Truck Accidents Are Complex Legal Cases
You need an experienced attorney on your side
When commercial vehicles such as tractor-trailers are involved in accidents, the stakes are high, and the legal implications for the victim are complex. If you’ve been hurt in a truck accident, you likely face a much more difficult battle for fair compensation than you would after an accident involving two passenger cars.
That’s why you need a law firm on your side with a proven record of handling these cases: The Law Firm of Pajcic & Pajcic. Our truck accident lawyers’ results include:
- $13 million verdict for a teenager who suffered a brain injury after a poorly lit logging truck made a U-turn in front of the car she was riding in.
- $9.65 million settlement in a wrongful death case involving an asleep-at-the-wheel tractor-trailer driver with a history of drug use that was covered up by his employer.
- Over $7 million settlement in a wrongful death case in which the truck had faulty brakes and the driver had a poor driving record.
- $5.2 million verdict on behalf of a man who was injured and lost his wife in a truck accident.
- $4 million settlement for a construction company owner who was struck head-on by a semi-truck.
We were able to secure these settlements and verdicts, among many others, because we understand the laws surrounding truck accidents and know how to build strong cases for our clients. Here’s why.
Large trucks are the most dangerous vehicles on our roads
Big commercial vehicles pose a unique threat to other vehicles in part because of their sheer size. A fully loaded tractor-trailer can weigh up to 80,000 pounds. In comparison, the average passenger car weighs about 3,000 pounds. Even smaller commercial trucks, such as box trucks, dump trucks and log trucks, weigh many times more than passenger cars, and when they’re involved in collisions with smaller vehicles, the amount of force involved often causes catastrophic or fatal injuries.
It’s not just weight that causes trucks to be dangerous, though. Big trucks are more difficult to steer than passenger cars, take longer to stop, and have huge blind spots that drivers need to compensate for at all times. They have many interconnected components that need to be meticulously maintained. And the cargo itself can be a threat as well, especially if it is loosely packed or hazardous.
When trucks are involved in accidents, there are many parties involved
In accidents involving passenger cars, there are typically only two parties involved, along with their insurance companies. That’s rarely the case in a truck accident. The cab and the trailer are often separately owned and insured. Another company may be responsible for the cargo. Other parties, such as parts and vehicle manufacturers and repair shops, can also be held liable for accidents if faulty components of the truck played a role.
Further complicating matters is the employment relationship between the trucker and the trucking company. Some truck drivers are direct employees; others are independent contractors. The nature of that relationship can affect the trucking company’s liability for the accident.
The upshot of having so many parties involved is that there are more ways for the victim to recover compensation. However, actually getting to that compensation can be difficult because there are multiple defendants with their own lawyers and insurance carriers.
Federal laws, profits affect truck accident victims
Unlike accidents involving passenger cars, truck accidents frequently involve federal laws and regulations. Truck drivers are held to high legal standards, including hours of service (HOS) regulations that limit their time behind the wheel. They are banned from texting and driving nationwide and considered legally impaired with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.04 – half the legal limit for other motorists.
In principle, those laws and regulations should keep motorists safe. But trucking is a big business, with hundreds of billions of dollars in revenue yearly – and the faster the trucking companies can move their freight, the more profits they make. That’s why they frequently skirt those federal regulations that are expressly designed to reduce the risk of accidents. Our attorneys have handled cases in which trucking companies falsified background checks, overloaded trucks, failed to address serious mechanical issues and pressured drivers to the point of working through mandatory breaks and using drugs to meet unreasonable delivery schedules.
When trucking companies engage in these unsafe practices, people get hurt. But holding them accountable for their actions can be difficult. Those same sky-high profits mean the trucking companies have massive resources and will hire teams of attorneys to protect their bottom line. Because the injuries sustained in truck accidents are so severe, the trucking companies and their insurance companies will fight your claim every step of the way. And they have a built-in advantage because they control much of the critical evidence for your claim.