Suing a trucking company after having an accident involves taking several steps to ensure you have the best chance of securing compensation for your injuries and damages. Truck accidents can be particularly devastating and result in severe injuries, so as soon as you are able, you are urged to seek emergency medical attention.
Call 911 and wait for first responders to arrive, including law enforcement, who will begin investigating the scene and making a police report.
Next, it is highly recommended that you promptly contact a personal injury attorney so they can assess the strengths and weaknesses of your case and explain your legal options moving forward.
At Van Law Firm, our truck accident lawyers have a successful track record of handling truck accident cases like yours, understand how to apply complex state and federal trucking laws to your unique circumstances, and will fight tirelessly for justice on your behalf.
What Can You Expect from Your Truck Accident Attorney?
Once you’ve retained a truck accident attorney, they can begin an independent investigation into your case. They will handle many of the initial tasks needed to pursue a claim or lawsuit on your behalf, such as collecting supporting evidence, including photos and video of the accident scene and your injuries. They’ll also obtain copies of the police report and your medical records, when available. If there were eyewitnesses to the accident, your attorney can also ask them for statements.
You can help your attorney build your case by documenting your losses, including the costs of medical treatment and any income you lost due to work leave. They will use this information, in addition to any other losses they identify, to determine the amount of compensation you may be entitled to pursue in your claim. If you have not already, they can help you file an insurance claim, present the insurer with the evidence gathered, and assert that they compensate you for the amount you are owed.
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What Damages Can You Pursue When You Sue a Truck Company After an Accident?
You and your attorney will work to identify all of the losses you suffered as a result of the truck accident. These can be financial or personal in nature. Some of the most common include the following:
- Past and future medical bills, such as emergency care, hospitalization, doctor’s visits, etc.
- Loss of wages due to taking time off work for recovery
- Diminished earning capacity, if you cannot work in the same job or for the same pay as you could before your injuries
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional anguish
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of quality of life
You may be entitled to pursue other damages beyond those mentioned above. Your truck accident attorney can help you make sure that all of your recoverable losses are included in your claim.
What If You Lost a Loved One in a Truck Accident?
If your loved one was fatally injured in a truck accident, you may be entitled to pursue a wrongful death claim. You can still sue the trucking company or other potentially liable parties for the losses you and your family have suffered as a result of their passing. Examples of common damages include emotional anguish, funeral, burial, or cremation expenses, and loss of the decedent’s financial support, guidance, and companionship.
How Will Your Attorney Handle Negotiations With a Truck Company on Your Behalf?
Keep in mind that insurance companies or other potentially liable parties may not immediately agree to a fair settlement. It will be up to you and your attorney to determine what amount you will consider if an agreement can be reached. Negotiations can go on for as long as they need to until both parties are satisfied with the outcome. Although most cases settle out of court, some end up going to trial. Your attorney can advise you on your best course of action.
You will also need to demonstrate that the responsible party was negligent, meaning that they failed to act cautiously or in a manner expected of a reasonable person in a similar situation.
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How Will Your Attorney Prove a Truck Company’s Negligence?
Many truck accidents occur because the truck driver acts carelessly or recklessly. Using this as an example, demonstrating negligence requires establishing that the following elements are true in your case:
- Duty of Care: The truck driver owed you a duty of care to drive with caution and avoid actions that would cause you harm. Every driver on the road owes all others this courtesy.
- Breach of Duty: The truck driver breached or violated their duty of care, and you were injured as a result. This is commonly shown using evidence including traffic citations, police reports, or the vehicle’s electronic logging device.
- Causation: The truck driver’s breach was the direct or proximate cause of your injuries, and they were not caused by another factor in the accident. That is, your injuries would not have occurred “but for” the driver’s breach of duty.
- Damages: You must have suffered quantifiable losses as a result of your injuries, and you cannot pursue compensation for losses you did not incur.
Liability for accidents caused by the negligence of truck drivers often falls on the trucking company and their insurance carrier. However, there are situations in which the shipping company, repair shop, or other parties may be at fault.
What Other Parties Can Be Sued for Compensation?
The specific parties you can sue will depend on the circumstances of the accident and may include the following:
- Truck Owner: In some cases, the truck involved in the accident may be owned by a different entity than the company operating it. The owner of the truck may share liability for an accident if improper maintenance or defects were contributing factors.
- Cargo or Shipping Company: If the accident was caused by improper loading, unsecured freight, or other cargo transportation issues, the company responsible for the loading and securing of the cargo may be liable.
- Truck or Parts Manufacturer: If a mechanical failure, equipment malfunction, or defective part contributed to the accident, the manufacturer of the truck may be subject to product liability.
- Maintenance or Repair Companies: Companies responsible for maintaining or repairing the truck may be liable if improper vehicle maintenance contributed to the accident.
- Government Entities: If the accident was caused by road defects, inadequate road maintenance, or poor signage, in some cases you may be able to sue the responsible government entity.
- Third Parties: Depending on the specific circumstances, other third parties, such as contractors or subcontractors, may be liable if their negligence contributed to the accident.
Contact Van Law Firm to Learn More
If you are considering suing a trucking company or other responsible party after an accident, you’ll likely need a personal injury attorney who understands the law as it applies to trucking companies and their drivers. Contact Van Law Firm today for a free, no-obligation case review, and allow us to tirelessly fight for the compensation you deserve.
No obligation consultations are always free.Let Us Help You! Call Now: (725) 900-9000
These guys are amazing. Helped me throughout the process. Always there when I need help. Inititailly called a law firm (the one that has lots of ads on the radio), but they declined my case. Van Law Firm accepted my case without a second thought! Kudos to Daniel, my case manager, and Amanda who expedited my payment process. Highly recommended.Milby Mags
Got in an accident at the beginning of the year and they have been awesome, especially with it being my first accident and me being like this. They have been very communicated, stayed in contact with me the whole time, giving me updates when there were any and even when there weren’t and answered any question I had. I would recommend them to anyone. Everyone I have talked to there has been very friendly. I would give them a 10 out of 10.Ethan Gullet
They made sure that my insurance company covered what I paid for them to which included the gap for my car that was totaled. My medical costs were taken care of and reduced substantially so I was able to get more on my settlement. My case manager, Will Garcia, was always helpful in assisting me and answering any questions I had. They really did an amazing job with my case. I would definitely recommend them to anyone in need of this type of legal help. Most lawyers do not help you with the recovery of the car and rental etc. They are amazing.Teresa Cuthbertson