Can I Sue a Semi-Truck If I Was Ran Off the Road?
By Chris Dixon
If you are merging onto the on-ramp of a highway, or driving on an interstate, and a semi-truck suddenly encroaches in your lane and runs you off the road, you could be eligible to sue the truck driver for damages. Negligence is when a driver acts in a way that is dangerous or harmful to another person on the road and causes injuries or damage. If a semi-truck driver acts negligently while driving, even if they don’t make contact with your vehicle, they can be liable for damages that you experienced from being ran off the road due to their negligence.
What Should I Do If a Semi-Truck Runs Me Off the Road?
When a semi-truck runs a passenger vehicle off the road, it can cause serious injuries and financial damages to the passenger vehicle occupant. If this happens to you, it’s important to stay calm and know your rights. If you can, take a photo of the truck driver’s CDL license, get the name of the company they drive for, gather evidence from the scene of the accident such as road marks and debris, and call the police. If the semi-truck driver stays at the scene, swap contact information with them and take down their insurance information. Then, speak with your lawyer about the accident. Even if the semi-truck didn’t physically touch your vehicle, the driver’s negligence caused your vehicle to run off the road, and in most states they are required to compensate you for damages caused in the crash.
What Damages Can I Sue a Semi-Truck Driver For If I Was Ran Off the Road?
Trucking companies are heavily insured and typically settle cases outside of court. If a semi-truck ran your vehicle off the road and you were injured, you could be eligible to recover compensation for your financial damages and injuries from the crash.
With proper evidence from the accident and an experienced lawyer by your side, you could be eligible to recover compensation from the truck driver and their employer. Some of the most common types of damages that you can sue for after being ran off the road by a semi-truck include:
- Medical bills
- Mental, emotional, or physical distress caused by the accident
- Lost wages
- Property damage from the crash
- Loss of affection, which the spouse of an injured driver can claim
Who is Liable if a Semi-Truck Runs You Off the Road?
Unlike car accidents, liability in truck accidents isn’t always easy to determine. The semi-truck driver that caused the accident could be liable to compensate you for damages, but additional parties can be responsible for the driver’s negligence. If the driver was on the clock at the time of the crash, whether as an independent contractor or a direct employee of a trucking company, you could be eligible to claim damages from the truck driver’s employer. Other parties that could be liable for the truck driver’s negligence include the shipper of hazardous materials, the manufacturer of defective truck parts, and if the driver leased the truck or trailer they were using – the rental company they rented from. If you need help determining who you are eligible to recover damages from after a semi-truck ran you off the road, consulting a lawyer can be a good place to start. A lawyer can assess your case, create a personalized plan, and do everything in their power to recover the most damages possible for your case.
Consult a Lawyer About Your Case Today
Semi-truck accidents can be complex to deal with from a legal standpoint. Trucking companies are insured by large insurance companies and typically have additional insurance coverage aside from the general liability insurance that drivers are required to carry. Large insurance policies can be a good thing when negotiating for a settlement from a truck driver, but generally, are accompanied by ruthless insurance agents. The truck driver’s insurer will likely attempt to get you to accept a lower insurance settlement to protect their client. Tactics can include getting an immediate statement from you right after the accident, providing a low offer to see if you know what your claim is really worth, making you a mid-priced offer that is less than the settlement you could claim with a lawyer, and giving you a deadline for accepting their offer in an attempt to lowball you.
The best way to ensure that you aren’t taken advantage of during this trying time is hiring an attorney. An experienced attorney can protect your rights, defend your claim, and negotiate for the maximum amount of compensation for your case. If you need a lawyer to help you sue a semi-truck driver that ran you off the road, contact the Dixon Injury Firm today to discuss your case.