Any car accident has the potential to injure you physically, mentally, emotionally, and financially. Truck accidents can be even more devastating because of the enormous size disparity between commercial trucks and regular passenger cars.
In fact, one out of every eight traffic fatalities is caused by a collision with a large truck, and there are about 500,000 truck accidents in the United States every year. Here is a guide to the types of damages you can recover if you or a loved one were in a truck accident.
TRUCK ACCIDENT DAMAGES
If you or a loved one were injured in a truck accident, you may be entitled to damages such as:
- Vehicle repairs
- Medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Lost wages
- Lost earning potential
- Wrongful death
Owners and operators of semi-trucks are also required to carry more insurance than drivers of regular passenger cars. This could potentially increase the value of a settlement or verdict beyond what is recoverable in an accident involving two passenger cars.
WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR DAMAGES IN A TRUCK ACCIDENT?
There are a number of factors that influence who will be liable for damages in a truck accident, especially if the truck driver is found to be at fault. The driver and their employer may each bear some responsibility.
Trucker fatigue is a huge issue that contributes to semi-truck accidents. The U.S. Department of Transportation allows truckers to drive for 11 hours after 10 consecutive hours off, with no more than 60 hours of driving during a seven-day period. Despite these rules, however, drivers are still pressured to deliver their loads on time. Surveys show that as many as 20 percent of drivers admitted to falling asleep at the wheel within the last month. If fatigue contributed to the accident, the trucker would bear some fault.
The trucker’s employer may also be liable in certain conditions. For example, if the driver was fatigued, but it was found that their company pushed them to drive past their allowable hours, the company may bear some liability. If the trucker was hauling more weight than they were allowed, the company might also be partly responsible. Furthermore, whether the driver can be found to have been acting in the scope of employment also matters.
A person may be acting within the scope of employment depending on:
- The employee’s intentions
- The nature, time, and place of the accident
- Whether the employee is full-time or a contractor
- The amount of freedom the company gives the employee to fulfill their duties
SCHEDULE YOUR AMARILLO TRUCK ACCIDENT CONSULTATION TODAY
At the Wood Law Firm, we’re Texas lawyers helping Texas people. If you or a loved one were injured in a truck accident, we want to help you find justice. We serve Amarillo and the surrounding areas of Texas. Call (806) 304-0447 today to schedule a consultation.