Semi-trucks are large and heavy, especially when they are carrying a full load of cargo. Truckers must be careful as they drive because wrecks that involve those rigs and personal vehicles can be devastating. The victims of these crashes often suffer from serious injuries. Death is also possible in severe accidents, which, sadly take place more than we’d like to think about.
Some people who suffer injuries in these crashes will opt to seek compensation. Determining how to handle these cases requires you to look at the possibilities and decide what you feel is best. Keep these points in mind as you make and execute your plan:
Who is the defendant in these cases?
Look into the circumstances of the crash to determine whom to name as the defendant. This might not be as simple as it seems. In some cases, such as wrecks caused by trucker distraction or impaired driving, the answer might be obvious. You would turn to the trucker for compensation. You might also be able to name the insurance company and the trucking company as defendants in these cases.
Cases that involve a failed or defective truck component or improper maintenance might mean that the mechanic or component manufacturer needs to be held accountable. Improper loading might lead to the trucker, trucking company, and loader being named.
In the case of fatigued trucking, things might get a little tricky. Was the fatigue caused by only the trucker’s actions or did the trucking company have a part in the matter? Often, tight deadlines might lead truckers to drive when they are too fatigued to do so safely. In these cases, a look at the log for driving and working hours might be helpful.
How are the damages determined?
The damages that you seek in a case should be representative of the total cost of the crash. This includes medical care that you’ve already gotten and that you might need in the future. You also have to figure out what you’ve lost in wages and benefits at work. Non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, might also apply. Looking at previous cases with similar elements might be beneficial.
What does it mean to settle the case before trial?
Some trucking accident cases are settled before they go to trial. Both sides of the case negotiate to come up with the terms of an agreement. This usually includes monetary benefits for the complainant. There might be a confidentiality clause that forbids any party from discussing the terms of the settlement with outside parties and a waiver of liability that means that the defendant doesn't have to admit fault in the crash. If a settlement is possible in your case, remember that what you receive is all you will get since there is likely going to be wording that forbids you from seeking more money later.