There are thousands of fatalities stemming from commercial truck accidents each and every year. In 2006 alone, large truck crashes accounted for an astounding 4,995 fatalities with over a hundred thousand injuries! One must remember that the size of these commercial vehicles are much larger than any four-door sedan driving along the roadways and so accidents can be both serious and deadly. However, you should also keep in mind that most of these trucking accidents are not the fault of the truck driver and they may actually be the result of road hazards or the negligence of other drivers.
Injuries stemming from these accidents present very unique issues, such as the fact that commercial truck operators must follow a number of federal and state regulations and have a requirement of carrying insurance with higher limits than standard vehicle drivers. When you (the plaintiff) become injured in one of these accidents, you have a better chance of reaching an injury settlement that matches the damages caused by the accident. What else should you expect?
What Happens With State and Federal Regulations?
Those who operate commercial trucks must follow a wide variety of state and federal regulations that include how much weight a rig can haul, how long a driver is permitted to go without rest, and where quality control comes into play. There is also another aspect of state and federal regulation at work – this applies to the higher insurance requirements imposed on owners and operators of semi-trucks. A defendant in this kind of case can only settle for an amount that they can actually afford, or the maximum amount allowed by their insurance company.
What Happens if There are Multiple Defendants?
If you are the plaintiff in a situation where there are multiple defendants held responsible for your accident, you may run into some issues. For one, who will pay your damages? Will they all be seen as responsible for paying for your injuries? Will they only be responsible for the injuries that they caused and nothing more? Let’s take for example a commercial truck driver was tired on the road, veered into your lane, and caused serious injuries. However, faulty tires were also at play and caused him to veer more easily. In this (possibly highly unlikely, but to-the-point) example, you will be able to sue not only the driver and possible driver’s employee, but also the manufacturer of the faulty tires since they were defective.
There are drawbacks to multiple defendants, much like with many things. A settlement may be more difficult to obtain. It may be more likely that the case will make it to trial, which could spell out many different options for you, good and bad depending on the circumstances and what you are looking to get. You may also choose to settle with one defendant if the offer is just right, but take the others to court if an agreement cannot be reached.
There have been many examples of commercial trucking settlements. For instance, in one case in the past, a plaintiff was rear-ended by a semi-truck and required fusion of the neck vertebrae. He ended up receiving a settlement of $350,000. Another plaintiff was in a collision with a tractor-trailer and required surgery for a shoulder injury at an outstanding $275,000. Settlements can bring a lot of hardship and can be quite time-consuming; however, in the end you will get the compensation you rightfully deserve. If you feel like you may have a case against a commercial trucking company, you can call Welebir Law for more information. They will help you every step of the way!
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