How Do Commercial Vehicle Accidents Differ From Passenger Vehicle Accidents?
First, commercial vehicle accidents are usually more catastrophic than passenger vehicle accidents due to the mass of the load; even just the truck portion of the semi-trailer truck is significantly heavier than your common passenger vehicle. Second, the insurance coverage limits are often much higher. Therefore, the insurance company often fights much harder. We see a direct correlation between the amount of money that we are talking about as far as fair compensation versus how hard an insurance company fights the case or tries to drag it out. They will spend more time on a case when there is more money to bargain for. Third, there are many more rules governing commercial vehicles than there are governing passenger vehicles that come into play and affect a client’s case.
If The Driver Of The Commercial Vehicle Is An Independent Contractor, How Does That Impact A Claim?
Truck accident cases or commercial vehicle cases are complicated when you are dealing with an independent contractor. They inject a completely new set of rules that is beyond the rules that we typically abide by as operators of passenger vehicles. Those rules add a higher level of complexity. There are usually insurance policies that have much higher limits.
What that really means for the individual who has the misfortune of being involved in one of these truck accidents or commercial vehicle accidents, is that they really need to retain an attorney quickly. It is very complicated. If it is an independent contractor, it can be even more so. There are ways depending on how the evidence unfolds for us to go after the insurance coverage for the company that hired or retained the independent contractor driver. There are many things that need to be investigated by a lawyer as soon as possible, particularly when you have a contractor, who is a non-employee commercial driver.
How Do Commercial Vehicle Accident Claims Differ From Other Claims In Terms Of Damages?
This is a sad fact, but oftentimes, we are looking at catastrophic injuries, the most common being death. We deal with many wrongful death semi-truck cases here at Feller & Wendt. You have families trying to pick up the pieces from a lost family member, especially if children are involved, whatever it may be, and it is always a preventable tragedy. If it is not death, sadly we still see many permanent injuries that will greatly affect a person for the rest of their lives. Even soft tissue injuries are life altering for some people.
You are talking about ruptured discs, permanent ligament damage, and I hate to put it in these terms, but if those are the injuries you sustained in a semi-truck accident, then you are one of the lucky ones. We often see death, loss of limbs, catastrophic brain injuries, and many TBIs (Traumatic Brian Injuries). Those kinds of injuries are significant.
What Are The Biggest Challenges In A Commercial Vehicle Accident Claim?
Here at Feller & Wendt, one of our mottos that we firmly stand behind is that it is our family protecting yours. Part of the reason that is one of our mottos is because our clients do become our family members. To answer your question specifically, we watch family members having to deal with what we think is their biggest challenge, how to cope with the life changing consequences of the damages caused by these collisions. I treat all of my clients like it were my brother or my sister, my mom, my dad, my grandparents, and we walk our clients through the trauma that they are going to have to deal with.
Obviously, we are not medical treating physicians, but we do guide them to the right resources, so that they can start to heal with these life-changing consequences. If it is a death or a catastrophic injury, our clients are very busy dealing with the impacts that these injuries have on their lives of their families, friends, and coworkers, so we want to make sure that they seek treatment for themselves. What we do is work very hard to take the stress away from our clients by handling all aspects of the legal portion of their claim. We do not want them to have to worry about dealing with adjusters either, we will handle that too.
For more information on Commercial Vs. Passenger Vehicle Accident, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (801) 499-5060 today.