Understanding the Difference Between Car and Truck Accident Claims

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If you’ve been injured in an accident involving a commercial truck, you need to take prompt action to protect your legal right to compensation. When a semi-truck driver causes serious injuries, you shouldn’t be forced to bear the financial burden of paying for medical care and being unable to return to work. Louisiana Truck Accident Lawyer Neblett Beard and Arsenault

The best way to maximize your recovery for a personal injury claim related to a semi-truck accident is to hire an attorney with experience handling cases involving commercial vehicles. Although the basic rules for personal injury claims are the same regardless of what type of vehicle hits you, additional laws apply to commercial vehicles, and you’re likely to face a more intense legal battle due to the potential size of your settlement. An attorney who only handles general personal injury claims will be outmatched by the legal team representing the commercial trucking company. 

Multiple Parties Could Be Liable

In a typical car accident claim, the driver is the one liable for your damages. Truck accident cases are more complex because several different parties could be potentially liable for your damages. For example:

  • The driver of the truck
  • The owner of the truck
  • The company that hired the trucker
  • The cargo loader
  • The maintenance crew responsible for ensuring the truck is in working order
  • The manufacturer or distributor of a faulty truck part

A personal injury attorney experienced in handling cases involving commercial vehicles can conduct a thorough investigation to determine all of the parties potentially liable for your damages. This includes steps such as investigating whether the driver was an independent contractor or an employee, if the accident involved substance abuse or deliberate misconduct on the part of the driver, and if the driver was acting in the scope of employment at the time the accident occurred.

If liability is split among multiple parties, an attorney who represents those who’ve been injured in commercial trucking accidents can evaluate the evidence to determine which percentage of your damages each individual defendant is responsible for paying.

Special Laws Apply to Commercial Vehicles

Trucking companies must abide by safety standards and federal regulations outlined in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulation Act. This includes practices such as drug and alcohol testing for drivers, pre-employment background checks, limiting the number of hours driven per day, and providing periodic evaluation of existing employees. An attorney experienced in handling cases involving commercial vehicles can use violations of these regulations to establish liability on the part of the company and its driver.

There’s More Money at Stake

Accidents involving semi-trucks are likely to cause permanently disabling injuries resulting in the need for ongoing medical treatment and a loss of future earning potential. This means, a sizable settlement is likely even before pain and suffering damages are factored in.

An attorney with experience in trucking accident cases can line up expert witnesses to thoroughly document the expenses you’ve already incurred as well as the anticipated cost of your future medical care and the expected value of your lost earnings over the course of your career.

Commercial Trucking Companies Are Represented by Teams of Attorneys

Commercial trucking companies often carry policies with several hundred thousand dollars in coverage. However, insurance companies only make money when they take in more premiums than they pay out in claims.

If you’re in an accident involving a semi-truck, you can expect the insurance company to fight hard to limit your recovery. They will have a team of lawyers working day and night to minimize the severity of your injuries and try to blame you for the accident by claiming you’re partially at fault. Without someone working on your side to advocate for your interests, you’re likely to walk away with a settlement that’s far less than you deserve.

Have You Been Injured In A Louisiana Truck Accident?

If you've been injured in a truck accident you need to speak with an experienced truck accident attorney as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Alexandria office directly at 318.541.8188 to schedule your free consultation.

 

Michael S. Koch
Attorney Michael Koch represents personal injury victims throughout Louisiana and the surrounding area.