Truck Accident Lawyers
If someone else’s negligence caused your injuries in a truck accident, contact the Law Offices of David L. Powell today. We might be able to represent you in a case against the truck driver, motor carrier, or another party responsible for the crash. You could pursue legal action against them and seek compensation for your losses, such as medical expenses.
Various contributing factors could lead to a collision involving a commercial truck. Tractor-trailers take up a lot of space on the road. They’re heavy and could contain hazardous material in the cargo container. Truck drivers are supposed to complete training and obtain a special license to operate these vehicles. However, some aren’t qualified or behave carelessly, placing other people at risk of serious harm.
It’s typical to be in shock in the immediate aftermath of a truck accident. Most people feel overwhelmed by the experience and don’t know what to do next. Severe injuries that could require extensive treatment to heal are common after such an accident. It can seem like an uphill battle when you face a difficult recovery and other challenges due to a crash someone else caused.
You should not be responsible for your medical bills and other expenses if someone else is entirely at fault for the collision. The truck driver or another negligent party should be liable for your injury. The personal injury lawyers of the Law Offices of David L. Powell are ready to help you with your case and seek the justice you deserve. Our truck accident lawyers in Fort Smith, AR, will be your advocate and fight by your side for the maximum compensation you deserve.
For a free consultation to learn more about how we can help, call us at 479-222-6773 today.
Common Types of Truck Accidents
Different types of accidents involving commercial trucks can occur in a variety of circumstances. Large trucks often cause massive destruction to smaller vehicles, injuring the occupants inside. Every kind of truck accident can lead to severe injuries and death.
The most common types of truck accidents include:
- Head-on collisions – Crashing head-on into a tractor-trailer can be fatal. The force of the impact can crush the front end of a small car, trapping the occupants inside.
- Override and underride accidents – An override accident refers to a crash resulting from the front of a truck running over the back of a car. In an underride accident, a car collides with the side or back of a truck and slides under the trailer.
- Rollover accidents – Any vehicle with a high center of gravity is susceptible to tipping or rolling in an accident. Commercial trucks are no different. A truck could roll over if the driver swerves or takes a turn too fast.
- T-bone accidents – A T-bone accident happens when the front of a vehicle collides with the side of another. This type of crash often occurs at intersections. If a trucker runs a red light or stop sign, they could crash into someone already passing through the intersection.
- Jackknife accidents – A tractor-trailer jackknifes when the trailer and cab swing toward each other. A jackknife accident could result from the truck driver’s sudden maneuvering or slamming on their brakes.
- Rear-end collisions – A trucker might crash into the back of someone’s car if they’re following too closely. Tailgating doesn’t leave much space between vehicles for the one behind to come to a complete stop if traffic requires it.
If you were involved in any type of truck accident that wasn’t your fault, you should reach out to the Law Offices of David L. Powell. We can investigate and determine whether someone else is at fault.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents
Multiple scenarios can lead to an accident involving a commercial truck. Truck drivers aren’t the only parties that could be liable. A motor carrier might be at fault for hiring an unlicensed driver. Or a manufacturer could be responsible for the crash if they supplied a faulty part for the truck.
The most common causes of truck accidents include:
- Driving under the influence – Federal law prohibits truck drivers from consuming alcohol or being under the influence of alcohol within four hours of driving a commercial truck. Alcohol impairs driving abilities and prevents truckers from making good decisions behind the wheel.
- Fatigued driving – Some people don’t realize how dangerous driving is despite feeling fatigued. It causes similar symptoms as driving under the influence. Truck drivers are supposed to take breaks and stay within the maximum federally defined limit of driving hours. Fatigue can significantly impair functioning and lead to a crash.
- Speeding – High-speed accidents involving commercial trucks can have fatal consequences. Driving over the speed limit is reckless. A truck driver won’t have much control over their vehicle while speeding. Crashing into a small car at a high rate of speed can cause catastrophic injuries.
- Failure to check blind spots – The blind spots on tractor-trailers are large. It’s more challenging for truck drivers to notice a passenger vehicle traveling alongside. Truckers should always check their blind spots thoroughly before merging.
- Improperly loaded cargo – A cargo load can’t exceed a specific weight or size limit. Items must also be secured with the proper straps or tie-downs. Overloading a truck or using faulty securement systems can cause items to shift or fall out of the trailer.
- Inadequate maintenance – Trucking companies are responsible for maintaining their vehicles. They must inspect all trucks and repair damage or defects immediately. Parts and systems could malfunction while the driver operates the truck, preventing them from braking, turning, or remaining in control.
- Distracted driving – Truckers spend long hours driving cargo to their destinations. They can easily become distracted. Texting, eating, and focusing on something other than driving can contribute to an accident.
- Tailgating – Commercial trucks require longer stopping distances than smaller vehicles. It’s crucial for truck drivers to ensure there’s enough space between their vehicles and cars ahead. Tailgating prevents truckers from slowing down or stopping in time to avoid a collision if the driver in front of them stops suddenly.
At the Law Offices of David L. Powell, our Ozark truck accident lawyers have experience pursuing legal action against negligent truck drivers and motor carriers. We can determine whether you have a case and create a strategy to try to resolve it favorably.
How You Should Handle a Truck Accident
The actions you take after a truck accident could affect the outcome of your case if you choose to pursue compensation from the at-fault party. It’s crucial to follow the necessary steps immediately. Even if your injury is minor, you should start preparing for your case within days of the crash to avoid unnecessary delays and other obstacles.
Hire the Law Offices of David L. Powell to represent you. We can investigate the accident and gather the available evidence. We will file a claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company and handle negotiations, so you don’t have to. You should focus on getting better. Leave the hard part to us.
Go to the emergency room once you leave the accident scene. It’s vital to begin treatment no matter what type of injury you sustained. Listen to their orders if the initial doctor recommends follow-ups or refers you to another medical provider. You should continue treating until your physicians release you from their care. Attending your appointments regularly is necessary to show that you suffered an injury in the accident and a timeline of your recovery.
Another essential part of pursuing compensation after a truck accident is maintaining records. You should keep a copy of every document you receive during your ongoing case. Maintain all medical records, bills, and other documentation associated with the crash. It could be valuable evidence to prove what happened.
Compensation Available for Injuries in a Truck Accident
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration imposes various insurance requirements for commercial trucks depending on the weight of the truck and the type of contents it contains. For example, a commercial motor vehicle transporting non-hazardous freight weighing less than 10,001 pounds should have $300,000 in liability coverage.
It’s the motor carrier’s responsibility to purchase insurance for their truck drivers. If you file a claim, you could negotiate a settlement to compensate for your losses, such as:
- Medical bills
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Mental anguish
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Property damage
You might also be able to recover punitive damages. This type of compensation is only available in a lawsuit. You must prove the defendant is liable for compensation for your losses and, through clear and convincing evidence, you must prove that one or both of these factors exist:
- The defendant intentionally engaged in actions to cause injury or damage
- The defendant knew or should have known that their actions would lead to someone’s injury or harm and acted with reckless disregard for the consequences or malice
Statute of Limitations for Truck Accident Cases
You must file your lawsuit within the period of time allotted by the statute of limitations if you want to pursue compensation from the at-fault party. Arkansas’s statute allows a three-year time period. That means you have three years from the date of the truck accident to initiate a lawsuit against the truck driver or another negligent party.
The Law Offices of David L. Powell represents injured clients suffering from the wrongdoing of others. Our Fort Smith truck accident lawyers can meet you for a free case evaluation in one of our four office locations in Oklahoma and Arkansas. You can depend on us to fight for your rights and try to reach the best possible result in your case.
If you sustained an injury in a truck accident due to someone else’s negligent actions, call the Law Offices of David L. Powell at 479-222-6773 now. Let us help you get on the road to recovery.