Malfunctions Related to Trucking Accidents
Trucking accidents often involve not only a truck and its driver, but other motorists as well. Because of the way trucks are constructed, these vehicles are prone to certain kinds of malfunctions, including:
- Tire blowouts, which can be caused by an overloaded vehicle, as well as a large or small puncture in the tire.
- Braking malfunctions, in which brakes overheat, are not set properly, or are poorly maintained.
- Jackknife accidents, in which the cab and trailer angle away from one another and shift out of their proper lanes. In some cases, this can cause a rollover.
- Underride accidents, in which another vehicle crashes into a tractor trailer and continues advancing beneath it.
- Rollover accidents, in which a tractor trailer is knocked off balance and either rolls onto its side or turns over completely.
- Fuel fires, in which a battery that is not sufficiently protected is crushed during impact and releases sparks that ignite the fuel.
While all vehicles are theoretically at risk of experiencing similar accidents, the sheer size of a truck can result in extensive property damage and personal injury.
Types of Injuries
Similar to smaller-scale car crashes, truck accidents can result in a wide range of injuries. However, because trucks are much larger and can carry a load of up to eighty thousand pounds or more, they almost always outweigh other vehicles in an accident. Consequently, injuries are often much more severe.
Common injuries affect areas like the brain and spinal cord, which can impact the victim's daily function, mobility, and ability to work.
In addition to broken bones and damage to internal organs, many victims report catastrophic injuries including burns, spinal cord injuries, and traumatic brain injuries. In addition to immediate medical assistance, patients who have sustained these types of injuries often require ongoing care, rehabilitation, and home modifications to account for disability.
Who is at-fault in a truck accident depends on the specifics of the case. Because most trucks are owned by a company, liability for an accident typically falls on a driver’s employer. Employers must ensure that their drivers have completed the special training and licensing necessary to operate the truck. Furthermore, they are also required to insure any work vehicles that their employees operate. Their insurance policy will generally cover any damages incurred while operating a work vehicle. If, however, another party is held accountable, than the responsible party's insurance will generally pay for any damages.
In addition to covering property damage, all employers are required to have workers' compensation. However, many employers will try to minimize the reparations a worker can collect. Consequently, an attorney can play an integral role in ensuring you receive the maximum compensation allowable. It is important to keep in mind that because truck accident injuries are often much more severe, insurance has much higher liability limits. These can lead to greater damages.
In some cases, insurance or the court may assign liability to parties involved in production of the truck’s components. If an accident is triggered by faulty components, such as malfunctioning brakes, a poorly designed battery, or inadequate tires, victims may pursue a lawsuit against the designer or manufacturer of that piece. Our team can review the specifics of your case in order to pursue all appropriate parties.
Types of Damages
There are several damages that an injured party can obtain as a result of a lawsuit. These typically fall into one of two categories:
If an injury from an accident has left you unable to work, economic damages can help you recover current and future lost wages. This is especially helpful for victims whose mobility is significantly impaired by a traumatic brain injury or severe injury to the spinal cord. Victims’ claims can also cover the cost of medical care and rehabilitation, as well as at-home and nursing home services.
To determine non-economic damages, we must consider how an injury has affected the plaintiff’s quality of life. This may include physical pain and suffering, mental and emotional trauma, inconvenience, disfigurement, loss of enjoyment of life, and loss of care or consortium. If there is evidence that the defendant was negligent, reckless, or intended to harm, the victim may also be able to collect punitive damages. However, it is important to keep in mind that Indiana places a cap on these types of damages.
Contact Us Today
If you have suffered a spinal injury or any other form of injury as a result of a trucking accident, you will need considerable resources to cover the cost of medical treatment and other expenses. Our compassionate attorneys can handle your case with the utmost consideration and incorporate the testimony of our vast network of professionals to establish liability. Contact our team online or at (800) 520-1644 to set up a consultation and learn how our representation can help you on the road to rebuilding your life.