Commercial Truck Accident Settlement Guide 

Big thanks to the attorneys at The McCallister Law Firm for supporting our site with this article!

A trucking accident attorney will tell you that the moment your accident happens is the moment that your commercial truck accident claim begins, so it’s important to understand what to do and educate yourself on the process. Most importantly, you should hire an attorney who can provide you with personalized legal counsel based on your specific circumstances.

What To Do After An Accident

Since your claim begins the moment of your accident, it’s important to take the right steps. Any misstep could affect how much you receive in compensation in a personal injury claim.

  • Call 911 immediately, and assess other passengers in your vehicle. Tell the operator if anyone is unconscious or severely injured.
  • Get the name of the truck driver, their employer, their contact information, and contact information for the company. You should also provide them with your name, address, email address, phone number, and car insurance information.
  • Go to the nearest emergency room to be assessed for injuries.
  • Take pictures of the scene of the accident, which can provide the strongest form of proof in your personal injury case.
  • Talk to an attorney about your situation before talking to the insurance company. That means you should call an attorney ASAP!

Who is liable for my truck accident?

The question of liability in a truck accident is answered depending on the circumstances of the accident. The liable party could be the trucking company, the truck driver, the cargo loaders, or even the manufacturer or designer of the truck.

  • A truck driver can be held responsible for an accident if they were doing something wrong behind the wheel, like drinking or showing up to work fatigued
  • Due to a legal theory called “respondeat superior,” the employer can be held responsible for the actions of an employee who was working within the scope of their duties at the time of the accident.
  • Cargo loaders are supposed to pack trucks so that the weight is distributed equally and there are no chances of rollovers.
  • In some instances, a faulty part or design contributed to the accident, so neither the trucking company nor the driver are held liable. Instead, a company like Volvo or Daimler Chrysler would be held liable for the accident.

Regulations Issued By FMCSA

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration sets standards for safety that truckers and trucking companies must abide by. They outline the training that truck drivers must complete before going on the road, drug and alcohol testing regulations, state compliance with driver’s licenses, parts and accessories required for safe operation, and rules for transporting hazardous materials. 

Among these are Hours of Service regulations, which dictate how many hours a driver can work in a week. Suppose it can be proven that the trucking company encouraged the driver to work more hours than they were capable of, resulting in fatigued driving. In that case, that can significantly affect your case. There are also rules about cargo securement so that accidents are not caused by cargo imbalance issues on the truck. When investigating your claim, an attorney can find out if one of these important regulations was violated.

Injuries After A Commercial Truck Accident

Injuries after an accident with a commercial truck tend to be far more serious for the driver and passengers in the smaller vehicle. Traumatic brain injuries, catastrophic spinal cord injuries, broken bones, deep lacerations, and internal injuries are some of the unfortunate, common injuries that occur. 

Why do I need a commercial truck accident lawyer?

Because of the significant size and weight difference between trucks and passenger vehicles, trucking companies anticipate that they will have to pay a lot in damages to an injured driver in the event of an accident. Therefore, they take out larger insurance claims to protect themselves. Trucking companies also have vast legal resources that they invest in since, again, an accident involving a truck could mean that someone in a smaller car gets very hurt, and they don’t want to sully their company name with a tragic accident. Even if you think that your case is straightforward, you should speak with an attorney because they will have experience in fighting for injured victims’ rights against these large companies and their teams of lawyers.