Semi-truck drivers are tasked with carrying heavy and dangerous loads, so an accident involving one or more of these vehicles can result in serious or extensive damage. If you’re involved in an accident with a truck driver, know that your pursuit of damages will be a little different than a standard claim between two passenger vehicles. Below, we take a closer look at how a semi-truck injury claim differs from a car accident claim and we explain why you’ll want a lawyer by your side when pursuing this type of claim.
The Differences In A Truck Accident Claim
One of the biggest differences you’ll be likely to notice when it comes to pursuing damages after a truck accident is the pushback you’ll receive from the trucking company’s insurance provider. In most cases, these semi-trucks have much larger insurance policies than a standard vehicle, meaning the insurance provider can be on the line for a million dollars or more depending on the circumstances of the accident. Because the insurance company stands to lose a lot more money as a result of the accident, you can expect their team to do everything in their power to limit their liability. Be prepared for their insurance provider to look for ways to nickel and dime your claim, or deny it outright.
This only becomes more complicated when you consider the financial resources available to each party. The insurance company will have access to a number of legal experts whose sole job is to limit the liability of their client. That’s why it’s so important that you also have a professional in your corner in the form of an experienced truck accident attorney. We can assure that you won’t get bullied by the truck driver’s insurance company or their legal experts, and we can ensure any settlement offer that comes your way is fair and addresses all of your needs. Don’t let them capitalize on your inexperience with the claims system.
One difference that can work in your favor is that truck drivers are typically held to different safety standards than an average car driver. Truck drivers cannot operate with a BAC above 0.04, which is half the standard legal limit, and they also have to abide by hours of service (HOS) guidelines to prevent them from driving while fatigued. It may be difficult to prove that a normal driver was affected by sleep deprivation, but if a truck driver’s log shows they’ve been driving for 16 hours straight, it will be easier to prove that their fatigued state played a role in your accident.
A final difference between the two types of accidents is in regards to severity. Trucks are long and heavy pieces of equipment, and since they typically traverse the interstate system, collisions often occur at high speeds or with violent force. Truck accidents often involve significant bodily harm and vehicular damage. Drivers involved in an accident with a truck driver can typically pursue compensation from the at-fault driver’s insurance company even though Minnesota is a no fault state as long damages exceed those guaranteed in a vehicle’s Personal Injury Protection Insurance and any of the following factors are present after the crash:
- You have more than $4,000 in total medical expenses.
- You’ve experienced permanent injury resulting from the crash.
- You’ve experienced scarring or disfigurement from the crash.
- You have at least 60 days of disability after the crash.
There are a lot of factors at play in an accident involving a semi-truck, and there are a number of obstacles in your way of a fair payment. Help yourself by talking to a truck accident lawyer who can fight back against the insurance company and help you get every penny you deserve. For more information, contact Hey Workers today.