What Happens If A Tractor Trailer Hits Me While On The Job?
In just one year, American employers paid out a whopping $72.2 billion as a result of work-related motor vehicle accidents. Many of these accidents involved semis, tractor-trailers, and other large trucks. Where does the money for these truck accident settlements come from?
When an accident is caused by a truck driver who is on the job, injured victims and their families may be compensated by means of the trucking company’s insurance policy. The payout could include money for medical expenses, loss of income, pain and suffering, and more.
Despite this hope you have, please be aware that accidents involving trucking companies are often complex. What’s more, insurance companies will do everything they can to reduce the amount they have to pay out.
Have you or a loved one been injured in a tractor-trailer accident? If so, your best chance at recovering fair compensation is to have an experienced truck accident lawyer on your side. Phillips Law Group has helped clients recover over $1 billion in compensation. Schedule a free case evaluation today by calling us 24/7 at 602-222-2222 or completing the contact form.
A Tractor-Trailer Hit Me While On the Job – Now What?
If you were involved in a truck accident, you may be unsure of how to recover compensation for damages. Your actions following a collision with a tractor-trailer can make a difference in your physical and financial recovery.
After a crash with a commercial truck, consider following these steps:
- Call 911. If someone at the scene is injured, the top priority should be calling for an ambulance. The 911 dispatcher will also summon the police to the location. A police report can provide valuable evidence in a truck accident case.
- Take videos or photos. Document the accident scene by taking a video or photos of the accident scene. Be sure to include any vehicle damage, weather or road conditions, skid marks, and anything else that seems relevant.
- Exchange contact information. Be sure to exchange contact information with the truck driver, other drivers involved in the collision, and anyone who was an eyewitness to the accident.
- File an accident report. In addition to the police report, you should also ensure that an accident report is completed by the company that owns the tractor-trailer. Your lawyer will want to obtain a copy of this report while building your case.
- Contact a truck accident lawyer. It is important to contact a truck accident lawyer as soon as possible after your accident. This allows your lawyer time to gather evidence before it is lost or destroyed and file all necessary documents within the allowed statute of limitations.
Determining Liability Following a Tractor-Trailer Accident
A trucker may cause a severe accident while driving for work. Who is liable when one of these massive vehicles hits you?
A thorough investigation will likely be needed to determine how and why the accident occurred. One of the first things you will need to determine is whether the driver was on the job at the time of the collision. In the majority of situations, an accident involving a semi or tractor-trailer will mean that the driver was working.
If the driver of the tractor-trailer was working at the time of the accident, the trucking company should be liable for damages. An employer’s obligations include paying for injuries and property damage caused by their employees while operating company vehicles.
However, there are some situations where the truck driver may not have been operating the vehicle on company time. For example, a trucking company may not be liable if the accident happened during a commute, lunch break, or personal errand.
Besides the trucking company, other parties may be held responsible for the accident, including:
- The truck driver: The trucker could bear responsibility for the crash, especially if working independently as a contractor or subcontractor.
- The truck or parts manufacturer: If the tractor-trailer accident was caused by a brake failure, tire blowout, or other vehicle malfunction, the parts or vehicle manufacturer could be held liable.
- Cargo loader: Some truck drivers work as contractors for other companies. If the semi accident was caused by the cargo shifting during transport, then the cargo loading company may be found responsible for damages.
- Government agencies: In situations where a broken pavement or a soft shoulder contributed to the crash, the local or state government responsible for that section of road could be held accountable.
In some truck accident cases, multiple parties are responsible for the crash. Your tractor-trailer accident lawyer will put in the work needed to identify all liable parties and can hold them accountable.
How Fault Is Determined in a Tractor-Trailer Accident Case
You have the right to pursue compensation from the party who caused your accident. However, in order for your tractor-trailer accident claim to be successful, you will need to have solid evidence proving fault. The personal injury lawyers at Phillips Law Group know what evidence is needed to build a successful truck accident case for our clients.
An investigation into a truck accident case may involve:
- Consulting with accident reconstructionists, medical professionals, mechanics, law enforcement, and other experts
- Requesting a copy of the trucking company’s vehicle maintenance and inspection records
- Analyzing the police accident report
- Interviewing eyewitnesses
- Obtaining information from the truck’s “black box”, which provides valuable information about what was happening at the time of the accident
- Asking for a copy of the driver’s toxicology report
- Looking over video surveillance footage that may have captured the accident
Compensation Available to Victims of On-the-Job Tractor-Trailer Accidents
The cost to the victim can be exorbitant when a tractor-trailer accident results in severe injuries. You have a right to pursue compensation for all of your accident-related expenses, as well as damages to reflect the pain of a severe injury.
Your tractor-trailer accident attorney will pursue compensation for damages such as:
- Past, present, and future medical expenses
- Loss of income
- Physical therapy
- At-home care
- Loss of future earning potential
- Disfigurement and scarring
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment and more
If a tractor-trailer accident has resulted in you losing a loved one in death, our attorneys may be able to help you pursue wrongful death damages. This could include money for burial costs, funeral expenses, loss of support, and other damages.
Contact a Tractor-Trailer Accident Lawyer Today
Have you or a loved one been injured in a tractor-trailer accident caused by a driver who was on the job? If so, it is important to take action quickly and speak to our truck accident lawyers. Our legal team understands that your health may not allow you to come to our law office, so we can gladly arrange to meet you at the hospital, your home, or another location convenient to you.
In Arizona, you have two years from the date of your accident to file a personal injury case. It is always best to contact a lawyer as soon as possible after the accident. This allows your lawyers and investigators the best chance of gathering strong evidence to support your damages claim.
Phillips Law Group offers all clients legal services without any out-of-pocket fees. In other words, we only get paid if your case is successful and you are awarded compensation. Contact Phillips Law Group to schedule a free, no-obligation case review.
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