Commercial & Trucking Accident

Every type of motor vehicle accident carries the risk of severe injuries and significant property damage. But negative consequences are even more likely when a crash involves a large truck.

Commercial and freight trucks are heavier and more difficult to maneuver than standard passenger cars. This type of vehicle has the potential to cause massive amounts of damage when a collision occurs.

Large commercial trucks and tractor trailers can be incredibly dangerous. If a trucker, company, or other party has a history of negligence or carelessness, they may be held liable for the damages that they cause. Victims can also pursue an accident claim if the truck itself is faulty or malfunctioning.

Recent Verdict

  • Lumbar Disc, Herniation, Concussion - Florida - 2021
  • Burke v. Lancheros and VL Auto Transport
  • Nick Russo,Matt Morgan & Keith Mitnik
States Where We Focus on Commercial & Trucking
  • ARKANSAS: Jonesboro
  • CALIFORNIA: Los Angeles
  • INDIANA: Evansville and New Albany
  • ILLINOIS: Southern Illinois
  • MISSOURI: St. Louis
  • NEW YORK: New York City
  • SOUTH CAROLINA: Hilton Head
  • WEST VIRGINIA: Charleston
  • WASHINGTON, DC: DC Metro Area

Catastrophic & Commercial Case Criteria

Case should include one or more of the following:

  • Clear Liability
  • Greater Than $500,000 in Past Medical Bills
  • Commercial Policy
  • Neck or Back Surgery
  • Invasive Procedure
  • Traumatic Brain Injury
  • Herniated Disc
  • Pain Management / Injections
  • Broken Bones
  • Spinal Injury
  • Death

Large truck accidents are not always the responsibility of the trucker or motor carrier. For instance, suppose that a motorist is unaware of the size or miscalculates the speed of a large truck. In this situation, the driver of the passenger vehicle may attempt a dangerous maneuver and cause a crash.

But other collisions can be the result of negligence on the part of the truck driver, company, or manufacturer. There are many factors that can lead to truck accidents when a professional driver behaves in a dangerous or careless manner.

Circumstances That May Contribute to Truck Accidents

No matter what the cause, distracted driving puts everyone on the road in danger. There are three primary categories of distractions while driving:

  • Cognitive distractions: The driver’s mind is unfocussed
  • Visual distractions: The driver’s eyes are not on the road
  • Manual distractions: The driver’s hands are not on the wheel

Determining Liability in a Commercial Truck Accident

One of the most important elements in any tort legal claim is determining who is liable. Victims have the right to pursue financial compensation from the party or parties that caused their accident or injury.

Our truck injury lawyers will do the following to determine who the responsible parties are in your case:

  • Obtain medical records and police accident reports
  • Interview eyewitnesses to the crash
  • Request copies of the trucking company’s logs and records
  • Examine vehicular damage resulting from the crash
  • Collect any photo or video evidence

Some of the common liable parties in commercial truck collision claims include:

  • Truck drivers
  • Commercial trucking companies
  • Truck component manufacturers or distributors
  • Cargo owners

Your client may be able to recover financial compensation from more than one negligent party in their case. Anyone who contributed to your client’s collision or injuries may owe them recovery. 

Expert Retention

Accident reconstruction expert
Trucking expert on Federal Motor Carrier Rules and Regulations
Human Factors expert

These are all very important in establishing liability.

Understanding Complex Coverage

Morgan & Morgan specializes in uncovering multiple layers of coverage and the relationships between the various players in commercial trucking and logistics cases.

In many instances, the operator of a commercial motor vehicle has entered into a contract with a larger company and/or motor carrier. Typically, these drivers either:

(1)  have an ongoing relationship with the motor carrier or transportation company that regularly provides them loads, a tractor, and/or a DOT#. (The Department of Transportation issues DOT #s that indicate registration with the agency and provides legal authorization for drivers to be on the road); or   

(2) utilizes a broker that consistently matches loads with available truckers.

In the event of an accident, the frequent assumption is that the truck driver is the agent of third party with whom he or she has a contract. Consequently, most attorneys will focus only on this layer of the transportation cycle. Why? It’s the low hanging fruit that’s easy to grab.  It’s straightforward and in most cases the policy will provide sufficient coverage for what many would expect such cases to be worth ($300K - $5MM), depending on the cargo.  

Should your search terminate at this level, your client may be severely undercompensated for the injury that he or she has suffered in a catastrophic case.

With thorough investigation, the maximum possible coverage for your client can be unlocked. Morgan & Morgan’s legal team will discover the necessary documentation and fight to expose which party has final responsibility. This takes extensive investigation and resources. Frequently, the involvement of transportation experts -- that specialize in the relationship between the drivers, carriers, shippers and brokers -- is required. By analyzing contracts, shipping documentation, maintenance/repair/inspection records, dispatch records, Master Transportation Agreement, hiring documentation, training materials, GPS data and more, we strive to expose those cases where larger companies have control over the downstream parties (drivers, motor carrier, third-party LLCs, etc.) and therefore are ultimately responsible for the driver’s negligence.

At face value, commercial trucking cases may seem uncomplicated. But at closer inspection, they are invariably very complex. Understanding how to prove that a driver is jointly employed by a “hidden” motor carrier takes deep experience in the field. Lawyers without this background are encouraged to refer such cases to trucking specialists in order to ensure the maximum amount of coverage is secured for their clients. 

Common Types of Damages in Truck Accident Claims

Victims usually fail to anticipate the wide range of consequences resulting from a collision.
Some of the most obvious losses caused by truck accidents are monetary. Victims can pursue economic damages to compensate for their direct financial costs. Typical examples include:

  • Current and future medical care costs
  • Lost income and missed wages from an inability to work
  • Decreased earning ability long-term
  • Vehicular property damage

Some of the negative consequences of a truck accident may be intangible, personal, and psychological. Victims can still seek compensation for these losses in the form of non-economic damages. Typical examples in truck collision cases include:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional anguish and distress
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Disability, disfigurement, and scarring
  • Depression, panic, and anxiety
  • Decreases in quality of life

In the event of a  fatal  injury in a commercial truck accident, your client may have the option to file a wrongful death claim to recover damages. The surviving family of accident victims can pursue repayment for:

  • Funeral and burial costs
  • Loss of consortium or relationship
  • Outstanding medical and end-of-life costs

Let one of the truck accident lawyers at the firm of Morgan and Morgan help your client determine the value of their truck accident claim.

Attorney review by:
  • Jonathan Brozyna

Jonathan Brozyna is a partner in the Tampa offices of Morgan & Morgan, P.A. Jonathan dedicates his legal practice to representing clients injured in catastrophic automobile and trucking collisions, wrongful death, and general personal injury cases. Jonathan believes that everyone deserves the very best legal representation and prides him in relentlessly seeking justice for his clients.