What Are Your Legal Rights after an Accident Involving a Commercial Vehicle?

As anyone who has spent any amount of time on the roadways recently likely realizes, large commercial vehicles are everywhere. Without question, many of these commercial trucks are a necessary and essential part of today’s economy – and that’s unlikely to change any time soon. It also goes without saying that these large vehicles are substantially larger, more powerful, and more capable of causing damage than the cars that most individuals drive for personal use on the roadways. Indeed, an accident with a large commercial vehicle can cause significant, extensive, and lasting damage.

If you are the victim of an accident involving a commercial vehicle, chances are high that you, your vehicle, or both, likely sustained significant harm. You may now find yourself in a place where you have difficulty performing your job as a result of injuries sustained in the accident. You may be facing mounting medical bills, and you may have had to pay for extensive repairs for your own vehicle or perhaps pay to replace it entirely. These feelings can be frightening and stressful, and it is certainly understandable to feel confused.

It’s also understandable to wonder whether or not you are entitled to compensation and what rights you may have under the law. After all, being involved in an accident of this nature brings enough stress and worry on its own, without having to worry about financial stress as well.

Knowing and Asserting Your Rights

At 303 Legal, we are happy to inform you that you do have those rights, and to tell you that you can, and should, pursue them. Often, a person who is injured in a commercial truck accident will seek to recover damages from the insurer. The insurance company will likely attempt to push back and lessen the amount of damages to which you may be entitled, so talking to a knowledgeable attorney as soon as possible is very important.

Damages come in a wide variety of types and amounts. Some of the possibilities include:

  • Payment of medical expenses: Depending upon the nature of the accident in which you were involved, you might now be faced with any number of medical bills. There are bills for ambulance fees, hospital visits, visits to any number of physicians, physical therapists, in-home health care, and more. Some of these bills may be one-time expenses, and others may be for ongoing care that is required for a significant period of time into the future. If you were involved in an accident through no fault of your own, you may be entitled to this compensation.
  • Damages for pain and suffering: Damages for pain and suffering are essentially damages for the anguish that the accident has caused you. Depending upon the nature of the case, these damages may be limited or capped at a certain amount.
  • Lost wages: Often, those who are involved in serious accidents are forced to take time away from work as they recover. In these cases, the victims can seek reimbursement for those lost wages in order to ensure that they are able to continue to meet their financial obligations, despite being unable to work.
  • Loss of future earning capacity: In some more unfortunate cases, victims of commercial vehicle accidents ultimately find themselves unable to return to work for a long period of time – or even unable to return to work at all – as a result of the injuries they have sustained. In these cases, victims can seek damages for the loss of their ability to earn wages in the future.
  • Wrongful death: If a loved one has been killed as a result of a commercial vehicle accident, a family member might be able to file a claim for wrongful death. If successful, this type of claim may lead to damages for funeral expenses, loss of consortium (the harm to loved ones as a result of the accident), and loss of financial support, among others.

While these are a few examples of damages to which you may be entitled. Consulting with an attorney regarding your particular case and the damages to which you may be entitled is always an important step before deciding which damages to pursue in your case.

Who’s Responsible?

In order to prevail in a commercial vehicle accident case, you will need to prove that the driver of the truck, or another responsible party (such as the company the driver works for, as an example), are liable for the accident and therefore responsible for your injuries. Liability can be established in several ways. Proving that the truck driver broke the law by excessive speeding, dangerous or reckless driving, or drinking and driving can often serve to automatically prove negligence.

In other cases, you might be able to prove that the trucking company itself was negligent in hiring the driver. For example, if a driver had three previous convictions for drunk driving, but was nevertheless hired anyway, an argument might be made that the company should have anticipated that an accident might occur and was negligent in choosing to hire the driver anyway. Certainly, the best way to determine who might be the responsible and negligent parties in your action is dependent upon your own unique circumstances. Consulting with a knowledgeable and experienced attorney will help you to determine the best path forward for your particular case.

303 Legal – Here for You

Have you recently been involved in an accident involving a commercial vehicle? If so, you may be feeling overwhelmed. You may be feeling anxious, uncertain, and angry – but one thing you should never feel is alone. At 303 Legal, we specialize in fighting for justice on behalf of clients just like you – clients who have been involved in these types of accidents, and who deserve compensation for their injuries. We have extensive knowledge of the law that pertains to these types of accidents as well as years of experience successfully pursuing the best strategies to achieve optimal results for our clients. We would love to do the same for you. Call us today – we look forward to helping you soon.