Establishing liability is one of the first and most important steps in a personal injury lawsuit. However, proving liability can be tricky in truck accidents as there are several parties that could be held responsible, and the stakes are often high. Most personal injury claims for truck accidents are settled through negotiations; however, if no agreement is reached, a lawsuit can be filed.
Establishing Liability in Truck Accidents
When a plaintiff requests compensation for their damages, they need to establish who is responsible for the accident. The liable party is usually the truck driver or the company they work for. The truck driver would be liable if they violated traffic laws, such as reckless driving, peeding, or driving under the influence. Truck drivers are also required to follow regulations regarding working hours.
The trucking company can be liable if their negligence or wrongdoing contributed to the accident. For example, it is the trucking company’s responsibility to ensure they maintain their fleet according to industry safety standards. They are also required to hire, train and supervise their truck drivers properly.
If a third party is responsible for the maintenance of the truck involved in the accident, they could also be liable. Other potentially liable parties include the truck manufacturer, parts suppliers, and cargo loaders.
What Damages Can Be Recovered?
In a personal injury claim for a truck accident, the victims can be entitled to economic and noneconomic damages. Economic damages include medical expenses, property damage, lost income, and lost earning capacity. Noneconomic damages include pain and suffering, mental anguish, emotional distress, depression, anxiety, and loss of enjoyment of life. If the truck accident resulted in a fatality, the surviving family members can seek compensation through a wrongful death claim.
Defenses and Challenges Of a Truck Accident
It is not surprising that the defendant will try their best to minimize their liability in the accident. The liable parties could try to divert their responsibility to others. For example, the trucking company could state that they provided all the required training, but the truck driver didn’t pay attention.
How Can an Attorney Help in Personal Injury Claims?
A St.Louis, Missouri personal injury lawyer can help in many aspects of a personal injury claim involving a truck accident. This includes establishing liability for the accident, helping you gather proof, and negotiating with the insurance company. If no agreement is reached, they can help the victim file a lawsuit. The trucking company could be a formidable opponent, especially with its resources. With an attorney on your side, you will have access to expert legal advice on handling a personal injury case.