All You Need To Know About Semi-truck Accidents
Eighteen-wheelers or semi-trucks did you know there is actually a difference between these two types of vehicles? Most people do not, so don’t think you are alone if you were unaware they are different.
A semi-truck is a powered truck (also called a tractor) that can haul one or more trailers. An 18-wheeler, on the other hand, is the combination of a semi-truck and a trailer, also known as a tractor-trailer. When combined, the tractor-trailer has 18 wheels. Make no mistake about it, an accident with either type of vehicle is dangerous both are significantly larger than your car.
When you are in a roadway accident, you need to know who caused it, who will cover the damages to your car and your injury expenses, and how to ensure that your family won’t suffer financially. It’s time to turn to Yarian Accident & Injury Lawyers for help.
California Semi-Truck Accident Lawyer
Insurance companies often pursue aggressive tactics to prevent accident victims from getting full compensation for their injuries. As experienced semi-truck accident attorneys, we are known to fight aggressively back to make sure our clients receive fair settlements. After one recent case, we were able to secure more than $8 million for a client who was in a truck accident.
While we cannot guarantee a successful outcome in every case we take on, we understand how important it is to involve a semi-truck accident attorney as soon as possible in any potential claim.
We also understand that victims must overcome significant challenges after an accident with a semi-truck including:
- Serious injuries;
- Vehicle damage;
- Lost time from work;
- Mounting medical bills; and
- And other related expenses.
We also know an insurer will shift part or all of the blame for the accident to the victim. We refuse to allow that to happen to our clients. If a semi-truck operator is liable for your injury, they should be the ones who shoulder the financial burden of your losses.
A personal injury lawyer works for you their goal is to make sure you get the maximum possible compensation for your injuries. Yarian Accident & Injury Lawyers are committed to doing our best to make our clients get the compensation they deserve.
Semi-Truck Accidents Vs. Car Accidents
Semi-trucks are massive vehicles. On average, these vehicles weight 80,000 pounds, which is 20 times the weight of a passenger vehicle. Due to the size of a semi, getting into an accident with one is vastly different than a standard car accident. Not only are the injuries more severe, but you will also experience much higher medical cost and increased property damage.
Listed below are some of the major differences between a semi-truck accident and a car accident:
- Higher chance of death: Accidents with a commercial semi-truck are far more likely to end in death than a crash between two passenger vehicles. According to data from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), truck accidents take the life’s of nearly 4,000 people a year.
- Injuries are more severe: There is a greater chance of sustaining more life-threatening injuries in a semi-truck accident than a passenger car accident. Common injuries can include brain trauma, severe cuts, broken bones and whiplash.
- Expensive medical bills: The amount of medical treatment needed to recover from a semi-truck accident tends to be far greater. Those injured in a truck accident are usually unable to return to work for extended periods, leaving them without a way to cover these costs.
- More property damage: Semi-trucks are much larger than passenger vehicles. Because of this, property involved in the accident is likely to sustain more damage than in a collision involving two cars.
- Larger insurance policies: The insurance coverage for semi-truck drivers tend to be nearly 50 times larger than car accident policies, putting the value of insurance in the millions. The trucker’s insurance carrier will do everything they can to prove they were not liable.
Semi-Truck Accidents and Common Injuries
Passenger cars weigh around 4,000 pounds when they are empty. The average weight of a semi-truck without a trailer is between 10,000 and 25,000 pounds. A car is no match. If you are a victim of a collision between a car and a semi-truck, you could suffer life-threatening injuries. For those lucky enough to survive such a collision, some of the potential injuries they could be facing include:
- Broken bones – the sheer force of a collision can result in broken bones. While a seat belt protects most drivers, broken ribs, noses, and even fractured skulls can still result from a collision.
- Head and neck injuries – in addition to the potential for a fractured skull, the sheer force of an accident can result in whiplash injuries. While whiplash may sound like a minor injury, make no mistake about the amount of pain and the subsequent complications this type of injury can cause.
- Brain trauma – traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) often result when an accident suddenly thrusts a car occupant forward, causing the brain to move inside the skull. TBIs are serious. Brain injuries can take months to recover from for those who are fortunate enough to recover at all.
These are only a few of the potential injuries you might be dealing with after an accident involving your car and a semi-truck. At Yarian Accident & Injury Lawyers, APC we are committed to helping our clients overcome the financial challenges associated with their injury, regardless of its severity.
Establishing Liability Following a Semi-Truck Collision
Every personal injury case requires proof of liability. This is not always an easy task after a semi-truck accident, but our skilled legal team knows how to dig through the evidence to identify who must pay for your injuries.
Some of the usual parties who may be responsible include:
- The driver of the semi-truck;
- The trucking company;
- An owner of a semi-truck;
- The company that leases the semi-truck; and/or
- The semi-truck manufacturer.
All these parties have interests at odds with the victim of a semi-truck accident. They want to deflect blame to anyone other than themselves to get out of paying a legitimate claim. This means your truck accident lawyer must have experience establishing liability.
Yarian Accident & Injury Lawyers, APC understands that before we can establish liability, we must demonstrate:
- The at-fault party owes the victim a duty of care – when a driver is at fault for an accident, they owe the victim a duty of care. This is because anyone traveling on California roads owes a duty of care to others on the road with them.
- The at-fault party breached their duty of care – when a driver speeds, drives under the influence, or runs a red light, they clearly breach the duty. However, some other forms of breach may be more challenging to prove, which is why victims should hire an accident injury law firm.
- The at-fault party’s breach of duty of care resulted in damages – if you suffered an injury or damage to your vehicle in a semi-truck collision, you will need evidence such as photographs, medical records, and other evidence of the damage you experienced.
- The victim’s damages resulted in a financial loss – your car will not repair itself, nor will your injuries heal without medical intervention.
If you choose to work with Yarian Accident & Injury Lawyers, APC on your claim, we will help you navigate the challenge of dealing with insurers.
Semi-Truck Accident Claims
Victims often wonder what constitutes a legitimate claim after a semi-truck accident.
You might collect:
- Damage to your vehicle;
- Wages you lose as a result of your injury; and
- Out-of-pocket medical costs.
However, these damages may not be as straightforward as they initially appear. There are multiple factors associated with each type of damage. Let’s explore some of these.
Damage to the Vehicle
A collision with a semi-truck might total your car. If you still owe money on the vehicle, the bank still wants the outstanding balance. You may be able to include the unpaid amount in your truck accident claim.
Most people are paid an hourly wage or may make an annual salary, along with additional benefits including:
- Performance bonuses -during your recovery.
- Personal, vacation, or sick days – some accident victims are forced to use this time before they can collect disability payments. If this is the case, you may be eligible to include these in your claim.
- Matching company funds – one of the benefits of company-sponsored retirement plans is that your company may make a matching contribution or contribute to a pension plan. If you lose these benefits while you recover, you may include them in your accident injury claim.
Your truck accident attorney can help you determine what to include in your claim. Remember, it is always easier to negotiate down than up, so have an attorney thoroughly evaluate your income losses.
If you have suffered an injury in a semi-truck crash, chances are you are using your current healthcare coverage to pay the bills. However, there may be tests, prescriptions, or devices your doctor orders that are not covered, forcing you to pay for them out of pocket. Do not bear this burden; the party responsible for your injury should pay these bills.
Your injury may also require future treatment that your insurance may not cover. In these cases, your attorney can consult with your physician to determine your future medical needs and may recommend including them in your insurance claim.
As you can see, no two personal injury cases are the same when calculating damages. Your truck accident attorney will evaluate the specifics of your case and ensure your claim is accurate upon submission.
Dealing with Insurance Companies
Victims of semi-truck wrecks often believe the insurance company is there to protect them. After all, isn’t that what insurance is for? But it’s important to understand that an insurance company, like any other company, is worried about its bottom line.
In the case of insurers, improving their bottom line means they are constantly seeking new customers to pay premiums, their primary source of revenue. However, it also means they are interested in avoiding unnecessary expenses. Since one of the most significant drains on an insurer is paying claims, you should not expect them to simply pay up because you filed a legitimate claim.
The fact is that insurance adjusters specifically learn to ask questions to help them reduce payouts on claims.
This may take several forms including:
- Shifting the blame to the victim.
- Shifting the blame to another driver (even if they were not directly involved in the accident).
- Blaming the semi-truck driver’s employer.
- Blaming the company that manufactured or maintained the semi-truck.
We know about these tactics because we have seen insurance companies use them before. Make no mistake about it, before we submit a claim, we make sure we hold the right party responsible.
Paying for Competent Semi-Truck Accident Legal Services
At Yarian Accident & Injury Lawyers, APC we know one of the biggest concerns is how you can afford to pay a lawyer to represent you. After all, most semi-truck accident victims are already facing overwhelming expenses. They wonder if they can just try to handle the claim on their own.
While accident victims can often handle simple insurance claims on their own, the costs of not hiring an attorney in the case of a serious injury suffered in a semi-truck accident can be enormous. There are some common mistakes personal injury claimants make every day. The only sure way to avoid these mistakes is to hire an attorney.
At Yarian Accident & Injury Lawyers, APC, we offer every personal injury client a free initial consultation. During this consultation, we will ask you specific questions about the accident. We want to determine how strong a case you have for filing a truck accident lawsuit.
And, if you decide to hire us to handle your claim, Yarian Accident & Injury Lawyers, APC also works on a contingency basis. This means that you do not pay our legal costs unless we secure a settlement or judgment for you.
Contact Yarian Accident & Injury Lawyers Today
If you have been in a semi-truck accident in Los Angeles or Riverside County, contact Yarian Accident & Injury Lawyers, APC right away at (951) 523-0000. Let us help you navigate the complicated process of filing a semi-truck accident claim, handling negotiations with insurers, and if necessary, represent you in court. Schedule a no-obligation free consultation today to learn about your legal options after your semi-truck accident.