It’s no surprise that accidents involving semi-trucks are more dangerous than car collisions. The large size and heavy weight of these vehicles causes significant damage. If you are unfortunate enough to get into an accident with a big-rig vehicle, your damages will be high. You’ll need to seek legal redress to get the compensation you deserve!
The Facts Behind Truck Accidents
Although truck drivers are “professional drivers” they are not immune from collisions. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) reports that over 4,000 fatalities per year occur in truck-related accidents. The same agency reports that over 100,000 crashes per year involve a large truck. These accidents arise out of poor road conditions, equipment failure and bad driving. Large trucks are especially prone to turning violations and jack-knifing. Full trailers can exacerbate the injuries and damage that occurs.
Truck Accident Lawsuits
An experienced lawyer will usually pursue a claim of negligence in a truck accident case. To succeed in this claim the plaintiff must prove three major elements. First, the plaintiff will need to show that the defendant owed him or her a duty of reasonable care. This means that the defendant driver (or trucking company) had a legal duty to prevent injury by driving in a reasonable manner.
Second, the plaintiff will prove that the defendant breached this duty. In other words, the driver failed to operate his or her vehicle in a safe manner.
Finally, it the plaintiff must prove the element of causation. This means that the defendant’s breach of duty was the direct cause of the plaintiff’s injury. Causation ensures that the legally responsible party is held liable for the damage suffered.
Truck Accident Settlements
The final step in a personal injury lawsuit is to obtain a judgment at trial. Yet, most accident cases never make it to trial. Instead, they are resolved between the parties in the form of a settlement. This is an agreement outside of court that resolves the damages to the satisfaction of both parties. Many settlements are reached through a process called Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR).
Settlements can be good for several reasons. They are less time consuming than a trial and are cost-effective. ADR also tends to be less adversarial which makes it a less stressful experience. In some cases reaching a settlement can have a negative effect. Some plaintiffs may receive less compensation than they would with a jury verdict. A plaintiff might also have to relinquish future claims (related to the incident) against the defendant. Whether to go to trial or negotiate a settlement is a decision best made after careful consideration with an attorney.
Getting Help With Trucking Accidents
Personal injury cases are a lot more complicated than this article describes. As such, it is best to consult with an experienced attorney for detailed information.
If you need help with a trucking accident or any personal injury case contact Rex B Bushman. Receive a thorough consultation by calling (801) 652-9413.