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Truck Accident Liability & Lawsuits


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Every truck accident is preventable. However, despite our best efforts, circumstances sometimes lead to an accident with an 18 wheeler. A truck wreck often results in bodily injuries, medical expenses, damage to your vehicle, and lost time at work. After an accident, it is important to determine if it is in your best interest to sue the trucking company, or if you should settle outside of court.

Making an informed decision in a timely fashion will help you get your life back on track. Your family needs to be taken care of. By deciding on a lawsuit or a settlement as soon as possible, you can take the important first steps toward providing for your family if you cannot work.

Personal Liability and Negligence


Knowing what to do after an accident to protect yourself and prove your case will make the decision far easier.

It is important to get as much information together for the police report as you can. The police will be taking their own photographs and measurements. They will document the accident and interview witnesses. Before they arrive, do the following:

  • Take pictures of the area around the accident
  • Speak to witness and collect their information
  • Take pictures of any vehicles involved in the accident
  • Take pictures of any injuries that happened during the accident
  • Write down as much information as you can with as many details as possible

Do I need to sue for compensation?

Commercial vehicle accidents are vastly different from passenger vehicle accidents. There are a lot more factors to take into consideration. What caused the accident to occur. Was there a mechanical failure? The manufacturer and the maintenance crew responsible for the truck may be liable. Is the driver an independent contractor or do they work for a large company? There are a lot of people who may be individually liable or share the liability.

  • the truck driver
  • owner of the truck or trailer
  • the person or company who leased the truck or trailer from the owner
  • manufacturer of the vehicle, the brakes, the tires or other defective parts that may have caused the crash
  • the person or company who loaded of the trailer

Let’s be honest about something; a trucking company has more resources than an individual truck driver. This will lead to greater financial potential. The company may very well be more liable as well depending on what they are asking of the driver.

In the case of an independent contractor, your lawyer will determine how much liability the hiring company has for that driver’s actions. Most of the time, the contract is worded in a way that prevents the company from being held accountable for the driver’s actions.

Commercial vehicle accidents are incredibly costly. Truck companies, leasing companies, shipping companies will do their best to limit their liability. Large companies have vast resources and teams of lawyers at their disposal.

Should I consider settling out of court?

Not every commercial vehicle accident necessitates a full blown lawsuit. Depending on the extent of the injuries and their associated medical expenses it may be reasonable to reach a settlement outside of court. In the event of a fair settlement offer, it may honestly make more sense for your family to take a settlement. In the event of a low or insufficient offer, your lawyer will know how to proceed. Use your best judgment. The case should never be about revenge; it should be about proper compensation.

Your truck accident lawyer will have more insight as to what you should do. Consider the following:

  • Medical bills – Does the settlement cover all your expenses? Have you fully recovered? Will there be continuing expenses?
  • Lost wages – Does the settlement compensate you for the time/money you missed from working?
  • How long are you prepared to wait? – Truck accident cases can be under litigation for a long time. It may take a while.

If you or someone you love has been injured or killed in an 18 wheeler accident, you need a truck accident attorney. The Law Offices of L. Clayton Burgess have over 20 years experience fighting with insurance companies and their lawyers. Our team is available to discuss your case and help you get the compensation you deserve. Call now to schedule a free consultation.

Parties Represented by Truck Accident Attorney Receive Nearly 3.5 Times More Money in a Settlement Than Those Without a Lawyer

Insurance Research Council Study 2004


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