If you have been injured in a collision with a commercial truck in Salt Lake City, you could have a viable claim for monetary compensation. If your claim is successful, your recovery could pay for your medical bills and compensate you for your physical pain.
A successful personal injury lawsuit could be life-changing, but success is never guaranteed. Trucking companies have ample resources to fight back against a lawsuit, especially when they have insurance companies by their side. A Salt Lake City personal injury lawyer from our firm can ensure that you maximize your chances of financial recovery. Contact Valiente Mott today for a free consultation.
Types Of Truck Accidents
There are different types of collisions our Salt Lake City truck accident attorney can help you seek compensation for. These accidents might vary when it comes to the facts, but the injuries that typically result from them are often devastating. Some examples could include:
- Override accidents: A type of accident unique to commercial trucks is the override accident. These collisions occur when a smaller vehicle gets trapped beneath the trailer of a commercial truck.
- Jackknife accidents: This type of crash earns its name from the way the truck takes the shape of a folding knife during the crash. These collisions occur when truck drivers lose control and slide sideways, causing the cab and trailer to fold in on each other.
- Head-on collisions: Few accidents are more severe than head-on collisions. Also known as front-end crashes, these accidents occur when the front of another vehicle strikes the front of a commercial truck.
- Overweight accidents: One of the reasons commercial vehicles are dangerous is that they are much heavier than other vehicles. When a commercial truck is heavier than its recommended weight, it could be difficult to bring to a complete stop in time to avoid a crash. These overweight vehicles are also more likely to cause severe property damage.
- Side-impact crash: A side impact collision occurs when a truck strikes the side of another vehicle. This type of accident is most likely to occur when a truck driver runs a red light or stop sign.
- Rear-end collision: The most common type of accident, a rear-end collision involves a commercial truck striking the rear-end of the vehicle in front of them. This can occur when the other vehicle is slowing or stopped at an intersection.
Common Truck Accident Injuries
The injuries in a truck accident are often severe. This is typically due to the large size difference between commercial and passenger vehicles. Some commercial trucks outweigh passenger cars by a magnitude of 20. A Salt Lake City car accident lawyer can ensure that you are fairly compensated for your injuries after your collision. Some common injuries include:
- Broken bones: Due to the immense force involved in truck accidents, broken bones are a common injury. These can range from simple fractures to more complex ones that require surgery and long-term rehabilitation. Recovery times can vary, impacting the victim’s ability to work and perform daily activities.
- Sprains and strains: These injuries often occur when the body is jolted or twisted during the impact of a truck accident. Sprains and strains can affect muscles, ligaments, and tendons, leading to pain and reduced mobility. While they may seem less severe, they can still necessitate a significant period of rest and physical therapy.
- Cuts, bruises, and lacerations: The debris and force of impact in truck accidents can cause serious cuts and lacerations, which may require stitches or even surgery. Bruises are also common and can be an indicator of more serious underlying injuries.
- Internal bleeding: This is a particularly dangerous injury as it can go unnoticed initially. Internal bleeding can occur from blunt trauma or penetration injuries in a truck accident. It requires immediate medical attention to prevent life-threatening complications.
- Paralysis: High-impact collisions, especially those involving large trucks, can result in paralysis. This can be partial or total, and it drastically changes a person’s life, often requiring long-term medical care, assistive devices, and significant adjustments in lifestyle and employment.
- Spinal cord damage: The spinal cord is vulnerable in truck accidents. Damage to this area can lead to severe consequences, including chronic pain, reduced mobility, or paralysis. These injuries often necessitate extensive medical treatment and can have lifelong implications.
- Traumatic brain injuries: TBIs are among the most serious injuries in truck accidents. They can range from mild concussions to severe brain damage. Symptoms can be immediate or develop over time, affecting cognitive function, physical abilities, and emotional well-being. TBIs often require long-term medical treatment and rehabilitation.
Salt Lake City Truck Regulations
Trucking regulations that significantly impact truck accident claims are governed by both state and federal laws. 49 CFR Part 395 includes the federal Hours of Service regulations for truck drivers which mandates the maximum number of hours a driver can operate a commercial vehicle to prevent fatigue-related accidents. 49 CFR Part 396 focuses on vehicle maintenance, requiring regular inspections, maintenance, and repair of trucks to ensure they are safe for the road. Compliance with these regulations is crucial, as any violation can significantly influence the outcome of truck accident claims. In the event of an accident, if it’s found that a truck driver or company was in violation of these regulations, such as overstepping the hours of service or neglecting vehicle maintenance, this can be a pivotal factor in establishing negligence and liability in the claim.
Salt Lake City Insurance Regulations
Commercial trucks are subject to Utah’s stringent insurance requirements, which are critical in the context of truck accident claims. These regulations mandate that trucks carry higher liability insurance compared to standard vehicles, reflecting the potential for more substantial damage in accidents involving these larger vehicles. The minimum insurance coverage varies depending on the cargo, with general freight trucks requiring at least $750,000 in liability insurance, while those transporting hazardous materials are required to have between $1 million and $5 million.
The amount of insurance a truck carries directly influences the potential compensation in a truck accident claim. In cases where the truck driver or the trucking company is at fault, especially if there is evidence of negligence like poor maintenance or violation of hours of service, their insurance is often the primary source for compensation. However, this also leads to complex negotiations, as insurance companies may seek to minimize payouts. For victims, the presence of substantial insurance coverage can mean larger settlements or judgments, particularly important in cases of catastrophic injuries requiring long-term care.
For additional protection, motorists in Salt Lake City can opt for uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage, which can be crucial if an at-fault truck driver lacks adequate insurance. These insurance dynamics play a significant role in the truck accident claims process, often involving intricate legal proceedings to ensure fair compensation for the victims.
Evidence In Salt Lake City Truck Accidents
Effective handling of truck accident claims hinges on the meticulous collection and analysis of various types of evidence. Key among these are accident reports and witness statements. The official police accident report provides critical details such as the time, location, and nature of the collision, along with any citations or notes from the responding officer. This report is complemented by statements from eyewitnesses, whose accounts offer invaluable perspectives on the accident’s circumstances. These narratives help in piecing together the sequence of events, especially in disputes regarding the cause of the accident.
Truck-specific evidence plays a pivotal role. This includes the truck driver’s logs, which are essential for verifying compliance with hours of service regulations and identifying potential driver fatigue. The truck’s maintenance records are equally important, as they can reveal negligence in vehicle upkeep that may have contributed to the accident. Electronic Control Modules (ECMs) or “black boxes” in trucks provide crucial data about the truck’s operation at the time of the accident, like speed and braking patterns. Medical records of the injuries sustained are fundamental in establishing the extent and impact of the physical harm caused.
Seeking Treatment In Salt Lake City Truck Accident Claims
It’s critically important to seek treatment for any injuries you suffer in a truck accident. Even if your injuries seem minor at first, there is a possibility that they could rapidly worsen in the days, weeks, or months to come. Seeking out medical care will provide you with the best opportunity to fully recover.
Treating your injuries is also beneficial to your personal injury case. By following the advice of your doctor, you could prevent the trucking company from alleging that you allowed your condition to worsen unnecessarily. The failure to follow doctor’s orders could have a devastating impact on your personal injury case.
Contact Our Salt Lake City Truck Accident Lawyer Today
If you suffered injuries in a collision with a commercial vehicle, a Salt Lake City truck accident lawyer from our firm is ready to help. The right legal counsel could give you the best opportunity to recover the damages you deserve while answering your questions about the process.
The team at Valiente Mott is ready to help you seek the financial compensation you deserve. The aftermath of a truck accident can be stressful, but our team can provide you with the peace of mind that comes with sound legal guidance. Call for a free consultation right away.