Passenger vehicle occupants rarely stand a chance in large truck crashes. When a tractor-trailer weighing as much as 80,000 pounds collides with a car that weighs less than 3,000 pounds, devastating injuries are all but inevitable.
Fortunately, if you were seriously hurt in a truck accident, you may be able to collect compensation for the associated damages. As long as you can present sufficient evidence of both liability and losses, your action has a chance of yielding a payout.
Since you’ve probably never put together a personal injury claim, here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about doing so:
1. Who Could Be Liable for a Large Truck Crash?
Regardless of the circumstances, building a personal injury claim starts with identifying all those who played a role in the accident. When it comes to large truck crashes, there are a number of parties that could be deemed responsible. Examples include:
- The trucker, if they operated independently;
- The motor carrier who employed the trucker;
- The fleet’s maintenance contractor;
- The manufacturer of any defective parts;
- Another motorist; and
- The government agency that was tasked with maintaining the road where the accident occurred.
2. How Can I Prove Liability for a Large Truck Crash?
After identifying those who were to blame for the wreck, you’re going to have to find a way to prove it. Evidence that might help you do so includes:
- Black box data;
- Photos of the scene;
- Eyewitness testimony;
- Official reports;
- The trucker’s driver logs;
- The vehicle’s maintenance records;
- Toxicology reports;
- Dash camera footage; and
- Surveillance recordings.
3. What Other Evidence Will I Need to Support My Claim?
To be eligible for compensation, you must demonstrate that you incurred actual damages as a direct result of the liable party’s negligence. The state of Michigan recognizes the following damages in personal injury scenarios:
- Loss of enjoyment in life;
- Mental anguish;
- Scarring and disfigurement;
- Pain and suffering;
- Medical bills;
- Lost income;
- Loss of future earnings and benefits;
- Property repairs;
- Home and vehicle modifications;
- Replacement services;
- Domestic help;
- Home care; and
- Alternative transportation.
4. How Long Do I Have to Take the Liable Party to Court?
If the insurance carrier refuses to offer a satisfactory settlement, you can ask the court to issue a ruling by filing a formal lawsuit. In Michigan, truck accident victims must usually file their first-party claim for PIP benefits within just one year. For third-party claims in pursuit of non-economic damages, on the other hand, injured parties typically have three years to commence the trial proceedings.
Speak with a Detroit Truck Accident Attorney
At Seva Law Firm, we’re not afraid to go up against even the biggest motor carriers or insurance companies. If you were seriously hurt in a large truck crash despite following the rules of the road, we’ll use all the resources backing our powerhouse practice to help you pursue the justice you deserve. To schedule a free initial consultation with a truck accident lawyer in Detroit, call (248) 385-5704 or complete our Online Contact Form.