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Our St. Louis truck accident lawyers discuss why truck accidents are different from other vehicle collisions.

A crash involving a commercial truck and a passenger vehicle is much different than a collision between two passenger vehicles.

Among the significant differences are the more severe injuries often caused by truck crashes, the number of at-fault parties that may be involved, and the higher amounts of commercial liability insurance available for compensation of victims.

A semi-truck, also known as a tractor trailer, can weigh up to 80,000 pounds when loaded. When an 80,000-pound tractor trailer collides with a 3,000-pound car, the laws of physics are not on the side of the occupants of the car. The occupants of smaller vehicles are likely to suffer more severe injuries or fatal injuries in collisions with large truck.

If you have been injured in a collision with a semi-truck or have lost a loved one in a truck accident, you will need an experienced lawyer to help you obtain the maximum compensation for your injuries or other losses. Victims of truck accidents may seek compensation for injuries related to a truck accident by filing a claim.

How Can a Law Firm Help Me Obtain a Semi-Truck Accident Settlement?

An experienced truck accident lawyer can help you pursue your claim in the following ways:

  • Answer your legal questions and discuss personal injury law in detail to help you fully understand all aspects of your case;
  • Calculate the full extent of your losses;
  • Negotiate on your behalf to secure a fair settlement amount;
  • Help you evaluate whether a settlement is reasonable for your damages;
  • File a personal injury lawsuit on your behalf if a settlement cannot be reached; and
  • Make sure your claim stays on track and filing deadlines are met.

How Much is My Semi-Truck Accident Claim Worth?

Commercial truck drivers and truck companies are required to carry higher amounts of liability insurance coverage than owners of passenger cars because of the greater harm that large trucks can cause. This means that you are less likely to face a situation in which the negligent party lacks the insurance coverage to cover your medical bills and other losses. Each accident has its own facts that determine the value of the claim. Because truck accident injuries are often severe, the settlements may be substantial.

An individual who has been injured in a truck accident caused by a truck driver’s negligence may seek compensation for the following types of losses:

  • Your medical expenses, such as hospitalization, physical therapy and follow-up care;
  • Your lost earnings; and
  • Your pain and suffering. This category includes the need for psychological counseling to overcome the emotional trauma that can follow an accident and the claimant’s reduced quality of life.

An experienced lawyer will calculate your medical bills, future medical costs, rehabilitation costs, lost wages from the accident and estimated future loss of income to determine the value of your claim.

When you file a claim, the insurance adjuster representing the at-fault driver or trucking company will use a formula to determine your damages. Special damages are the damages for which you have a clear dollar amount, such as your medical bills and lost wages. The adjuster may make you a settlement offer, or deny your claim, depending on the facts of the accidents.

An experienced lawyer can determine whether the settlement offered is reasonable and negotiate with the insurance provider.

How Much Should the Insurance Company Pay Out?

Because truck insurance policies have higher limits than automobile insurance policies and there is often greater damage after a truck accident, you can potentially recover more in compensation than you would in a regular automobile accident.

Multiple parties may be at fault in a truck accident, which increases the pool of insurance compensation a victim may potentially recover. The accident victim may seek compensation from all parties deemed to be at fault for the accident.

Besides the truck driver, the trucking company, the owner of the truck trailer, a cargo shipper and the manufacturer of defective truck parts such as faulty tires or brakes may potentially be liable for the accident. The private or government entity charged with maintaining the portion of roadway may be liable if the accident was partially due to uneven pavement or other roadway hazards. Identifying all the potentially responsible parties requires a detailed investigation by an attorney experienced in handling truck accidents.

How Do Most Truck Accident Cases Settle?

Most truck accident claims are settled through negotiation out of court to avoid the expense and uncertainty of going to trial. After a claim is presented, the insurance provider typically makes a low offer to see if the accident victim will take it. Negotiating a higher amount is often only possible by working with a lawyer.

At Sansone, Sumner & Lauber, we investigate each truck accident case as if the case is going to trial. That gives us a full command of the facts and allows us to negotiate from a stronger position for the maximum compensation for our clients.

Work with an Experienced Truck Accident Lawyer

If you have been injured or lost a loved one in an accident involving a commercial truck, it is a good idea to contact an experienced truck accident lawyer to understand your legal options. Working with a lawyer who has specific experience handling truck accident claims and understands the complexity of truck accident is critical to the outcome of your claim. To learn more about how you should proceed after an accident involving a large truck, contact Sansone, Sumner & Lauber to schedule a free consultation. We are a team of experienced truck accident lawyers who will work hard to help you seek compensation for your damages.

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