Injuries sustained in car and truck accidents might be similar, but the lawsuits and process to claim injuries are very different. If you’ve been injured in an Illinois truck accident, here’s what you need to know.
When people are involved in an accident with a truck they often mistakenly believe that the actions taken will be the same as a car accident injury claim but on a bigger scale. This is simply not the case. In fact, common passenger vehicle accidents are quite different from 18-wheeler accidents. The following are several of the factors involved.
Bigger Insurance Policies
Because of the size, seriousness, and interstate movement of a commercial truck, the insurance policy it must carry can be worth 50 times more than an insurance policy on a passenger vehicle. Accidents involving such large vehicles can have devastating consequences and bring about serious and lifelong personal injuries and damages.
In many cases, trucking accidents with tractor trailers can be very complex, and it can be very difficult to determine exactly who was at fault for the accident. Unlike wrecks only involving privately owned vehicles, there are often several parties that could potentially be held accountable for a crash, including the truck driver’s employer, the vehicle manufacturer, the company responsible for loading and securing the cargo, or the truck driver himself or herself.
Because these motor vehicle insurance policies can be worth millions of dollars, the insurance carrier for the commercial truck will do almost anything to find a way out of liability.
Beware of highly experienced adjusters employing complex tactics
This often means that they will put their most experienced insurance adjusters on the case. These highly experienced adjusters will employ complex tactics in an attempt to reduce their client’s liability and increase the blame on the injured party. If they are successful in placing even a small amount of liability on the injured, they may be able to significantly reduce or outright deny the claim.
The insurance adjuster may offer you a settlement right away, even while visiting you in the hospital, but they’re not being generous. They’re trying to make you go away. They’ll also warn you that there’s a strict deadline for accepting this offer, that you won’t get a higher offer than this, and that they’ll purposely drag on any court case for years to discourage you.
Don’t fall for this. You will regret it. Hire an experienced truck accident lawyer with a winning track record, like Mario Palermo of Palermo Law Group, to handle your legal case so you can focus on your physical recovery.
The commercial trucks you see out on the roads are often handling interstate deliveries. Because of this, truck drivers and trucking companies are required to register with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the Department of Transportation. Because of the interstate nature of their job, these trucking companies are governed by hundreds more regulations than a typical passenger car.
These regulations include maintenance of the trucks, special driver’s licenses and qualifications, annual inspections, and logbooks. It is this increase in regulations that opens the door to unique ways to gain compensation.
Because passenger vehicles don’t have the same regulations, truck accidents are often much more complicated when it comes to determining the cause and liability of the accident.
More Property Damage
Semi-trucks with a full trailer can weigh 80,000 pounds. This weight, combined with the truck’s size, can inflict serious damage on anything that gets in its path. As a result, commercial truck accidents often result in significant and costly property damage.
One of the most devastating differences between trucking accidents and car accidents is the serious injuries they can cause. When an 80,000-pound truck goes up against a 3,000-pound car, the results can be catastrophic. Because of this, injuries from a truck accident are often much more severe than those from an accident not involving a truck. Injuries to the car passengers can range from severe whiplash, back injuries, broken bones, traumatic brain injuries, and death. Although trucking companies often carry much larger policies to compensate for this risk, the effects of such an injury are still life-changing.
More Expensive Medical Bills
Because injuries from a truck accident are often more serious than a passenger wreck, it only makes sense that the medical bills associated with the personal injury are usually much higher.An experienced personal injury attorney will understand how to calculate the current and future costs
As we have discussed, traumatic injuries are a very real possibility in trucking accidents. This often means longer stays at the hospital, more extensive testing and diagnoses, greater lengths and measures of recovery, and the repercussions that come with lifelong injuries and disability. This can mean a long period of missed work, which can majorly affect a victim’s financial situation. Not being able to work means not getting a paycheck.
These factors must be considered when deciding on an acceptable settlement amount. An experienced personal injury attorney will understand how to calculate the current and future costs and how to see to it that you receive all of the compensation to which you are entitled.
Increased Chance of Death
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), accidents involving large trucks are responsible for about 4,000 to 5,000 deaths each year. While this is unsettling, commercial truck accidents are more likely to result in death as opposed to a wreck involving two passenger vehicles.
If someone you loved has been killed in a commercial truck accident, speak with a personal injury attorney before you file any type of claim. Compensation is not a time machine that can undo harm or loss, but it can help cover the losses incurred as a result of the death of a loved one and potentially alleviate any associated financial stress. Additionally, a wrongful death lawsuit holds negligent parties accountable for their actions, which might prevent future accident victims from losing their lives.
A wrongful death lawsuit holds negligent parties accountable for their actions
Most people have never been involved in a lawsuit before, so the legal process is naturally very foreign to them. If you have been injured in a collision with a large commercial truck, you may not know how to start in seeking compensation from the truck driver or their employer. Truck accident claims can involve complex legal questions and highly technical evidence, so pursuing a claim can require resources, time, and knowledge that you do not necessarily have. Fortunately, an experienced and skilled Illinois truck accident attorney and law firm will have the knowledge and resources you need, and can lead you through every single step of the legal process. Remember, don’t be fooled by what seems like a significant first-offer. If the insurance company offers to pay anything at all, you can bet that it’s a lowball number.
When to Contact a Truck Accident Lawyer
Mario Palermo of Palermo Law Group has handled many truck accident cases and won clients the large settlements they deserve. If you or a loved one has been injured in a commercial truck or 18-wheeler accident, contact our office today at 630-684-2332