In the immediate aftermath of a commercial trucking accident victims are likely to be dealing with emergency situations – calling an ambulance or the police, receiving medical attention, notifying family and friends, filing a report, etc. However, once the dust settles the victim may be wondering what to do next and if there is a reason to pursue a lawsuit for what has happened. That is of course a highly personal decision that individuals must decide for themselves, however, there are several important reasons to consider filing a lawsuit if you have been involved a commercial trucking accident.
A Need for Financial Compensation
One of the most common reasons for trucking accident victims to consider a lawsuit is as a way to receive the financial compensation that they need to begin recovering from their ordeals. Trucking accidents are by nature very expensive. Given the massive size differential between a typical passenger vehicle and a commercial truck it is not uncommon for the passenger vehicle to be totaled. This could lead to a significant financial burden if the vehicle is worth less than the amount that is still owed on it.
In addition to the property damage common in commercial trucking accidents another major source of expense are the medical bills associated with the accident. Accident victims will often need costly surgeries, prolonged hospital stays, prescription medication, crutches, wheelchairs, or other medical devices. They may also need special at-home care from a healthcare worker and could potentially be forced to retrofit their homes for handicap ramps.
There is also the financial burden associated with lost work wages while the victim is recovering and unable to work. Worse, some people may find that they are no longer able to resume their regular occupations after suffering a major accident and this could thus lead to lost future wages and diminished earning potential. Finally, aside from all of these tangible financial losses, many trucking accident victims have a desire to sue for the physical pain and emotional suffering that they have sustained from their ordeals.
A Desire for Justice
Financial compensation aside, many trucking accident victims feel deeply wronged by what has happened to them. This could thus lead to a very strong desire to file a lawsuit in the pursuit of justice. Reckless behavior should not be tolerated and careless truckers or negligent trucking companies should not be allowed to get off with just a slap on the wrist. Yet despite this their actions may not be considered a legal crime punishable by jail time or fines, or the punishment may not be commensurate with the injustice suffered by the accident victim. Filing a civil lawsuit is thus an important option for seeking justice.
A Way to Achieve Emotional Closure
Similar to the desire to seek justice, many accident victims find themselves filing a lawsuit as a way to achieve emotional closure for what happened. Major accidents are emotionally traumatic and can shake or even utterly destroy a person’s sense of security. Merely dealing with insurance companies for claims may not be enough to help victims achieve the emotional closure they need to move on with their lives and begin their recoveries. Often telling their stories in a court of law and receiving a public acknowledgement of wrongdoing is the missing ingredient they need to start the healing process.
The Ability To Effect Positive Change
Many people have an innate, altruistic desire to make the world a better place and to prevent others from suffering the same misfortunes that they have experienced. For those people a civil lawsuit following a commercial trucking accident may be a very natural decision. In a perfect world no trucker or trucking company would endanger the public for the sake of profit or laziness. However, in the real world far too many truckers and trucking companies choose to do just that. Sometimes it may even be less expensive to simply settle a claim or pay a fine than to actually make life-saving changes.
Fortunately a lawsuit or the threat of a lawsuit can be precisely the impetus needed to effect positive change. In some cases the change may be court ordered, while in other cases it is performed as a way to prevent future costly lawsuits. Likewise other companies within the industry may see what happened to their competitor and take proactive steps to resolve a safety issue before an accident occurs and causes similar expense for them. Finally, the public attention from a high-profile lawsuit may also exert pressure on the company or industry as a whole to change its ways before it loses business.
Ultimately the reason you decide to pursue a lawsuit for your trucking accident is very personal and dependent on your unique situation. However, if you do make that decision you will need an expert, understanding law firm with a background in trucking litigation to handle your case. Dies & Parkhurst is just such a law firm. We are committed to helping each of our clients do what is best for their situations and receive the justice and compensation they deserve.