An accident involving a semi-trailer can often be life changing. Colliding with one of these enormous commercial vehicles can do devastating damage to a car and its occupants.
Crashes involving a big-rig are often the result of a negligent driver, trucking company, or both. A Pontiac truck accident lawyer could assist you in the process of filing a claim for damages against a driver or company that is responsible for a collision that caused you or a loved one to suffer injuries and/or financial loss. A dedicated attorney could answer your questions, and explain your rights, as well as work to get you the compensation you deserve.
What Makes Tractor-Trailer Collision Cases Different?
Collisions with a semi-truck can cause more damage and be more complicated to resolve than a car accident case. The reasons for this include:
- Big-rig collisions cause more serious injuries and are more likely to cause fatalities.
- These accidents can be more complex to determine liability. There may be driver error, maintenance issues, equipment failure, or poorly loaded cargo. Any of these can lead to a crash.
- State and federal regulations govern how long a trucker can drive, and when maintenance and inspections must be done to ensure vehicle safety. Determining whether any of these regulations have been skipped or ignored can be challenging but is important to assigning liability.
- Commercial vehicle insurance policies are much larger than car policies, which means companies will heavily defend them to reduce pay outs. They will be sure to hire an experienced legal team to guarantee the best outcome for their side. You should do the same.
- In any accident involving a commercial vehicle there can be multiple parties who are liable in the event of an accident. These include the driver, the owner of the truck, the trucking company, a leasing agency, mechanics or maintenance companies, manufacturers of trucks, trailers, or parts, or the shipper who hired the truck to do the shipment.
How Do I Prove the Accident Was Not my Fault?
It is rarely easy to convince an insurance company that the defendant was at fault in an accident. In the case of a commercial vehicle, it may be necessary to hire experts to examine vehicle data records or traffic signal functions, or to do accident reconstruction. Illinois law also allows for contributory negligence or assigning partial fault. The complexities of truck wreck cases make it worth your time to contact an experienced Pontiac lawyer to discuss the facts of your accident and learn your rights.
Types of Compensation After a Semi-Truck Crash
Like other vehicle accidents, any compensation you are awarded will fall into one of two categories: economic damages or non-economic damages.
Economic damages are just what they sound like – financial losses you suffer as a result of the accident. These include:
- Medical expenses. Both current —ambulance, emergency room, hospital care, surgery, physical therapy, medical equipment – and future.
- Lost wages, both current and future
- Lost earning capacity, which is compensation for any way the accident may have changed your ability to earn a living.
Non-economic damages compensate the victim or their family for intangible losses like pain and suffering, mental anguish, disfigurement, and loss of companionship in the case of the death of a loved one.
Punitive damages may also be available if it can be proven that the liable party’s actions were willful, malicious, reckless, or fraudulent. Punitive damages are designed to punish the offender and dissuade others from similar behavior.
Should I Hire a Pontiac Attorney?
Commercial vehicles accidents can be complicated to resolve and may involve things like vehicle inspections or experts to perform crash reconstruction reports. The injuries from these accidents are often devastating and fatalities are not uncommon, so medical experts may be required to define long term harm and the impact on the victim and their family.
For these reasons, many people find it is in their best interest to hire an experienced lawyer. By working with a Pontiac attorney after a truck crash, a claimant stands a better chance of getting the justice they deserve. An accomplished attorney would be more familiar with negotiating with insurance companies and a legal professional who has experience with trucking accidents could help an injured claimant navigate this complex process. Some things a local lawyer would have experience with include:
- Reviewing accident reports
- Preserving and gathering important evidence such as camera footage or data from the truck’s Electronic Control Module or “black box”
- Reviewing medical records
- Gathering all bills and expenses to precisely value economic losses
A seasoned lawyer could evaluate a case, answer questions, explain legal rights, help determine fault, and advise on the best strategy to recover the on a claim.
Call a Pontiac Truck Accident Attorney for Legal Help
If you were injured in a crash with a tractor trailer or big-rig, you might benefit from retaining a Pontiac truck accident lawyer for help. Our team represents clients on a contingency basis. This means we only get paid if we recover monetary damages for you. Your initial consultation is always free.
Timing is important. The sooner we can act to preserve all critical evidence, the better. If you are injured and cannot come to us, we could come to you. To learn more, contact us for a consultation so that we may help you with your case.