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A semi-truck speeding by out of control because the truck had not been properly maintained.If you’ve been involved in a truck accident, then there is a good chance you are entitled to compensation for your damages. However, if the truck involved was poorly maintained, then you may be wondering if this is still true. Working with a truck accident attorney should help you figure out whether you are entitled to compensation after an accident involving a poorly maintained truck.

Can Truck Accident Victims Recover Compensation?

If you were in an accident where you were not the party at fault (e.g., car, truck, motorcycle accident, or any kind of auto accident where you were not the party at fault, then there is a good chance you can recover compensation from the at-fault party’s insurance company.

You may even be able to receive compensation if you were partially at fault for the accident, as long as you were less than 50% responsible. It does not matter whether the accident was caused by poor driving, poor vehicle maintenance, or bad road conditions; if you weren’t responsible, then there is a chance you can recover compensation.

Your personal injury lawyer will help determine liability by doing an investigation into the situation. The car accident lawyer will then help you fight to recover compensation if you are entitled to it. It is very common to recover compensation in cases involving motor vehicle collisions.

Is It the Truck Driver or Trucking Company Thats Liable in a Truck Accident Claim?

Both the truck driver and the trucking company may be responsible for the accident. It depends on what caused the accident, and there could be many factors at play. Sometimes multiple parties are held liable, but other times it is just the driver, just the company, or just the truck manufacturer that’s determined to be at fault.

Police reports made after the police visited the scene of the accident may declare either the driver or the company is responsible, but that does not necessarily mean the report is 100% accurate.

An investigation is needed to determine fault. Your lawyer will conduct this investigation once you pursue a personal injury case.

What Are Some Common Causes of Truck Accidents?

As mentioned above, the cause of the accident influences who is held liable in a truck accident case. The accident report, investigations at the accident scene, and further investigation into the trucking company can help determine fault and cause. Below are some common causes of trucking accidents involving passenger vehicles and/or other commercial vehicles.

Truck Driver Fatigue

Driver fatigue is an extremely common cause of truck accidents. In a truck accident claim involving driver fatigue, both the driver and the company may be held liable depending on the circumstances.

If the truck driver made a poor decision to drive while tired, then they may be responsible for the accident. If the truck driver was forced to work long hours without a break, then the trucking company itself may be investigated and held liable.

Tiredness is a major cause of all kinds of car accidents, so it does not just apply to truck accident cases. Trucking companies should attempt to avoid fatigue-induced accidents by giving their drivers a chance to rest.

Poorly Maintained Trucks

A poorly maintained large truck is a threat to all passenger cars. Trucking companies must maintain their trucks so they remain road safe. Truck manufacturers must also ensure all vehicles are safe and aren’t likely to develop issues if they’re properly maintained.

However, sometimes the trucking company will not maintain their trucks correctly. A mechanical failure, problems with truck steering systems, or issues with a truck’s brakes can lead to accidents involving commercial trucks. Many of these problems could be avoided with proper truck maintenance.

The company responsible for maintaining the truck may be held liable if a poorly maintained truck ends up in an auto accident, and you can make a personal injury claim if you are in an accident caused by a truck that was not maintained correctly. Other drivers involved in the car crash may also make a claim.

Poorly Maintained Roads

Roads must be properly maintained so they remain safe for any personal vehicle or commercial vehicle driving on them. Potholes, debris, and other issues with the roads can sometimes lead to accidents involving all types of vehicles.

If it is determined that the accident was caused by poorly maintained roads, then you, other drivers involved, and even the truck driver or trucking company may pursue compensation from the party responsible for maintaining the road. Usually, this is a government entity.

You and any other driver involved may be offered compensation from a government entity that’s held liable for the accident. However, you only have six months to pursue compensation if you believe a government entity may be liable for the accident, so contact an attorney for a free consultation as soon as you can.

Poorly Trained Truck Drivers

Trucking companies have a responsibility when hiring drivers. This applies whether a new potential driver is going to be a regular employee or an independent contractor. Drivers need a clean driving record, and they must have the proper training to operate a large company vehicle such as a truck.

Poorly trained drivers give the trucking industry a bad image. It is up to each individual company to ensure their employees/contractors have the right training.

The trucking company is usually found at fault for truck accidents involving improperly trained drivers. Your truck accident lawyer will likely investigate the company and check their protocols regarding hiring and training each new truck driver they take on. This will generally be a vital part of investigating your truck accident claim and determining liability for any car accident involving a truck.

Negligent or Distracted Driving

Truck drivers are generally the parties held liable in truck accident cases caused by negligent or distracted driving. Your accident lawyer’s investigation may reveal how the driver was being negligent or driving while distracted.

Your auto accident lawyer may look deeper into the situation to see if the negligence was caused because the driver wasn’t properly trained, too. Anything that could strengthen your truck accident case and determine who should be held liable will be considered.

Aggressive Driving

Trucks are large and commanding, so even slightly aggressive driving could lead to a car crash. If the truck driver was found to be driving aggressively, then they will usually be the one held liable for the car wreck.

Witnesses who were there when the accident occurred may be able to testify that the truck driver was driving aggressively. Drivers should always exercise caution while driving their personal vehicle or company vehicle, whether that vehicle is a truck, car, or another type of vehicle.

What Kind of Compensation Might I Recover After a Truck Accident?

There are many types of damages involved in truck accidents. Your accident lawyer will talk you through them and inform you of the types of damages that may apply to your situation. The damages involved in a truck accident, car accident, or another motor vehicle accident are usually similar. Your truck accident lawyer will help you calculate the full value of your damages and assist you in pursuing them from the right insurance company.

Medical Bills

Recovering compensation for injuries is often a big part of a personal injury case. Truck accidents can lead to serious injuries such as broken limbs, internal injuries, and traumatic brain injuries.

More severe injuries rack up higher medical bills. An experienced personal injury attorney should be able to help you recover compensation for all of your medical bills for both minor and severe injuries.

Any relevant charge may be covered as part of your settlement. Treating internal injuries, treating minor injuries, parking fees, ambulance fees, testing, and more all cost money, and you may be reimbursed for all of it.

Future Medical Expenses

If you’ve been involved in a truck accident or car accident, then you may have ongoing injuries or a disability to treat. The cost of your ongoing medical care may be factored into your settlement.

Your doctors and your truck accident attorney may be able to come up with an estimate of how much your future medical care is going to cost. The insurance provider for the other driver or trucking company will likely then have to cover the costs as part of your settlement.

The truck driver’s employer’s insurance policy should typically be able to cover large payouts, so you shouldn’t have to worry about using your health insurance to cover the cost of your future medical expenses.

Lost Wages

You may be reimbursed for lost wages. This refers to any income you missed out on while taking time off work to recover after the accident. People often need to take extended leave from work after car crashes to recover both physically and emotionally, and this results in missing out on income.

Lost Earning Potential

Truck accidents may lead to you sustaining a disability that makes you unable to work full-time again in the future. Some people may be unable to work ever again. Your truck accident lawyer may help you pursue compensation for your lost earning potential. This will be calculated based on what you were earning before your accident. You may be awarded a sum to make up for your lost earning potential from the time of the accident up to the time of your future retirement.

Property Damage

Truck accidents generally cause substantial property damage. They can totally wreck your personal or company car, so you may be reimbursed for the cost of repairing or replacing the vehicle.

The value of your personal or company car is typically used to calculate how much you will be awarded if the vehicle can’t be repaired. You may also be reimbursed for the cost of repairing or replacing property that was inside the car.

Pain and Suffering

You will most likely discuss pain and suffering damages or non-economic damages with your truck accident lawyer. Non-economic damages are paid out by an insurance company after a car accident, and they’re intended to cover damages that do not have a specific financial value. Many different types of pain and suffering damages may be awarded after car accidents, some of which are discussed below.

Physical Suffering

The insurance company may offer you a sum intended to reimburse you for any physical pain or suffering you endure after the accident. If you will be left with ongoing pain for the rest of your life, then the insurance company may have to pay out quite a high sum.

Emotional Suffering

Even minor car accidents can leave you with ongoing emotional suffering and disorders such as PTSD. You may be awarded a sum intended to reimburse you for any mental anguish that you are experiencing after the accident.

Loss of Enjoyment of Life

Those left with disabilities or disfigurements may find themselves enjoying life less than they did before. In some cases, people left with disabilities or disfigurements may find themselves unable to enjoy life at all. A sum intended to cover the loss of enjoyment of life may be awarded to those who’ve found their enjoyment and quality of life has severely decreased after the accident.

Loss of Consortium

Motor vehicle accidents can lead to the death of one or more people who were in the car at the time of the crash. This is generally referred to as a wrongful death. In wrongful death cases, you may attempt to recover compensation on behalf of your deceased loved one. You may be able to claim loss of consortium in these cases, too.

Damages awarded for loss of consortium are intended to reimburse you for the benefits you got from your relationship with the deceased. For example, if you are awarded damages for loss of consortium after losing your spouse, then the sum may be intended to reimburse you for the physical aspects of your relationship that you’ve lost.

What Happens If the Insurance Company Denies My Claim after a Truck Accident?

Insurance companies that offer insurance coverage to truck drivers and trucking companies have the right to deny your claim if they do not believe it has any merit. However, if you are injured and didn’t cause the accident, then somebody must be held liable. This is why you need an attorney, as they can investigate the incident to see who should be held liable for it.

Below are some of the things that may happen if the insurance company denies your claim.

Your Attorney Will Use Evidence

Your attorney may use evidence to show why you are entitled to compensation after an accident. Sometimes the insurance provider will not have all the facts, and your attorney presenting the facts to them may be enough to get them to change their mind and offer you a settlement.

Your attorney may send a demand letter or a demand package containing all the evidence proving that you are entitled to compensation for your damages. However, sometimes the insurance adjuster dealing with the case will still deny your claim. If this is the case, then your attorney may need to take things a step further.

Your Attorney Will Advise You to File a Lawsuit

Many accident cases can be settled without going to court. However, it is not always possible to settle without filing a lawsuit. If there is sufficient evidence that makes your attorney feel confident that your case will hold up at trial, then they will likely advise you to file a lawsuit and pursue compensation in court.

If you file a lawsuit, then you may end up going to trial, but there are several phases you must go through first. First, all the required filing will be done, and then the discovery phase will begin. The discovery phase is where your attorney will request hearings, consult witnesses, and present evidence. Your attorney will do everything they can to prove you are entitled to compensation for your damages.

Sometimes, the insurance provider will admit that you are entitled to compensation, and then negotiations will begin to pursue an adequate sum to cover all of your damages. However, other times the insurance provider will still insist that you are not entitled to damages, so your attorney may request a trial.

Your attorney will then present the case at trial, which may last anywhere from a few hours up to a few days. If you win your trial, then you will be awarded compensation for your damages.

Is Hiring a Lawyer After a Truck Accident Expensive?

Many personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, which you may also hear referred to as a no-win, no-fee basis. This means that they will take on your case, but you will not have to pay them until you recover compensation.

The attorney then takes a percentage of your settlement. If you do not win a settlement, then you will not end up having to pay your attorney at all. It is a no-risk investment when you attempt to pursue compensation after an accident.

Accident attorneys do not want to lose time or money working on a case when they believe they will not get paid, so if an attorney takes on your case, then there is already a good chance that you will recover compensation for your damages. It is always worth having a consultation with an attorney just to get some advice and see if they will take on your case.

Do You Need Legal Aid After a Truck Accident?

Get in touch with Brian C. Gutierrez if you’ve been involved in a truck accident, car accident, or another motor vehicle collision. Truck accident victims can call 979-823-5555 for a free consultation with an experienced truck accident lawyer.

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