Potomac, MD Truck Accident Lawyer
18-wheelers are often much larger than other vehicles, and the damage they can cause to cars, trucks, and SUVs is often substantial. If you were hit by a truck driver, then you could be left with serious injuries that have kept you out of work and left you with growing medical expenses. Getting help often means turning to an attorney.
Our lawyers can work with you to file insurance claims and lawsuits to cover these bills and lost wages. That might mean filing a lawsuit against trucking companies directly for the harm their drivers have caused you. We can also work to recover pain and suffering damages to help set things right.
For a free case assessment, contact Rice, Murtha & Psoras’ truck accident attorneys today at (410) 694-7291.
Filing a Lawsuit vs. Filing an Insurance Claim for Truck Accident Injuries in Potomac, MD
When you are injured in any car accident, there should be insurance available to cover at least partial damages for your case. However, accepting the damages from an insurance payout could function as a settlement and put an end to your case, so you should never do this without reviewing your case with a truck accident attorney.
In Maryland, we use a fault-based or “tort” system for auto insurance. This means that the at-fault driver’s liability insurance is supposed to cover the vehicle damages and injuries they cause by paying for both economic damages like medical bills and lost wages as well as non-economic damages like pain and suffering. Nonetheless, insurance companies are often unwilling to pay for damages in full.
Truck drivers and the companies they work for are required to carry commercial driving insurance, which should have a high limit to its coverage for injuries in a crash. However, that does not mean insurance companies will always pay the maximum. Instead, insurance companies will typically undercut your damages or pay the bare minimum just to end the case.
Remember, accepting this payout in a fault insurance system often functions as a settlement that will end your case and prevent you from claiming additional damages. So it is vital to speak with a lawyer and wait until settlement negotiations have brought the claim up before you accept. If you have supplemental first-party benefits or medpay coverage on your own insurance, that can help you cover bills in the meantime without ending your case early.
Who is Responsible for Truck Accident Injuries in Potomac, MD?
When you file a truck accident lawsuit, you often file it against the truck driver and the company they work for. When accidents happen during the course of an employee’s job duties, the company that they work for is often liable. This is called “vicarious liability,” and it typically helps injured truck accident victims sue the trucking company.
However, trucking companies might make their own mistakes that make them partially liable for the crash in a much more direct manner. You could be entitled to sue the trucking company alongside the driver for failing to properly maintain and inspect their vehicles, for negligent hiring of drivers they failed to properly vet, or for violating trucking regulations by forcing drivers to work long hours. These and other violations could put the trucking company partly at fault.
In some accident cases, the trucker is not actually at fault, and you and the truck driver could both be victims of someone else’s negligence. For example, if a driver caused a multi-car pileup or swerved across a truck’s path, causing it and other cars to crash in its wake, then that driver could be at fault for everyone’s vehicle damage and injuries.
Working with an attorney is important to make sure that your case is filed against the proper parties to address your claim. In many cases, the trucking company will be in the best position to pay for the full damages, but you can only sue them for something their driver did within the scope of their duties or something the trucking company did in its own capacity. You cannot sue trucking companies for another driver’s mistakes or accidents truckers caused while off duty.
Damages for a Potomac, MD Truck Accident Injury Case
If you were hit by a truck, you could be left with substantial medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. These are the three major areas of damages that victims often claim in trucking accident cases, alongside other expenses like the cost of repairing or – more likely – replacing their vehicle.
Trucking companies and the insurance companies and legal teams that work for them will often try to limit liability and cut down the costs of damages in any way they can. This often means having your own attorney collect and present evidence of your damages. A strong record of medical bills, receipts for other expenses, pay stubs, and other financial records will help us prove a lot of the economic value of your various damages to prevent these companies from short-changing you. We can also speak with your doctors and investigate how the injuries affected your life to help argue for higher pain and suffering, emotional distress, and mental anguish damages.
Insurance policies might have limits on what the policy covers. However, lawsuits against trucking companies can result in the court ordering full compensation, potentially above insurance limits. In many cases, negligent trucking companies can also be made to pay additional punitive damages if their actions were part of a pattern of recklessness or if they ignored the risk of serious injury with dangerous trucks, dangerous drivers, or intentional violations of the law.
You should never trust the defendant’s or insurance company’s valuation of your case. Instead, have your lawyer assess the damages in your case and negotiate for a fair settlement. If a settlement cannot be reached, we will fight your case in court for full compensation.
Call Our Potomac, MD Trucking Accident Attorneys for a Free Case Assessment
Reach out to the truck accident lawyers at Rice, Murtha & Psoras today by dialing (410) 694-7291.