Tractor trailer accidents can seem pretty cut and dry when you look at them from the surface. But what exactly determines the amount of the settlement? There are two basic things that go into it. First, what was the misconduct of the driver of the tractor trailer? And two, how seriously did you get hurt? Here at The Segal Law Firm, we have been investigating these cases over many years and understand how to dig to find those answers and get you the best possible settlement or verdict.
Let’s break the first one down a little bit. What kinds of misconduct are we looking for when we start digging into the cause of the wreck? Well, there are very specific federal regulations that tell us how many hours a trucker is allowed to drive, so that’s usually the first place we start. Many, many times, we find that the company or the driver pushes it too far and winds up logging way too many hours. This leaves them tired and groggy, which can easily be the cause of a horrific wreck. The other thing we see, of course, is alcohol and drug abuse. That type of thing is going to make the value of the case and settlement rise dramatically because this misconduct is easily understood by a jury and gets them very upset.
There are other types of misconduct involving the maintenance of the rig itself; braking systems, fuel integrity systems, things like that. There are also regulations about how you load a tractor trailer, how to secure the load and how often you have to inspect the it. We’re also going to delve in and find out if the trucker was trained properly. Sometimes you get in their files and find out the company didn’t do the background work required of them. They’ve hired someone who has been fired for multiple speeding violations or has an alcohol abuse history and didn’t even know it. So when I first get a tractor trailer case, I’m going to investigate what went wrong so we can really zone in on the type of misconduct we’re dealing with. All of the above mentioned violations are going to affect the value of your settlement. The more things the trucking company did wrong, the higher the settlement value is going to be.
The other part of the equation that’s really going to come into play is how badly you were hurt. Unfortunately, in most cases involving a tractor trailer, because of the weight difference between the tractor trailer and your vehicle, you’re probably dealing with a very serious accident. In many cases this means head injuries, broken limbs and many, many times, death. You don’t have to be Albert Einstein to understand that if a tractor trailer and its load rams into a three to seven thousand pound vehicle, the passenger vehicle is going to get the bad end of the deal. So when we’re talking to your doctors and your rehab people, we’re finding out what type of injury you suffered and how that’s going to affect your ability to make a living for your family.
And last but certainly not least, in the case of a widow or widower, we’re going to have to talk to them about what their life was like leading up to the accident. I had a client recently in deposition and he was asked a question about how it changed his life. The guy looked up at the questioner and said, “You remember that song ‘One is the Loneliest Number’? Well, I just don’t know how else to tell you how I feel.” These are the types of things that the jury needs to hear. We need to be able to show them what a great loss it was to lose this cherished member of your family. This will enhance the value of your settlement and help us prove your case.
When you call us with a tractor trailer injury or death of a loved one, we’re going to start investigating right away to find out the misconduct of the driver or company and what exactly your losses are, physical and emotional. Because we are an experienced law firm, we know the questions to ask and get answered to increase the value of your jury verdict or settlement. We want to get it up there where it should be, based upon the losses you and your family have suffered. It’s always worth a phone call. 1-855-344-9100.