Truck accidents differ from car accidents in several fundamental ways. First, because truck drivers are either employed by a company or are the company owners themselves, there may be multiple parties at fault. Secondly, because trucks are so much larger than passenger cars, accidents with trucks tend to be more severe, resulting in higher settlement amounts. Understanding what you need to know about truck accident claims is crucial to getting a fair shake after you have been in a collision.
Truck Accident Claims are Multi-Layered
After an accident, your team of attorneys will immediately get to work, reconstructing the accident to determine who is at fault. Truck accident claims usually involve:
-Gathering evidence like video camera footage, witness statements, and police reports
-Filing demand letters with the other party’s insurance company to get negotiations started
-Working with the other party during settlement talks or taking your case to trial
How the Truck Accident Claims Process Works
When you are involved in a truck accident, the first step is finding fault. If a fatigued driver caused a crash, the company may be at fault for not making the driver adhere to certain duty time limits. Typically, drivers can only drive for a set number of hours a day before they have to take breaks. In addition, the shipping company may be liable for improperly loading the truck, making it harder for the driver and leading to his fatigue. Finally, the driver himself may share some of the faults of the accident.
Before the case begins, you will enter the “discovery” phase in which your attorney and the other attorney will present all evidence and determine the strength of the case. This is an important part of the process because it’s usually the point where the parties either decide on a settlement amount or agree to go to trial.
In a trucking accident, you may have to sue multiple parties including the company, the driver, the truck’s manufacturer, or the shipper. Because a truck’s route is a carefully plotted and planned event, any mistake in the chain can lead to a devastating accident.
To successfully win your case, you will have to:
- Provide clear evidence of fault on the part of one or more parties
- Demonstrate your losses as a result of the accident. These can include financial and non-financial losses
- Show why the other party or parties should pay the damages you are owed
The truck accident claims process is rarely short and simple. Insurance companies want to minimize their responsibility, so they try to avoid admitting their client was at fault. This means they will pull out all the stops—challenging your account of what happened, bringing in their experts, and offering lowball settlement offers—to avoid paying the same amount you could receive from a judge or jury.
While it is impossible to give you an accurate estimate of what damages you will recover without a consultation, we can tell you that most claimants are awarded damages for:
- Lost income, including lost sales from business
- Pain and suffering
- Property damage
- Medical expenses
- Future medical expenses
- Intangible damages like loss of quality of life
There have been many successful awards granted to victims of trucking accidents, and with some settlements for millions of dollars.
Most attorneys will work hard to settle your case without going to court. Long, stressful litigation can be challenging for you, especially when you are recovering from the devastation of a truck accident. Your team will work quickly to get you the money that you need to avoid financial ruin following your accident.
If you have been involved in an accident, you will need the right team on your side. If you are looking for a truck accident lawyer in New Orleans, look no further. We will work quickly to file your claim and get you the money you deserve. Call us for a free, no-obligation consultation today.