We Fight For You After A Truck Accident
Trucking is a trillion-dollar-plus industry that accounts for roughly 8% of our nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). This industry is vital for our economy, providing countless jobs and bringing millions of products to market on a daily basis. If you or someone close to you was injured or killed in a truck accident, you may have a right to compensation.
At the Pack Law Group, we have extensive experience representing individuals injured in trucking accidents in Virginia. Our lawyers have in-depth knowledge of this area of the law, and we are aggressive advocates on behalf of each client we serve.
Your Options If Injured In An Accident With A Commercial Truck
After an accident with a commercial truck, you have a few different options for recovering compensation for your losses, which will no doubt total into the tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars. These include:
- File a claim with your health insurance company. If you have medical bills, the clear option for having these medical bills paid is to file a health insurance claim. If you later receive a settlement from another party, your health insurance company maintains the right to repayment via subrogation rules.
- File a claim against the trucking company’s insurance. Another option, and typically the best option if the trucking company or truck driver was to blame for your crash, is to file a liability insurance claim against the trucking company’s insurance. This type of claim will mirror that of a standard automotive claim.
- File a claim against your own vehicle insurance policy. In the event that you carry certain insurance types and certain criteria are satisfied, filing a claim against your own car insurance company may be appropriate.
- File a lawsuit. Your last option for recovering compensation after a serious truck accident is to file a lawsuit directly against the at-fault party, such as the truck driver, the trucking company, or a third party, such as the truck manufacturer. Filing a lawsuit is typically an option reserved as a last resort in the event that insurance settlement negotiations fail.
You should speak to your attorney about whether or not bringing forth litigation is appropriate.
Dealing With Insurance Adjusters Following A Truck Accident
Getting caught off-guard by an insurance adjuster is perhaps the worst way to start any conversation with an insurance company. If they get hold of you before you’ve had time to think about what you want to say, you run a serious risk of damaging your case by giving them more information than you need to.
There are only a few possible outcomes if you insist on talking to the other party’s insurance adjuster. The most likely scenario is that you will inadvertently give them some information that they can use to decrease or deny your settlement. You may be surprised to find out that the “fair settlement” they offer you won’t even cover your medical bills, much less your lost income or pain and suffering. Even worse, you might find out that they are completely denying responsibility for the accident and are unwilling to offer you anything.
Why Do So Many Truck Accidents Occur?
Trucking is a highly regulated industry, and there are numerous requirements those in the industry must follow to ensure their safety and the safety of others on the road. Unfortunately, these rules and regulations are frequently violated.
There are several possible reasons trucking accidents occur, some of the most common causes include:
- Drowsy/fatigued driving: Truck drivers have a stressful job. They have to put in long hours over the road, and many of these hours are during the evening and overnight when it is dark outside. Too many hours on the road can cause drivers to become fatigued, drowsy and even fall asleep at the wheel.
- Speeding/reckless driving: When truck drivers are under pressure to meet a deadline, they tend to take more chances when they drive. In these types of situations, it is common for truckers to speed excessively, tailgate other vehicles, make turns without making sure there are no vehicles in their blind spot and other poor driving decisions.
- Distracted driving: Motorists are increasingly distracted these days. With most Americans wanting to stay connected with family and friends through electronic messages on their smartphones, accidents caused by distracted driving are on the rise.
- Impaired driving: The stress of driving a commercial truck can cause drivers to turn to alcohol, prescription drugs, or illegal drugs to get through. Driving while chemically impaired can result in slower reaction times and drivers making dangerous driving decisions.
- Overloaded/unevenly loaded cargo: Overloaded and/or unevenly loaded cargo makes the truck dangerous to drive, because it increases the likelihood of trucks falling off to the side or rolling over if there are heavy winds and other adverse weather conditions.
- Negligent truck maintenance: An 18-wheeler typically travels thousands of miles per month hauling cargo across the country. A vehicle that puts on this much wear and tear needs proper maintenance. Otherwise, mechanical problems can cause breakdowns in the worst places, sometimes resulting in accidents.
- Defective vehicle parts: Some truck accidents occur because of faulty vehicles or vehicle parts that cause breakdowns on the road. Examples may include tire blowouts, brake line leaks and computer dashboard malfunctions.
Truckers are often under immense pressure to deliver their cargo ahead of unrealistic deadlines. Sometimes, they have the choice of ignoring regulations or being late with their deliveries. This causes drivers to take far too many risks.
Who Can Be Held Liable In A Trucking Accident?
Truck accident cases often involve the convergence of multiple factors. This often makes it challenging to determine fault in these types of cases. Many times, there may be several parties that share fault, and a thorough investigation is required to get to the bottom of what happened.
Some of the potential parties that may be responsible for a trucking accident include:
- The driver of the truck
- The truck owner
- The company that leased the truck to the driver
- The company that employs the truck driver
- The party responsible for loading the cargo onto the truck
- The party responsible for maintaining the truck
- The designer, manufacturer, supplier and/or distributor of a defective vehicle or vehicle part
To determine who is liable for the accident, it is important to act quickly. To accomplish this, you need to know what to look for and what it takes to recover critical pieces of evidence, even when various parties are not willing to cooperate.
Speak With A Skilled Virginia Truck Accidents Lawyer
At the Pack Law Group, we understand the immense physical, emotional and financial hardship accident injury victims and their families go through, and our goal is to make the legal process smooth and seamless. We work closely with our clients, providing strong legal guidance throughout each step of the process, and responding promptly to all questions and concerns along the way. We also take all personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis, so you only pay attorney fees if we win your case.