Watford City Truck Accident Attorneys
Experienced Watford City Accident Lawyers, Serving McKenzie County and the Entire State of North Dakota
With oil, gas, and agriculture contributing to a large amount of North Dakota’s economy, the trucking industry is vital to the continued growth of the state’s GDP. Thousands of truckloads of product are shipped both inside and out of the state each year. But with the sheer amount of shipments on the move, it is unfortunately inevitable that accidents involving semi-trucks occur on streets and highways.
Two-thirds of North Dakota’s truck accidents occur in counties connected to the oil industry, resulting in numerous fatalities and dozens of injuries. Most of these accidents are preventable, and their victims should never have to go through what they do in the aftermath. North Dakotans who suffer from a truck accident injury deserve quality representation to advocate for their rights in court.
The injuries from truck accidents can lead to costly medical bills and lost wages, putting financial pressure on you and your loved ones. Our experienced truck accident attorneys at Sand Law can help you get the compensation you deserve.
What To Do After A Truck Accident
In the aftermath of an accident involving a semi-truck, your safety is the most important thing. If you or a passenger in your vehicle was injured, seek medical attention as soon as possible for any injuries you might have. If you’re uninjured, there are steps you can take to build your case and protect your rights as an accident victim.
- Notify the police – They will file a report, which is an essential component of filing claims with an insurance company. Make sure the details in the report are concrete and well-documented and not speculatory.
- Take pictures – To add to the above, be sure to take plenty of pictures of the accident scene with your phone and make sure they don’t get deleted. Subjects should include your vehicle, the truck that hit you, injuries, and other factors such as road conditions or the state of the truck driver.
- Gather information – Get the name and phone number of everyone involved in the crash, as well as any bystanders who witnessed it. The police will likely get these in their report, but it’s always best for you to have them as well.
- Seek medical attention – Even if your injuries are not immediately obvious (lacerations, broken bones, etc.), you should still see a physician as soon as possible after the accident. They can check for internal damage that might not become apparent until several days after the actual collision.
- Report the accident – Make sure you only report it to your insurance company and forward queries from other companies or representatives to your lawyer.
- Contact an experienced truck accident lawyer – Sand Law’s attorneys are well-versed in personal injury and vehicle law to get you the compensation you deserve.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents
Most often, truck accidents are caused by otherwise preventable factors on the part of the truck driver. Proving these causes in court is key to getting you compensation for your injuries from the accident.
Following Too Close
It takes drivers about 1.5 seconds to recognize a dangerous situation and react appropriately. If the said driver is at the wheel of a long, heavy, loaded semi-truck, any sudden change in that time may prove disastrous. When a semi-truck needs almost 170 feet to come to a stop at 40 miles an hour, that tiny amount of time is nowhere near enough.
Truck drivers work long hours and, as a result, are more prone to falling asleep at the wheel of their vehicles. Some recognize this problem and attempt to mitigate it by way of stimulants like caffeine or in more extreme cases, illegal drugs. Such drugs, like amphetamines, can cause hallucinations, vertigo and can even further impact reaction time.
Poor Vehicle Maintenance
Semi-trucks outweigh the average passenger car by several dozen tons. Any lapse in maintenance and proper care of the truck’s engine, transmission, or brake pads can lead to disaster on the road.
Types of Injuries Caused by Truck Accidents
Because truck accidents are more severe than car accidents in nearly every way, truck accident injuries are as well. Trucks are heavy, and the impact of one can cause severe damage to a vehicle and, unfortunately, a person. Injuries like traumatic brain injury (TBI), damage to the spinal column, and internal bleeding aren’t uncommon.
Minor injuries, such as bruises, cuts, and broken bones, are also common and often exist alongside one another. No matter how severe your injury is, you deserve to receive compensation for the damages you’ve experienced. The cost of a truck accident can be financial, mental, and physical. Mental health after a major accident can be a struggle. Many people are left with post-traumatic stress disorder, driving fear, depression, and anxiety. This is especially true for those with severe injuries who have experienced a great change in their quality of life.
Who Can I Sue After A Truck Accident?
In any given truck accident case, there are a number of different parties that could be found negligible for your damages. The main parties in such cases are usually the driver of the truck, the trucking company they work for, or (in the case of an equipment failure that is not the fault of the driver or the company) the company that manufactured the semi-truck in the first place. Any of these parties can be held liable for compensation for all your expenses relating to the accident.
Federal Guidelines For Commercial Vehicles
Typically, cases brought against the truck driver or the truck company use violations of federal commercial guidelines as the basis for their claims. There are different guidelines that apply to the drivers and the companies, and violations of any of them could be used to strengthen your claims case.
- Must be more than 18 years of age to drive within state lines or more than 21 years of age to drive out of state.
- Must have no disqualifying criminal offenses.
- Must be cleared by a medical examiner to drive a commercial vehicle.
- Are prohibited from using mobile phones while driving.
When a company is held liable for a truck accident, it is usually due to a violation of hours of service regulations or the regulations designed to ensure that drivers are receiving enough rest to safely operate their vehicles. Such regulations include:
- Driving a maximum of 11 hours after 10 consecutive off-duty hours
- Not driving more than 60 hours every 7 days or 70 every 8 days
- If a driver has a sleeper berth in their truck, they must use it for at least 8 consecutive hours
Receiving Compensation After a Truck Accident
The compensation that you receive after a truck accident depends on the damages that you experienced. The term “damages” refers to any loss experienced as a result of the accident. These losses can be monetary, such as bills, or not. Monetary losses, or economic damages, will be calculated by adding up your medical bills and lost wages.
Medical bills can include:
- Hospital bills
- Ambulance rides
- Doctors visits
- Specialists visits
- Medical equipment
- Surgery costs
- Prescription costs
Medical damages can also include any future treatment that you may need. If your doctor believes you’ll need lifelong treatment, that will be taken into account. The same is true for lost wages and lost earning capacity. If you lose the ability to return to work, you may be able to receive compensation for the wages you would have earned had you not been in an accident.
Non-monetary losses, or non-economic damages, are more abstract. They include things like pain and suffering, permanent disfigurement and scarring, and mental anguish. Basically, these damages are awarded for the change you’ve experienced in your quality of life. The greater that change is, the greater your compensation will be.
Experienced North Dakota Truck Accident Lawyer
When it comes to the devastating injuries resulting from truck accidents, you need an experienced team to advocate for you. You deserve compensation for the harm you’ve suffered, and our team is the best to help you get it. Contact our experienced truck accident lawyers at (701) 609-1510, or fill out our online contact form today.