Truck accident cases can offer more compensation for victims than other collisions due to the large commercial vehicles’ sheer size and weight. A large commercial vehicle’s greater mass and momentum increase the force of impact, leading to severe injuries. Truck accident claims tend to include higher payouts for medical bills, lost wages, rehabilitation costs and pain and suffering as well as others. Let’s look at the compensation someone injured by a negligent trucker might expect. We’ll also look at the part insurance coverage plays in this situation.
Federal Requirements for Trucking Insurance
In the case of a personal injury claim against a trucker or trucking company, damages are usually covered by an insurance policy. Regulatory requirements for trucking insurance are issued by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).
There is a minimum requirement of $750,000 in liability coverage for all commercial trucks. More if the truck carries specialized loads, passengers or hazardous materials. If you can prove that the losses you suffer after an accident are due to negligence on the trucker’s part, you might be entitled to up to $750,000 as compensation, possibly more if the parent company shares liability.
Who Owns the Truck Makes a Difference
Because large businesses or corporations own many commercial trucks, their insurance has deeper pockets than individual car drivers or others who are less financially well off. This means that there may be an increased potential for victims to receive a larger settlement or award for their claim. However, this is not always the case. Some big rigs are owned and operated by independent operators with no company insurance involvement.
Settling With the Insurance Company or Going to Court
To determine the kind of compensation that is available in truck accident cases, each crash must be individually analyzed along with the extent of injuries involved. In the event the damages are beyond the policy limits of the insurance carried by the trucker or trucking company, an experienced injury lawyer can take the case to civil court to obtain appropriate compensation.
In some cases where egregious negligence caused the accident, the injured party may ask for punitive damages in a civil court lawsuit. Although the majority of trucking accident claims go through the truck’s insurance company, if your case goes to court, you may ask your personal injury lawyer whether you can request punitive damages. This type of damage punishes the at-fault driver and does not include compensatory relief. It is usually considerably higher than other damages.
Compensation Depends on the Extent of Injury and Other Factors
It is essential to assess your individual situation and determine what kind of compensation you deserve. It is important to see a medical professional as soon as possible after a truck accident. The physician evaluates your injuries and tells you what symptoms to look for in the days ahead. This is critically important, particularly with delayed symptoms.
For example, someone with abdominal trauma can develop the signs of gradual blood loss into the abdomen. This can become a life-threatening injury if not treated immediately. Some other injuries frequently encountered with a truck accident are:
- Traumatic brain injury
- Fractures of the extremities
- Chest trauma leading to cardiac contusion
- Pelvic and femur fracture
- Disfigurement and scarring
Truck Accident Liability Is Complex
It is important to note that even though truck accident cases can offer more compensation than other types of collisions, they are still highly complex and require legal assistance to ensure that victims receive full coverage for their losses. Additionally, compensation from truck accidents may not always be straightforward.
It may include property damage and involve multiple insurance policies. To obtain compensation, filing an appropriate claim for all damages suffered as a result of a truck crash is necessary. You must also file the claim on time to avoid missing the deadline. If you miss the deadline to file, referred to as the statute of limitation for the accident, you will be unable to collect damages. Additionally, if the case involves a government entity, the timeline to file the claim is shorter in NYC.
Seeking Legal Representation
Insurance companies will do all they can to offer less than you need and deserve. To accomplish this, they use tricks and legal maneuvers. It is important to seek legal advice from a reliable attorney experienced in truck accident law to make sure that you are receiving all of the compensation you are entitled to in such cases.