When you work as an independent truck driver who has a contract with a company, then you should remember that when you are involved in a truck accident, the costs are on you. They include attorneys’ fees and insurance costs. When you have a good truck accident lawyer behind you, then you can enjoy the same kind of benefits as you would with insurance coverage. There are many reasons why you should consider having a truck accident lawyer when the need arises and some of the reasons are highlighted below.
· A lawyer will help you resolve issues that may arise in terms of whether you are a regular employee or a contract worker. The fact is that the lawsuits can be stronger for drivers who are mistaken for direct employees but a lawyer helps to ensure that these confusions do not happen to avoid the lawsuits that could favor the plaintiff.
· A truck accident lawyer comes in handy in dealing with the special stipulations as far as heavy truck insurance goes. These are the stipulations that you would otherwise not know about when working without the professional assistance of a good lawyer especially for serious injury accidents.
· A lawyer can help you know your options as far as the lawsuit goes and you can actually do with some consultation for cases that are not that serious and therefore do not need the representation by a lawyer in court. It can guide you on how to successfully handle the situation on your own for minor truck accidents.
Undoubtedly a truck accident lawyer is important and you should make sure that you choose the most reputable and experienced lawyer if you are to be successful in the representation. Before anything else, ask yourself if the case is serious enough to need a lawyer. Minor clear fault issues can be handled well even without the intervention of a lawyer. However if it is a serious accident problem or you are not very sure how to manage the process then, here are some of the factors you should be sure to consider before hiring a truck accident lawyer.
Reputation – What is the evaluation of the lawyer in the public domain in terms of success? You can use reviews or ask among your friends to find a reputable truck accident attorney who has the potential to represent you successfully. If you are choosing a law firm, go for one that has an impressive reputation and has a team of reliable lawyers and attorneys working together.
Experience – Has the attorney represented any other truck drivers before and how successful was the representation? The more experience and success the lawyer has, the easier it will be to approach your case in a winning strategy and speed up the process as much as possible.
Price – Remember that you are hiring a lawyer to save you some money in the lawsuit. Therefore, you should never settle for a lawyer whose service fees are clearly exorbitant.
Semi truck accidents can be very confusing for victims. If you have been involved in an accident with a commercial truck, the following questions may help you understand what to do and what rights you have.
What qualifies as a commercial truck?
A commercial truck is a large vehicle used to transport business goods in the course of business. Commercial trucks generally:
- They require a commercial driver’s license to operate it
- They have a specific purpose
- They are bigger than normal vehicles
Some examples of commercial trucks are delivery trucks, tank trucks, and 18-wheelers.
What are some of the common factors that cause trucking accidents?
Driver error is the most common cause of crashes between commercial trucks and passenger vehicles. Federal law places a limitation on truck drivers on how many hours they can work consecutively; the fact of not respecting these laws can cause fatigue and accidents. Additionally, drivers must submit to Department of Transportation drug tests in order to qualify for a commercial driver’s license. Driving under the influence of substances can cause accidents for which the driver is responsible.
Other contributing factors include the following:
- distracted driving;
- drive at full speed;
- carry unsecured cargo;
- defective vehicles or equipment.
Drivers of passenger vehicles can also cause truck accidents if they drive in areas not visible to the truck driver, attempt to aggressively circle the truck, or drive recklessly. For the truck driver it is difficult to respond in these situations, since the truck brakes slower and there is a lot of maneuvering to do. Trucking accidents can also be caused by defective or malfunctioning parts and even improper loading techniques.
What is a “no view zone” for a truck?
A “no view zone” for a truck is the area from which the truck driver has little or no visibility. It’s usually the one on the trailer, behind the truck. Drivers are less likely to see another vehicle directly behind the truck when there is a short distance between the two vehicles. Other areas of little or no visibility are the rear left and right sides.
Are truck accidents more likely to cause personal injuries than passenger cars?
A commercial truck can weigh more than 80,000 pounds when fully loaded. By comparison, a passenger vehicle weighs only about 3,000 pounds. Given the difference in size, commercial trucks have the potential to cause significant damage to smaller vehicles and more serious injury, or even death, to passenger vehicle occupants.
Can I receive compensation for days not worked after a trucking accident?
Often yes. A successful personal injury claim may include compensation for lost wages from your job. In addition to recovering, you will need to prove that the driver, the truck driver’s employer, the manufacturer, or another party was negligent and that their negligence caused your injuries. If the injuries you sustained in the accident are severe enough that you are unable to work, the payment may also cover your loss of earning capacity.
Can I sue the trucking company for injuries?
The possibility that you can sue the transport company for your injuries depends on whether the driver was in a relationship with the company or not. In the event that this type of employment relationship exists, then yes, the transport company can be held liable for the negligence of the truck driver. This is possible under the legal theory of “employee act liability,” which translates to “letting the owner answer.”
The problem arises when the truck driver is an independent contractor. The key, in this instance, is the level of supervision that the transport company has over the driver’s work.
Can the carrier be held liable if the truck is transporting a dangerous liquid?
There are certain cases in which the hazardous materials carrier may be held legally responsible for injuries. The potential for an accident to cause very serious injuries simply increases with the type of load. The carrier must inform the driver or carrier that the cargo being transported is dangerous. Failure to do so may result in the carrier being held liable for the injuries caused.
What if I am partially at fault in the trucking accident?
The degree of fault you bear for the accident sometimes affects the recovery you may receive in a personal injury lawsuit. This varies depending on where the accident occurred.
There are four states plus the District of Columbia that follow the pure contributory negligence model . This means that if part of the fault for the accident rests with the injured party, the victim will not be able to obtain compensation.
Other states use the comparative negligence rule. This means that even if the injured parties are partially responsible for the accident, they can still file a claim for damages. The percentage of fault must not exceed the established limit, which varies by state. The recovery is generally reduced by the percentage of fault. For example, if the plaintiff is 5 percent at fault for the accident, the award may be reduced by 5 percent.
Should I consult a truck accident attorney?
Anyone who has been injured as a result of being involved in a trucking accident should consult legal counsel as soon as possible. But you can also recover compensation for your losses without using a lawyer. However, the assistance of an attorney can make a significant difference in the chances of winning your claim and the amount of recovery.
Speak to an Experienced Commercial Truck Accident Attorney Today
This article is intended to be helpful and informative, but legal matters can be complicated and stressful. A qualified commercial truck accident attorney can address your particular legal needs, explain the law, and represent you in court. Take the first step now and contact a local commercial truck accident attorney to discuss your particular legal situation.