it’s highly discouraged by the courts (and is generally seen as a poor strategic move). As an example, the insurance company will typically treat your claims more seriously when you have an attorney working on your behalf — without an attorney handling communications for you, they may use an insurance adjuster to squeeze out sensitive disclosures that could undermine your claims and give them an opening to underpay you (or even outright reject your claims).

It costs nothing to get started with a commercial truck accident attorney

Truck accident lawyers — like other plaintiffs’-side personal injury lawyers — most often engage clients with a contingency fee arrangement. Hiring a truck accident law firm can provide you with the specialized expertise and resources needed to handle your case effectively.

Contingency fee arrangements are different than most people expect. As the client, you don’t pay anything upfront or out-of-pocket. Instead, you only pay the attorney a percentage cut of whatever compensation they secure on your behalf. This percentage can vary from 25 percent to 40 percent (or more), depending on the phase of litigation in which your dispute is resolved.

For example, suppose that you are being represented by a personal injury attorney in a truck accident lawsuit. Your attorney wins your case and secures $100,000 in damages as compensation. They take 35 percent of the compensation as their fee, so you receive $65,000 after fees.

Contingency fee arrangements are beneficial as they allow injury victims to pursue compensation even if they don’t have enough money to begin with. Additionally, the arrangement creates a favorable dynamic in litigation — because you don’t pay unless you win, the attorney is incentivized to fight aggressively on your behalf to secure a win. Further, they’ll work to maximize your compensation, as the more you get paid, the more they get paid.



What makes commercial truck accident cases particularly challenging or full of opportunity?

Commercial vehicle accidents have a few unique aspects to consider if you’ve been made an injury victim and are looking to be compensated. First, commercial truckers owe others (on the roadway) a heightened duty of care, and as such, it tends to be easier to establish liability. Second, employers can be sued for the negligence of their employees (i.e., trucking companies can be sued for the negligence of their drivers of commercial vehicles). This lets you access their “deeper pockets” and better insurance coverage to cover all your losses.

Why should I get a truck accident injury lawyer before speaking to insurers?

A: Insurers are not your allies. They make a bigger profit the more that they reject or underpay legitimate claims. When an insurance adjuster is talking to you after you’ve been in an accident, they are trying to get you to disclose sensitive information that could undermine your case. That’s where experienced truck accident lawyers are useful. They know how to communicate with insurers to avoid these sensitive disclosures and to keep your claims as strong as possible.

If you’ve been injured in a commercial truck accident, then as a truck accident victim, you could be entitled to sue for compensation under the law. Navigating the complexities of a truck accident dispute isn’t always easy or straightforward, however. That’s why we encourage you to explore the possibility of a lawsuit (and a negotiated settlement) with an attorney in our network.

Contact 1-800-THE-LAW2 for a free legal consultation with an experienced truck accident attorney in our network. During this initial consultation, you’ll have the opportunity to discuss your case in detail and obtain professional guidance on how best to proceed. If you decide against moving forward with the attorney, there’s no obligation to continue. You can simply have your consultation and use a different lawyer, or even decide against pursuing legal compensation at all. The choice is entirely yours.

We look forward to assisting you.

Our offices are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, so we can assist you no matter when your accident occurs.

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