If you’ve been recently involved in an accident with a truck, you may assume that the procedures are pretty much the same. However, there are some notable differences between filing a claim against a driver and a truck driver working for a company. Being aware of these differences will help you know what to expect, what you should be looking for, and how compensation will be affected. Let’s take a look at some of the main differences between truck and car accidents from a legal standpoint.
The Different Levels of Liability
One of the biggest differences with a truck accident is that there are many more parties involved, and by parties, we don’t mean victims – we mean legal parties that could be held liable.
The first level is the driver. If the driver was negligent or under the influence, then they will be held responsible. However, the trucking company could also be held liable, or even the manufacturer of the vehicle. In other cases, even the owners of the cargo could be liable.
This is why it is very important to never settle with anybody before you speak with a skilled lawyer. This is especially important in a state like Massachusetts where liability laws can get complicated. You should consider working with people like Jason Stone injury lawyers Westwood MA. Teams like these have extensive experience dealing with truck accidents and will be able to see exactly who is liable and from whom you can seek damages.
Differences in Complexity
Truck accident cases are usually much more complex than regular car accidents. Not only could there be multiple entities involved, but multiple insurance companies as well. The exact fault of the accident needs to be established, which can be difficult after the fact. Damage is usually much more extensive as well, which further complicates things.
This means that these cases can either drag on or get settled really quickly as truck companies tend to want to avoid the penalties from being found at fault. This is again where working with a skilled lawyer will be essential to weigh the cost-benefit of settling vs going to trial.
Figuring Out Damages is More Complex as Well
Another thing that gets complicated with truck accidents is figuring out damages. You have economic damages like loss of revenue or healthcare costs. Then you have non-economic damages like emotional distress and pain and suffering. You then have punitive damages. These could be applied if the truck company was found to have acted in bad faith. These are all important factors that will determine how much you should seek, and what would constitute a worthwhile settlement.
So, as you can see, truck and car accidents differ in more ways than one. This is why you must do your research and know your rights. It’s also essential that you speak with an experienced team before you fall for any of the traps that trucking companies will try to set for you.