Accidents involving large or commercial trucks are among the most catastrophic. Large trucks often carry heavy equipment, pallets of merchandise, and sometimes toxic chemicals. Not only do truck accidents cause immense damage, but they are traumatic for those involved.
If you have been injured in a truck accident, you may find the recovery process is also somewhat catastrophic. At The Dixon Firm, PC, we understand that the process of recovering – physically and financially – can be overwhelming. You likely have many questions, and we want to help. Below, our Atlanta auto accident lawyer offers answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about truck accidents.
Frequently Asked Questions about Truck Accidents
Q: Why are truck accidents more catastrophic than other accidents?
A: A fully-loaded tractor trailer (big rig, commercial truck, semi, etc.) can weigh 80,000 pounds. The average passenger vehicle weighs around 3,000 pounds. The size and weight disparity between a truck and a smaller vehicle makes a collision all the more dangerous.
Q: I was injured in a truck accident that was someone else’s fault. Can I receive compensation for time away from work?
A: Yes. If you file a personal injury claim against the driver responsible for your injuries, you can recover compensation for your time away from work. You can also receive compensation for a loss of earning capacity if you are disabled or are unable to return to work as before.
Q: I was injured in a collision with a truck carrying toxic chemicals. I now have respiratory problems. Can I sue?
A: You may be able to sue the shipper of the chemicals if they failed to advise the trucking company and driver of the dangerous nature of the chemical being carried. The shipper has a duty to inform the company and driver about hazards.
Q: Can I sue the trucking company if I was injured in an accident caused by the truck driver?
A: If the truck driver is an employee of the trucking company, then you may be able to sue them for the driver’s negligence. If the truck driver was a contractor, however, then you may have a difficult time proving that the company is liable for the driver’s actions. This ultimately comes down to how much involvement and supervision the company has over the driver.
Q: I may have been partially responsible for the truck accident, can I still pursue compensation?
There is a legal doctrine called “comparative negligence”. That means that if you are partially at fault for the accident, you may be able to pursue compensation, but it depends on the amount of fault attributed to each party. In most states, you must be found 50% at fault or less in order to still recover compensation.
Q: If the truck jackknifed, can I sue the truck driver?
A: That depends on if the truck driver was negligent thus causing the truck to jackknife. Sometimes situations happen that are outside the truck driver’s control. If the jackknifing is due to road conditions or an unforeseeable hazard, then you likely cannot recover compensation. However, if the truck driver was speeding or driving recklessly – and it can be proven – then you may be able to sue.
Have More Questions about Truck Accidents?
If you are battling injuries due to a truck accident and you have questions, the best thing to do is contact a truck accident lawyer. Every accident case is different, and the best way to protect your rights and find out if you have an actionable claim is to speak with a lawyer.