If you or a loved one has been injured in an auto accident, you deserve compensation for your injuries. Accidents involving semi-trucks can be especially severe and frightening. You may be out of work and trying to figure out how to get by. You should not be left alone to battle the physical and emotional recovery that lies ahead. You can exercise your rights by filing a lawsuit against the trucking driver or the trucking company who owned the truck that caused your collision. You can even file a lawsuit against both. This article will tell you about your compensation rights, along with the process for filing your claim.
Your Compensation Rights
As you may be finding out, a serious accident does more than cause physical injury. It causes a domino effect that can change your entire life. First you become injured, then you lose your job since you can't go to work. Next your medical and personal bills pile up. It's a struggle just to afford food and keep your lights on. Maybe you're suffering from PTSD and can't even get into the car to go to the doctor without an anxiety attack hitting you. While filing a lawsuit against the trucking company or driver won't magically heal your physical and emotional pain, it will provide you enough money to make life much easier for you. You have the right to be compensated for:
Pain & suffering
Damaged property (e.g. your vehicle)
Suing The Company
When it comes down to deciding who to sue, you can opt to sue the driver, the company, or both (if the driver works for a company). Suing the company will give you the largest financial benefit. Not only will you gain more money from suing a large company, but you also have a better shot of winning. The company will likely want it all to go away. Since they have the money, they will probably offer a settlement amount to keep it out of court. If you don't come to a settlement agreement, you will still have the upper-hand. A jury will be sympathetic toward the truck driver. They'll feel bad for him for having to pay so much money over something that was an accident. They'll see him as a human being that made a mistake, and his family (if he has one) shouldn't have to suffer such a large financial loss. The company, on the other hand, is just a company, and the jury won't likely have sympathetic feelings toward it.
Suing The Driver
You can still try to sue the driver as well as the company if it is justice you are seeking. It will likely only work if the accident was caused by driver error or negligence. For example, if the driver was on a cell phone, falling asleep, or under the influence of alcohol, you will be able to sue the driver.
Some truck drivers are independent contractors. Therefore, you will only be able to sue the driver. In this case, you can sue the driver even if it wasn't driver error. Independent contractors are responsible for making sure their trucks are up to federal regulations. If there is something wrong with the truck, it is the truck driver's responsibility as the owner.
What You Need
You need to hire a trucking accidents lawyer to help with the lawsuit. You won't have to pay your lawyer anything until you win, since personal injury lawyers generally work on contingency. You will give your lawyer everything he or she asks for. This will likely include the accident report, your medical records for related injuries, something from your work showing you lost your job or are not currently working, and your bills. Once your lawyer receives everything, he or she will be able to take it from there.
You don't need to struggle to survive because of an accident that was not even your fault. If a truck driver hit you, you need to do everything that you can to receive the compensation that you deserve.