Options for Recovery After Being Injured in a Truck Accident
Written by AskTheLawyers.com™ on behalf of Grant Lawson with Metier Law Firm.
Damages incurred in truck accidents are notoriously expensive; due to the relative size and weight of 18-wheelers and semis, the damage caused in a traffic accident is usually severe. Unfortunately, in a collision between a large truck and passenger vehicle, the passenger vehicles rarely come out on top regardless of who was at fault for the accident. However, several avenues of recovery may be available after suffering injuries in a truck accident.
Insurance may offer a fast way to begin paying some of the immediate damages.
Depending on the policies a vehicle owner has, insurance may provide some means of recovery. Vehicle owners who have purchased additional Personal Injury Protection (PIP) or Medical Payment (MedPay) coverage will generally be eligible for much more help with their medical bills than someone without.
Additionally, trucking companies are also required to insure their vehicles so that some kind of compensation can be made available to the injured party in the event of an accident. The difficulty with truck accidents, in particular, is that the injuries tend to be severe and in some cases even fatal; this results in heftier medical bills and additional expenses than other accidents typically do, so even comprehensive vehicle insurance combined with the trucking company’s liability insurance may not make much of a dent in the overall expenses of the accident.
Parties injured in a truck accident may also be eligible to file a personal injury claim.
Whenever someone is injured as the result of another party’s negligence, they may be eligible to file a personal injury claim or lawsuit to seek compensation for their damages. Truck drivers and trucking companies are required to follow strict industry safety standards enforced by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA); however, when a driver or company fails to follow these regulations and an accident occurs as a result, one or both parties could be liable. For example, it is not uncommon for truck drivers to violate hours of service regulations (i.e. failing to take the mandatory rest breaks required after driving for a certain period of time); this can lead to fatigued driving and serious accidents.
Unfortunately, some trucking companies have been known to pressure their drivers to do exactly this in the interest of increased profit. In this scenario, if someone is injured in an accident caused by a fatigued truck driver, the injured party may be eligible to file a personal injury claim against the trucking company to pursue compensation for their damages.
Damages that may be sought in a personal injury claim include but are not necessarily limited to:
- Medical expenses. Injuries resulting from a car accident may include: whiplash; scrapes and cuts; head injuries; broken ribs; broken bones and/or fractures; internal bleeding; a herniated disc; knee trauma; head, neck or back trauma; spinal cord injury; loss of limbs; brain injury; disfigurement; burns; tissue trauma; paralysis; PTSD; and, in the worst-case scenario, death
- Lost wages (or impairment of earning capacity) as a result of hospital stay-time, or, for the loved one of a truck accident victim, the necessity to temporarily or permanently extricate themselves from work in order to provide care.
- Lifecare expenses, such as life support or ongoing medical expenses for chronic injuries
- Vocational rehabilitation
- Pain and suffering, for both emotional and physical distress
- Loss of consortium (the services of a close family member) and loss of care and companionship
- Wrongful death
- Funeral expenses
To learn more about your options for physical and financial recovery after a truck accident, reach out to a truck accident lawyer in your area. These attorneys typically offer free consultations and even work on a contingency fee basis, which means clients don’t pay unless and until they win their case; this allows accident victims and their families to focus on healing, recovery, and a return to daily life.