Suing a Truck Company After You’ve Been in a Truck Accident
When you or a loved one has been the victim of a trucking accident, seeking compensation for your suffering and expenses differs from that of a regular car accident. Based on the details of the case, your attorney may decide to file a claim against the truck driver, the trucking company, or both.
A truck accident can result in physical, emotional, and financial damage that lasts far beyond the initial accident. Although the first priority is to get medical care for your injuries, it is important to understand and exercise your legal rights and the steps it takes to sue a trucking company. Contacting an attorney may be the best way to help get your life back on track so you can move past this ordeal.
Many states have a statute of limitations when it comes to filing an accident claim. This is a window of time in which you can file your case; if you miss it, you may not be able to file at all. Thus, it’s important to take legal action quickly if you intend to sue a trucking company due to an accident.
Our law firm has over 100 years of combined experience handling truck accident lawsuits. We fight for our clients and have secured multi-million dollar settlements and verdicts on their behalf. Let us help you, too.
Your Right to Compensation After a Trucking Accident
Filing a claim is a way to seek justice for the injuries you have sustained as a result of a trucking accident. Due to the seriousness of most truck accidents, injured victims may face exorbitant medical bills, a loss of work, and changes in their overall lifestyle.
A successful judgment can result in compensation that can help pay for:
- Medical expenses, including emergency room visits and post-accident care
- Property damage
- Wages you lost because you were unable to work
- Pain and suffering
While no amount of compensation can undo the harm you may have experienced, a damages award can alleviate financial stress as you fully recover from your injuries.
How to Sue a Trucking Company: Step-By-Step Preparation
Step 1 — Collect info: Note all relevant contact information from the driver of the other vehicle or vehicles involved in the accident, including truck company and insurance information.
Step 2 — Take photos: Capture photos or videos of the accident scene and damage to your vehicle. This will be useful for supporting your claim. Remember: “A picture is worth a thousand words.”
Step 3 — Obtain reports and records: Request the police report and keep all medical records, as well as receipts of any expenses associated with your injuries.
Step 4 — Contact a truck accident attorney to help guide you through the process. Our law firm’s investigative team will retrieve the proper documents necessary.
If you were immediately transported to the hospital for care, we understand you may not have been able to collect information at the scene of the accident. Our team will shoulder the burden of gathering information for you, so you can give yourself the space and time you need to recover.
Once you decide to hire an attorney to pursue a claim, we can seek any additional information that will support your case. We understand the hardships you are facing, and our job is to make this process as easy as possible for you.
These are only the basics of preparing a trucking accident case. Each claim is different and requires detailed records, medical summaries, and a full investigation into the cause of the accident and damage that occurred as a result.
Suing a trucking company after a car accident will be different depending on what type of truck or trucking company was involved. The following content can help shed light on different types of truck accidents:
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Can I Sue for Being Hit by a Semi-Truck? Do I Sue the Driver or the Trucking Company?
If you have been injured in a truck accident due to the negligence of another party, you may be able to sue for damages. As mentioned, you may be able to sue the trucking company, the individual driver, or both. Knowing a few basics about accident liability can help you tell whether you need to sue.
Suing the Trucking Company
There are various situations where you can sue a trucking company if they were negligent in and of themselves. These can include:
- Negligent hiring and retention: This is where a trucking company knowingly hires drivers who have a history of violations or who are unqualified to operate commercial vehicles. The company can also be liable for keeping such drivers on their staff.
- Inadequate maintenance: Failing to keep fleet trucks in good repair can lead to malfunctions and cause crashes.
- Failing to follow drug test protocol: The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires that trucking companies randomly test their drivers for drug use. Failing to do so can make them liable in the event of impaired driving crashes.
- Allowing truck driver violations: Dangerous truck operation can result if a truck company knowingly allows its drivers to violate FMSCA regulations (for instance, allowing them to drive long periods without taking mandatory breaks, thus violating Hours of Service requirements).
Also, trucking companies can be liable for situations where they approve or authorize the negligent conduct of a driver. An example of this is where the company specifically instructs a driver to drive over the speed limit so they can meet a deadline.
Suing the Individual Truck Driver
In other cases, it may be necessary to sue the individual driver for damages. Common instances of this include when the driver:
- Was driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Chose to continue driving even though they were experiencing driver fatigue ( for instance, if they falsified their break logs so they can drive longer than is legal)
- Failed to properly secure their load or cargo
- Made intentional choices to break the law or violate company safety policies
Suing Both the Driver and their Company
Suing both the driver and the trucking company may be necessary where there is a mix of liability between both the driver and the trucking company. For instance, a truck accident may involve faulty maintenance. If the poor maintenance is a result of both the driver’s conduct as well as the company’s policy, both the driver and the company might be held liable.
Lawsuits with multiple liability issues are complex and will require the assistance of a qualified lawyer. At Fried Goldberg, our attorneys will be able to clearly sort out liability issues in a lawsuit, so you can receive the maximum compensation you are owed. Contact us if you are considering how to sue a trucking company.
Lastly, you may also be wondering, “Can a truck driver sue a driver for an accident”? In certain instances, a truck driver may attempt to sue the driver of a passenger vehicle in the event of an accident. In such cases, a truck accident attorney is needed all the more to help defend against the legal claim.
Contact The Truck Accident Attorneys
Trucking accident claims are more nuanced than a car crash lawsuit. Truck drivers and trucking companies must follow the rules regarding proper logbook documentation, maximum drive time per workweek, and full safety checks of equipment. They are held liable when injuries occur as a result of a violation of these regulations.
You need an attorney who knows the trucking industry and understands how to sue a trucking company to achieve a successful outcome. Our decades of legal experience have focused on the specifics of state and federal trucking regulations, and we will fight for the full value of your claim.
Trucking cases represent 95 percent of the work we do here at Fried Goldberg, LLC.
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