Common Myths That May Impact Your Large Truck Accident Claim
If you were injured in an accident caused by a negligent truck driver, you could suffer devastating consequences, such as internal organ damage, paralysis, back and neck injuries, traumatic brain injury, or death.
In addition, the financial toll may be enormous due to the mounting medical bills and the wages you could lose while off work recovering from your injuries. If you need to file a claim with the trucker’s and trucking company’s insurance companies, you need to understand what's true and not true about truck wrecks and claims.
In this article, we examine a few misconceptions about these accidents.
Myth #1: Truckers Are Less Likely to Cause a Wreck Than Other Motorists
There's a misconception that truckers are less likely to cause an accident than passenger vehicle motorists due to their experience driving big rigs.
While operators must receive additional training to obtain a commercial driver’s license, the training isn't as extensive as some people may believe. In addition, few trucking companies rarely provide new truck operators with comprehensive on-the-road training before sending them on a job.
Truck driver errors are a huge cause of truck accidents. Some common ones that result in tragic crashes include:
- Driving while intoxicated
- Distracted driving, such as eating and drinking, looking at a GPS, texting, or talking on a cellphone
- Failing to comply with traffic laws
Myth #2: Truckers Suffer Similar Serious Injuries as Passenger Vehicle Victims
Because of the larger size and weight of a commercial truck compared to a passenger vehicle, it's much more likely victims in these smaller vehicles will suffer catastrophic injuries or death. Even in a crash when the tractor trailer is traveling at a slow speed, a collision with a passenger vehicle can cause motorists to suffer serious injuries, while the trucker may suffer few or no injuries.
Myth #3: Trucking Companies Are Rarely Liable for Compensating Crash Victims
The reality is that trucking companies can often be held responsible for compensating victims involved in a crash with one of its fleet under a separate claim for negligence, or as the employer of the negligent trucker.
Here are a few ways that victims hold a trucking company accountable:
- In Idaho, the trucking company is liable for the negligent trucker’s actions if he or she was acting within the scope of employment under the legal theory of vicarious liability.
- A trucking company could be liable under a negligent hiring theory if it failed to follow federal regulations regarding the experience of new employees and conduct a thorough background check before hiring someone.
- A trucking company is required to inspect and maintain its trucks and not allow rigs in need of repair on the road. When it violates these federal requirements and this causes a crash, the victim can file a claim with its insurance company for injury compensation.
Myth #4: Truck Accident Victims Can Rely on the Insurance Company to Provide Compensation
While some accident victims will have their claims processed smoothly, many experience adjusters denying their claims or trying to reduce the amount of compensation. Claims adjusters have a duty to investigate truck accident claims and raise issues when possible as to the cause of the crash and the severity of the injuries. Victims might end up receiving less than they're entitled to if they negotiate their settlement without the assistance of an experienced truck accident attorney.
Did a negligent trucker cause you or a family member to suffer injuries in a commercial vehicle accident? Call our office today to schedule a free consultation to learn how Alan Morton can help you obtain the compensation that you deserve.
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