Auto Service World
News   March 17, 2023   by Auto Service World Staff

A Beginner’s Guide to Understanding Damages and Legal Recourse for Truck Accidents

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were over 500,000 truck accidents in the United States in 2021. Of these, 4,952 were fatal, and 131,000 resulted in injury. In addition, approximately 27% of truck collisions occurred on highways and 73% on local roads. The NHTSA also reports that drivers aged 20-24 accounted for 10% of total truck crash fatalities during this period. 

If you have been involved in a serious incident on the road, you will need to hire a truck accident lawyer to help you recover after a collision. Multiple factors determine damages after a truck wreck, namely the severity of the outcome. 

Types of Damages in Truck Accident Cases

When you’re involved in a truck accident, you could be eligible to receive several types of damages. They include:

Medical Expenses

This includes all expenses for your medical treatment, including hospital bills, doctor’s visits, medications, and rehabilitation costs.

Lost Wages

You may be entitled to compensation for lost wages if you miss work due to your injuries. This section also covers lost incentives and work leaves. 

Property Damage

This includes any damage to your vehicle or other property caused by accident. It also applies to any property inside the vehicle and incurred damage as a result of the accident.

Pain and Suffering

This damage is designed to compensate you for the physical and emotional pain caused by the accident.

Punitive Damages

Sometimes, the court may award punitive damages if the truck driver’s actions were egregious or reckless. Punitive damages are meant to deter the repetition of similar conduct.

Legal Recourse for Truck Accidents

If you’ve been involved in a truck accident, you must follow the legal procedure. However, immediately after an accident, you should:

Seek Medical Attention

Do this, even if you don’t think you’re seriously injured. This is because medical records can be easily gathered. Moreover, the long-term health impact from the sustained injuries can add to the versaity of a high claim amount.

Gather Evidence

Gather all the evidence you can, including pictures of the accident scene, witness statements, and police reports. After making sure everyone is safe and authorities alerted, film the scene and ensure to capture details. This will greatly aid your legal case.

File a Claim

Your attorney will assist you with filing a claim with the trucking company’s insurance agency. The paperwork needs to be accurate and sorted. This is where legal help is crucial. Keep in mind that your case may go to trial if a settlement cannot be reached.

Common Causes of Truck Accidents

The cause of the accident may affect the type of compensation you’re eligible for. Most of the causes below would be considered negligence on behalf of the driver or the trucking company. The weather, or poor road conditions, on the other hand, can be a mitigating factor when it comes to fault. 

While the driver may be at fault for causing the accident, they might not be deemed negligent. This is where a lawyer can help you determine what to do next when you file a claim. 

Driver Error

This includes distracted driving, speeding, and driving under the influence.

Equipment Failure

Trucks require regular maintenance to ensure they’re safe to operate. If a trucking company fails to properly maintain its vehicles, equipment failure can cause an accident.

Overloaded or Improperly Loaded Trucks

Trucks have very specific guidelines when it comes to weight and cargo handling. If the company or the driver is found to have knowingly violated the rules, they will be held liable for compensation payout.

Poor Road Conditions and Bad Weather

Poor road conditions, such as potholes or inadequate signage, can make it difficult for truck drivers to operate their vehicles safely. Moreover, rain, snow, and ice can make driving conditions hazardous, especially for large trucks. However, these factors complicate the claims process because the city management will also become involved. Hence, hiring experienced legal aid becomes imperative.


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