What if I Am Partly to Blame for a Trucking Accident?

Accidents that involve large trucks, including tractor-trailers, big rigs, and eighteen-wheelers, typically result from truck driver and trucking company negligence. In some situations, however, the truck driver or trucking company’s insurance will try to pin some or all the blame for an accident on you.

Never assume this eliminates your right to compensation, as most state laws still allow you to seek compensation, even if you are partly to blame. If you find yourself in such a situation, it’s crucial to consult with a qualified truck accident lawyer.

For example, under Florida law, an accident victim may not recover monetary compensation if their percentage of fault exceeds 50 percent. If they are 50 percent or less at fault for the accident, their recoverable compensation will decrease, depending upon their amount of fault.

If an insurance company says that you are fully or partially at fault for a truck accident, your lawyer can retain an accident reconstructionist or another expert who can prove otherwise.

Your lawyer can also handle every step of the claims-filing process in your case and handle all written and verbal communications with insurance company adjusters.

Additionally, maybe the trucking company’s insurer attempts to deny liability for your accident or otherwise refuses to offer you the fair monetary damages you deserve. Then your lawyer may file a personal injury lawsuit, handle every step of the litigation process, and represent you at all legal proceedings in your case, including a civil jury trial or binding arbitration proceeding.

Unlike the insurance company in your case, your attorney will have your best interests at heart and do everything possible to maximize the total monetary award you receive for your injuries — either through a favorable settlement offer from the insurance company or a favorable litigation result in the state court system.

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Negligent Parties in a Truck Accident Case

Partly to Blame for a Trucking Accident

In most truck accident claims, you can hold the truck driver and/or the trucking company that employs the driver responsible for the accident. Negligent truckers drive in a careless or unsafe manner or violate various state and federal motor carrier regulations.

In some situations, you can hold a trucking company responsible for the acts of their negligent employee truck drivers committed within the scope of their employment. You can hold a trucking company responsible for negligent entrustment if they fail to supervise a driver or allow a driver with a poor driving record to operate one of their vehicles.

Similarly, in some situations, a truck repair facility or a truck parts manufacturer may be fully or partially responsible for an accident that occurs.

If you recently suffered injuries in a truck accident, your truck accident attorney can identify potentially responsible parties and take the appropriate legal action on your behalf.

For example, your lawyer can file a personal injury claim against the at-fault truck driver or trucking company’s insurance policy, submit a settlement demand package on your behalf, and negotiate with insurance company adjusters for favorable monetary compensation.

Causes of Truck Accidents

Truck accidents typically occur when people drive carelessly and negligently. One common cause of truck accidents is a driver’s failure to follow standard traffic laws and regulations.

For example, a driver may drive over the posted speed limit, fail to yield the right-of-way to another vehicle at a traffic intersection, fail to use their turn signals, or fail to look into their mirrors while driving or backing up.

Fatigued Truck Driver

Additionally, a truck accident may happen when a truck driver or trucking company fails to follow applicable state and federal motor carrier regulations. These regulations pertain to weight limits, methods for properly securing cargo to the truck bed, overhead and undercarriage lighting for the tractor and trailer, and proper loading and unloading procedures for truck cargo.

When truck drivers and trucking companies fail to follow these regulations, cargo might become loose, slip off the truck, and fall onto the road, causing a severe accident. Additionally, if a truck driver or other trucking company employee fails to load cargo properly at the loading dock, the top-heavy vehicle may overturn in the middle of the road.

Truck accidents may also happen when drivers do not watch the road in front of them attentively. Instead of paying active attention to the road, a driver might eat and drink while driving, adjust the volume on a stereo system, use a cell phone without a hands-free Bluetooth device, text and drive, or program a GPS navigation device while driving.

All these activities may cause a truck driver to lose their focus, both physically and mentally, and bring about a serious accident with another vehicle or pedestrian.

Next, some truck accidents occur when drivers exhibit various types of road rage. Truck drivers are frequently in a hurry to get ahead of other traffic to arrive at their final destination ahead of schedule, thereby reaping financial bonuses and benefits.

However, when trying to move ahead, truck drivers may speed or resort to other reckless driving maneuvers, including weaving in and out of traffic, cutting off other vehicles in traffic, tailgating other vehicles, and failing to use their turn signals at the proper times. Unfortunately, all these aggressive driving maneuvers may lead to a truck accident that causes other drivers and passengers to suffer injuries.

Additionally, some truck accidents happen when drivers become fatigued at the wheel. To obtain a financial bonus, a truck driver might try to complete their journey without stopping to nap. As a result, they may become sleepy or disoriented while on the road.

If a truck driver falls asleep at the wheel and loses control of their truck, they may cause an accident. Even if the driver does not fall asleep at the wheel, they may still experience a lack of concentration, which prevents them from operating their vehicle carefully and safely.

Finally, some truck accidents happen when drivers get behind the wheel after having too much to drink. An intoxicated truck driver might experience blurred vision, dizziness, or nausea. Additionally, they may experience numerous mental impairments, including lack of concentration, delayed reaction time, delayed reflexes, lack of coordination, and an inability to judge distances between their truck and other vehicles. As a result, they may cause a severe accident or series of collisions.

If you suffered injuries in a truck accident that a negligent truck driver or trucking company caused, seek the legal help that you need right away. A skilled truck accident attorney in your area can investigate your accident circumstances, review all your legal options with you, and file a claim for monetary compensation and damages.

Categories of Truck Crashes

When truckers drive negligently, they may cause truck accidents, including:

  • Rollover accidents, where a driver speeds around a sharp curve, especially in wet weather, causing the tractor or trailer to overturn
  • Jackknife accidents, where the tractor and trailer portions of a truck fold inward towards one another, often causing the truck to skid down the hill and hit other vehicles in its path
  • Rear-end accidents, where the front of a truck hits the back of another vehicle
  • Sideswipe accidents, where a truck driver negligently causes their truck to veer into another travel lane, for instance, by failing to look into their rearview mirror, thereby hitting the side of another vehicle traveling in the same direction
  • Broadside or T-bone accidents, where the front of a large truck strikes the side of another vehicle, usually because the truck driver does not yield the right-of-way to the other vehicle at a traffic intersection
  • Head-on collisions, where a negligent truck driver causes their vehicle to cross the double center line and strike an oncoming vehicle in an opposing travel lane.

If you sustained injuries in one of these types of truck accidents that a negligent driver caused, consult an experienced personal injury lawyer about your legal matter as quickly as possible. Your lawyer can determine the identity of all potentially responsible parties, file an insurance claim on your behalf, and start negotiating with the insurance company adjuster handling your claim.

Truck Accident Injuries

In accidents in which a large truck strikes a smaller passenger vehicle, bicycle, motorcycle, or pedestrian, the individual on the receiving end usually suffers the more severe injuries.

The injuries that a truck accident victim suffers will usually depend on the type of truck accident, the force of the collision, the number of vehicles involved, and the accident victim’s bodily movements during the crash.

Person injured in Truck Accident discussing with Truck Accident Lawyer

Some of the most common injuries that truck accident victims may suffer in an accident include open lacerations, bruises, rib fractures, broken bones, soft tissue neck and back injuries, eye injuries, traumatic head and brain injuries, permanent cognitive impairments, internal bleeding, internal organ damage, mouth and teeth Injuries, facial contusions, complete and incomplete paralysis injuries, and spinal cord damage.

Upon sustaining injuries in a truck accident, consult a medical professional as quickly as possible and complete your entire medical treatment regimen.

That way, you increase your chances of obtaining a full recovery from your accident-related injuries. You also show the truck driver’s or trucking company’s insurer that you suffered severe injuries in your accident that warrant significant monetary compensation.

While you complete your medical treatment, your truck accident attorney can investigate your accident circumstances further, gather important documents on your behalf, and assemble those documents into a settlement demand package. You need that demand package when your attorney negotiates with the insurance company for a favorable monetary settlement offer in your case.

The Burden of Proof in Truck Accident Cases

In a truck accident claim or lawsuit, the injured accident victim must establish their legal burden of proof to recover monetary compensation and damages.

First, the accident victim must demonstrate that the truck driver violated one or more traffic laws or motor carrier regulations or that they otherwise operated their vehicle in a careless, distracted, or intoxicated manner. Then they must show that their injuries occurred due to the truck driver’s negligence.

Evidence You May Introduce to Show That a Truck Driver Was at Fault in Your Accident

Sometimes, the truck driver or trucking company’s insurer might dispute fault for your accident. In other words, the insurance company may claim that you caused or contributed to your accident somehow.

To demonstrate the truck driver’s liability, your lawyer can:

  • Obtain a copy of the police investigation report, which details how the accident happened, including whether or not the police officer issued a traffic citation to the truck driver and, if so, for what
  • Retain an accident reconstructionist who can speak with witnesses, review police reports, review video camera footage of the accident, visit the accident scene, and determine how the accident occurred and who caused it.
  • Speak with witnesses who saw the accident firsthand and may testify at a discovery deposition or civil jury trial to support your case.

Your truck accident lawyer will do everything possible to obtain the evidence necessary to satisfy your legal burden of proof and establish that the truck driver or trucking company was fully responsible for your accident.

Truck Accident Monetary Damages

Victims of truck accidents may recover monetary damages for their accident-related losses.

First, they may pursue compensation for economic losses, such as medical expenses, loss of earning capacity, and lost income. They may also recover monetary damages for their intangible losses, including pain, suffering, inconvenience, mental distress, loss of life enjoyment, loss of spousal consortium, and loss of the ability to use an injured body part.

Your attorney will work to maximize the monetary recovery you receive for all the injuries you suffered in your truck accident.

Speak with a Truck Accident Lawyer Near You Today

Tatiana Boohoff - Truck Accident Lawyer
Tatiana Boohoff, Truck Accident Attorney

Following a truck accident, you must consult an experienced personal injury lawyer as quickly as possible. A knowledgeable truck accident attorney can handle every step of the legal process for you, from filing a claim to negotiating with insurance company adjusters to litigating your case to a favorable resolution in court.

November 1, 2023
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