Being involved in a truck accident is devastating. One must deal with emotional and physical trauma. And on top of it all, deal with the legal complexities of seeking compensation. With that said, knowing your rights in trucking accident cases is vital. When you understand your rights, pursuing a truck accident claim becomes easy. And your chances of getting the compensation you deserve increase. This article will discuss your rights as a truck accident victim.
Rights of Truck Victim Accidents
Table of Contents
Individuals injured in truck accidents have rights that help them recover from physical injuries, financial losses, and emotional distress. These rights are:
1. Right to Access Medical Care
Compared to average car crashes, truck accidents result in more severe injuries and fatalities. Types of injuries truck accident victims sustain include:
- Broken bones
- Skull fractures and traumatic brain injuries
- Internal bleeding
- Spinal cord injuries that often result in disability
- Psychological impacts such as depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and anxiety
As a trucking accident victim, you have the right to medical attention immediately after the incident. It does not matter whether you can afford to settle the medical bill. Your insurer may cover the cost, or you could access treatment for your injuries through government-funded programs.
The reasons you must access medical care after a truck accident are apparent. First, you want to prevent the injuries from causing more physical and emotional harm. Second, to establish a link between the injuries and the trucking accident. Typically, you will need a medical report highlighting the injuries a truck accident caused to build a solid personal injury lawsuit against the driver and truck company.
2. Right to a Legal Representative
Following an 18-wheeler or semi-truck accident, you must hold the person responsible for the crash accountable and get compensated. The process is complex; it often means filing a claim against the truck driver. You also have to consider third-party lawsuits as an alternative if the cause of the accident was because of a violation of laws by the trucking company. For example, the trucking firm might have demanded the driver to work extra hours against the hours of service rules. This violation often leads to driver fatigue, thus increasing the risk of accidents.
As Cohen, Feeley, Altemose & Rambo put it, lawyers understand the challenges truck accidents face, and it is their commitment to helping them seek justice and fair compensation. With that said, you have the right to legal services. It would be best to have an attorney to advocate for your rights and support and protect you during litigation.
3. Right to Fair Compensation
Under personal injury law, anyone harmed in an accident, including truck accidents, has the right to compensation. Ideally, the parties responsible for the accident pay a significant amount of cash for various damages through their insurance company. As reported by Forbes, the types of injuries viable for compensation are:
- Medical bills linked to injuries caused by the truck accident
- Future medical expenses for permanent injuries
- Lost wages for sick days or missed work time because of injuries incurred during the accident
- Future lost income if you cannot work because of disabilities linked to the truck accident injuries
- Emotional distress
- Physical pain and suffering
- Loss of property
Several parties can be liable for trucking accidents and must compensate you for injuries. The truck driver can be responsible for acts of negligence on the road. The trucking company might have contributed to the accident by demanding drivers to work extra hours.
Truck maintenance companies can also be at fault. For instance, let’s say the maintenance firm failed to consider important factors when choosing truck tires and fit the wrong type, which caused the truck to spin and drift off the road, hitting you. They are liable for the accident and should offer compensation.
4. Right to Collect Evidence
Building a solid personal injury claim after a truck accident is only possible if you have sufficient evidence. For this reason, victims of truck accidents have a right to collect and access evidence. What type of evidence can you collect? You can access and review police reports, video recordings of the accident, crash site photos, eyewitness statements, and medical records.
5. Right to Fair Trial
While it is possible to negotiate for settlement out-of-court, you should be bold in filing a case in court if the insurance company devalues or dismisses your claim. It is your right to receive a fair trial, including a jury trial and the right to present evidence and witnesses. A fair trial often results in higher compensation for damages the truck accident caused.
The aftermath of a truck accident can be traumatic for the victim and loved ones. Besides struggling with physical pain and emotional distress, you must navigate legal issues to hold those responsible accountable. Understanding your rights is critical to ensuring you receive the proper compensation for the harm incurred during the accident. These rights include the right to medical care and legal representation. You also have a right to access evidence, a fair trial, and compensation from the liable parties.