Car accidents are devastating, but an accident involving a big rig can be catastrophic. The basic laws of physics make accidents between passenger vehicles and these behemoths often make for tragic results. Those who are involved in such accidents or who lose loved ones due to these crashes will likely have a number of questions. Three of the more common include:
#1: Who was at fault?
Determining fault, or liability, for a trucking accident is similar to other motor vehicle accidents. The victims will need to look to see if the truck driver was negligent while driving the vehicle or if they violated any traffic laws.
In some cases, the trucking company may also be responsible for the accident. If the company required unreasonable driving hours or did not take good care of the truck, they could also bear some liability for the crash.
#2: Do I have a case?
If the other driver was negligent or the company failed to operate following applicable regulations, you can probably hold them accountable through a civil lawsuit. A personal injury lawsuit can lead to compensation to help cover the expenses that result from the accident. Expenses like the cost of an ambulance and the emergency response team, medical care, additional treatment and lost wages as well as the cost to replace your vehicle.
#3: How long will it take?
Although the timeline for these cases will vary, they often begin with gathering evidence to move forward. Once gathered, you may choose to negotiate with the truck driver, trucking company and insurance provider. In some cases, this can lead to a reasonable settlement offer. In others, they may try to shortchange you or deny any responsibility. If so, you can move forward with litigation. Litigation involves going to court and can take longer than the negotiation process but may lead to a successful case.