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Burlington, VT Truck Accident Lawyer
If you were injured in a truck accident, you shouldn't be the one paying for the expenses if it wasn't your fault. Truck accidents are typically much more complicated and demanding than car accidents because of intricate layers of federal and state safety laws and insurance regulations. You often have to deal with a maze of standards, laws, and regulations that may overlap, which requires a truck accident lawyer's specialized skill and knowledge. Burlington residents who have been injured in a truck accident can acquire the help of our leading truck accident attorneys. We're ready to help you navigate this complex legal landscape.
Only a lawyer with experience in this area should handle the highly technical work of negotiating compensation for a truck accident. These cases are very different from regular car accidents and many car accident lawyers have never dealt with a truck accident case. Also, when it comes to your future, you should only work with lawyers who can go head-to-head with large insurance or trucking companies since they often have powerful lawyers working on their side.
Morgan & Morgan is one of the largest and most successful law firms in the country, and we're willing to help you on a contingency fee basis. A contingency fee arrangement means that if we don't win, you don't have to pay any fees. If we take on your case, that means we feel strongly that our skills will result in compensation for you and your family. It's crucial to act quickly after a truck accident. Our lawyers will work with you to preserve evidence and conduct a thorough investigation to make your case strong. We believe in defending the rights of victims.
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Who Can Be Held Liable for My Truck Accident?
When you're the victim of a truck accident, several parties could be held liable. Sometimes there may be multiple parties responsible for one accident. However, when it comes to commercial truck accidents, these companies and drivers will work hard to deny fault and liability, so they don't have to pay for your damages.
We understand trucking operations, and how the industry works, so we know how the various parties can be involved in contributing to an accident. Some are as follows:
- The truck's driver
- The owner of the truck
- A trucking company
- Truck and parts manufacturers
- Truck loaders or shippers of the truck's cargo
Assigning fault to one or multiple parties requires a meticulous investigation. To hold the right entities accountable, we will do the following:
- Research which party had custody and control of the truck at the time of the accident
- Review driving logs to reveal weigh-ins and the driver's hours log to understand if there were illegal deviations
- Learn how much control the trucking company had over the driver's actions
- Review the driver's driving history to find any criminal convictions or driving violations
- Look for possible truck or mechanical component defects
- Review the vehicle's maintenance records
- Determine how secure the cargo or load was at the time of the accident
To prove liability, you have to understand that each of the parties listed above has some responsibility in making sure an accident doesn't occur. Each party has a duty of care to prevent harm to others. When that duty is breached, the question of liability comes into play.
What Kind of Compensation Can I Get for a Truck Accident in Burlington, Vermont?
The compensation for a truck accident is usually divided into two categories. These categories include economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages are meant to compensate you for actual, measurable losses such as:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Past and future lost wages
- Out-of-pocket expenses like transportation to medical appointments
- Household service if you aren't able to take care of household chores
- Lost earning capacity if your injuries require you to leave the workforce or get a less demanding job
- Property damage
Non-economic damages are meant to compensate for unquantifiable losses that are subjective such as:
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Emotional distress
- Loss of companionship
- Mental anguish
A rare category of damages is called punitive damages. It may be awarded if a court finds the at-fault party acted with malicious disregard for your safety or behaved with extreme recklessness. Punitive damages are a way for the court to punish wrongdoers and are also meant to set an example to deter others who would act in the same way. For instance, if the driver was found to be under the influence of narcotics, and the commercial trucking company knew their driver was a user and still employed them, that might be grounds for punitive damages.
What Are the Different Types of Truck Accident Cases?
Truck accidents frequently have catastrophic consequences. Tractor-trailers, semis, and other commercial trucks outsize and outweigh regular vehicles, which can result in severe injuries and damages in the event of a collision.
Since there are typically multiple parties that may be liable in a trucking accident, victims have various ways to pursue a legal claim. Here are some examples:
A truck accident lawsuit is often settled out of court. However, should you need to go to trial, our lawyers will help prove the four basic elements required of most negligence lawsuits.
Duty of care - The truck driver had a duty toward the victim to operate the truck safely and in a reasonable manner.
Breach of duty - The truck driver breached their duty of care by not operating the vehicle in a safe and reasonable manner.
Causation - Because of the breach of duty, the truck driver is responsible for causing the victim's injuries.
Damages - The victim's injuries resulted in damages (medical bills, lost wages, loss of enjoyment of life, etc.)
The burden of proof for negligence claims requires that all the above elements be proven by a preponderance of the evidence. The evidence must prove the defendant is more likely than not at fault. Our Burlington truck accident lawyers will work to deliver a convincing and compelling argument, ensuring we prove the other party is responsible for your damages. Some examples of truck accident negligence are as follows:
- The truck driver violated traffic laws
- The owner of the truck failed to maintain the vehicle properly
- The truck was improperly loaded or overloaded with cargo
- The truck was on a prohibited or unsafe road for trucks
- The truck driver was under the influence or driving while drowsy
- The truck driver was not properly trained or too inexperienced in operating the truck
- The truck driver failed to see the victim's vehicle leading to the accident
Product liability cases
When we investigate truck accidents, our lawyers will look to see if a defective or malfunctioning part had anything to do with the collision. If we find this evidence, we may be able to pursue a product liability case against the seller or manufacturer of the component. Product liability is another form of negligence claim that requires proof of the following:
- The component was defective and unreasonably dangerous
- The component was being used as the manufacturer intended it to be used
- The condition of the component had not changed since purchased
Wrongful death lawsuit
Because of the severity of truck accidents, fatalities often occur. If you lost a loved one in a truck accident, you might be able to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit. A wrongful death lawsuit is a civil claim which allows the victim's spouse, dependents, or other family members to recover financial compensation from the wrongdoer. Potential damages that can be recovered in a wrongful death lawsuit include the following:
- Medical costs associated with the treatment of injuries the victim sustained
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Compensation for the lost wages and services performed by the decedent
- Compensation for the pain and suffering before the death of the decedent
- Compensation for the loss of love, care, protection, and nurturing from the decedent
- Compensation for children for the loss of a parental relationship
Who Is Eligible to File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Burlington, Vermont?
In Vermont, the personal representative of the victim's estate can file a wrongful death lawsuit. However, the victim's dependents and beneficiaries will be able to receive compensation even though they are not directly filing the lawsuit. If the decedent did not have a personal representative, the court would appoint one. The statute of limitation for filing a wrongful death lawsuit is two years from the date of death. If a lawsuit is not filed within this time limit, the courts will not hear it.
Finding a Truck Accident Lawyer in Burlington
Truck accident cases are often complex and involve multiple parties. That's why it's essential to work with an attorney with in-depth knowledge of Vermont personal injury law and the commercial trucking industry. When looking for a truck accident lawyer, Burlington residents have many options. Still, Morgan & Morgan lawyers have an unparalleled record of success in these types of claims.
Our law firm has recovered billions for clients over more than 30 years of practicing law. When Morgan & Morgan truck accident lawyers represent you, you can expect top-notch expertise, but you also gain access to vast resources, which we will use to build your case. Our investigation may include:
- Gathering medical evidence of your injuries
- Searching for video evidence of the collision
- Reviewing police reports and interviewing witnesses
- Interviewing your physician to understand the extent of your injuries
- Working with expert accident reconstructionists
- Collecting and preserving evidence from related parties
- Obtaining data from the truck's event data recorder device (black box)
We know that it's a confusing and frustrating time for you and your family. We're here to help you navigate the legal system and get you the compensation you need. When we see that a driver or trucking company caused your accident due to negligence, we will work tirelessly to prove their liability for your injuries. Contact us today for a free case evaluation.