There are few things more terrifying than getting into a collision with a commercial truck. Even accidents with “box trucks” can be devastating, let alone the 18-wheelers that ferry goods across the nation every day.
When passenger vehicles and trucks collide there’s typically a long, hard fight ahead. While your car stood little chance against the truck the truth is that the trucking company is going to work hard to do whatever it can to relieve itself of liability.
You need a lawyer who is well-versed in truck accident law and who is prepared to fight hard both in and out of court to make sure your rights are respected and that you get the compensation you deserve.
How are truck accidents different from car accidents?
Truckers are held to much higher standards on the road than drivers are, but not every lawyer understands that. Inexperienced lawyers who don’t know how to use regulations and industry norms to their advantage tend to lose their cases, much to the detriment of their clients.
For example, truckers routinely violate Canada’s federal regulations governing how long they may be on the road. According to the MTO, a driver may not drive more than 13 hours in a day and must have at least 10 hours off-duty in a day. In a period of 7 consecutive days the driver may not drive for more than 70 hours, or 120 hours in a 14-day period.
You need a lawyer who will examine the logs for violations, and who knows how to compare those logs against other records to spot falsifications. You need a lawyer who knows how to get those records in the first place.
This is just one example out of several. There are many aspects of the case the lawyer must be prepared to investigate if they’re going to win your case for you.
What can go wrong in a truck accident case?
You’re not just fighting with a car insurance company. You’re fighting with the company that owns the truck. They tend to have lots of reasons to want to fight back, and lots of tricks they can play.
One trick they like to play is to say that the driver was an independent contractor and so the matter should go to the driver’s insurance company. Since the driver was under the impression they were an employee and did not purchase commercial insurance, this often results in there not being any money to pursue. This trick is especially common when dealing with U.S. trucking companies.
Another trick they like to play is to argue that the driver of the passenger vehicle was mostly at-fault. If they’re successful your award evaporates under Alberta’s comparative negligence law. Suddenly they’re only paying 10% of what they would have had to pay, and you walk away nearly empty handed while the bills pile up.
How much is a truck accident case worth?
It depends on how badly you were injured and what went wrong on the road. A person who got a broken arm and who is better in 6 weeks will have a very different case than someone who lost the use of their legs, can no longer work because of chronic pain, and who was hit by a trucker who was under the influence at the time.
Your lawyer can go over the facts of the case with you and will determine what a reasonable settlement looks like given the facts of your case.
Why Merchant Law?
We’ve navigated hundreds of truck accident cases just like yours. We know the laws, regulations, and industry norms inside and out. We can help you win your truck accident claim and leave no stone unturned. We’re also fierce litigators in the event that the matter has to go all the way to court.
For a free, no-obligation, risk-free consultation, call (403) 225-7777 today, or visit our office at 191 Edwards Way SW, Unit 202 B, in Airdrie. We answer our phones 24/7/365 to make sure you can get the help you need when you need it.