Why Truck Accident Claims Can Be Complicated
Being involved in an accident is frustrating. No one wants to deal with insurance companies, especially the other driver's insurance. When you're injured in a truck accident, the process can become even more complicated than a car accident claim. That is often because many large truck accidents involve two or more other vehicles, so you're arguing with multiple insurance companies on who was at fault. Also, the sheer size difference between a truck and passenger vehicle usually means more severe injuries, making negotiation talks even more challenging.
What Is the Truck Accident Claims Process?
One of the first steps you can take is to hire an experienced injury accident attorney. Having a lawyer on your side can not only make the claims process less complicated, but they can often get you more money. Once you retain an attorney, all communication will be through them. You won't need to speak with the truck driver's insurance company.
The process begins with filing a claim with the truck driver's employer and the insurance company. Both sides will conduct an investigation, gather evidence, speak with witnesses, etc. When you are ready to resolve your case, your attorney will send a demand letter to the at-fault party or parties. If your claim does not resolve through settlement talks, then your attorney might need to file a lawsuit.
Factors that Complicate the Truck Accident Claims Process
Federal regulations apply to truck drivers and dictate factors like how long they can be on the road and what safety checks and maintenance must be done on the vehicles. Because truck drivers are paid by the load they deliver, some trucking companies will either push their drivers to violate the maximum number of hours or look the other way when drivers are clocking too many hours. Either way, violations like this could mean the trucking company is on the hook for a portion of your claim.
Truck drivers must conduct a safety check and ensure maintenance is up to date and cargo is secure before heading out on a trip. Otherwise, an equipment malfunction could result in an accident, or the truck's cargo could come loose.
You may have multiple defendants and claims against the driver, the trucking company, and maybe even an automobile part manufacturer in these types of accidents. That is one reason why truck accident claims can become complicated exceptionally quickly.
Types of Truck Accidents
There are numerous types of truck accident claims. Causes of large truck accidents tend to differ from passenger vehicle collisions. Some of the most common types of truck accidents include the following.
When a truck driver loses control of their truck, it can roll over on its side, striking numerous other vehicles as well.
The name jackknife refers to when the large truck basically folds itself around, and the truck cab is now at a 90-degree angle with its trailer. A jackknife typically happens when a truck driver brakes too quickly and too hard, which causes the trailer's weight to come around against the cab.
When the trucking company doesn't properly secure their load or it is not loaded on the truck correctly, cargo can fall off and cause catastrophic damage and injuries to passing motorists.
When a truck drifts into oncoming traffic or is attempting to pass a slower truck, they can strike other vehicles head-on. These are some of the most severe accidents and may involve multiple deaths.
When a driver doesn't conduct proper maintenance and safety checks on their trucks, there's a greater chance of defects and malfunctions. One of the most common incidents is a tire blowout. When there is a blowout, the driver usually cannot control the truck, and it could strike multiple vehicles and structures.
Trucks need to turn wide and often "swing" to the left before starting a right turn. These trucks can trap unsuspecting drivers.
When a large truck stops quickly and unexpectedly, smaller vehicles can wind up under the truck's trailer. Depending on how far under the car is lodged, it could be deadly.
Get Help for Your Truck Accident Claim
Rather than handle a complicated truck accident claim on your own, consider hiring an attorney. Most personal injury lawyers work on a contingency basis. That means you won't pay any fees or costs upfront. Your attorney will take an agreed-upon portion of your settlement only if they recover compensation on your behalf.
Truck accident claims are challenging to pursue, especially if you have multiple parties involved. Worry about healing from your injuries and let an experienced attorney help you get compensation after a truck accident.
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