Trucking accidents can be catastrophic. The injuries are usually life-changing and are sometimes even fatal.
Truck accidents are some of the most complex personal injury cases you can possibly be involved in. Trucking companies have multiple ways to wriggle out of responsibility, and are willing to throw a lot of resources at doing so.
You need a true truck accident expert to win your case. Reach out to the lawyers at Cochrane Personal Injury Lawyer to get the help you deserve.
Leading Causes of Truck Accidents
Truck accidents happen for a variety of reasons.
The most common is overwork and driver fatigue. Though Canada has strict laws on how often truckers can drive, many employers force their employees to break the law on pain of losing their jobs. This leads to drivers who are asleep at the wheel, a condition that’s even more dangerous than drunk driving. An experienced lawyer knows how to check for evidence in the records that track driver hours.
Truck drivers aren’t immune to alcohol use, drug use, or distracted driving, either. Long hours of boredom and loneliness can cause some truckers to make bad choices. Some even have a record of this kind of behavior. Trucking companies and fleet owners are obligated to run thorough background checks on their employees, but not all of them do.
We’ve seen truckers who aren’t trained properly on how to handle their much larger, more dangerous vehicles. Trucking companies and fleet owners are obligated to provide this training, and we can use industry norms and standards to prove they haven’t met their obligations.
Finally, failures to maintain trucks on a safe and regular schedule have caused many tragic accidents. Again, an experienced trucking lawyer moves fast to get evidence of this type of negligence before it can be tampered with or hidden.
What do you need to know if you've been injured by a truck?
You need to call a lawyer as soon as you are medically capable of doing so. Trucking companies are going to move fast to try to conceal or lose or erase evidence. The faster you involve a lawyer the faster that lawyer can move to gather that evidence.
It is almost impossible for people to resolve truck accident claims on their own. The trucking industry has dozens of tricks for making it difficult for you to recover funds. For example, they often like to claim their truckers are independent contractors, which is often news to the drivers. The driver isn’t often covered by the proper.
Even if you get a settlement offer it’s likely to be a low-ball settlement offer that is highly unlikely to cover the full range of expenses that the average trucking accident generates.
Why do you need a lawyer to help with your truck accident case?
There are many reasons why reaching out to a lawyer is helpful.
First, because the lawyer can deal with the trucking company’s insurance company. Rest assured the adjuster at that company does not want to help you. They have dozens of tricks for luring you into saying things you shouldn’t say, signing documents you shouldn’t sign, or accepting offers you shouldn’t accept. When you send your lawyer to deal with them, you circumvent all those problems.
Trucking companies also take you a lot more seriously when you have a lawyer to work with and become more willing to make serious settlement offers.
Your lawyer will also have the expertise to find everyone who might be responsible for the accident. If there was a defective part involved your lawyer will track that evidence down and press a claim against the manufacturer of that part.
A lawyer is especially helpful if you were unconscious after the accident, like most truck accident victims are. Our office routinely helps victims reconstruct the facts of the accident, as well as track down evidence and witnesses. We are here to help you prove the trucking company is liable and should pay.
Finally, we’re your negotiators when the settlement conference begins, ensuring you get the best deal and that you maximize your compensation. If the case gets pushed all the way to trial we defend your interests in court throughout the litigation process.
Who can I sue after my truck accident?
You can sue the company that owns the truck and the driver of the truck. In some cases you may be able to sue the manufacturer who made various parts for the truck or the company that last serviced the truck.
It’s your lawyer’s job to track down all relevant parties and to hold them accountable.
How much time do I have to make a claim after my crash?
You have 30 days to inform the insurance company that you intend to make a claim. Your own insurance company may need to be informed within 24 hours to 7 days, depending on the company.
You have two years to press a personal injury lawsuit. We encourage you to get a lawyer fast because “running down the clock” is a popular tactic of insurance companies and trucking companies alike.
What kinds of damages can I recover after a truck accident?
As with any personal injury case, you can reclaim medical expenses and future medical expenses. You can also make a claim for lost wages and a loss of earning capacity. If you need special equipment or services as a direct result of your accident then you can make a claim for those expenses as well.
You may also make a claim for pain and suffering. In Alberta pain and suffering awards are capped at $370,000. Your lawyer will work hard to negotiate the highest pain and suffering award possible. There is no hard and fast law for how much pain and suffering should be awarded in any given case, but in general the extent of your injuries and the extent to which they have changed your life
Start Your Claim Today
Each of the lawyers at Cochrane Personal Injury has over 15 years of experience handling truck accident claims. We know exactly how to gather the evidence we’ll need to protect your interests.
Our lawyers are caring, responsive, and dedicated. We have helped thousands of Albertans recover massive truck accident settlements, and we can help you, too. Call (403) 237-9777 to schedule your initial consultation today.