Large trucks are well over 60 feet long, and they can weigh up to 80,000 pounds. Given their gigantic size, tractor-trailers pose a clear threat to anybody on or around a roadway. That's why both the federal government and the various states have imposed strict regulations on them. Regardless of those laws, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reports that 3,852 people died in crashes involving large trucks in 2015. Of those, only 16 percent of the fatalities were occupants of the large trucks. A frightening 69 percent were occupants of passenger vehicles while 15 percent were motorcyclists, bicyclists or pedestrians. About 90,000 others suffered personal injury. Here are some of the common causes of large truck accidents.
Hours of service regulations are in place that limit the number of hours that a large truck driver can spend behind the wheel before a rest period is required. In order to get their cargo to where it must be on time, some drivers ignore those rules. A drowsy driver can be as much of a risk on the road as a drunk driver.
Use of mobile and navigational devices take a driver's attention off of the road. According to the Virginia Tech Traffic Institute, the average text message takes five seconds to send, and at 55 mph, you travel the length of a football field in five seconds. Other distractions include talking on a phone, eating, smoking or even watching a movie on a laptop.
A large truck is a complex piece of machinery. Bad tires and brakes are attributable to many truck crashes. Regardless of how careful a truck driver is, if equipment fails to perform its intended function, a crash can result. We've all seen pieces of large truck tires on the road.
An improperly loaded trailer can have too high of a center of gravity and cause a truck and trailer to jackknife or roll. When that happens, the truck and trailer are completely out of control and turn into a giant street sweeper that takes any vehicles in its path along with it. Drivers are required to periodically check their loads while in transit. Many don't.
Some drivers just aren't trained properly to operate a large tractor-trailer. They're difficult to maneuver. The big rigs have large blind spots all around them, and they take 20 to 40 percent longer to stop on dry pavement than passenger vehicles.
You'll want to start investigating a truck crash right away. Evidence can disappear and witnesses can vanish. Don't try to take on the truck insurer alone. Contact an experienced truck crash attorney right away.
Injuries caused by the negligence of someone else can have a profound impact on a victim's life. In a personal injury case, there are immediate losses that typically include pain and suffering, medical bills and expenses, and lost wages. In addition, in a personal injury case, a victim of someone else's negligence may need to make a claim for future losses as well. There are some basic elements in personal injury law associated with establishing future losses that a negligence victim must understand.
Types of Future Losses
There are several different types of future losses that personal injury law permits recovery for in a case involving negligence caused by a third party. In many cases, an injured person requires ongoing medical care, treatment, and therapy for an extended period of time. These costs represent is a type of compensable future losses.
On a related note, the pain and suffering associated with an accident can not only be severe, but also long-enduring. As a result, future pain and suffering arising from the injuries associated with an accident are also compensable.
A person injured in some type of accident is likely to be off work for a period of time. When injuries are particularly serious, a person may not be able to return to his or her position of employment any time soon, if at all. Future lost wages represents another category in which an injured person can seek compensation for future losses.
Reasonably Foreseeable Losses
In order to obtain compensation, a demonstration must be made that the losses are reasonably are foreseeable. This essentially represents a two-step analysis in a personal injury case.
First, there needs to be a demonstration that they underlying reason for the specific category of loss is expected to continue into the future. For example, the underlying injury will continue to necessitate medical care and will result in an ongoing diminution in wages.
Second, a consideration of the value to be attached to these future losses also needs to occur. Simply because medical expenses or lost wages are at a particular level today does not mean that will persist into the future at the same rate.
When it comes to future losses and personal injury law, the assistance of expert witnesses can also be necessary. A medical expert can present evidence and testimony about what reasonably can be expected to occur in regard to future treatment, care, and therapy. Similarly, an expert like a forensic accountant can shed light on reasonably foreseeable future wage losses in a specific case.
Retain a Personal Injury Lawyer
A personal injury lawyer possesses the expertise to address issues like future losses. A personal injury lawyer usually schedules an initial consultation to evaluate a case at no charge. There are resources available at Claim Accident if you want more information.
A personal injury claim can take a couple of years to move through the court system. However, more and more personal injury lawyers are taking advantage of a new legal strategy that helps to resolve injury claims in a fraction of the usual time. Settlement conferences, which use mediation, are similar to arbitration in bringing the claim before a neutral third party with experience in this area of law. The mediator will work with both sides to try and resolve the case so that it doesn't have to go to trial.
How it works.
Following the discovery phase of litigation when personal injury attorneys work to learn all they can about lawsuit-related factors, a pretrial is scheduled and the judge may recommend a settlement conference to try and resolve the issues in an expedient and fair manner. A date will be set when opposing lawyers and their respective clients will meet in an informal proceeding to summarize their findings and look for common ground on which to settle the case. Typically, the plaintiff will ask a certain amount for damages, and the defendant will counter with a lower offer. Both sides will go back and forth with the help of the mediator to try and agree on settlement terms. The process can take anywhere from a few hours to all day. One or both parties may only go through the motions rather than seriously try to settle as a way of learning more about the opposing side so they can prepare adequately for trial. Some experts claim that anywhere from two-thirds to ninety-seven percent of claims that go through a settlement conference are successfully resolved.
There are several advantages to this approach. One is that it is faster waiting for a trial, with a date set for the conference within a few months of discovery. Another benefit is that it is cheaper than going to trial, since no witnesses and perhaps limited exhibits are included in the proceeding. A third positive outcome is that everyone's stress level is reduced, and the claim can end in a satisfactory way for both parties.
If both parties and their personal injury lawyers Toronto are not committed to the settlement conference option, it has little chance of success. One side may go through the motions just to please the judge, with no intention of adjusting compensation demands or offers in negotiation. Another downside is that neither party will likely get what he or she really wants, so both must be willing to negotiate and surrender part of their expectations.
Settlement conferences are being increasingly used in the court system. Understanding how they work and being prepared can optimize chances for a good outcome. Speak to an experienced lawyer like www.claimaccident.ca to discuss the possible strategy of your case.
If you have been injured in a car crash or because of a defective product, you are entitled to compensation for your injuries. However, how much are you entitled to? That is something that your personal injury lawyers Toronto may be able to estimate during your initial consultation. Let's take a look at how damages are calculated by a jury or by those negotiating a settlement.
Determining Lost Wages and Future Earnings
Those who are forced to take a day off to go to physical therapy or take an hour or two off to go to a doctor's appointment after a crash may be compensated for their time. Injured victims who are unable to go back to work in a similar capacity as before their injuries may be compensated based on what their career prospects likely would have been. For instance, a 35-year-old may receive compensation based on 30 years of career advancement while a 55-year-old may receive compensation for 10 years based on his or her current salary assuming that further advancement may not occur.
Determining Punitive Damages In a Personal Injury Case
Punitive damages are meant to hold a person or entity responsible for their negligence in general. A jury may award an additional $1 million on top of other damages to someone hurt by a defective product to make sure that the manufacturer takes the issue seriously moving forward. Punitive damages may also be awarded in cases where a doctor or other medical professional didn't provide a duty of care or show remorse for his or her mistakes. In general, the amount of punitive damages depends on a party's financial resources as well as what a judge may consider a fair amount based on facts in the case.
Determining Actual Damages In a Personal Injury Case
Actual damages are costs that were paid after an individual was injured. For example, hospital bills such as an exam or surgery to correct a broken bone would be an actual cost. The price of modifications to a home or car after an injury would be an actual cost that can be verified and reimbursed. Other examples of actual damages include the cost of medication, crutches or physical therapy to build up muscle memory or to control symptoms following a head or other injury. These costs are generally easy to calculate as they are objectively documented, which makes them hard to dispute. Contact a law firm like Claim Accident Services to consult with them on damages.
Personal injury law allows you to obtain compensation if you have been hurt through no fault of your own. While your award may be calculated in a subjective manner, personal injury lawyers will work with the person or entity that hurt you to make sure that you get what you need to care for yourself and your family moving forward.