On the surface, a truck accident can appear cut and dried, but when you’re negotiating against an insurance company, it can be anything but simple. As a truck accident lawyer can explain, in a lawsuit, you have to prove three elements: Liability, breach of duty of care, and damages. Here’s some basics about these elements.
Duty of Care
Drivers have a duty of care on the road to not harm or hurt others on the road. Liability refers to the question of who is at fault for the accident. The person who is at fault is the one who is financially responsible for the damages. Truck accidents are almost always due to some type of negligence. Truck drivers may have violated traffic laws or failed to use reasonable care while driving. The trucking company may be liable if the truck wasn’t well-maintained.
Breach of Duty of Care
The second element of an accident case is whether the defendant breached their duty of care. This means that the accident occurred because someone didn’t act in a way to prevent an accident. While this may seem like an easy task, there are cases in which a breach of duty of care can be difficult to prove. If the trucking company hired a driver who was incompetent, where do you get evidence to show this? How can you prove that the truck driver was too tired because the company didn’t let the driver get enough sleep? You may have to go through hoops to prove that the truck wasn’t maintained.
Damages – the Financial Cost
Finally, you have to prove your damages to receive a settlement. Economic damages are often easy to prove, because you have medical bills and lost wages. It gets difficult when you’re projecting future damages, years of treatment and physical therapy from a spinal injury or what you may need because of a permanent disability. When you get into non-economic damages, it can be more difficult. How do you attach a monetary value to emotional losses, such as pain and suffering? What is the loss of your employment worth?
Presenting Your Case Is Like Telling a Story
These three elements of a truck accident case tell the story of your accident. The evidence you gather at the scene of the accident can help your truck accident lawyer present your case logically to get the maximum settlement. You have the right to work with a truck accident lawyer on your case. For more information, contact our friends at Law Offices of Franks, Koenig & Neuwelt.