Commercial Truck Accidents Are All Too Common
Over the last few years, we have had too many tragic accidents in our area involving large commercial trucks. Most truck drivers are tremendously professional and cautiously follow all state and federal laws. Unfortunately, there are still too many instances of gross negligence occurring on our roads.
Accidents involving commercial trucks can result in serious injuries or death. Commercial trucks are significantly heavier than passenger vehicles and sometimes carry hazardous or flammable materials.
This week we answer frequently asked questions about truck accidents.
Q: I’ve read that motorists often sustain serious injuries after getting involved in a commercial truck accident. What exactly is a “commercial truck?”
A: A commercial truck, such as a “big rig,” is a vehicle used in the course of business and/or for the transport of commercial goods. Examples are eighteen-wheel tractor-trailers, tanker trucks, delivery vehicles, and other large freight trucks. Commercial trucks are generally a great deal larger than cars and require a commercial driver’s license to operate.
Q: Why is a truck accident more likely to cause injury than one involving passenger cars?
A: A typical fully loaded, large truck can weigh 80,000 pounds or more while an average passenger automobile weighs about 3,000 pounds. Due to this size disparity and the basic laws of physics, any collision between a big rig or other commercial truck and a smaller passenger vehicle is likely to result in serious or fatal injuries.
Q: Should I talk with the trucking company insurance adjustor?
A: Do not speak with an insurance claims adjuster without an attorney present. Remember that insurance adjustors almost always want to tape record their interviews with you, whether in person or on the telephone. Your lawyer can prepare you to give a statement so that what you say is less likely to be misconstrued and used against you during settlement negotiations or in a trial.
Q: Can I sue the truck driver’s trucking company for my injuries?
A: The trucking company can be held legally liable for the driver’s negligence under a legal theory known as “respondeat superior.” Establishing the liability of a company can become problematic when a truck driver is an independent contractor of the company. In such a situation, the key issue becomes the amount of supervising exercised by the company.
Q: Should I meet with a truck accident attorney if I feel that I may have a valid legal claim for injuries I suffered in a big rig accident?
A: Yes. You should consult an experienced attorney to ensure that your claim is properly assessed and your legal rights to compensation are protected. Nelson, Bryan and Jones attorneys have extensive experience in handling truck accident cases. Give us a call to discuss your case at 387-7777.