The accident of commercial truck can be more disastrous than the accident of two vehicles owned personally. The weight of a fully loaded commercial truck can typically be minimum 25 times more than a car. According to the fundamental laws of physics, this huge difference in their weight can cause the accident of a big truck more serious, injurious and even fatal than other vehicles.
You may be entitled to legally claim compensation for the injuries caused by an accident with a commercial truck by filing claim against the responsible ones. General overview of such claims is provided in this write-up, but to get more information you will have to meet a truck accident specialist lawyer.
Risks of commercial truck accidents
According to statistics from Department of Transportation, US, accidents of large trucks caused nearly 5,000 deaths and 106K injuries in 2006 even if their drivers drive more carefully than other on-road automobile drivers. The truck drivers may not be at fault at the time of these accidents as negligence or unpredictable road hazards can be the main cause of these truck incidents.
Moreover, freight carried by these trucks can worsen such incidents. For instance, if the truck is carrying flammable or hazardous materials like industrial waste or gasoline then these dangerous materials can cause secondary injuries at the time of accident.
According to the legal theory of liability, negligence is considered as the main cause of truck accidents between commercial truck and other vehicles. So the injured person in such accident must submit following proofs:
The driver and transport company, defendants, have the duty to be careful to avoid injury to the plaintiff under any circumstances as all the on-road drivers are legally responsible for the safety of other on-road people.
Legally the defendant breached this responsibility by failing to be careful for others.
The cause of the injury to the plaintiff was the failure of the defendant to such responsibilities.
It is important for the plaintiff to indentify as many defendants as he can, instead from driver only, to claim compensation for the injuries suffered in a truck accident. Many times trucking contractors/companies, employers and insurance companies are compelled to compensate for your injuries.
The trucking company can be legally liable for the negligence of the driver, if an employment relationship can be established between it and the truck driver. Your lawyer will have to prove that the driver was under the control of his relationship with the company to some extent when the accident occurred.
In case truck driver is an independent contractor of a big company then it can be tricky as the amount of supervision of that company will be considered mainly. The recovery through insurance cover will be assessed on the liability of the contractors, employers or trucking companies as their policies can be different.
Sometimes the shippers or manufacturers of dangerous materials transported by truck can also be made responsible for the injuries caused or worsened by the cargo. Typically they can be held responsible to tell the potential dangers of the materials to the trucker or the company.
Types of damages in a truck accidents
If you are involved in a truck incident caused by the fault of its driver then resulting damages you can claim – financial compensation for emotional, financial and physical losses.
Extraordinary concern in case of truck accident
Usually the dangers faced while operating large commercial trucks on highways are not considered in case of their accident with ordinary vehicles like:
Jack-knifing : Under certain conditions large vehicles are supposed to use jack-knifing while turning or braking suddenly. The driver of truck-knifing truck cannot be negligent as truck-knifing was done to face unexpected slippery roads or to avoid other stalled truck or motorist, while turning abruptly.
Accidents on turn: It can be difficult to turn a commercial truck unless two lanes are available for this purpose. Some courts hold the driver responsible for the truck accidents occurred due to such faulty turns, even though it is not a clear case of negligence.
Free consultation for a truck accident claim
So, if you or your loved one has suffered injuries and property damage due to involvement in a truck accident then you should meet a personal injury attorney to assess your claim, free of charge. What you get in your claim depends on the consultation, even if there is no compulsion.