Truck Accident Attorneys
Injuries Resulting from Truck Accidents
When a commercial truck and a passenger vehicle collide, it is the occupants of the passenger vehicle most at risk of suffering serious or fatal injuries. Data shows that passenger vehicle occupants account for 97% of all fatalities in truck accidents.
The most common types of injuries that can result from a commercial truck accident include:
- Broken bones
- Neck injuries (caused by whiplash)
- Crush injuries
- Burn injuries
- Injuries to internal organs
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries including concussions, brain hemorrhages, intracranial hematomas, coup-contrecoup injuries, and diffuse axonal injuries
The semi-truck accident lawyers at The Lobb Law Firm know that serious injuries to the spinal cord or the brain might require a lifetime of treatment and care and can affect your earning capacity significantly. We can assess the extent of your financial losses and intangible damages like pain and suffering and mental anguish, maximize the value of your claim to the extent possible, and fight aggressively to recover every dollar you are owed from the at-fault party.
Liability of the Trucking Company and Third Parties in a Truck Accident
One of the key factors that separate a truck accident claim from a car accident or other types of motor vehicle accident claims is that the liability is not limited to the at-fault driver alone. There are a number of other parties that can be held liable – depending on the circumstances under which the accident occurred.
When Can the Truck Driver Be Held Liable?
- If they were speeding, driving aggressively, or driving recklessly at the time of the accident.
- If they were drunk or under the influence of drugs at the time of the accident.
- If they were using the truck for a personal reason at the time of the accident.
- If they violated any traffic laws and if the violation led to the accident.
When Can the Trucking Company Be Held Liable?
Depending on the circumstances, the trucking company can be held directly or vicariously liable for the truck crash.
The truck company can be held liable for the accident if the accident was caused directly or primarily as a result of their negligence. The most common examples of truck company negligence include:
Violating Hours of Service Regulations
Trucking companies in the U.S. are required to comply with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) hours-of-service regulations, which set restrictions on the amount of time a truck driver can be on duty.
For instance, truck drivers are only allowed to drive for 11 hours after taking a break consisting of 10 consecutive hours. Similarly, truck drivers are required to take a 30-minute break after driving continuously for 8 hours.
In many cases, truck drivers are unable to comply with these regulations, as they have unreasonably short deadlines to meet. Some truck companies tend to look the other way while their drivers violate FMCSA regulations, while some other companies actively force their drivers to violate these regulations in order to meet their deadlines. Either way, if the driver causes an accident after missing a break, the truck company can be held directly liable for the resulting damages.
Negligent Hiring Practices
If the truck company hires a person who is not qualified to operate commercial trucks, it can be held liable for any accident caused by them. The most common examples of negligent hiring practices by commercial truck companies include:
- Hiring a person with a history of alcohol or drug abuse.
- Hiring a person with a history of committing traffic offenses.
- Hiring a person who does not have a commercial driver’s license.
- Hiring a person with a medical condition that can affect their ability to operate the truck.
Lack of Proper Maintenance
The truck company has a duty to inspect, repair, and maintain the trucks they own in proper working condition. If it fails to do so and the lack of maintenance results in an accident, the company can be held liable for the resulting injuries and deaths.
If the truck driver in question was under the direct employment of the truck company and was acting within the scope of their employment when the accident occurred, the truck accident can be held vicariously liable for the accident under the doctrine of respondeat superior.
When Can the Manufacturer Be Held Liable?
If any tractor-trailer or semi-truck accidents are caused as a result of a defectively designed or manufactured part, the manufacturer can be held liable.
When Can the Loading Company Be Held Liable?
If the accident occurred as a result of overloaded cargo, improperly loaded cargo, or poorly secured cargo, the loading company or contractor can be held liable.
Choose a Seasoned Michigan Truck Accident Attorney to Maximize Your Personal Injury Compensation
Commercial truck accidents can leave you with debilitating, life-altering injuries. For instance, an injury to your spinal cord can result in partial or complete paralysis of your lower body and torso. Depending on the severity of the injury, you might require multiple surgeries, several months or even years of treatment, physical therapy, and ongoing care – all of which can be prohibitively expensive.
A skilled truck accident lawyer can request healthcare providers to treat you on a lien and make sure you get the medical care you need without having to pay any medical bills upfront. They can launch a detailed investigation into your accident, gather all the evidence needed to establish the at-fault party’s liability, build a strong truck accident case, and negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf to get the settlement you deserve.