Truck Drivers And Owners Have Different Rules
In addition to being far more dangerous than an accident that exclusively involves passenger vehicles, crashes with semi trucks also follow a more rigorous and complicated process when it comes to seeking compensation. If you are injured in a truck accident, be aware that you will be up against several different parties, all of which are interested in downplaying your injuries and highlighting your role in the accident.
You need a personal injury attorney on your side. As Lakeland injury attorneys, Darla K. Snead and Michael H. Dulin are dedicated to helping each and every client get the compensation they deserve. To explore your legal options, call our office, or reach out online.
How Truck Accidents Are Different From Car Accidents
If you have been involved in a car accident before, you may think you know what to expect after a semi-truck accident. However, due to the size of semi-trucks and the laws regulating their use, victims face a different set of challenges.
To start, the average semi truck weighs about 80,000 pounds, compared to a passenger car that weighs an average of 5,000 pounds. When this amount of force is involved, it’s no big surprise that many truck accidents cause serious injuries, extensive property damage, and even fatalities. Quite a few trucks on the road are charged with transporting hazardous materials. When these trucks collide with passenger vehicles, victims face even greater threats.
On the legal side, trying to get compensation for an accident is much more difficult after a truck accident. The driver may be protected by multiple insurance policies, as well as the employer’s legal team, the owner of the cargo they were transporting, the vendors who provided services to the company, and those charged with road maintenance and upkeep. Securing a settlement doesn’t just involve the truck driver’s insurance company; your car accident attorney may have numerous parties to connect with during this process.
Liability In Trucking Accidents
Determining liability is crucial for any personal injury claim, but this matter is murky when it comes to truck accidents. If it’s clear that the accident was not caused by you, that doesn’t mean it’s automatically the truck driver’s fault. People who may have some liability – and therefore have some interest in proving their own innocence – include:
- The truck driver. Truck drivers are prone to errors in judgment just like any other human being. However, when someone in control of 80,000 pounds makes a bad call, the fallout can be devastating. If the truck driver did not follow proper driving protocols, drove while fatigued, was under the influence, or otherwise displayed poor judgment, they could be liable.
- The employer or company that contracted the driver. While trucking companies are bound to the FMCSA, they are also interested in maximizing profits. As a result, they may skip steps or ignore regulations that limit their margins. If an employer forces a driver to drive before they have finished mandatory break periods, does not follow the truck’s maintenance schedule, or ignores truck malfunctions, they may be to blame.
- The truck’s manufacturer. If there was an error in the design or manufacturing of the truck, the manufacturer may be liable for accidents caused by that error.
- Maintenance vendors. Those entrusted with the maintenance of a truck may cut corners, use nonapproved parts, or fail to document errors. All of these situations can lead to a lawsuit against the vendor.
- Cargo owner. The cargo owner may have some liability in the crash, particularly if they loaded it in such a way that overloaded the truck or left it unbalanced.
- Road maintenance contractors. Road conditions can cause or exacerbate a truck accident. If this is the case, the government is often a party to the claim, which complicates matters even more.
Let Darla K. Snead, P.L. Attorney at Law, Handle Your Truck Accident Claim
If navigating a car accident is a game of checkers, securing a fair settlement after a truck accident is a game of 3D chess. That’s why it’s important to hire a top injury lawyer in Lakeland like Darla K. Snead and Michael H. Dulin. With over two decades of experience in law, they know the multiple factors that contribute to trucking accidents. From investigating the accident and gathering evidence to negotiating a settlement with all liable parties, they know what you’re up against and are committed to sticking with you until the end.
After an accident occurs, everyone with a stake in the outcome of the accident will show up. That means that even before you leave the scene, the truck driver’s employer, the company’s insurance adjuster, accident investigator, and others could already be beginning their investigation. Everything they do is to reduce their own role in the accident, not to protect you or to seek justice for the victims hurt or killed in the crash. They want to wash their hands of the situation by pointing the finger at someone else, whether it’s you or another party.
When you have to go against this many people just to get compensation for an accident you didn’t cause, you absolutely need an attorney you can trust. As soon as possible after the accident, get in touch with Darla K. Snead or Michael H. Dulin and provide any evidence you have. Photos of the scene, video footage, witness contact information, and proof of your injuries are all valuable forms of evidence. Ms. Snead and Mr. Dulin know how an accident can devastate your life, which is why they have devoted their career to helping people like you.
Contact Us Today To Get Started
Have you or someone you love been injured in a truck accident? Turn to Darla K. Snead, P.L. Attorney at Law, trusted truck and car accident attorneys. You deserve compensation for your medical expenses, lost income, and pain and suffering. We are here to help you fight, whether that means securing a settlement at the negotiating table or taking your case to court. Take the first step now by contacting us online or calling our office. We look forward to helping you.