Your first priority after being hit by a company vehicle should be your safety. You need to ensure you get the medical care you require and begin treatment as soon as possible. Only once your injuries are stable and allow you to consider your next steps should you begin to think about how to recover compensation for your injuries.
You may also want to consider hiring a car accident lawyer near you. They will offer advice and guidance on your rights and legal options. Most personal injury law firms provide free initial consultations for crash victims.
What Are Your Legal Options After Being Hit by a Commercial Vehicle?
When an individual suffers injuries in a crash caused by the driver of a company vehicle, they usually have the same options for pursuing compensation and justice as other collision victims. This could include:
- Filing a lawsuit against the liable party
- Filing an insurance claim and negotiating a fair settlement
- Pursuing both avenues at the same time
However, cases involving commercial vehicles are often more complex. Having an attorney on your side managing this process for you from the start may be a good idea. Your attorney will:
- Assess your case and legal options
- Protect your rights
- Manage all aspects of your case
- Investigate what occurred and who caused the crash
- Learn about the insurance coverage available
- Compile evidence into a compelling case against the at-fault party
- Calculate a fair settlement range for the payout
- Demand fair compensation from the liable party and their insurer
- Negotiate with the insurer for a just settlement
- Consider whether a personal injury lawsuit might be necessary
- Represent your best interests throughout this process
It is worth noting that your legal options might be different if you were hit by a vehicle from your own company or while at work. However, an attorney can still assess your options and is still a valuable resource to discuss your next move.
For a free legal consultation, call 800-537-8185
Who Is Liable for Your Commercial Vehicle Accident Injuries?
In a state with fault-based laws, the driver who caused the crash is generally liable for the injuries, expenses, and losses that occurred. This is true in commercial vehicle collisions, too. However, they are rarely the only liable party in these accidents.
Most states recognize a legal doctrine, respondeat superior, that allows victims to hold a commercial driver’s employer vicariously liable for the damages in a crash. This is often possible when:
- The employee was on the clock
- They were engaged in a work-related task
Generally, when a driver is behind the wheel of a company vehicle, a case against their employer is possible. There are exceptions, but your attorney can help you build a compelling case to show the company’s commercial liability policy should pay. This is a major part of cases when victims suffer catastrophic injuries since these corporate policies generally have a larger limit than an individual’s auto liability policy.
Do You Need to Sue to Recover Compensation in Your Crash Case?
Many car accident cases settle without needing to file a lawsuit. Of those that require a lawsuit, most still settle outside of court. However, victims should be aware that going to trial is a possibility. Your attorney might recommend suing for many reasons. They will discuss the pros and cons with you before you decide.
Running short on time is one of the most common reasons attorneys file lawsuits. Each state sets a deadline for filing personal injury lawsuits called the statute of limitations. How long you have to file depends on the state, and there could be circumstances specific to your case that change the filing deadline.
Missing this deadline could prevent you from suing and recovering compensation in the future, so you must understand the deadline and decide how to approach your case before it arrives.
What Damages Can You Recover in a Company Vehicle Accident Case?
The goal of an insurance claim or lawsuit against the company is to compensate you for the expenses and losses you endured because of the driver’s carelessness or recklessness. Your attorney will work to gather documentation of your injuries and other costs related to the crash.
Your lawyer will use the evidence they collect to show the value of the damages you endured. The damages you can recover depend on many factors, including the severity of your injuries and the treatment necessary.
Some common recoverable damages in a commercial vehicle accident case include:
- Medical care and related expenses to date
- Future medical treatment and ongoing care costs
- Current and future lost income
- Reduced earning capacity if you cannot return to your previous job
- Property damages, including to your own vehicle
- Miscellaneous related expenses with receipts
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Lost life enjoyment
- Reduced quality of life
- Wrongful death damages for families whose loved ones died of their injuries
Your lawyer will help you identify and document the recoverable damages available in your commercial vehicle accident case. This is key to seeking and securing fair compensation after a crash.
Talk to One of Our Car Accident Attorneys for Free After a Company Vehicle Crash
At the Morris Bart law firm, our personal injury attorneys represent victims hurt in car accidents in the Gulf South. We have 15 offices where our lawyers handle cases for clients hurt in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, or Arkansas.
Contact a company vehicle car accident lawyer from our team to get started with a free case review today. There are no upfront costs to hire our attorneys, and we are ready to take your call 24/7.
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