Getting in an accident with another car or private vehicle can feel complicated enough, but getting in one with a semi-truck or “big rig” can add an entirely new set of difficulties. Not only can the damage to your car be more severe and the injuries you sustain more debilitating, but regulations and multimillion-dollar insurance policies surrounding the operation of trucks can cause hassle and stress in the wake of the accident. Understanding how these regulations are implemented and how to address them when pursuing a claim is just as important as understanding things that might stand in your way to success. Here are some common complications that won’t get you anywhere fast.
Insurance gets much more complex when a company-owned truck is involved. A trucker’s policy may cover the value of the truck itself and what they’re hauling, and may consider the driver’s experience, age and distance driven. These policies can be worth a large amount of money, and an insurance agency is far more likely to fight your claim in court should you choose to sue.
Proof of Negligence
If you’re interested in suing a driver or company for damages because they caused the accident out of carelessness, you need to be prepared to provide ample evidence of the fact. Again, since the insurance agency will likely fight you over the claim, you’ll need to include all factors that could have been involved in events leading up to the crash.
Trucking companies abide by many federal regulations, including how long a driver can be on the road without rest and how much he or she can haul at once. This falls on top of other possible means of negligence, like reckless driving, improperly loading cargo and keeping up on maintenance. Failing to prove that a driver or company was negligent in one of these practices can put your case at a serious disadvantage.
Who Can Be Sued
Once you’ve determined the type of negligence, you’ll need to understand who can be held responsible for it. A driver can be accountable for driving under the influence, clocking illegal driving time, aggressive driving, and improper cargo loading. However, if the accident was caused by a brake failure or other mechanical issue, the company may be liable because they did not catch the problem before it became an issue. Similarly, an accident could be caused by a malfunctioning or defective part, in which case the manufacturer could be at fault.
Knowing these aspects of your accident could easily make or break your case. Trying to understand all of it by yourself can be overwhelming, and hiring a truck accident lawyer can be an easier way to get the best results from your unfortunate situation.