About 80% of the time, the fatalities from commercial truck crashes are people in cars sharing the road with these massive vehicles, not the truck drivers themselves.
In court and on the road, truck crashes are different. The injuries trucks can inflict on other motorists can be so severe that they are life-changing. And the complex legal questions raised when the injured seek justice require knowledgeable legal counsel.
Truck crash victims have varied injuries and needs
The variety of injuries that arrive at an emergency room after a truck accident is staggering. Impacts injuries may involve broken bones, blunt-force trauma, traumatic brain injuries and more.
The same truck crash may also involve fire or chemical burns, and the cargo they carry can be anything from multi-ton iron objects to many thousands of tiny parts like nails or screws.
So, it is no surprise that victims of truck crashes often suffer multiple kinds of injuries and need multiple kinds of legal restitution.
These often include compensation for loss of income and income potential, medical and rehabilitation costs, and damages for disfigurement or other quality of life consequences as well as for pain and suffering.
Commercial truck crashes are complex events
Commercial trucks can be incredibly dangerous objects. Traveling at highway speed weighing perhaps 30 times as much as a car, their power and momentum are barely imaginable until unleashed in a crash.
So, trucks and their loads are heavily regulated. The huge economic value of the trucking industry often competes with these regulations, so understanding whether the truck was meeting its legal obligations may influence the legal outcome.
Trucks can carry almost anything from radioactive, poisonous or explosive materials to objects that may be devastating as projectiles, including lumber and logs, steel and iron, concrete and stone, glass and marble and more.
Commercial truck crashes are also legally complex
Suits seeking damages after trucking accidents can be complex. For example, consider the defendant, or who you must file the suit against.
The trucker behind the wheel may have fallen asleep, or been under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or failed to check the condition of their vehicle or whether the truck’s load was secure.
Some of these may involve pressures from their employers and coercing truckers into cutting corners.
It often matters whether the trucker is an independent contractor, owns their own truck and company, or is an employee of the trucking company, the government and someone else.
Whether the trucker was properly licensed and certified may reflect on the trucker and their employer. The loads themselves require a trucker and company with specialized, even highly technical knowledge about the materials being hauled.