Truck accidents are incredibly common but also incredibly serious. They shatter the lives of those involved immediately and forever: emotional distress; physical injury or death; financial losses; and much more.
After the crash occurred, your task will be to prove trucker negligence or how businesses that employ commercial trucks did not exercise reasonable care and harmed you.
Accident victims may establish negligence in personal injury and negligence claims in several different ways but it can be difficult to determine liability and show the other party fell below the duty of care.
For instance, you may attempt to show the accident occurred because the negligent party was distracted driving the commercial truck using accident reconstruction and other means.
You may also establish negligence by illustrating the truck company did not conduct proper background checks in hiring (this is done in many car accidents with a commercial truck and passenger vehicles).
The way a plaintiff should claim negligent actions of a truck driver caused your personal injury or injuries will differ for every accident. A passionate lawyer may help ensure negligent truck driver’s are held liable for full compensation.
Contact an experienced truck accident lawyer about a truck accident case if truck drivers negligently harm you.
We can review the truck driver’s negligence in a free consultation and discuss a possible truck accident claim (and potential truck accident cases against the truck drivers, trucking company, insurance companies, etc.) for your medical bills, medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages.
The following sections discuss proving negligence against truck drivers and a trucking company in a truck accident claim.
What is Negligence?
If you want to prove negligence in a truck accident incident, then you need to understand what exactly negligence is in the first place.
There are four basic elements to a negligence cause of action:
- The defendant driver owed the plaintiff a duty of care.
- The defendant’s actions or the defendant’s employee’s actions breached that duty.
- The breach of duty caused minor or serious injuries even death; enormous financial losses; emotional trauma; vehicle damage; lost income; burial expenses; long-term pain and suffering; etc..
- Those truck accident injuries resulted in economic damages, non-economic damages, wrongful death damages, or punitive damages.
Examples of negligent conduct by a truck driver include road rage, fatigued driving, intoxicated truck driving, and similar circumstances.
If you have serious injuries and have questions about a negligence claim, wrongful death action, product liability claim, or similar suit, then contact the legal team of our law firm, Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC, to speak to an experienced attorney and truck accident lawyer.
In an attorney client relationship, we can give you legal help and legal advice on what can be considered negligent (absent reasonable care from a prudent person) to seek compensation and collect damages from the other party in the truck crash.
How to Establish Negligence in a Truck Crash Case
Proving negligence in truck accidents is complicated. The truck driver and truck company will have enormous resources so it is important to work closely with experienced counsel.
To clear the hurdles they present, you first need to work with your attorney to catalogue the injuries and damages that the driver caused you.
This may include things like pain and suffering or vehicle destruction among others. Note, sometimes expert testimony may be required in your state to vouch for the exact cost of this harm
Next, you need to isolate the instances of negligent conduct committed by the truck driver or trucking company in the truck accident. Here, you should look for things like drinking, texting, tailgating, etc.
Finally, you need to connect the dots and tie the unreasonable acts to your unfortunate outcome and consequences. This will really help you prove fault when dealing with the defendant in court, or insurance company (or multiple insurance companies) in claim negotiations.
Contact our team for a free consultation and free case evaluation after truck accidents. We can walk through how to proceed against the truck driver and company that caused the truck accident.
Who You Can Sue after a Truck Crash?
It is important to identify early on who is responsible for the injuries that came about as a result of the truck accident-the driver, trucking business, etc. They are the ones that you will be seeking financial compensation from either in court or settlement.
You can sue any person or party whose negligence conduct directly or indirectly resulted in your legal damages. You can also sue any party that employed anyone that harmed you in a truck collision.
However, this does not mean you can sue a company if one of their independent contractors injured you. This is the case because the law presumes they are not under the control of the business.
You may also be able to sue the maker, distributor, or retail seller of a defective motor vehicle part that contributed to the accident. This would be a products liability action as opposed to a negligence action for personal injury or death.
Call our experienced legal team for a free consultation about your injuries today and how you can proceed against the driver.
What You Should Do after a Crash
If you are ever involved in an incident like this, take these steps to protect your health and legal recovery options:
- Get medical attention.
- Write down everything that happened.
- Talk to a lawyer.
- Do not talk to the at-fault party, their counsel, or their insurance company.
- Work with your employer to get income verification.
Truck Accident Cases and Settlements
Here are some trucking cases and settlement summaries to give you a better idea of what relief and recovery is available after a crash.
$2 Million Truck Settlement
The events of this case transpired in Lake County, Illinois. The crash happened on a late fall night.
Lots of cars and other vehicles were traveling over a well-worn highway. A trucker didn’t see that one had slowed down due to fog. He came in hot and rear-ended the car.
The person driving that vehicle was a woman in her late 50s. She suffered a spinal injury and mild concussion. The ambulance was quick to the scene and it took her right to the ER. Doctors treated her right away for her injuries.
Yet, the pain stuck around. She had to go through a couple months of rehab. Then, she found her old job just too painful to endure. She was forced to look for other work.
All of these experiences led her to consider a lawsuit. She filed it in the same county where the events occurred. She charged the trucker and his employer for negligence. Her complaint alleged the driver was at the wheel too long.
Also, she cited the company with a failure to monitor its employees. The defendants offered a stock reply.
Yet, as discovery got underway, the plaintiff was able to pick over their failures. Many of her claims turned out to be accurate.
This led the defendants to the conclusion that trial would only make things worse. All sides entered into a private settlement that ended the matter.
$9 Million Truck Settlement
This case had a lot of finger-pointing. It also had one extremely innocent victim. She was 68 when the truck accident occurred. It happened on the south side of Chicago.
She tried crossing the street when a dump truck reversed course and backed up over her. It ran right over her leg!
People on the scene called an ambulance. Medical personnel took her to the hospital. Doctors needed to perform an amputation. They took of the leg just above her knee.
After she was stabilized, she surveyed her legal options. She decided to bring suit against the construction companies on the scene.
There was one general contractor, hired by the city. There were also a bunch of others hired out by the general contractor.
The problem was that each of them thought the other was supposed to spot the truck as it backed out and over her.
The crucial point was that the plaintiff could show nobody was spotting the driver as it went into reverse. This is a huge error and extraordinarily negligent.
Once it was discovered, trial was unnecessary. The general contractor paid most of the settlement itself, not from its insurance company. The rest (around $1 million) was paid by various subcontractors.
$500,000 Truck Settlement
This truck accident happened in Chicago, Illinois. The parties crashed into each other in the early hours of the morning. The trucker crossed the median and sideswiped a car.
The man had been at the wheel of the big rig all night. The victim was a man in his early 30s.
He suffered a few broken bones, scratches, and other injuries. Doctors performed a couple of operations to set the bones and treat him. The young man sued the truck driver.
Since the driver technically wasn’t working at the time of the incident, the plaintiff couldn’t sue the truck business (the driver’s employer). Yet, he still could target the driver’s insurance policy.
Obviously, the man himself wouldn’t have sufficient funds to cover any large compensation award. In fact, the insurance carrier ended up doing just that. It opted to end the case as quickly as it could once trial became imminent.
The young man received $500,000. This covered his medical bills, lost income, and long-term pain and discomfort. He really didn’t have any disability from the crash so his non-economic damages weren’t that great.
Talk to Our Truck Accident Attorneys Today
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC represents victims and their families after deadly and destructive truck accidents. We know the toll they put on you and how to get the most under the law.
Contact us for a completely free and no-obligation consultation. Our services are free if we do not win for you. Find out what you could obtain by giving us a call at (888) 424-5757.