If you or a loved one was injured or killed in a truck accident, you may be
- severely injured
- suffering from extreme pain
- racking up medical bills/hospital bills
- losing income; or
- grieving or suffering emotional distress from the loss of a loved one
Your injury could be permanent, and you may never recover completely. You may require medical care for the rest of your life. In truck accident cases, large money damage awards are needed to fully compensate for all of your harms and losses. You only have one chance to gain the maximum compensation that you deserve. Trucking companies have large commercial insurance policies that will be guarded by insurance defense lawyers or an insurance defense law firm that are sophisticated adversaries. The defense lawyer’s job is to protect the insurance company, protect the policy, and keep the payout low. You will need a Delaware truck accident attorney to counter their efforts. Below are some of the steps Delaware truck accident attorney Jason R. Antoine may take to maximize your recovery.
The first step in recovering for injuries in a Delaware truck accident case is establishing the fault of the truck driver or trucking company. Truck drivers are not supposed to needlessly endanger other drivers on the road. Truck drivers are required to obtain a commercial driver’s license (CDL) when the combined weight of the truck and trailer is over 26,000 pounds. Professional drivers with the CDL are supposed to adhere to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCA) for your safety and the safety of all other drivers on the road. These rules are taught in the CDL course. If the driver or motor carrier chooses to violate these safety rules and injures someone, they will be held responsible for harms and losses that they cause.
The following are examples of potential violations on the part of a truck driver or trucking company:
- Weight violations
- Overloading/improper loading
- Faulty equipment
- Maintenance issues
- Defective brakes
- Defective tires
- Tiredness/Driver Fatigue
- Drug or alcohol violations
- Excessive speed/traveling too fast for conditions
- Careless driving
- Failure to yield
- Improper turn
- Driver error
- Distracted driving
- Cell phone use
Once it is established that the driver or company was at fault, the second step is to establish the damages or compensation that you deserve .
In a Delaware truck accident or semi-accident you are entitled to payment for
- medical bills
- hospital bills
- cost of future medical treatment
- past and future lost wages
- reduced earning capacity
- pain and suffering (past, present and future)
- reduced quality of life
- increased risk of future injury
- loss of companionship
- repair and replace damaged property
In these commercial trucking injury cases the dollar value can be significant due to the seriousness of the injury due to the weight and size of the tractor trailer impact.
The third step is to collect the money that you are owed for your harms and losses. This can be done in various ways.
- Demand Letter and Settlement - on behalf of my client, I draft a demand to the truck driver’s insurance company demanding a specific amount to cover all of the damages. The insurance company will usually come with a low counteroffer. From there, the negotiations will begin. If the trucker’s insurance company offers you a settlement offer you are willing to accept, you would sign a release and the insurance company would issue a settlement check.
- Filing a Lawsuit – if the insurance company does not offer a sufficient cash settlement, you have the option to file a complaint in the Delaware courts against the truck driver and/or the trucking company. The insurance company lawyer will have to defend the case on behalf of the trucker or trucking company. Once the lawsuit is filed and served, the litigation process will begin. You will have the opportunity to settle the suit if the insurance company decides to upgrade your offer to something you are willing to accept.
- Trial – in some cases the trucking company may not admit fault or may not agree to pay you what your case is worth and you will have to go to trial. Delaware civil trials for trucking accidents are typically heard in the Delaware Superior Court and tried before a jury of 12 Delaware citizens. The jury would decide how much money your case is worth.
There are various types of commercial motor vehicles that can cause trucking accidents including:
- Tractor trailers
- 18-wheelers or “big rigs”
- Semi-trailer trucks
- Tanker Vehicles
- Box trucks
- Dump trucks
- Passenger buses
- School buses
- DART buses
- Passenger vans
- Cargo Vans
- Cement mixers
Jason R. Antoine, Delaware Truck Accident attorney handles all types of trucking cases and gives free in-office consultations on truck accident cases involving serious personal injuries. You can call our office to set up this free consultation by calling 302-482-4802 or filling out our contact form. It is free to meet with a truck accident attorney and have Mr. Antoine thoroughly review the case.