Why does it matter who you file a claim against? It matters a lot. Truck drivers carry a very limited liability insurance.
In 2020, the pandemic restrictions brought less traffic on US roads, and yet the number of motor vehicle fatalities was up 9% nationwide. Vermont is among the states that saw a record increase in traffic accident deaths, +32% as compared to 2019. Also, over 1,000 people were injured in car accidents. It is often truck accident victims that suffer the most horrific injuries, which leave them with huge medical bills and lost wages. How can you recover your damages after a truck crash?
You’ll need to be very smart about it and avoid talking to the insurance adjusters on your own. Get yourself some seasoned Vermont truck accident lawyers and let them deal with the legal wrangling so you can focus on your recovery.
When you’re in a truck accident, your first concern is your health. However, if you’re not badly hurt you should start thinking about the financial aspects as soon as you get out of your car. Granted, it’s not the best time to be thinking about money, but when the medical bills start piling up on your desk you’ll regret not paying attention to the many details that could later help you prove you were the victim of someone’s negligence.
That’s what a personal injury claim is all about. You need to prove that your injuries were caused by negligence. If you’re in any condition you should take pictures of the crash scene and get the contact info of all those present. Your truck accident lawyers will certainly want to talk to the eyewitnesses.
Also, make sure to see a doctor right away, even if you’re not badly hurt and you’re not in much pain at the moment. A broken bone is an obvious injury, but internal damage or spine damage might not cause symptoms right away. It might be days or weeks before you start feeling an odd pain in your leg or your hands go numb. You need to be seen by a doctor and have any injury documented.
As soon as you hire the best truck accident lawyer in Burlington they will start investigating your case. They will examine everything from weather and road conditions at the time of the crash to the driver’s track record and the truck’s technical state. All these elements are essential to establish negligence and, afterwards, liability.
If the truck driver was clearly to blame for the crash, you’ll have to file a claim against their insurance. On the other hand, knowledgeable accident lawyers will investigate whether the trucking company can be held accountable. For instance, if the driver was not in compliance with the federal hours of service regulations, the company could be blamed for pushing its employee too hard. If driver fatigue played a part in the accident, you might have a case against the company.
If the accident was caused by a malfunction or by a poorly balanced load, you can file a claim against the trucking company for failing to maintain the vehicle in good condition or against those in charge of loading it.
Why does it matter who you file a claim against? It matters a lot. Truck drivers carry a very limited liability insurance, whereas trucking companies are mandated by law to carry a minimum of $750,000 in insurance liability. If you have huge damages to recover, you want to file a claim against those who can afford to pay.