What Are Your Legal Options if You’ve Been in a Tractor-Trailer Accident?

Written by Atlee Hall

If you have been injured in a tractor-trailer accident, you may have the right to compensation for your damages. Fortunately, although you may feel intimidated and overwhelmed, you can fully recover your damages in multiple ways. With help from your commercial truck accident lawyer, you can fight for the compensation and benefits you deserve.

Your Legal Options Depend on Your Specific Case

Several potential options could be available based on your case’s specific details. Some of the factors your truck accident attorney will consider when calculating the value of your claim and evaluating your legal options include the following:

  • The total impact of your personal property damages
  • How the truck accident occurred
  • Who is responsible for causing the accident
  • Whether the liable party has sufficient insurance coverage

Typically, when another party is responsible for causing your injuries and damages, they can be compelled to compensate you for your suffering accordingly. Your truck accident lawyer will need to prove that the defendant owed you a duty of care and breached that duty for your claim to be successful.

Filing a Claim vs. Lawsuit

Generally, there are two primary ways to recover compensation after a truck accident. This includes filing a claim with the insurance company or bringing your case to court. Here is more:

Insurance Claims

In almost every truck accident case, the liable party will have some insurance coverage. Truck drivers will likely have auto insurance, while trucking companies will have general liability insurance coverage. If you were in a work-related truck accident, you could also be protected by workers’ compensation protection coverage.

If your state follows fault insurance laws, you will file a claim with the liable party’s insurer instead of your own. But suppose you live in a no-fault state and must carry personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. In that case, you will file a claim against your auto insurance policy without regard to liability.

Unfortunately, insurance settlements are rarely enough to meet an injury victim’s needs. Some of the damages the insurance company might cover include:

  • Lost income
  • Diminished value of your vehicle
  • Vehicle repair costs
  • Rental car fees
  • Healthcare expenses

By filing a lawsuit, you may have another chance to fully recoup your losses when insurance is insufficient.

Filing a Lawsuit

When you file a civil lawsuit, you have the greatest chance to recover every loss. This doesn’t only include your economic damages but your non-economic damages as well.

In addition to covering medical bills and property damages, you could also recover a wide array of other damages, such as:

  • Physical pain and suffering
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Loss of consortium
  • Skin scarring and disfigurement
  • Emotional distress and mental anguish
  • Loss of employee benefits
  • Transportation expenses
  • Funeral and burial costs if you lost a loved one to fatal truck accident injuries
  • Inconvenience
  • Reputation damage
  • Fear, shame, shock, and indignity

It is worth noting that punitive damages could be awarded in your truck accident lawsuit as well. However, they are only issued when the court system considers it appropriate to punish the defendant for egregious conduct or gross negligence.

Although you do not need to decide immediately if you want to take action on your claim, make sure you decide as soon as possible. The statute of limitations is already counting down, and if your claim is not filed in time, the court system could dismiss your case.

Who Can Be Sued after a Tractor-Trailer Accident?

Your truck accident lawyer will help you determine who to sue for the damages you sustained. Do not be surprised if multiple parties are found to have contributed to your truck accident. Potentially liable parties could include:

  • The truck driver – Truck drivers can be held accountable anytime they engage in unsafe driving behaviors, such as drunk, distracted, drowsy, aggressive, reckless, or drugged driving.
  • The trucking company – Trucking companies can be held accountable if they force truck drivers to violate Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) rules and regulations. They can fail to do their due diligence, hire inexperienced truck drivers, or fail to make necessary truck repairs.
  • Cargo loaders – When lost load accidents cause your truck accident damages, you may be able to sue the cargo loaders who were responsible for ensuring the cargo was secured and correctly loaded. If cargo loaders overloaded the tractor-trailer to save time and money, they could be sued for damages.
  • Truck parts manufacturers – When defective or malfunctioning truck parts cause your collision, you might have the right to file a claim against the truck parts designers, manufacturers, distributors, and suppliers.

Your Truck Accident Lawyer Will Help You Understand Your Options

Your truck accident attorney at Atlee Hall will be here to help you understand which options are most suitable for your case. While you focus on recuperating from your injuries, our team can work tirelessly to recover the compensation you deserve after a debilitating truck accident.

Here are some of the benefits of choosing a truck accident lawyer to take on your insurance and civil claim:

  • Your attorney will identify and question witnesses
  • Your lawyer will obtain copies of police and accident reports
  • Your truck accident lawyer will hire accident reconstructionists
  • We will go over your damages to accurately calculate the value of your claim
  • We will negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf
  • We will bring your truck accident case to trial if necessary

Get Help from a Tractor-Trailer Accident Lawyer Today

When you have been critically injured in a tractor-trailer accident, accessing the compensation and benefits you deserve is essential. Ensure you have a knowledgeable and dedicated truck accident lawyer at Atlee Hall who can fully recover your damages. Complete our online contact form or call our office at (717) 393-9596 to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation today.