Truck accidents cause catastrophic injuries. Many of these injuries are fatal. As the victim of a truck accident, or the loved one of an injured crash victim, what recourse do you have? To find out, please call the experienced and compassionate accident attorneys at Copple, Rockey, McKeever & Schlecht, at 402-371-4300. After speaking with you and learning more about your situation, we can determine if you have a claim to pursue compensation with our help and representation. In the meantime, please review the sections below for more information:
- Truck Accident Contributing Factors
- Common Injuries
- Potential Truck Accident Compensation
- When Truck Accidents Result in Wrongful Death
- Who Is At Fault?
- Federal Trucking Regulations
- Find Out If You Have a Claim
Truck Accident Contributing Factors
There are many ways a truck accident can be caused, many having nothing to do with the drivers and passengers in smaller vehicles. Some of the most common include:
- Unrealistic schedules
- Driver fatigue
- Overloaded/unbalanced cargos
- Drunk driving
- Driving under the influence of pharmaceuticals or illicit drugs
- Distracted driving
- Inadequately trained drivers
- Inexperienced drivers
- Poor hiring practices
- Inadequately maintained trucks
- Defective truck parts
As the victim of one of these crashes, you are unlikely to know what caused the crash. When you contact our attorneys early on in the process, we can begin working to investigate the situation right away. The founding attorneys at our practice all have decades' worth of experience, and we put all of our skills and resources to work in your case.
Because of the massive size and weight of tractor-trailers, the crashes they cause can be cataclysmic. Here are some of the most typical injuries suffered by victims of these accidents:
- Severe brain injury
- Spinal cord injury
- Back, neck and shoulder injuries
- Internal organ injuries
- Loss of limbs
- Broken bones
It is not uncommon for the truck driver to remain unscathed. The cabin of a semi-truck offers quite a bit of protection. But for motorists in smaller vehicles – the types of vehicles we all travel in daily – the injuries can be dire. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), trucks typically weigh 20-30 times more than passenger cars.1 The forces of a vehicle that big against one much smaller are catastrophic in a crash.
These injuries can unfortunately be life-altering. They may cause disability, depression, disfigurement, limited mobility and other problems that make daily life difficult. They can lead to reliance on assistive equipment like wheelchairs. While you adjust to life with your injuries, you deserve full compensation so that you can access the care and other services you need.
Potential Truck Accident Compensation
The whole point of a claim handled by our lawyers is to maximize the amount of compensation you can get for your injuries. Insurance companies, like any other company, want to pay out as little money as possible. If you deal with the insurance company on your own, you may get low-balled or you may be denied compensation altogether. Our lawyers know how the insurance companies work to close these claims. We will not stop fighting until the best possible outcome for you has been obtained.
In a successful claim, compensation is awarded for various outcomes, expenses and consequences of the injury and the crash, such as:
- Medical bills
- Ongoing medical expenses
- Costs of physical rehabilitation
- Costs of job re-training
- Loss of wages
- Pain and suffering
A compensation award is never guaranteed in these claims. But without the representation of an experienced lawyer, you will have to negotiate with the insurance company on your own, a process which could leave you with much less than you need and deserve. The truck accident lawyers at Copple, Rockey, McKeever & Schlecht do not back down from the fight. We face powerful insurance companies and work tirelessly to maximize your compensation.
When Truck Accidents Result in Wrongful Death
It is not uncommon for truck crashes to result in fatalities. Most of the time it is the occupants of smaller vehicles, not the truck driver. In 2015, 3,852 people were killed in large truck accidents, according to IIHS.2 Sixty-nine percent of those fatalities were occupants of passenger vehicles, 16 percent were large truck occupants, and 15 percent was made up of motorcyclists, pedestrians and bicyclists.
When a death occurs because of someone else's negligence, it is a wrongful death. It should have been prevented and would have been prevented if not for someone's carelessness. In these claims, our lawyers seek to maximize your compensation for the losses, pain and other outcomes of the death:
- Burial expenses
- Funeral costs
- Medical bills
- Loss of loved one's financial contributions
- Loss of loved one's future benefits, such as retirement and savings contributions
- Loss companionship
- Loss of parental guidance
Certain people associated with the deceased may file these claims, or someone responsible for the deceased's estate. Typically these claims are filed by spouses, parents or children of the person who perished in the truck accident.
Who Is At Fault?
Someone is at fault for the crash that injured you. Our lawyers put all of their resources into demonstrating who is responsible. Oftentimes it is one of the following:
- Truck drivers
- Owners of the tractor-trailer
- Loading companies
- Leasing companies
- Shipping companies
- Maintenance companies
Trucking companies have powerful insurers backing them. These insurers will work quickly to protect the trucking company. The lawyers at Copple, Rockey, McKeever & Schlecht will be the ones on your side, looking out for you and only you. The trucking company and their insurers don't have your best interests at heart. They want to protect themselves while losing as little money as possible. But our attorneys will make sure you are getting what you are owed after suffering such devastating injuries.
Federal Trucking Regulations
Truck drivers are bound to obey certain Federal regulations. These regulations apply to several things, including:
- How many hours they may drive continuously without taking a break
- Cargo limitations
- Weight restrictions
Drowsy driving is a pernicious problem in the trucking industry. Trucking companies and their drivers make money by delivering their goods as quickly and efficiently as possible. Sometimes drivers stay behind the wheel for stretches that are too long, resulting in fatigued driving. Drowsy driving is outrageously dangerous for any driver. When truck drivers are too tired to drive, their mistakes can have catastrophic results. As an example, think about how much longer it takes for a tractor-trailer traveling at highway speeds to slow down or come to a stop. If a driver is too sleepy to see a problem requiring him to brake, he may brake too late. A deadly multi-vehicle pileup can be the result.
Find Out If You Have a Claim
If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident in Omaha, Lincoln, Norfolk or anywhere else in Nebraska, please call the experienced attorneys at Copple, Rockey, McKeever & Schlecht, at 402-371-4300, for a case evaluation. After discussing the details with you, we can determine if you have a claim and discuss all of your options for what to do next.