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  • A Guide to Lawsuits After an Accident with a Truck or Other Commercial Vehicle

    A Guide to Lawsuits After an Accident with a Truck or Other Commercial Vehicle

    May 10, 2023 | Car Accidents, Compensation, Truck Accidents

    The devastation caused by car accidents involving semi-trucks and other commercial vehicles

    There are several types of commercial vehicles on the road today, including tractor-trailers, delivery trucks, buses, and vans. Each of these vehicles has its unique characteristics and poses different risks to other drivers on the road. For example, a bus accident may result in more severe injuries than an accident involving a delivery truck due to the number of passengers involved. It is essential to understand the type of commercial vehicle involved in an accident to determine liability accurately.

    Missouri’s truck accident statistics, for instance, show just how devastating an automobile accident can be when there is a semi-truck or other large commercial vehicle.

    Accidents involving commercial vehicles can be devastating, often resulting in severe injuries and even fatalities. In the aftermath of such an accident, one of the most critical questions that arise is who is responsible for the damages caused. The destruction caused by automobile accidents that involve large commercial vehicles or semi-trucks is often substantial when you think about the financial, physical, and emotional impact the event has caused.

    While determining liability can be a complicated process, there are specific guidelines and laws in place to help identify the responsible parties.

    Who is responsible for compensation after a truck accident?

    Typically, when there is an automobile accident involving a semi-truck or commercial vehicle, one or more of the following parties may be held responsible:

    • The driver of the truck
    • The company that employs the truck driver
    • The truck’s manufacturer or maintenance company

    Lawsuits against the driver of the truck

    filing a lawsuit against a truck driver

    The driver of the commercial vehicle is usually the first person who is held responsible when an accident occurs. If the driver is found to be negligent or reckless, they can be held liable for any damages, injuries, or fatalities that resulted from the accident.

    Common examples of driver negligence include distracted driving, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and violating traffic laws. If the driver was working for a company at the time of the accident, the company may also be held responsible for its actions.

    Lawsuits against the truck driver’s employer/trucking company

    filing a lawsuit against a trucking company or the truck driver's employer

    A common question asked by individuals involved in a truck accident is whether or not they can sue the employer of the truck driver or the trucking company that owns the vehicle. The answer is yes, in some cases. If the driver was an employee of the company at the time of the accident and was acting within the scope of their employment, the company may be held responsible for any damages or injuries resulting from the accident.

    If the driver was working for a company at the time of the accident, the company may be held responsible for any damages or injuries caused due to the driver’s negligence or the circumstances the employer created. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), companies are responsible for ensuring that their drivers are adequately trained, licensed, and comply with all safety regulations. Failure to do so can result in legal liability for the company.

    Lawsuits against truck manufacturer

    You can sue a truck manufacturer or maintenance company after an accident if the accident was caused by a defect in the truck’s design or maintenance. For instance, if the brakes failed due to a manufacturing defect or if the maintenance company failed to properly maintain the truck, they can be held liable for any damages or injuries caused by the accident. 

    In such cases, the truck manufacturer or the maintenance company responsible for the vehicle’s upkeep may be held responsible for the accident. Examples of such defects include faulty brakes, steering problems, and issues with the truck’s tires. If an accident was caused due to one of these defects, the manufacturer or maintenance company may be held responsible for any damages or injuries caused.

    A wide range of factors can be responsible for a truck accident so it is important every aspect of the circumstances and accident itself is carefully investigated

    Related: United States Trucking Accident Statistics

    What damages can I recover in a truck accident lawsuit?

    Like every matter involving a personal injury lawyer, the compensation you receive will vary depending on things like the severity of the injuries and how negligent the guilty party acted. Understanding your legal rights and the types of damages you can receive after a truck accident can help you navigate the legal process more confidently. Truck accident damages are the monetary compensation awarded to a victim of a truck accident for their losses. Damages can be awarded in the form of a settlement or a court judgment.

    If you have been involved in a truck accident, you may be entitled to compensation for several types of damages, including:

    • Medical expenses
    • Lost wages
    • Pain and suffering
    • Property damage
    • Punitive damages

    Monetary damages after a truck accident

    Monetary or “economic” damages are losses that can be quantified in monetary terms. They are meant to compensate for financial losses resulting from the accident, such as medical bills, lost wages, and property damage.

    In case of a truck accident, the victim’s vehicle or other personal property may be damaged or destroyed. The at-fault party is responsible for compensating the victim for their property damage.

    Pain and suffering damages after a truck accident

    Non-monetary or “pain and suffering” damages are losses that cannot be easily quantified in monetary terms. They are meant to compensate for emotional and psychological harm caused by the accident, such as pain and suffering, mental anguish, and loss of enjoyment of life.

    This can also be referred to as loss of consortium damages. Loss of consortium damages is when you receive compensation for the loss of companionship, love, and intimacy resulting from the victim’s injuries. These damages are usually awarded to the victim’s spouse or domestic partner.

    Wrongful death damages after a truck accident

    In case of a fatal truck accident, the victim’s family members may be entitled to wrongful death damages. Wrongful death damages are monetary compensation awarded to the family members of a deceased victim whose death was caused by the negligence or intentional wrongdoing of another party. The purpose of wrongful death damages is to compensate the victim’s family for the financial and emotional losses resulting from the victim’s death. These damages compensate for the financial and emotional losses resulting from the victim’s death.

    Punitive damages after a truck accident

    Punitive damages, also known as exemplary damages, are a type of compensation that is awarded to the victim in addition to other damages to punish the at-fault party for their gross negligence or intentional wrongdoing. Punitive damages are meant to discourage the at-fault party and others from engaging in similar behavior in the future.

    When referring to punitive damages after a truck accident, it is a type of compensation that is awarded to the victim in addition to other damages to punish the at-fault party for their gross negligence or intentional wrongdoing. Understanding punitive damages after a truck accident can help you navigate the legal process and ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve.

    Which companies are involved in the most commercial vehicle accidents?

    Companies most frequently involved in commercial vehicle and truck accident lawsuits

    According to data from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), some of the companies that have been involved in the most commercial vehicle accidents include UPS, FedEx, and Schneider National. These companies have a large fleet of vehicles on the road, and accidents involving their trucks are not uncommon. If you have been involved in an accident with a commercial vehicle, it is crucial to speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer to determine liability and seek the compensation you deserve.

    Table is based on Data from Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

    CompanyNumber of VehiclesTotal Crashes
    FedEx154,4264,009
    UPS112,3862,894
    Knight-Swift23,0661,519
    JB Hunt24,0401,937
    XPO Logistics11,428824
    XPO Logistics8,800700

    Types of vehicles involved in the most truck accidents

    According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the most common types of commercial vehicles involved in automobile accidents are tractor-trailers and large trucks. These types of vehicles are responsible for a significant percentage of all fatal accidents on the road. If you have been involved in an accident with a commercial vehicle, it is essential to seek legal assistance immediately to determine liability and protect your legal rights.