If you suffered injuries in a truck accident, you must prove that the truck driver caused the accident to determine liability and seek compensation for your losses. The law maintains different standards for truck drivers than for drivers of passenger vehicles, and a lawyer can help you establish negligence in your truck accident.
Truck drivers must undergo rigorous training and testing to ensure that they can keep themselves and those around them safe, and both federal and state regulations oversee their qualifications. The federal government lays the foundation for more specific state laws through 49 CFR Part 383, which outlines the standards for a commercial driver’s license (CDL). These include:
- Employer responsibilities
- Disqualifications and penalties
- Testing and licensing procedures
- Knowledge and skills
- Specialized training for the transportation of hazardous materials
If a truck driver fails to abide by federal and state requirements for the safe operation of a large truck and causes an accident resulting in injuries, the victims may qualify for financial awards.
Causes of Truck Accidents
According to the Large Truck Crash Causation Study (LTCCS) on the website of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), determining causation in truck accidents can present a challenge, often because many factors can influence the cause of a collision over an extended period of time. Some accidents correlate with poor vehicle design or malfunction, while insufficient driver training, weather conditions, and failure to signal can play a major role in others.
Researchers assessed variables that contribute to truck accidents, including the critical event, which made the collision inevitable, and the critical reason, or the immediate reason. In most cases, critical events evaluated in the study involved driver error. Collisions often occur for more than one reason, but you can still establish negligence in a truck accident and seek financial recovery for your injuries.
Types of Negligence in Truck Accidents
According to the Legal Information Institute (LII), negligence involves a failure to behave with a level of reasonable care that others would have exercised under similar circumstances. Negligence includes willful acts as well as acts of omission, such as those committed in instances of driver error. Some common types of negligence in truck accidents include:
- Driving while fatigued
- Failure to brake in time due to traffic or congestion
- Failure to assess road hazards
- Driving too fast for the current conditions
- Driving under the influence
Truck drivers have a responsibility to take extra precautions on the road to ensure safety, and when they fail to do so, their negligence can cause serious or fatal injuries.
Elements Required to Establish Negligence in a Truck Accident
In order to file a claim and pursue financial awards for the injuries you suffered in a truck accident, you must first establish the negligence of the driver. The law requires that the actions of the driver meet specific criteria for the victim to hold them responsible for the harm they caused. These elements include:
- The driver had a duty to exercise reasonable care to avoid an accident
- The driver breached this duty of care willfully or through omission
- This breach of care caused your injuries or the loss of a loved one
- Your injuries or loss resulted in significant damages
Victims often find it challenging to establish liability on their own because of the many factors involved in doing so. An attorney can help by gathering the appropriate evidence and proving the responsibility of the truck driver on the victim’s behalf.
Compensation in Truck Accident Cases
If you or a loved one suffered serious or fatal injuries in a truck accident due to the truck driver’s negligence, you may qualify to seek compensation for your losses. The types of compensation and total award amount you may receive depends on the circumstances of your case, such as the extent of your injuries and the types of damages incurred. Financial recovery may include payment for:
- Emergency medical care, rehabilitation, and other ongoing healthcare expenses related to your injury
- Travel to and from your medical appointments
- Lost wages if you cannot work as a result of your injuries
- Loss of future wages if you suffered a temporary or permanent disability from the accident or lost a loved one who provided for you financially
- Pain and suffering for the physical, mental, and emotional trauma caused by the accident
- Funeral and burial expenses if you lost a loved one as a result of the accident
If a truck accident caused you or someone you love to suffer serious or fatal injuries, a lawyer can help you seek the compensation you deserve.
We Can Help You Pursue Your Case
At Ben Crump Law, PLLC, we know that compensation cannot make up for all of your losses. However, it can help you get back on your feet and on the road to recovery. Many victims find it difficult to try to deal with insurance companies and the legal system, especially during their trying time. Our lawyers will make sure you do not have to face them alone.
If the negligence of a truck driver led to your injuries or the loss of a family member, we can help you exercise your right to pursue the financial awards you deserve and hold the driver accountable for the harm they caused. Call our legal team today at (800) 235-0444 to get started on your free case evaluation.