After suffering a severe injury or losing a loved one in a tractor trailer or commercial truck accident in Omaha, the insurance company defending the trucking company is not on your side. Although the adjuster may seem empathetic and kind, their job is to pay out as little money as possible.
Insurance providers for trucking companies often make an attempt to resolve your claim quickly. Typically, they offer, what seems like, a significant amount of money. Despite how nice they may sound, these settlements are almost never sufficient to cover the cost of your necessary long-term care. Never accept a settlement or sign any documents before getting legal counsel from a skilled and seasoned Omaha truck accident lawyer.
If you have been injured in a truck accident, the Metier Law Firm will fiercely defend your rights at all costs. Our Omaha lawyers understand the unique challenges with commercial truck and 18-wheeler accident cases, and we have experience winning settlements and verdicts for our clients. Contact us today at 866-377-3800, day or night, for a free consultation.
How Are Truck Crashes Different from Car Crashes?
Truck accidents frequently involve more than one liable party, unlike accidents involving passenger cars where there is only one other driver. The company that owns the attached trailer, the company that loaded the truck, and the company that services the truck are all possible liable parties.
Truck companies are required to abide by specific state and federal laws that were made to prevent truck accidents. An example is requiring the truck driver to follow an inspection checklist before driving – even if they stopped to fill up their tank. Blowouts and brake failures should not happen if these inspections are done regularly and properly.
There are frequently multiple attorneys representing each company and that company's insurance provider in every single case. As a result, you might find yourself dealing with a legion of attorneys rather than just one driver, one insurance provider, and one lawyer. That is why it is so important to hire a truck accident attorney from our Omaha law firm. We level the field.
If you or a loved one were seriously injured or killed in a commercial truck accident in or around Omaha, you should talk to a lawyer as soon as possible. Commercial truck accident claims are much more complicated than regular car accident claims, and you will need an experienced Omaha truck accident lawyer to fight on your behalf.
How To Choose a Truck Accident Attorney?
You must first hire a Nebraska truck accident attorney with a proven track record of successfully representing clients who have suffered severe injuries in truck accidents. Even without the complexity of a truck crash, severe injury claims are already very complex.
Second, you require a lawyer with extensive knowledge of truck crash cases. He or she will need to be able to demonstrate the fault of third parties while also being able to locate hidden additional layers of insurance. Victims of severe injuries deserve all the compensation an Omaha truck accident lawyer can secure for them.
Third, a law firm that can handle trucking cases is important because these cases are much more expensive, time-consuming, and resource-intensive than other types of cases. Some lawyers who seek our assistance have the expertise to succeed in a truck case but lack the personnel or financial resources.
Fourth, you require the services of a local attorney in the region where your accident occurred. If you want your case to succeed, having local knowledge of the terrain, the weather, and other factors can be crucial.
Choose a law firm that has attorneys who are Board Certified in Truck Accident litigation as a final option. Just as you would want a Board Certified surgeon operating, your truck accident attorney should be no different.
Why Are Commercial Truck Black Boxes Important for Truck Accident Victims?
Because they provide information about how and why a crash occurred that cannot be found anywhere else, black boxes are crucial for those hurt in trucking accidents. Black boxes can assist in demonstrating what transpired prior to and following a terrible tractor-trailer crash. The recordings are frequently required by an Omaha truck accident lawyer to demonstrate that a truck driver was fatigued, overworked, or careless.
Black box data is unquestionably valuable, but obtaining it can be challenging. Trucking companies won't provide black box data to accident victims. Since most devices delete data after a predetermined number of truck starts or after a predetermined amount of time, they probably won't even try to save it.
If you or a loved one was hurt in a tractor-trailer accident, you must speak with a qualified trucking accident lawyer as soon as you can. By writing a spoliation letter to the trucking company and demanding that the contents of the black box be saved and sent to them, your Omaha truck crash attorney can prevent this data from being lost.
Your truck accident attorney must understand how to obtain the black box data as well as how to use it to strengthen your case. You must be very knowledgeable about truck mechanics, trucking industry regulations, and safety regulations in order to accomplish this. Additionally, one or more experts may need to be hired to assist with the investigation or provide testimony in court regarding issues such as truck driver fatigue, FMCSA compliance, tractor trailer brake systems, the physics of semi-truck crashes, or the operation of black boxes.
What are Common Injuries in Truck Accidents?
Everyone hurt in crashes involving 18-wheelers experiences severe consequences. The majority of collisions between semi-trucks and passenger cars are very serious. The safety equipment that protects you is designed for impacts with 2,000lbs cars – not 80,000lbs tractor trailers.
Our law firm sees the following serious injuries caused by truck collisions:
- Neck injuries
- Back injuries
- Seat Belt injuries
- Broken bones
- Rib and torso injuries
- Head injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Internal organ injuries
- Burn injuries
Many of these injuries take a long time to heal. It could cost a fortune and take years to treat them – if they ever heal. In order to ensure that you receive the compensation you need to cover your medical expenses, your truck accident lawyer should have extensive experience winning large verdicts and settlements for severely injured clients.
Common Causes from Truck Accidents in Omaha
The main federal law governing the commercial trucking sector is the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Act. It was crafted to mitigate almost every truck accident-causing factor. The truck industry is further regulated by additional state laws, so your lawyer needs to be aware of how both federal and state laws affect your case.
When truck companies put profits before people and fail to follow industry safety requirements, preventable truck crashes occur. In the Omaha region, some of the most frequent causes of collisions involving trucks:
- Driver fatigue
- Driver inexperience
- Lack of training/negligence during the hiring process
- Overloaded/overstuffed trucks
- Brake/mechanical failure/defect
- Poor/dangerous driving conditions
- Speeding/otherwise careless driving
- Failure to yield right of way
- Aggressive driving behavior
- Driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol
Who is Liable for my Truck Accident?
The truck company is ultimately to blame. Even if the truck driver was negligent and unfocused, the trucking company and sometimes other parties are held responsible for truck crashes.
The likelihood of a truck accident is increased by both driver error and company failure to enforce standards. When a truck driver makes a mistake or when one or more parties prioritize profit over people’s safety, crashes occur and lives are devastated.
Here are five of the most prevalent and avoidable reasons for truck collisions and the potential liable party:
1. Driver Fatigue
Drivers put everyone on the road and themselves in danger when they fail to take their required breaks. They are typically pressured to do this by short deadlines, hectic schedules, and company demands that they meet delivery dates or risk being fired.
2. Distracted Driving
States like Nebraska have a lot of featureless land and long stretches of flat roads. Phones, tablets, apps, social media, and other technology can divert drivers. Even one of our cases involved a motorist watching exercise videos behind the wheel. Due to this, it is against the law for drivers to text or use a smartphone or cell phone while operating a commercial motor vehicle, according to federal regulations.
3. Underinflated Tires
Both the people who take care of the truck's maintenance and the drivers themselves need to check the tires. Tires that aren't inflated enough wear out faster and can damage their casings or even burst if they aren't inflated enough. When a truck tire blows out, rubber and steel pieces can fly off and hurt people in other cars.
4. Mechanical Failure
If a truck's brakes fail, it will crash into the cars in front of it, hurting or killing people. Large trucks used for business need to have their brakes and other parts checked often. When they aren't or when the wrong parts are used to save money, accidents often happen.
5. Improperly Loaded Cargo
The driver and whoever is in charge of the truck need to make sure it is loaded safely. If this doesn't happen, the cargo could move while the truck is moving, causing the driver to lose control and cause a serious accident.
All of these can be avoided if the driver and the company follow the law and put safety ahead of their profit. If you were injured or lost a loved one in a truck crash, contact our Omaha truck accident attorneys today.