Commercial vehicle accidents result in some of the worst disasters on the road, and those involved may sustain severe injuries. In an overwhelming number of cases, driver error is at least partly responsible, but there can be many other factors involved as well. This can make a claim extremely complicated, and why most victims will turn to a personal injury attorney to manage their case. With expert legal representation, a victim will have a strong advocate during settlement negotiations and have a strong chance of being awarded the compensation they are entitled to.
WHAT ARE SOME COMMON INJURIES CAUSED BY COMMERCIAL VEHICLE ACCIDENTS?
Vehicle crashes can cause a variety of injuries, including long-term and permanent injuries. Crashes involving large cargo trucks are often worse, given the staggering physical forces at play. When carrying a load, it’s possible for a large cargo truck to weigh many times more than a standard passenger car. The huge weight difference can produce deadly, crushing injuries, especially if the passenger car is pinned against a guardrail or concrete wall. Broken bones and extreme damage to internal organs are possible, as well as permanent injuries like brain or spine damage.
Traumatic brain injuries, or TBIs, are particularly debilitating and can leave a victim paralyzed or with major cognitive problems for the rest of their life. Behavior disturbance, chronic pain, confusion, speech, and motor complications are all possible following TBIs.
If the truck is carrying volatile or hazardous cargo, fire and asphyxiation are also significant concerns, and can produce painful injuries as well. Burn Injuries, in particular, can leave permanent scarring and chronic pain, as well as loss of mobility. Recovering from burn injuries may require multiple expensive surgeries and ongoing therapy.
WHO IS OFTEN RESPONSIBLE FOR COMMERCIAL VEHICLE ACCIDENTS?
While driver error is almost always involved to some degree, the driver may not be the only defendant tied to the case. If the driver is an employee of a company and not just an independent contractor, the employer may also share responsibility for any commercial vehicle accidents. This is especially true if the employer enforced unsafe work practices, like extended driving hours or incentives for unrealistically fast delivery.
The truck’s owner is responsible for maintenance, and this includes mandated inspections. If mechanical failure leads to a crash, the truck’s owner will own most of the liability. In the aftermath of commercial vehicle accidents, a state investigator will respond to the crash and check for signs of mechanical failure. The victim can use this investigation as evidence should it uncover mechanical problems.
The company responsible for loading the cargo may also be responsible if the truck’s handling is affected by the cargo, or if the cargo creates a hazard.
A personal injury attorney will be able to analyze a case for the victim and determine how to organize it. Eventually, the claim will likely enter settlement negotiations, and an attorney will do everything possible to steer the settlement in the victim’s favor, getting them the restitution they need to maximize their recovery.