Commercial trucks are a key component of Nebraska’s economy, transporting important goods through Lincoln and all over the state. Unfortunately, the vast difference in size and weight between these trucks and other passenger vehicles can tremendously increase the severity of a traffic accident involving a commercial vehicle. When such an incident stems from the negligence or recklessness of another person, that person should be required to shoulder the consequences.
If you suffered injuries from a commercial vehicle collision, a Lincoln truck accident lawyer at Berry Law can help you pursue compensation to offset the effects of the crash. A seasoned personal injury attorney who understands the factors that make commercial vehicle collisions different from other cases can evaluate your claim, explain your options, and help you work towards a positive resolution.
What Are Typical Truck Accident Injuries?
A person can suffer an array of injuries in a trucking accident. Commercial trucks are much larger than passenger vehicles. This size disparity creates a risk of severe or life-threatening injuries in the event of a collision. Some injuries commonly reported in commercial truck crashes include:
Types of Compensation That Could Be Available
Anyone injured in an 18-wheeler accident caused by another person’s negligence may be entitled to compensation for a variety of reasons stemming from the crash. This compensation may come through a settlement negotiated with an insurance company or other parties, or from a court award following a successful lawsuit.
A knowledgeable Lincoln commercial vehicle crash attorney can calculate the value of different types of compensation based on your circumstances to determine what would be reasonable and fair under the circumstances. Compensation could be available to cover economic and non-economic damages such as:
- Time missed from work
- Medical expenses
- Anticipated future medical costs
- Reduced future income
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment
- Emotional distress
In rare cases, punitive damages may also be available if the court determines the defendant’s wrongful actions were particularly egregious. These damages do not specifically provide compensation for the injured person’s loss, but rather are intended to punish the at-fault party and deter similar conduct in the future.
Different Parties May be Involved in a Truck Crash Case
Most trucks are commercial vehicles, which can complicate civil cases following an accident. In addition, trucks are also subject to additional laws and regulations at the federal, state, and local level, adding yet another layer of complexity to truck crash cases in Lincoln.
Many different parties may share liability for a tractor-trailer accident. For instance, driver error often contributes directly to causing commercial truck collisions, but when a driver is operating in the scope of employment, the company employing the driver may also be held liable.
Additionally, the owner of the truck may be liable for the condition of his or her vehicle or for working requirements imposed on the driver. If an outside company is responsible for maintenance of a truck, that company may also be held liable if faulty maintenance work contributed to causing the accident. A truck wreck lawyer in Lincoln can help an individual plaintiff identify liable parties in his or her case and demand damages or file suit accordingly.
What is the Role of Comparative Fault in Local Truck Crash Claims?
Comparative fault is the legal theory used when an injured plaintiff shares liability for causing the truck accident that led to their damages. There are many ways an injured motorist could share fault for a collision with a commercial vehicle. For example, a driver struck by a speeding truck could also bear some responsibility if they were texting behind the wheel.
Fortunately, state law allows you to pursue an injury claim regardless of whether you share some of the fault for the accident in question. As long as you are less than 50 percent at fault for the truck collision, you have the right to pursue an injury claim. However, the court will reduce the amount of compensation you recover by your assigned degree of fault. In other words, a plaintiff that is 20 percent at fault will only recover up to 80 percent of their total damages.
How Can a Lawyer Help Resolve a Tractor-Trailer Accident Claim?
There are two ways you and your legal counsel can resolve a commercial vehicle accident claim:
- A negotiated settlement; or
- A trial verdict.
Most truck accident injury claims result in a financial settlement without the plaintiff ever filing a lawsuit. When the trucking company or their insurer accepts liability, resolving these cases is typically a matter of negotiating to maximize compensation.
Not all cases settle, however. When the opposing party is unwilling to accept an appropriate demand package, your last option for compensation is to take your case to trial. Berry Law can help you determine an appropriate demand package and advise you on whether you should go to trial.
The Statute of Limitations in Truck Wreck Cases
Nebraska state law limits the amount of time an injured person has to file a lawsuit seeking compensation after a truck accident. This is referred to as the statute of limitations, and it is set forth in Nebraska Revised Statutes §25-207(3). In most cases, plaintiffs must file their lawsuit within four years of the date of their accident, but it wise to take action well before this deadline approaches. An experienced lawyer can help one with filing a claim within the statute of limitations.
Talk to a Lincoln Truck Accident Attorney as Soon as Possible
To recover compensation for injuries suffered in a tractor-trailer collision, it is necessary to demonstrate that the negligence or deliberate wrongdoing of one or more other parties that caused the accident. It is important to contact an attorney as soon as possible following an accident, as time-sensitive evidence may be needed. Records of trucking companies, video footage, and other records may be erased, and other evidence becomes less reliable with the passage of time.
The moment you retain one, an accomplished Lincoln truck accident lawyer can begin collecting evidence to build the strongest possible case on your behalf. Call Berry Law today to get started on your case and maximize your chances of a successful result.