If you suffered injuries in a truck accident, you may have the right to take action against the truck driver and the driver’s employer, holding the trucking company accountable and possibly recovering a payout to help you with the related expenses, care costs, compensate you for your pain and suffering, and more.
A truck accident lawyer from Distasio Law Firm may be able to help you build your case by investigating the cause of the accident, determining how the truck driver’s negligence played a role or if other factors were involved, and ensuring we can hold the trucking company liable based on the facts of your case.
Call (813) 981-1035 today. A truck accident lawyer from Distasio Law Firm may be able to help. We will discuss your case with you, help you understand your rights, and determine if an attorney can help you seek a payout for your losses.
Is It Worth Hiring a Truck Accident Lawyer?
A truck accident lawyer from Distasio Law Firm can greatly reduce your stress while also increasing the chances you will have the evidence and documentation necessary to recover compensation based on the facts of your injuries and your accident case. A truck accident attorney who regularly handles these cases knows what to look for during their investigation and how to prove negligence, vicarious liability, and the value of your damages.
In many cases, a truck accident attorney may be able to identify and document current or future accident-related losses that you may not have considered if you try to pursue your insurance claim and settlement agreement on your own. Because we work in many cases like yours, we know the most common types of damages as well as where to look for more unique losses.
While you will have to pay a portion of your settlement to the attorney who represented you and provided a range of legal services throughout your case, you may also be able to recover more because of the case the attorney builds. In this way, you could walk away with even more than you would on your own, despite having to pay your lawyer.
What Is the Average Settlement for a Truck Accident?
There is no such thing as an “average” truck accident, so there is no such thing as an “average” settlement after a truck accident. The recoverable damages following a truck accident can vary widely, depending on the facts of your case. Factors that may play a role in the settlement value for your case include:
- The nature of your injuries
- The severity of your injuries
- The necessary treatment and care required for your injuries
- The actions of the truck driver that led to your accident
- If there was any shared fault for the accident; if you also contributed to the accident
- Other factors may also play a role
The ability and experience of those negotiating with the insurance company can also affect your settlement after a truck accident. If you attempt this on your own, you may not be aware of the techniques to use or the tactics the insurance company may use to try to limit how much they pay you.
An attorney who handles negotiations like these regularly may be able to go after a fair payout more aggressively than you can on your own. Negotiation requires understanding your losses, understanding the strength of your case, and knowing that the insurance company likely does not want to go to court any more than you do.
However, if the insurance company refuses to put forward a fair settlement, you need to be willing to take legal action if that is the only way to get compensation for your damages.
What Damages Can I Collect for a Truck Accident?
Whether you reach a fair settlement offer or go to trial with your case, you may be able to recover current and future compensatory damages, which includes compensation for your injuries, as well as many other losses and expenses. In addition to common types of compensatory damages, punitive damages may be available in some cases.
Economic damages in a truck accident case may include:
- Medical treatment and care
- The cost of future medical care for your injuries
- Ongoing care costs
- Lost wages and future lost wages or loss of earning ability
- Property loss, including repair of your vehicle or a replacement vehicle
- Rental car costs
- Other related expenses, with receipts
Non-economic damages are more intangible, making it difficult to put a price on them. We know how to calculate the value of these damages. These damages may include:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment
- Loss of consortium
Punitive damages are rare in traffic accident cases but may be available based on the specific details of your accident. Under many state laws, the courts will only grant accident victims punitive damages—designed to penalize the trucking company—if there is evidence of intentional misconduct or gross negligence.
For example, if the trucking company knew there was an issue with the truck or trailer but needed to ensure the cargo was delivered and sent the truck and its load on the road anyway, this may warrant punitive damages.
Wrongful Death Damages
If a member of your family died from the injuries they suffered in a truck accident, you may be eligible to recover compensation for wrongful death damages.
Can I Sue Someone Personally After a Truck Accident?
State laws allow truck accident victims to pursue lawsuits under some circumstances. Following a car accident that resulted in serious injuries, you might be able to take the at-fault driver to court, suing them personally for the injuries you sustained and losses you incurred. After a truck accident, the primarily liable party is generally a corporation that employed the truck driver.
If you can prove the truck driver acted negligently and was, therefore, responsible for causing your accident, you may be able to hold the trucking company accountable. This accountability would allow you to recover a payout from the company and their insurer, either through the insurance claim process or through a personal injury lawsuit.
While you may not be suing an individual for your truck accident, you may have the right to pursue a personal injury lawsuit based on your injuries.
Will My Truck Accident Lawyer Deal with the Insurance Companies for Me?
If we take on your accident case, a truck accident lawyer from Distasio Law Firm will manage the insurance company on your behalf, representing you to the trucking company’s insurer every step of the way. This representation is a key part of protecting your right to seek and possibly secure a fair payout based on your injuries and damages.
The bottom line is that insurance companies are not looking out for you, not the trucking company’s insurer and not your own insurance company. They focus on protecting their bottom line. They want to pay out as little as possible in your case. To this end, they could use any statements you make against you to decrease your recoverable damages.
This tactic is why we handle this process for our clients. We want to ensure the trucking company’s insurance carrier knows the strength of your case and is well aware of the evidence we have to prove their policyholder is liable. We will walk you through any statements you need to give and be by your side throughout the entire process.
If there are allegations of contributory negligence, we may be able to mitigate the allegations that you contributed to your own injuries and minimize the effect this has on your claim or lawsuit.
How Long Does a Truck Accident Claim Take to Settle?
There is no set time on how long it could take to reach a settlement or secure a court award in your truck accident case. It depends greatly on many factors, such as:
- How quickly we get started on your case
- The complexity of your case
- Your prognosis and future care needs
- Whether or not we need to work with experts to prove your case
- Whether we need to take your case to court
- Many other factors
We encourage you to reach out to us early following your truck accident so that we can work on your case as soon as possible. After a free case evaluation, if we decide we can help, we can begin an investigation into your case. This investigation will take some time, especially because we will need to communicate with witnesses, protect the evidence held by the trucking company, obtain your medical records, and take other steps to develop a strong case.
Then, we will file the insurance claim and attempt to reach a negotiated settlement. If this is not successful in securing a fair payout, we will need to take your case to court.
To get started right away, contact Distasio Law Firm as soon as you can after your injuries are stable. You can speak with us today at (813) 981-1035. Our initial consultations are always free.
Do You Have to Go to Court for a Truck Accident?
You may not have to go to court to recover compensation after a truck accident. Most cases settle out of court, never going to trial. In fact, we may not have to file a personal injury lawsuit in your case at all. Often, we are able to present evidence to support your insurance claim against the trucking company and convince them their policyholder is, indeed, liable for your injuries. This evidence makes it possible to negotiate with them.
If this happens in your case, a truck accident lawyer from Distasio Law Firm may be able to take steps to recover your settlement without going to court. Once we have evidence to support negligence and liability, we will demand compensation based on the documentation of your injuries and losses we collected.
We will enter into negotiations and push for a fair settlement agreement in your case. We will only settle if it is a just settlement based on the value of your case and if you agree that you want to settle.
In some cases, we may have to go to court if the insurance company refuses a fair settlement offer in your case. However, this is not the most common outcome, and we will be by your side throughout the process if we do.
What Happens If the At-Fault Party Doesn’t Have Truck Insurance?
Most trucking companies carry large liability policies that we file a claim against when pursuing compensation for our clients in a truck accident case. These policies allow us to seek and often recover damages for accident victims. If the trucking company does not have liability insurance, or there is no other insurance provider to turn to, we may need to seek alternative options to pursue compensation in your case.
While some states do not require it, many drivers carry uninsured motorist and underinsured motorist coverage. If you have this type of insurance coverage, we may be able to file a claim based on it and recover a settlement for your damages.
Another alternative may be to file a lawsuit against the trucking company and hold the corporation accountable in court. This alternative may be possible if the company has the assets to cover your damages, which many corporations may have.
Who Can Be Sued in a Truck Accident Case?
When Distasio Law Firm pursues a truck accident case, the defendant is generally the trucking company or another large corporation who hired the driver and employed them to carry cargo from one place to another. In most cases, this is a company that operates a fleet of trucks, although sometimes it may be a large corporation with its own tractor-trailer trucks or a smaller entity with delivery trucks or cargo trucks.
It may be possible for us to hold the driver’s employer vicariously liable if:
- The truck driver was an employee of the company; and
- The driver was acting within the course and scope of their job at the time of the accident, such as driving their truck.
While some states limit the amount of damages available under vicarious liability, these limits may not apply in commercial vehicle accident cases.
In some truck accident situations, there may be additional liable parties. This most often occurs if there was a defective part, repair, or maintenance of the truck. When parts fail because of defects, poor repair, or maintenance, there may be other liable parties, which could include:
- The parts designer or manufacturer
- A tire company or other maker of equipment
- A company tasked with maintenance or repair of a truck or trailer
What Percentage Do Accident Lawyers Take?
Lawyer’s fees are generally assessed as a percentage of the total settlement or award secured in your truck accident case. They can vary somewhat depending on the complexity of your case and other factors. However, you can expect to pay your attorney between one third and 40 percent of your accident settlement if you receive a payout from the trucking company’s insurance carrier without going to court.
Before you sign on with Distasio Law Firm, we will discuss our contract with you in detail and explain any concerns you may have. This contract will include the percentages we will take if we secure an out-of-court settlement for you and the attorney’s fees if we need to take your case to court.
While between 33 and 40 percent of an accident settlement may seem like a lot, our clients often say that we identify losses they had overlooked and are able to negotiate more just settlements than they could have on their own. In this way, you could walk away with more money even after paying attorney’s fees—and without a lot of the stress and hassle of navigating this process on your own.
What Lawyer Deals with Truck Accidents?
Most lawyers who deal with truck accident cases are personal injury lawyers who understand local traffic accident laws and have taken on many car accident cases. They know how the state’s courts deal with commercial accident cases and have the experience to go toe-to-toe with large corporations without flinching.
When you hire a truck accident lawyer from Distasio Law Firm, you can count on us to know how to navigate this process, including the steps that are generally unique to commercial vehicle accident cases or 18-wheeler accidents. This includes:
- Sending spoliation notices, sometimes called litigation holds or preservation letters, to protect the evidence held by the trucking company
- Proving the elements of respondeat superior to confirm the possibility of vicarious liability
- Considering other ways the trucking company might be liable, including negligent hiring, training, or maintenance.
To learn more about how a personal injury lawyer may be able to help you with your truck accident case, call Distasio Law Firm today at (813) 981-1035. We can answer your questions about our services and representation, offer information about our experience with this type of case, and evaluate the strength of your truck accident injury case for free.
What Can I Do to Protect My Rights After a Truck Accident?
Protecting your rights to pursue compensation following a truck accident is one of the most important things you can do after your accident. It is imperative that you are very careful what you say to the police, truck driver, insurance companies, or others about your accident and injuries. This includes:
- Never accepting blame or taking blame for the accident
- Not downplaying your injuries or saying you are not hurt
- Not refusing medical care
- Not discussing your accident in detail with any insurance company or other party
- Not posting details about your accident on social media
It is important to understand that an insurance company may take even seemingly harmless statements and use them against you to reduce the compensation available in your settlement. We generally recommend avoiding these conversations when possible.
If you contact us quickly after your accident, we may be able to protect your rights on your behalf, lifting this weight off of your shoulders. When we represent you in your truck accident case, we will advise you on what to say and when, carefully managing all contact with the insurance companies, the trucking company, and all other parties.
We can also work to track and meet all deadlines in your case, as long as we know about your case in time. This service is important because missing some key deadlines could cause you to lose the right to take your case to court and seek a financial award from the judge and jury.
How Much Will It Cost to Hire a Truck Accident Lawyer?
Most personal injury attorneys do not charge anything up front. Unlike other types of attorneys, they do not rely on retainers to ensure they have the money to cover their costs. Instead, they receive their fees in the form of a percentage of the settlement or award they secure for the client.
At Distasio Law Firm, we take on truck accident cases based on contingency, as well. You pay nothing out of your pocket for our services or representation. We evaluate the merits of your case during your initial consultation, and we determine during this conversation if we believe we can recover a payout for you based on your truck accident case and the applicable state laws.
If we accept your case, and we decide to work together, you will sign a contract outlining how the fees will work. This contract includes the percentage you will pay us out of your settlement or other compensation. If we are not able to recover a payout for you for some reason, you will not owe us any attorney’s fees.
How Much Should You Settle for After a Truck Accident?
A truck accident lawyer from Distasio Law Firm will help you determine how much you should settle for after a tractor-trailer accident. There is no set amount a truck accident is worth since each accident has so many unique factors specific to that case.
As a part of handling your case, we will calculate your truck accident losses and put a value on it. This service will include documenting and providing evidence to support a variety of damages, including both economic losses and more intangible damages such as physical pain and suffering, emotional distress, and more.
Agreeing to a settlement before you understand the value of your case and what a fair settlement might look like is not a good idea. It could mean dramatically undervaluing your expenses and losses and leaving a lot of money unclaimed. This, in turn, could result in not having the money you need to pay for future medical treatment or other related expenses.
How Much Is a Rear-End Accident Worth?
Like other types of traffic accident cases, there is no way to determine how much a rear-end accident with a tractor-trailer truck is worth without taking the steps to fully understand your accident case, prove negligence, and put a fair settlement value on your case.
Rear-end truck accident cases generally occur when the victim’s vehicle is still slowing down, or stops and the truck following them does not stop in time. This accident is generally the result of negligence, often because:
- The driver was speeding
- The driver was following too closely
- The driver was distracted
- The driver was fatigued
- The driver was drunk or otherwise intoxicated
- There was a problem with the brakes on the truck
The strength of your case to prove how and why the truck driver caused your accident, and the value of your damages, will both play a significant role in how much a rear-end truck accident might be worth.
How Much Do Lawyers Charge for Accident Claims?
Just like there is no set settlement value for a truck accident, there is no set price for lawyers to handle accident claims. Following a truck accident, an attorney generally works based on a percentage of your settlement or award from the court. In most cases, you will not pay anything up front. With no upfront costs, this allows all accident victims who qualify to hold the liable party accountable and seek compensation.
At Distasio Law Firm, we believe everyone who suffered harm because of a truck driver’s negligent actions deserves justice. If we believe we can build a case against the trucking company and recover compensation, we will do so at no upfront cost to you. We only get paid out of your settlement, never out of your pocket.
Call (813) 981-1035 today to learn more about our services or review our pricing structure.
How Long Do I Have to File a Lawsuit After a Truck Accident?
Every state has rules in place that limit how long you have to take legal action. The statute of limitations that applies in truck accident cases is generally the same one that sets the deadline for all other personal injury cases. These time frames are typically set anywhere from two to four years after your accident.
Depending on the facts of your case, other deadlines and statutes may apply. Working with an attorney from the first weeks or months following your accident can play an important role in ensuring you are aware of all deadlines and can meet them. Failing to meet these deadlines could result in losing the right to take legal action.
Can You Sue for a Rear-End Collision?
If we believe your case against the truck driver and trucking company has merit, we can help you pursue a case based on a rear-end collision. While we may be able to settle this type of case without taking it to a civil court, suing for damages may be necessary—and possible—in some cases.
When you first contact us, we will evaluate your rear-end truck accident case to determine if we believe you are eligible to file a personal injury lawsuit based on your injuries and other facts of your case. If we believe you can sue for your rear-end collision, we may offer to take on your case and seek compensation.
While the rear driver is generally at-fault in these cases, you could even have a case if you hit a semi-truck from behind, although this is much rarer. Let us take a look at your case to learn if you may qualify to take legal action.
When Should You Get a Lawyer for a Truck Accident?
At Distasio Law Firm, we like to get started on truck accidents as soon as possible after they occur. We recommend reaching out to a law firm as soon as your injuries stabilize, and you are able to make the phone call. There are several advantages to enlisting the help of a truck accident lawyer as early as possible in the process. This includes:
Protecting Your Rights
If we go to work on your case quickly after your accident, we can handle all the exchanges between you and the insurance companies involved. This representation will protect your right to pursue a payout because it will reduce or eliminate any statements you may make that the insurer will try to use against you.
Evidence in a truck accident case is often in a precarious situation since much of it is in the hands of the trucker’s employer, who is likely to be the defendant in the case. We need to act quickly to preserve this evidence and gain access to it in the event it will support our claim against them.
Pursuing a Settlement
The sooner we can work on building a case and documenting your losses, the sooner we may be able to file your insurance claim and begin the negotiation process. Navigating truck accident claims takes time, but we will go to work for you as soon as possible.
Reducing Your Stress
When you have an attorney taking care of your case, you will not need to worry as much about the next steps you need to take, when to take them, and how to handle your claim. Instead, you can focus on treatment and healing while we take care of your claim.
How Do I Find a Good Truck Accident Lawyer?
Finding a good truck accident lawyer is not always easy. You will need to find someone you believe can handle your case, someone you trust, and someone who fits well with your personality and approach. While you can read online reviews, ask friends for recommendations, or make a list of names you see in commercials or on billboards, it will likely come down to how you feel after your initial consultation.
While law firms use free case reviews and consultations as a time to determine if they can help you with your case, you should use them to learn as much as possible about the firm. If you feel comfortable with the firm and the approach after your initial consultation, you have likely found a good truck accident lawyer for you.
At Distasio Law Firm, we encourage truck accident victims to call (813) 981-1035 to discuss their injuries and accidents with us. We can talk with you about our services, our approach to truck accident cases, your rights, and your eligibility to take legal action during your free consultation.
What Does a Truck Accident Lawyer Do?
A truck accident lawyer will represent you and your best interests from the time you sign an agreement to work with them through the conclusion of your case. This service includes taking the many steps necessary to navigate the truck accident claims process, both in front of and behind the scenes.
Before demanding a fair payout, your attorney will need to:
- Take steps to preserve evidence held by the trucking company.
- Gather evidence to prove the driver’s negligence.
- Confirm the trucking company’s liability.
- Show you suffered serious injuries and can pursue a fault-based claim.
- Document your accident-related damages.
Then, your attorney will file your insurance claim and demand the insurance company pays out a fair settlement based on the evidence you presented. This could require:
- Providing documentation to the insurance carrier
- Negotiating for a just settlement
- Rejecting unfair, low-ball settlement offers
- Mitigating any allegations of contributory negligence
If your attorney does not reach a settlement, a personal injury lawsuit may be necessary. They will also handle this process on your behalf. They will represent you in court and to the judge and jury. They will present the evidence on your behalf and fight for an award that compensates you for your injuries and losses.
What to Do After a Truck Accident?
The main priority after a truck accident should be to ensure you are safe and get the medical care you need. If you believe you have injuries, you should seek care right away. Chances are, though, that you have already taken the initial steps to get medical care by the time you are reading this. The next steps you should take will help to prove your case and protect your rights.
First, sit down and write your full account of what happened as best as you can from memory, while the memories are still fresh. Avoid your opinions or guesses of what happened, but include as many facts and details as possible. If you cannot write for some reason, use a voice recorder on your phone, ask a loved one to help, or otherwise get the information recorded. Memories fade faster than many people realize.
Next, contact Distasio Law Firm. Even if you are not sure you have a case against the trucking company, let us assess your case and help you understand your rights.
How Truck Accidents Are Different Than Car Accidents
Truck accidents are different from car accidents in several ways. First and foremost, they are often more serious. The sheer size of an 18-wheeler can do much more property damage to a passenger vehicle, as well as causing more severe injuries to occupants. This means there are more likely to be catastrophic and permanent injuries.
Truck accidents are also more complex because of the concept of vicarious liability and holding the trucking companies accountable. This requires us to prove this applies in your case, as well as protect the evidence held by the company since they will become the defendant in your case if we need to file a lawsuit.
Lastly, there are limits on vicarious liability that would apply in a car accident case, such as when someone causes an accident in a borrowed car, that does not apply in commercial vehicle accident cases.
Is the Truck Driver or Trucking Company Responsible in a Truck Accident?
While the truck driver may be at-fault for your accident, the trucking company is generally the liable party who will serve as the defendant in a lawsuit if we need to take your case to court. This liability is generally possible because of a legal doctrine known as respondeat superior. While there are other legal ways to hold an employer liable under state law, this one is most common.
In general, we need to show two things to hold the truck driver’s employer vicariously liable after the trucker’s negligence causes an accident:
The Driver Is Employed by the Trucking Company
We will need to show that the driver works for the trucking company, which does not necessarily mean they are classified as an employee under U.S. tax laws. Instead, it means the trucking company pays them for moving and delivering their cargo. This arrangement may mean that the trucking company is responsible even if the driver is:
- An independent contractor
- An owner-operator
- Classified in another way for tax purposes
The Driver Was Acting Within the Scope of Their Employment
When a truck driver is behind the wheel of a truck, either taking cargo to a final destination or returning home after a delivery, they are acting within the scope of their employment. Almost any time a driver is working and that work will benefit the employer, the employer will likely be liable for negligence.
Types of Truck Accidents
Truck accidents can and do occur in many different ways. This includes:
- Head-on accidents
- Rear-end accidents
- Side impact accidents
- Underride and override truck accidents
- Jackknife accidents
- Rollover accidents
- Accidents related to tire problems, such as blowouts or lost treads
- Blindspot and wide-turn accidents
- Cargo-related truck accidents, including lost loads and shifting loads
At Distasio Law Firm, we know how to build a case based on any of these types of truck accidents. We may be able to prove your case and seek a payout based on it, no matter how your truck accident occurred. We also work closely with accident reconstruction specialists and other experts who can help us understand what caused your truck accident and the role each party played if any.
How Negligence Is Established in a Truck Accident
Proving negligence in any traffic accident case requires us to identify and present evidence to prove the four factors that comprise negligence. These four factors include:
- The party in question had a certain duty to do something, such as stop at a red light.
- The party failed to do what they were supposed to do.
- Their action or inaction caused your vehicles to collide or hurt you in another way.
- You suffered financial and physical harm as a result and can prove your recoverable damages.
One of the first things we will do in your case is to begin gathering evidence to prove negligence. This evidence will include requesting a copy of the police report, talking to eyewitnesses, and digging into the evidence possibly in the hands of the trucking company, such as dashcam video of the accident, data from the truck’s computer, and more.
Proving the truck driver acted negligently and caused your accident is key in holding the trucking company accountable and recovering your payout.
Speak with Us About Your Truck Accident Today
A truck accident lawyer from Distasio Law Firm may be able to help you build a case, hold the liable parties accountable, and secure compensation based on the value of your truck accident losses. We understand how truck accident cases work and how to build a strong case on the victim’s behalf.
We will review your case at no cost to you, and if you qualify, pursue your payout at no out-of-pocket cost to you as well. We receive our attorney’s fees only if we reach a settlement in your case or represent you in court and secure an award. We only get paid when you do.
Call us at (813) 981-1035 today for your case consultation with Distasio Law Firm. We are committed to helping accident victims get the support and representation they deserve.