Out of all types of auto accidents, truck accidents are some of the most devastating and traumatic.
The injuries sustained by victims often cause lifelong disability or pain, making recovery difficult or even impossible. When you or a loved one sustains an injury in a trucking accident, you need a semi-truck accident lawyer you can trust.
At Harris Law Firm, our truck accident attorneys have decades of experience helping victims take the fight to large corporations and insurance companies.
Here is everything you need to know about big rig collision claims and how an Arkansas truck accident lawyer can help.
Common Truck Accident Injuries
Every accident, including those involving large semi-trucks, involves a variety of injuries that could be major or minor. These injuries carry certain financial, physical, and emotional burdens depending on their severity or prevalence. At the Harris Law Firm, our Arkansas truck accident lawyers have experience representing cases involving:
- Road rash,
- Broken bones,
- Internal bleeding,
- Back injuries,
- Traumatic brain injuries,
- Paralysis, and
- Amputated limbs.
Due to the size and weight of semi-trucks, the likelihood of sustaining a serious injury is higher than other crash types. For this reason, it’s essential to speak with a big rig accident attorney that understands the short and long-term costs of these injuries.
While the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has strict regulations for trucks, companies sometimes ignore them. In fact, one of the most common causes of trucking accidents is hours-of-service violations.
According to FMCSA regulations, property-carrying truck drivers may only drive a maximum of 11 hours after 10 consecutive hours off. In addition, drivers must take a 30-minute break every eight hours on the clock.
However, hour limits don’t just apply to individual days. Truckers may not drive more than 60 or 70 hours within seven or eight consecutive days. Once a driver meets this limit, they must take 34 or more hours off before they start driving again.
Unfortunately, trucking companies often force drivers to work overtime due to tight delivery deadlines. This means that they end up driving while tired, putting others on the road at risk.
Potentially Liable Parties
Unlike other types of accidents, trucking accidents may have several potentially liable parties. Vicarious liability may play a part in accidents where the driver responsible is an employee of a logistics company. Maybe the manufacturer of the truck included defective parts that made the truck unsafe to drive. There may be many parties involved in the claim, including:
- The truck driver;
- The truck driver’s employer;
- The manufacturer of the truck;
- The manufacturer of the cargo;
- The truck mechanic; or
- The cargo loader.
This makes truck accidents slightly more complicated than other auto collision cases. With a multitude of possible causes, it’s important to collect as much evidence as possible for a truck accident claim.
Arkansas Statute of Limitations for Truck Accidents
Like other states, Arkansas has a statute of limitations dictating how long a plaintiff has to file a claim. Under ACA § 16-56-105 (Arkansas Code Annotated), victims of personal injury have three years from the date of the accident to file a claim. After the statute of limitations expires, it’s unlikely that the court will hear your case. That’s why it’s imperative to hire an Arkansas truck accident lawyer to help you file your claim.
Determining the Value of a Truck Accident Case
There are a number of factors that affect the value of a truck accident claim. Ultimately, the case is worth whatever the jury decides. However, there are a few things they may take into consideration when determining the value of your case, including:
- Your past, current, and future medical costs associated with the injury;
- The repair or replacement costs of your damaged property;
- Intangible losses such as pain and suffering; and
- The defendant’s conduct in the case.
Each of these factors falls into one of three categories: economic damages, non-economic damages, or punitive damages.
Economic damages are the actual financial losses incurred due to the accident. This specifically refers to any readily calculable damages, such as medical bills, lost wages, car repairs, etc. However, this also extends to things like prosthetics for amputated limbs, accessibility equipment, and transportation to appointments.
Non-economic damages are the subjective losses of the victim. This includes things like pain and suffering, mental anguish, loss of companionship, loss of quality of life, and other intangible losses. Typically, these damages don’t have a standard dollar value. Instead, an 18 wheeler accident lawyer calculates this by multiplying the total economic damages by a whole number or assigning a per-day cost.
Punitive damages are much rarer than the other two types listed above. In some cases, juries award punitive damages when the defendant acts with reckless disregard for the safety of others. They don’t reimburse a specific loss of the victim but punish the defendant instead.
Why Choose Our Arkansas Truck Accident Attorneys
At the Harris Law Firm, we know how difficult it is to manage a truck accident case during recovery. Large corporations often have a dedicated legal team to fight claims and lawsuits. Their goal is to minimize your compensation as much as possible, even if that means denying your claim altogether. Our tractor-trailer accidents lawyers in Arkansas understand this and manage every aspect of the case, including:
- Gathering evidence for your claim;
- Contacting potential accident witnesses;
- Negotiating with the defendant and their insurance company;
- Filing all necessary court paperwork in a timely manner;
- Explaining the process to you step-by-step; and
- Taking the case to court if necessary.
Without hiring an experienced Arkansas truck accident attorney, you may be at a severe disadvantage. We want to help you level the playing field and take the fight to those responsible for your injuries.
Need a Truck Wreck Lawyer? Call Harris Law Firm Today
If you or a loved one sustains an injury in a truck accident, don’t hesitate to give us a call. We understand that the aftermath of a truck accident may be confusing and intimidating. However, it’s important to act quickly and start building your case before the statute of limitations expires.
To schedule a free case review and speak with a commercial truck accident lawyer, contact us online or call us at 662-335-4171. We proudly serve families and individuals throughout Arkansas from our practice in Greenville, MS.