Each year in the U.S., approximately $700 billion shipped goods travel by truck. Not only is the trucking industry critical to the success of other industries, but nearly every sector of the U.S. economy relies on trucks to deliver its goods and materials.
With that many trucks on the roads, truck crashes are inevitable. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), 2018 saw nearly 500,000 crashes involving large trucks with over 44,000 fatal crashes and 107,000 injury crashes. If you suffer injuries in a crash with a large truck, it’s important to contact a truck wreck attorney as soon as possible.
The Differences Between Car Crashes and Truck Crashes
Many people assume that car crash cases and truck crash cases are similar except for the size of the vehicles involved; however, they differ in the following significant ways:
- The weight of a truck is nearly 20 times that of a car and can do more damage
- The injuries in a truck crash are usually more severe
- The truck’s cargo can be dangerous and require specialized attention when loading
- There are usually more at-fault parties involved
Because the stakes are often higher in truck crashes, they require attorneys who are skilled and experienced and thoroughly understand trucking and federal laws.
The Benefits of Hiring a Truck Crash Attorney
If you’re injured in a crash with an 18-wheeler or any large truck, a personal injury claim will likely be complicated, and the trucking company will have a big budget for legal representation, so they can pay you as little as possible in compensation. If you’re without a truck crash attorney to advocate on your behalf, you may not win your personal injury case. A truck crash attorney can help you obtain fair compensation by:
- Accurately valuing your injury claim. Victims injured in a truck crash don’t always know the extent of their injuries. While you might be able to establish the compensation needed to pay for your medical bills, property damage, and lost wages, there’s more that you need to consider. A truck crash attorney can help you determine the value of lost earning capacity in the future as well as your pain and suffering.
- Handling complex negotiations. Dealing with truck crash claims requires a lot of investigative work and can be a time-consuming, detailed process. A truck crash attorney will handle all of the legal paperwork, evidence collection, legal research, communication with all insurance parties, and negotiations toward a potential settlement. Because it’s likely that you’re recovering from severe injuries, you need an advocate to handle all of this on your behalf.
- Helping you avoid mistakes with the insurance company. Many people know that insurance companies want to pay you as little as possible to compensate for damages after a crash. However, many don’t know the underhanded tricks and tactics they use to avoid a fair payout. Insurance companies will call victims to get a recorded statement that may be used against them later; use a “deny first” strategy, where they deny a claim initially, even though they know the claim is valid; use your social media posts against you, and try to get you to settle too quickly with a low-ball offer immediately following the crash. A truck crash attorney knows these tactics and can advise and guide you so that you don’t make mistakes that hurt your case.
- Determining liability. A primary reason that truck crashes are different from car crashes is the number of potential at-fault parties. In a truck crash, there can be many, including the truck manufacturer and the company that loaded the truck’s cargo. As the victim in the crash, you likely don’t know all the possible liable parties. A truck crash attorney will determine who could be responsible for the crash and will ensure that you pursue compensation before the expiration of any statute of limitations.