Company trucks are vehicles owned by a business for company work. They may deliver products to customers, transport employees or customers, act as mobile workplaces, and more.
For many companies, having company trucks allows for more control over parts of the supply chain and employee transport. The trucks themselves are often emblazoned with the company logo, contact information, and marketing messages, helping with branding efforts. Unfortunately, these vehicles can also be in collisions, and accidents involving company trucks are often complex.
How Do Accidents with Company Trucks Commonly Happen?
When a company takes on the responsibility of owning its own fleet and hiring drivers or tasking its employees with driving company vehicles, the organization has a duty to make sure its trucks and cars are not dangerous on the road. Unfortunately, not all organizations are diligent and company trucks can be in accidents for many reasons, including:
- Driver inattention
- Drug and alcohol use
- Poor vehicle maintenance
- Not obeying traffic signs and signals
- Driver distraction
- Incorrectly loaded cargo
- Inebriated drivers
- Driver fatigue
- Time pressures which lead to human error
- Use of GPS and mobile devices while driving
- Backing up without checking blind spots
- Lack of proper driver training and experience
If a company driver has been negligent or if an organization’s negligence has caused a collision that has caused injuries, injured parties may have a claim against the company or driver. If you have been injured in a collision with a truck that belongs to a company, contact an attorney before you accept any offers or insurance money to find out what options may be available to you.
What Kinds of Injuries and Medical Costs Can They Lead To?
Since company trucks tend to be larger than passenger cars, they can cause serious injury to the occupations of a smaller vehicle. Injuries can be even more devastating if a company truck hits or backs over a pedestrian or bicyclist, who doesn’t have the protection a car offers. Injuries that can occur in collisions can include:
- Broken bones
- Head injuries, including traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Soft tissue injuries, such as whiplash
- Sprains and strains
- Back injuries, including spinal cord injuries
- Facial injuries
- Internal injuries
- Crushing injuries
The types of injuries sustained can vary depending on the specifics of the accidents and the type of company vehicle involved. Patients hit by 18-wheeler company trucks head-on will suffer worse injuries than patients sideswiped by a larger vehicle, for example.
Those hit by any company truck can face medical bills of tens of thousands of dollars to over a million dollars, depending on the injury. Average lifetime costs for a spinal cord injury, for example, can range from $1,113,990 to over $4,724,181.
What Process Should People Hit by 18-Wheeler Company Trucks Follow?
Anyone who has been hit by a company truck should contact 911 if any injuries at the scene can be life-threatening. If possible, it is important to take photos of the accident scene, including the surrounding area, so attorneys and their investigators can accurately determine the cause of the accident.
At the accident scene, it is best to stick to facts and not talk too much about what has happened. Any statement you make can be used later when you try to make a claim. Instead, exchange contact and insurance information with the company driver, making sure to get the contact information for the company they work for. Get the contact information of any witnesses at the scene, too, if you can.
After the accident, you will want to get a full medical evaluation, even if you’re not sure you have been injured. A doctor can rule out soft tissue injuries, head injuries, hairline fractures, and other potentially serious injuries which may not be obvious at the scene. In the weeks following your accident, continue to attend doctor’s appointments as needed and follow doctors’ advice to the letter.
You will also need to report the incident to the company that owns the truck and to insurers. The process for filing an insurance claim in a company truck accident is complex, which is why you may wish to contact a truck accident attorney first.
What Does Each Step in the Claims Process Entail?
After a company truck accident, you may decide to file a claim against the truck driver who caused your accident and against the company that hired the driver. If your injuries have been caused by negligence, you have the right to file a claim. The process may involve many steps, including:
- Filing the claim. The first step to filing a lawsuit to seek financial recovery involves filing a summons with the appropriate Texas court. Filing informs each defendant of the lawsuit against them and provides them with an opportunity to respond.
- Discovery. If a lawsuit moves forward, both parties will uncover and share information. This may involve depositions and subpoenas to gather more evidence in the case. As part of discovery, you may be interviewed by the other party’s attorneys.
- Negotiations and mediation. Before a case goes to trial, there may be offers and meditations as both sides try to reach an agreement. If you accept an offer, the case doesn’t proceed to trial.
- Trial. If all parties can’t agree to an offer, the case proceeds to trial, where a judge and jury will determine financial recovery. The outcome of the trial can also be appealed by either party.
If you work with an attorney, your lawyer will take care of many of these steps for you, using his or her expertise to negotiate, to file in the right Texas court, and to move the case along. Attorneys may also work with investigators, accident reconstruction experts, medical experts, and other professionals to build the strongest possible case for you.
What Are Some Challenges of Trying to Go It Alone?
While you are not legally required to work with an attorney after suffering an injury in a company truck accident, you may want to consider at least consulting with a law firm.
Cases involving company trucks are complex. Many company vehicles are not covered by private insurance policies but by commercial insurance, so a claim involving a company truck is different from a claim involving another car. A company truck accident can also involve multiple liable parties.
An attorney understands how to seek financial recovery for you if you have been injured. He or she can also negotiate with the legal teams commercial insurers have and can seek fair financial recovery.
How Can FVF Help?
Whether individuals have been hit by 18-wheeler trucks or smaller delivery vans, at FVF we believe all people who have been injured deserve to know the facts about their rights. We believe the law belongs to the people and we are here to provide guidance and support after a difficult truck collision. It’s why our values-focused law firm offers free consultations.
We provide education and information for people first and foremost, helping them understand the laws which could impact their case, what options may exist in their situation, and more. When people turn to us, our goal is to help, and we have found that empowering individuals with education in how the law may be able to help pave the way for decision-making.
We also use our more than 80 years of combined experience to negotiate and to create a strong case, while our compassionate and person-focused approach means you are always treated with respect and care. Our goal is to make a difference after you have suffered a serious injury. To schedule a pressure-free, cost-free consultation, contact FVF today.
Other Truck Cases We Handle
- Tractor-trailer accidents
- Blind spot truck accidents
- Dump truck accidents
- Garbage truck accidents
- 18-wheeler accidents