1. When I’m involved in a crash with a semi-trailer truck in Gallup or McKinley County, how can I ensure that my legal rights are still protected?
In the immediate aftermath of the crash, a police report needs to be filed and your account of the accident needs to be provided. Soon after this takes place, contact a lawyer and have them issue what’s known as a spoliation letter to the trucking company, which will prevent them from getting rid of accident-related evidence.
The attorney should then look at the respective vehicle damage to begin building your case. That lawyer will instruct you not to speak or meet with anyone connected to the insurance company for the trucking company or the firm themselves. Doing so, or signing a document for them, could severely limit the amount of money you end up receiving or prevent you from receiving any compensation.
2. What legal differences exist between this type of accident and one involving another car?
The injuries suffered in a semi-trailer crash can potentially result in a significantly higher settlement for any victims, which can include both drivers and passengers in any vehicle as well as pedestrians. The simple reason is due to the state and federal regulations involved with all trucks in the United States.
3. If the insurance company for the trucking firm contacts me, what should I do?
The quickest response is to make the call brief without telling them anything. Contacting your attorney about the call is the next step. It’s also possible they may come to your residence or elsewhere, which means you should simply tell them to speak to your attorney, who has extensive experience in dealing with insurance companies.
4. If I end up with an injury from the accident, who should I sue?
Depending on the facts connected to the crash. there can be multiple candidates involved in such litigation. A personal injury attorney will take the time to sift through the evidence and determine who should be deemed at fault. It could be:
• The trucking firm that owns either the trailer or cab
• The entity whose faulty part caused the mishap or built the trailer or cab
• The corporation whose freight the trucker is hauling
• The company who has ownership of the rig itself
• The firm that’s tasked with making sure the truck is maintained
5. If I decide to file a lawsuit, will I be compensated for any medical costs related to the crash?
Litigation that results in a verdict in your favor will not only help pay for the costs related to treatment and hospitalization, but a host of other expenses as well. The cost to repair your vehicle can be a part of that final settlement, along with being compensated for not being able to work during any recovery and rehabilitation period. Finally, the fact that you were forced to endure pain and suffering because of someone else’s action is also worthy of compensation.
Considering that being on the receiving end of a collision with a semi-trailer truck often results in severe injuries, that hospitalization can be extensive and may end up becoming a life-long situation that demands a much larger settlement. Of course, there’s no price that can be put on the life of a human being, which means that such compensation needs to be of a punitive nature.
6. The commercial driver might be at fault, which means proving their connection. How is that done?
The attorney you hire will make sure that evidence is collected by obtaining all legal reports of the crash, any documents from the company that owns the truck and conducting interviews with all pertinent individuals and entities.
You may have suffered injuries or missed work because of the crash. Litigation can be brought against that driver, the company they work for or any other connected group for the above concerns as well as any negative issues related to the mishap. With respect to the driver, they may have been guilty of:
• Not yielding to other drivers and other traffic or failing to slow down or stop prior to the crash
• Driving irresponsibly, including not accounting for weather conditions or failing to signal when changing lanes
• Not securing the rig or losing control of either that, the trailer or cab
• Driving while either fatigued or beyond the regulated number of hours mandated by Federal Motor Carrier Safety
7. After I was involved in a crash with a semi-trailer, a blood alcohol content (BAC) test determined that the driver of that vehicle was drunk. What advice can you offer?
Speaking with an attorney should be your first move, since obtaining justice is one of the tenets that the profession is built upon. They can undertake litigation against either the driver, the company that hired the individual or perhaps the bar or establishment that provided the drinks.
Since anyone operating a commercial rig cannot drive while intoxicated, a strong case can be made against a defendant in this type of situation. Winning your case can help offer financial compensation for both you and anyone else in your vehicle for suffering, whether it’s from a physical or an emotional aspect. It can also deliver a strong punitive message to the guilty party.
8. If a semi-trailer crash ends up killing a family member, do I have any legal standing to pursue a lawsuit?
These types of tragic situations result in the filing of a wrongful death lawsuit, which seeks to make sure that you’re financially compensated for that devastating loss. In addition, obtaining a sad measure of justice and getting to the actual truth of what took place is something that can be achieved.
9. Can I file a lawsuit if I was simply a passenger in the semi-trailer?
Much like the individuals in any vehicle that’s hit, you can pursue claims against the driver and company, along with others, if you’re injured. In these cases, it’s best to go with a law firm that’s been able to win financial judgments in prior litigation of this type.
The Go to Law Firm for Truck Accidents for Gallup and McKinley County
A Gallup or McKinley County semi-trailer truck crash often results in personal injury or in the wrongful death of a loved one. Immediately after this type of event, it’s important to focus on obtaining experienced legal advice from a firm used to negotiating proper settlements with an insurance company or pursuing litigation in such matters. Contact the Law Office of Barry Klopfer P.C. today for a free consultation to begin the process of getting justice, (505) 722-9331.