Why You Need a Truck Accident Lawyer

March 6, 2024 | Ed Bernstein
Why You Need a Truck Accident Lawyer

When trucking companies and truck drivers commit negligent acts, including traffic law violations and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) infractions, serious accidents may occur. In these accidents, drivers and passengers on the receiving end may suffer debilitating injuries that cause them to incur high medical costs, miss time from work, and experience ongoing pain and suffering.

If you suffered injuries in a truck accident, you likely have important legal options. Your truck accident attorney is an invaluable ally during the claim process. First, your lawyer can begin an investigation into how the truck accident happened and may file a claim with the at-fault party's insurance company on your behalf. They can then represent you during all settlement negotiations or litigation in the court system.

Throughout the entire process, your attorney will protect your legal interests, safeguard your rights, and pursue the full monetary award you need for your injuries.


Common Truck Accidents that Lead to Injuries

Need a Truck Accident Lawyer?

Commercial truck accidents involving tractor-trailers, big rigs, and 18-wheelers are often associated with specific scenarios that result in severe injuries for those involved. These accidents can have devastating consequences due to the size and weight disparity between commercial trucks and smaller vehicles.

  • Rear-End Collisions – One common type of commercial truck accident is rear-end collisions. When a large truck collides with the rear of a smaller vehicle, it can lead to significant injuries, including whiplash, spinal injuries, and head trauma for the occupants of the smaller vehicle.
  • Jackknife Accidents – Truck jackknife accidents occur when the trailer of a truck swings out of alignment with the cab. These accidents can result in catastrophic injuries, such as crushed vehicles, multiple collisions, and injuries ranging from broken bones to fatalities. 
  • Truck Rollover Accidents – Rollover accidents involving commercial trucks often stem from speeding, improper cargo loading, or abrupt steering maneuvers. Injuries resulting from rollovers can include fractures, spinal injuries, and head injuries.
  • Underride Accidents – Truck underride accidents happen when a smaller vehicle slides beneath the rear or side of a commercial truck. These accidents often lead to catastrophic injuries, including head and neck injuries, amputations, and fatal injuries.
  • Wide-Turn Accidents – Large trucks require more space to make turns, and when they make wide turns, they can collide with vehicles in adjacent travel lanes. Injuries from wide-turn accidents may include fractures, soft tissue injuries, and head injuries.
  • Tire Blowouts – Commercial trucks with tire blowouts can lose control, leading to accidents. Injuries resulting from these accidents may include fractures, traumatic brain injuries, and injuries caused by debris flying from the blown-out tire.
  • Cargo Spills – Accidents involving cargo spills from commercial trucks can cause injuries to occupants of other vehicles. Injuries may range from minor cuts and bruises to more severe injuries, depending on the nature of the spilled cargo.

Each type of commercial truck accident has its own risks and potential injuries. The effect on occupants of smaller vehicles can be particularly severe due to the sheer size and weight of commercial trucks. Addressing the aftermath of these accidents often involves pursuing legal recourse to seek compensation for injuries and damages resulting from the negligent actions of truck drivers or trucking companies.

The victim must establish specific legal elements for a successful truck accident claim or lawsuit. These elements are fundamental in demonstrating liability and seeking compensation for the damages they incurred.

  • Duty of Care – The first critical element is establishing that the truck driver or the trucking company owed a duty of care to others on the road, including the accident victim. While on the road, truck drivers must follow all traffic laws and FMCSA regulations. Commercial truck drivers are held to a higher standard of care due to the potential risks associated with their large vehicles. In a personal injury case, the accident victim must demonstrate that a specific duty of care was owed and applicable at the time of the accident.
  • Breach of Duty – After establishing the legal duty of care, the accident victim must prove that the duty was breached. This involves showing that the truck driver or the trucking company failed to exercise reasonable care and caution, and this failure contributed to the occurrence. Common breaches include speeding, distracted driving, fatigue, or inadequate truck maintenance. 
  • Causation – Causation is a crucial element linking the breach of duty to the victim's injuries. The accident victim must legally demonstrate that the truck driver's or trucking company's negligence was a direct and foreseeable cause of the accident and subsequent injuries. This involves establishing a clear cause-and-effect relationship between the negligent actions and the harm the accident victim ultimately suffered.
  • Damages – Finally, the accident victim must prove the damages they incurred as a direct and foreseeable result of the truck collision. Damages encompass both economic and non-economic losses, including medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, emotional distress, and any other measurable harm resulting from the accident. Documenting the extent of these damages is essential in determining the appropriate compensation.

Successfully proving these legal elements requires a comprehensive approach that often involves gathering evidence, consulting with experts, and presenting a compelling case. Engaging the services of an experienced truck accident attorney is instrumental in navigating the legal complexities, proving all necessary legal elements, and advocating for the accident victim's rights in pursuit of fair and just compensation.

Ways that a Truck Accident Lawyer Can Help You with Your Case

A truck accident attorney plays a crucial role in personal injury claims or lawsuits arising from a trucking company or truck driver's negligent behavior. Their experience is instrumental in navigating the complexities of the legal system and maximizing the chances of a successful outcome for the injured party.

  • Investigation – Truck accident cases often require a thorough investigation to gather evidence supporting the victim's claims. Attorneys have the resources to conduct investigations, gather witness statements, obtain accident reports, and consult with accident reconstruction specialists when necessary.
  • Legal Counsel and Guidance – A truck accident attorney provides invaluable legal counsel and guidance throughout the entire process. They help clients understand their rights, explain the legal issues of their cases, and offer insight into potential courses of action.
  • Establishing Liability – Proving liability is a central aspect of a truck accident case. Attorneys analyze the accident's circumstances to identify and establish the negligent actions of the truck driver or trucking company. This includes examining factors such as driver logs, maintenance records, and adherence to safety regulations.
  • Negotiating with Insurance Companies – Truck accident attorneys are skilled negotiators who engage with insurance companies on behalf of their clients. They work to secure fair and just settlements that adequately compensate victims for medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, and other accident-related losses. 
  • Expert Testimony – In complex cases, truck accident attorneys may enlist the expertise of professionals such as accident reconstruction specialists, medical professionals, and other relevant experts to provide testimony supporting the victim's case. This can strengthen the evidentiary foundation and bolster the credibility of the victim's claims.
  • Advocacy in Court – A truck accident attorney is ready to take the case to court if they cannot reach a fair settlement through negotiation. They advocate for their clients before a judge and jury, presenting a compelling case demonstrating the truck driver's or trucking company's negligence and the resulting harm the victim suffered.
  • Managing Legal Proceedings – Attorneys handle all legal aspects of the case, including filing necessary court documents, adhering to deadlines, and ensuring compliance with legal procedures. Their role is to alleviate the burden on the victim, allowing them to focus on recovery while the attorney manages the legal complexities.

Engaging a truck accident attorney is a proactive step for those seeking fair compensation and justice after suffering injuries from a trucking company or truck driver's negligence. The attorney's comprehensive approach, legal experience, and commitment to their client's well-being contribute to a more robust and effective pursuit of a favorable outcome.

What Happens at a Truck Accident Jury Trial?

A jury trial stemming from a truck accident involving the negligence of a truck driver or trucking company is a significant legal proceeding where the case is presented before a judge and a panel of impartial jurors. This trial serves as a platform to determine liability, assess damages, and deliver justice for the injured truck accident victim. During a trial, the following will take place:

  • Opening Statements – The trial begins with opening statements from both the accident victim’s (plaintiff's) attorney and the at-fault party’s (defense) attorney. Each side outlines its case, presenting an overview of the evidence it plans to present and the legal arguments supporting its position.
  • Presentation of Evidence – The heart of the trial involves the presentation of evidence. The plaintiff's attorney introduces witnesses, such as accident reconstruction experts, medical professionals, and eyewitnesses, to testify and provide factual support for their claims. The defense has the opportunity to cross-examine these witnesses.
  • Expert Testimony – Expert witnesses – often for both sides – may provide specialized knowledge relevant to the case. This can include accident reconstruction specialists, medical professionals, or other experts who can offer insights into the circumstances of the accident and the resulting injuries.
  • Direct Examination and Cross-Examination – Attorneys directly examine their witnesses and cross-examine the opposing party's witnesses. This process is essential for presenting and challenging evidence, assessing witness credibility, and building a compelling narrative for the jurors to consider.
  • Closing Arguments – After presenting evidence, both attorneys present closing arguments to summarize their case, highlight key points, and persuade the jury to find in their favor. Attorneys often re-emphasize legal elements, the negligence of the truck driver or company, and the resulting damages the plaintiff suffered.
  • Jury Deliberation – Following closing arguments, the case goes to the jury for deliberation. Jurors carefully review the evidence, assess witness credibility, and apply the law as the judge instructs to reach a verdict. Deliberations can take hours or days, depending upon the complexity of the truck accident case.
  • Verdict – The jury returns with a verdict, deciding the outcome of all disputed issues in the case, including fault and damages. 

The trial's outcome can significantly affect the lives of those involved, determining compensation and assigning responsibility for the damages resulting from the trucking company or truck driver's negligence.

Recoverable Monetary Damages in a Truck Accident Claim or Lawsuit

Recoverable Monetary Damages in a Truck Accident Claim

In the aftermath of a truck accident, pursuing monetary compensation becomes paramount for victims grappling with medical expenses, non-economic damages, and, in some cases, punitive damages. Securing reimbursement for medical bills is a primary focus, encompassing hospital stays, surgeries, rehabilitation, and ongoing treatments. Proactively seeking compensation for these economic losses involves navigating insurance claims, negotiations, or potentially filing a lawsuit.

Beyond tangible costs, truck accident victims may suffer non-economic damages, encompassing pain, suffering, emotional distress, and a diminished quality of life. Establishing the effect of these intangible losses requires adept legal representation that can effectively convey the human toll of the accident.

Punitive damages may come into play in cases of egregious negligence or willful misconduct. These damages aim to punish the at-fault party and deter similar behavior.

A strategic legal approach involves:

  • Swift action to ensure trucking companies preserve evidence.
  • Gathering documentation, physical evidence, and witness statements.
  • Collaborating with experts to establish liability.

Effective communication with insurance companies or presenting a persuasive case in court becomes crucial for achieving a favorable outcome. In navigating the complexities of a truck accident claim, victims benefit from retaining experienced legal counsel to guide them through the process.

Speak with a Truck Accident Lawyer in Your Area Right Away

Truck accidents can lead to extremely serious injuries that require ongoing medical treatment and bring about severe pain, suffering, and inconvenience.

Following a truck accident, an experienced personal injury attorney can be an invaluable help. This is especially true when filing a timely claim or lawsuit, effectively negotiating with insurance company representatives, or pursuing a favorable litigation result in the court system. Your attorney can skillfully handle every aspect of your case, increasing your chances of obtaining a favorable settlement offer or litigation result.

Seek a free consultation with a truck accident attorney today.


Ed Bernstein

Edward M. Bernstein, Esq. is the owner and founding partner of Edward M. Bernstein & Associates, and one of the most recognizable figures in Nevada. Ed is one of state’s premier personal injury attorneys and has hosted The Ed Bernstein Show for over 31 years. He has served the Las Vegas community for decades with dozens of community appointments and terms of service. In the year 2000, he was Nevada’s Democratic nominee for the United States Senate.

Ed received his B.A. from Long Island University in 1971 and his J.D. from Widener University in 1975. Since then, Ed’s professional accolades include numerous publications, honors and awards, court appointments, and has been named one of America’s Top 100 High Stakes Litigators.