We can’t send you updates from Justia Onward without your email.
Did you know that Justia offers numerous free resources to make the law more accessible and help people better understand the foundations of a variety of legal areas? In this post, you can learn more about the information available in Justia’s Truck Accidents Center.
Among the many free resources that Justia provides to the public are Justia Legal Guides on dozens of diverse practice areas. In a series of posts, we will continue to explain how someone coming to our site might use each of these guides to understand their rights and options, as well as what to expect from the legal process.
This post imagines a situation involving “Martin,” who was rear-ended by a commercial truck while delivering pizza for his job. Martin was taken to the hospital with serious but non-life-threatening injuries. His wife calls her sister, “Jennifer,” and asks her to find out more about the steps to take after a truck accident, including the legal rights that victims can assert. Jennifer looks for information online and finds the Truck Accidents Center at Justia.
Rear-End Truck Accidents
While exploring the section on types of truck accidents, Jennifer reads the discussion of rear-end truck accidents to find out more about how these crashes happen. She learns that distracted driving, drunk driving, speeding, and truck driver fatigue can contribute to rear-end collisions, among other factors.
Jennifer then explores the section on causes of truck accidents, which contains a separate page on each of these topics. Among other things, she learns that evidence that a trucker violated industry regulations, such as hours of service rules, can support a claim for compensation.
Meanwhile, the discussion of rear-end truck accidents gave Jennifer a general idea of what it takes to get compensation. She learned that Martin probably will need to show that someone else was negligent, which means that they acted unreasonably dangerously in causing the crash. She also learned that the truck driver may not be the only defendant that can be sued. With this basic information in mind, Jennifer explores the truck accident lawsuits section to better understand her brother-in-law’s legal options.
Whom to Sue After a Truck Accident
Since Martin has suffered significant injuries that will be costly to treat, Jennifer was concerned that the truck driver and his insurance might not be able to pay for all the costs. She feels relieved to find out from the discussion of whom to sue after a truck accident that trucking companies often may be held liable for a crash. This can be true even if the company did not directly cause the crash, as long as the driver was an employee who was on the job at the time. Jennifer reassures her sister with this information.
Jennifer also recalls from reading about rear-end truck accidents that malfunctioning or defective brakes can play a role in these crashes. She finds an overview of truck manufacturer liability and truck maintenance company liability in the discussion of whom to sue. Then, she explores this topic in more detail by reading about truck defects and issues involving improper maintenance of trucks. A more specific discussion of braking errors and truck brake failure helps her understand more clearly how these issues may arise in a rear-end accident.
Damages After Truck Accidents
The doctors have told Jennifer’s sister that Martin will need a series of surgeries and therapies over a long time to help him recover to the fullest possible extent. Her sister asks Jennifer whether Martin can get compensation for costs like future medical treatment.
Jennifer looks at the discussion of damages for truck accidents at Justia and confirms that these types of damages can be recovered. She also mentions to her sister that Martin can get compensation for subjective types of harm, like pain and suffering.
However, having read the discussion of truck accident settlements at Justia, Jennifer warns her sister not to jump at the first offer from an insurer. She also tells her sister that a settlement likely will come with a release of claims. This means that Martin cannot get more compensation later if the settlement is not enough, so it is critical to make sure that the amount is appropriate.
Workers’ Compensation Claims After Truck Accidents
Since Martin was injured on the job, Jennifer’s sister mentions that he should be able to get workers’ compensation benefits through his employer. (He works for a major pizza chain and is classified as an employee rather than an independent contractor.) She wonders whether Martin still can bring a personal injury lawsuit while seeking workers’ compensation benefits. Jennifer reads the discussion of workers’ compensation claims after truck accidents and finds out that he can pursue both avenues. She also notes that personal injury lawsuits can provide much more compensation, since they cover non-economic damages and fully cover lost wages.
Martin and Jennifer’s sister still should consult a personal injury lawyer, and ideally a lawyer who has handled work-related truck accidents. The discussion in the Truck Accidents Center on hiring a truck accident lawyer can help guide them in their search. However, Jennifer’s research has given them a basic understanding of some of the central issues in a truck accident claim or lawsuit. Justia’s Truck Accidents Center serves as a starting point for people going through the stress and uncertainty that follow a devastating crash. It aims to make the law more transparent and accessible to all.