Trucking companies know when they’re in the wrong and they usually prefer to settle out of court.
Each year, over 4,500,000 Americans end up in hospital with serious injuries following a motor vehicle accident, according to a report published by the National Safety Council. The cost of those injuries is staggering – $463 billion per year. Around 10% of the motor vehicle accidents in the US involve some type of truck, but the cost of the injuries caused is higher than the actual percentage of the total number of crashes. That is because truck accidents are far more dangerous than a collision between two passenger cars. A head trauma or a severe spine damage can leave you with medical bills totaling hundreds of thousand dollars. If you live in South Dakota and you need to file such a huge claim, you’d better get in touch with an experienced truck accident lawyer in Sioux Falls right away. You’ll need a very good lawyer first to determine liability in your case and then to actually get the insurance company to pay that kind of money.
Unlike regular car accidents, in a truck accident more than one party could be liable for damages. Most accidents are caused by driver error. A reckless driver can simply destroy your life if he is behind the wheel of an 80,000 truck and speeding. If the guy was drunk or on some kind of legal or illegal drugs, he bears full responsibility for the crash and you’ll have to file a claim against his insurance. However, the mandatory liability insurance for truck drivers isn’t usually large enough to cover serious damages.
On the other hand, trucking companies are required by law to carry at least $750,000 liability insurance. Any seasoned South Dakota truck accident lawyer will look very seriously into your case to see if the trucking company could be held accountable for the crash, so you stand a better chance to recover those damages.
How does the trucking company come into play? For instance, if the truck driver was overworked and closed his eyes for a couple of seconds, his employers could be responsible, by failing to monitor his activity or by urging him to ignore hours of service regulations. They sometimes do that because the more goods that driver delivers the more money the company makes.
At the same time, skilled accident lawyers pay close attention to the police report and look for any indication that the crash was caused by a mechanical failure. The police report might say that the truck driver failed to slow down when he saw the long line of stopped cars and slammed into you. That’s one of the most common types of accidents on US roads. A good truck accident lawyer will want to see the report on the technical examination of the truck after the crash. Maybe the driver tried to slow down, but the brake system was faulty. In this case, the trucking company should be held accountable, as it is their duty to provide maintenance for their vehicles. Or, if your lawyer’s investigation discovers that the car had a defective part, they will advise filing a claim against the manufacturer.
Getting yourself a lawyer doesn’t mean you’ll have to go to court. Trucking companies know when they’re in the wrong and they usually prefer to settle out of court.