Semi-truck accidents can leave the victims seriously injured or paralyzed or may leave family members grieving after losing a loved one. It is important to remember that trucks are part of a business, and trucking companies often seek to avoid lengthy litigation and high payouts to victims. Because of this, trucking companies may hide or attempt to keep certain errors or flaws from coming to light.
Miami semi-truck accident investigations lawyer Prosper Shaked represents truck accident victims and their families and works to shed light on facts that might help hold trucking companies liable for the accidents their drivers cause. For a free consultation on your case, contact Prosper Shaked Accident Injury Attorneys PA today at (305) 694-2676.
Holding Semi-Truck Companies Liable for Truck Accidents
After a semi-truck accident, there are dozens of factors to consider which might contribute to proving fault in the crash. First, the police may investigate the scene of the accident as part of their routine investigation of any auto accident involving personal injury or death. If the driver was drunk, speeding, or failed to carry the proper licensure, these facts might be revealed quite early on. However, there are other potential issues with the case that police may not have the power to investigate.
Trucking companies may sometimes put profits before the safety of their truck drivers and other drivers on the road. To this end, carrier companies may violate traffic laws as well as state and federal trucking rules in an attempt to ship more freight and garner higher profits. There are rules in place dictating certain standards for truck safety and maintenance, driver safety, and limitations on the hours a driver can work. If a trucking company violates these rules, either intentionally or by accident, it may be difficult to uncover these facts.
When you file a lawsuit against the truck driver and the trucking company, you may be able to demand evidence and interviews with the appropriate people to get information about these kinds of issues. The truck’s trip recorder, similar to a “black box” on an airplane, can unveil information about speed, hours spent on the road, and other information that could uncover violations. Similarly, if the truck is equipped with a GPS or speed limiter, evidence from these devices (or evidence that they were disabled or tampered with) could also point to violations.
After an accident, the trucking company may work quickly to have its truck towed back to their facilities. Filing a lawsuit can put a hold on any maintenance which might cover-up equipment or safety violations. Unsafe tire tread, faulty lighting, and other malfunctioning equipment could justify holding the trucking company responsible for putting an unsafe vehicle on the road.
Similarly, investigations into the driver could also reveal hidden problems. If the driver was hired despite a history of DUI, serious traffic violations, repeat accidents, violations of trucking regulations, or other issues, the trucking company may be on the hook for “negligent hiring” or “negligent retention.” Similarly, truck drivers are held to strict health standards. If an investigation unveils health problems which interfere with the driver’s safety behind the wheel, the trucking company could be held liable for violating state and federal regulations.
Claiming Damages for Truck Accident Cases
If you were injured in a truck accident case, you could be entitled to standard damages available in any car accident case, plus potential additional damages. Filing with car insurance can often entitle you to compensation for medical bills and lost wages you face as a result of the auto accident. These are available from insurance benefits, but they may be limited to only a fraction of the damages. A truck accident lawsuit can help you claim these damages in full. In addition, you could be entitled to pain and suffering damages and punitive damages if you take your case to court.
Pain and suffering damages are not usually available from insurance claims but could actually be a substantial portion of your damages in a truck accident lawsuit. These damages depend on your personal experience and how the accident affected your life through recovery and going forward.
If the trucking company or driver violated any of the federal or state regulations for truck drivers, you could be entitled to receive “punitive” or “exemplary” damages. Judges order these damages to punish especially dangerous or reckless actions as well as repeat negligence and serious rule violation. Uncovering these kinds of issues is the goal of any semi-truck accident investigation, and evidence of violations could be used to argue for punitive damages. The victim receives these damages in addition to any other damages they may be entitled to.
While a settlement from the trucking company may cover some of your needs, it is unlikely to include damages for pain and suffering or punitive damages. Always talk to an attorney before accepting any money from the trucking company or signing any documentation.
Miami Semi-Truck Accident Investigation Lawyer Offering Free Consultations
If you or a loved one was injured in an accident involving a large truck, talk to an attorney today. Miami truck accident investigations lawyer Prosper Shaked can work on your behalf to demand information that might uncover serious problems which could lead to additional damages in your truck accident case. For a free consultation on your semi-truck accident case, contact Prosper Shaked Accident Injury Attorneys PA today at (305) 690-0024.