What Happens When a Truck Driver Has an Accident?

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A car and truck driver have an accident.

After a truck accident involving a commercial vehicle, there can be a tremendous amount of damage. Vehicles often become damaged beyond repair, and the injuries victims may sustain can be tremendous. A truck driving accident can be quite a life-changing event. So what happens after a truck driver has an accident? The answer is not typically black and white. Frequently, each case is as unique as the accident itself, though there may be some commonalities.

If you have recently become a semi-truck accident victim, you should seek an experienced attorney immediately to ensure your rights are protected. Call the law offices of Tatum & Atkinson, “The Heavy Hitters,” at (800) 529-0804  or contact us online. We will discuss your case at no cost to you and your legal options based on the unique circumstances surrounding your accident

Remember that each case is unique and that what happens following your crash may not include all aspects of what is discussed in this article.

What Happens When a Truck Driver Has an Accident?

After a collision involving a semi-truck, those involved will contact their insurance agents, and the driver or the driver’s employer will also contact their insurance agent. If the truck driver was at fault, the victim would file an insurance claim with the company covering the truck. Claims may include compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, and projected future costs stemming from the accident. Several investigations may take place simultaneously to determine who was at fault.

Following a truck accident, police will arrive on the scene and speak with all parties involved and speak with any witnesses. After this, the accident scene may be reconstructed as part of an investigation to determine fault. The insurance companies will often investigate on their own. An insurance company’s investigator will look for evidence of the cause of the accident to decide whether a claim is approved or denied.

If people were injured in a truck accident, it is typical for victims to hire a car accident lawyer to represent them. These lawyers may also choose to conduct an investigation. The more evidence an attorney can gather, the likelier they will obtain a successful outcome for their client.

Sadly, some truck accident victims can find themselves trapped in a fruitless cycle of trying to determine which parties to involve in their claim. The truck driver may provide the police with the name of their employer, only to later find that the employer claims that the driver is an independent contractor and not an employee of their organization.

Trucking companies often hire independent contractors so they do not have to provide coverage following an accident that may blemish their public record. A driver that works as an independent contractor must provide their own insurance coverage. Car accidents involving semi-trucks can become very complicated. Semi-truck accident victims often need to investigate the driver’s status and not assume the assertions made by the trucking company are accurate. Often, accident victims may prove that the driver was, in fact, an employee, allowing them to access the company’s more extensive insurance policy.

Many truck accident claims are settled outside of court. Insurance companies will often try to avoid tedious, lengthy court battles. While insurance companies will often offer a settlement, this initial settlement may not be a fair value. It will take some legal maneuvering to ensure that an appropriate figure is reached to cover your current and projected future damages. In the event that an insurance company refuses to provide a fair settlement, a court case will be filed and may be taken to trial.

A Commercial Truck Hit Me

In 2019, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), over five thousand U.S. citizens were killed due to a collision involving a large truck. Additionally, over 159,000 people sustained injuries in car collisions involving large trucks in the same year. If you have sustained injuries in a collision involving a commercial truck, you should know that the driver’s employer and other parties may be liable for your damages. Commercial truck accidents are significantly more complex than typical passenger car collision claims.

Unlike a passenger car accident, in a truck collision, you’ll likely be able to file claims against more than one party. These parties include:

  • The truck driver
  • The truck driver’s employer
  • The owner of the truck
  • The truck maintenance company

Not all truck collisions will involve all of these parties. Some drivers are independent contractors who own their own vehicle. Commercial truck accidents are more complicated than the average car accident case. You may be able to handle your case independently, but this may lead to a reduction in possible settlement value.

Learn more about truck accident claims by speaking to an experienced personal injury attorney. A truck accident lawyer may assist you with making an insurance claim, negotiating a fair settlement, and representing you in court.

Call a Trucking Accident Attorney at Tatum & Atkinson

The course of action and results received after a trucking accident will largely depend on the strength of the legal counsel fighting for you. When you are involved in a trucking accident, you may benefit from having an experienced personal injury attorney representing you to ensure that you receive just compensation for your damages. You should never assume that an initial investigation will present all of the facts nor that the insurance company’s first settlement offer will be fair.

Speak with an experienced attorney at the law offices of Tatum & Atkinson at no cost by calling (800) 529-0804 or contacting us online to learn more about your rights and what options may be available to you. We have over 65 collective years of experience representing truck accident injury victims. We understand that each individual case has its own set of unique circumstances and can easily become quite complicated. We will help you take some of the stress off your back so that you may focus on recovering.

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