Wyoming is known for its open land, fresh air, and ranch living. In years past, living in Wyoming was difficult because it was so remote. Journeys could take months and sometimes years. As one of the largest states in the U.S. in terms of land mass, it is also populated by the fewest number of people. Wyoming is very large and very spread out.
For that reason, the trucking industry has largely been a godsend to the state. It provides Wyomingites with necessary goods that we otherwise wouldn’t have. But the trucking industry does not always operate in accord with federal and state regulations.
Sometimes drivers rush to meet deadlines. Other times they’ve been on the road for too long. In some cases, they have not been properly vetted by the companies that hired them. There are times when a trucking company doesn’t properly inspect its trucks before sending them off on a journey. Any of these actions undertaken by trucking companies can result in accidents on Wyoming’s highways – often with tragic and life-altering results.
If you been injured in a Wyoming trucking accident contact us now.
Commercial Tractor-Trailers Cause Major Injuries in Wyoming
Since drivers are expected to be licensed before operating a tractor-trailer and because they are operating such a massive intimidating vehicle, they are held to a higher standard than are others on the road. Trucking companies are expected to vet their drivers and ensure they have the proper credentials. They must follow federal regulations governing the trucking industry as well as the rules of traffic.
In cases where a driver causes an injury to another motorist, the trucking company is responsible for the damages. In other words, they have what is known as vicarious liability. The government also requires that trucking companies carry large commercial insurance policies in the event that their drivers injure or maim someone in an accident.
If you’re injured by a truck driver due to any kind of negligence, such as fatigued driving or substance abuse, it is this policy that you will be making a claim against.
Understanding Insurance Claims in Commercial Truck Accidents in Wyoming
All insurance companies have a fiduciary responsibility to act in the best interests of their clients. This means paying you as little as they can get away with when you file your claim. This includes blaming you, at least partly, for the accident. It means exploiting ambiguities in the police report or physical evidence and interpreting it against you.
If you have been injured by a commercial truck, you’re in for a fight to see that their insurance company honors the full value of your claim.
How a Wyoming Truck Accident Attorney Can Help
In the same manner that the trucking company represents the interests of their policyholder, hiring a personal injury attorney ensures that there is someone looking out for your best interests. Most folks find themselves ill-equipped to deal with the style of negotiation and the tactics used by insurance companies to devalue your claim.
They will blame you for the accident. They will attempt to prove that your injuries aren’t as severe as you’re claiming. In cases where there isn’t sufficient evidence to support your claim, the insurance company will turn to stone and not pay out a dime.
Your attorney’s job is to gather the evidence required in order to leverage the insurance company into paying you a fair settlement. This requires investigating the accident, attempting to recover any video surveillance that may be available, and talking to witnesses if there are any.
Insurance companies do not want to see a case go to trial. Trials are expensive and the risk of losing can increase the insurance company’s expenses quite a bit. Our attorneys will prepare your case to be trial-ready in order to leverage the insurance company into offering a fair settlement.
Compensation in Wyoming Truck Accident Claims
Those injured in accidents with commercial trucks are entitled to recover damages related to their medical expenses. In addition, you can recover damages related to lost wages or a lost job. These are considered “economic” damages. In other words, they’re damages related to some economic loss that you have suffered.
You are also entitled to collect “non-economic” damages. These include damages that cannot easily be quantified. Damages like pain and suffering and emotional trauma qualify as non-economic damages.
A good personal injury attorney will see that you are compensated for both your economic and non-economic damages.
Wyoming Truck Accident Attorney
Every truck accident is unique, so it’s hard to predict what any particular case is “worth” without a thorough investigation. Some of the factors that affect the value of a truck accident case include the extent of your injuries, the available evidence of what caused the crash, and whether you contributed to the accident in some way. Generally, the more serious your injuries, the more money you might be owed.
A lawyer isn’t required to file an insurance claim or lawsuit after a truck accident, but choosing to work with one is a smart idea. Your attorney can gather evidence to support your claim, document your injuries, negotiate with the liable parties for a full and fair settlement, and take your case to trial if a deal can’t be reached.
Trucks are much bigger and heavier than standard cars, which means they strike with more force. This often leads to greater injuries in the event of a collision. According to the IIHS fatality facts report, trucks are 30 times heavier than cars and that is why vehicle drivers are more vulnerable to accidents.
The amount you can receive in a truck accident settlement depends on the circumstances of your crash and injuries. You could receive compensation for:
- Lost wages and your reduced ability to work because of your injuries
- Medical bills and the cost of injury-related future care
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional pain and suffering
- Damaged personal property
Most truck accident lawyers, including Sean Olson at the Olson Law Firm, LLC, work on a contingency fee basis. This means that the attorney covers upfront costs and receives only a portion of the compensation they help you get. That means you don’t need to be rich to afford quality truck accident legal representation.
Your attorney might use police accident reports, accounts from the drivers involved in the crash, eyewitness statements, testimony from expert witnesses, medical records, and photos from the crash scene to establish legal responsibility or fault for the crash.
Either or both, depending on what the evidence shows. Truck drivers can be held liable if they acted negligently by, for example, driving while distracted. On the other hand, trucking companies must ensure their employees are adequately trained and drive safely, so the company can be held liable for an accident if they failed in these duties. Also, companies are typically held vicariously liable for their employee’s negligence. This means the trucking company would be responsible even if it didn’t do anything wrong.
Truck accident lawsuits are marathons, not sprints. Most truck accident cases take at least months to resolve. It takes time to gather evidence and medical records to build a strong case for compensation. If settlement negotiations drag on or the liable parties vehemently deny the claim, the case will take longer. Most cases are resolved in negotiation rather than through a trial. A lawsuit generally takes a year or longer.
Sean Olson wrote Results Matter, a book outlining the many stages of a lawsuit so that everyone can understand what goes into a truck accident case. Download your own free copy here.
If the truck driver is found to be at fault for the crash, you could recover compensation from the liability insurance on the truck. Additional commercial liability insurance held by the trucking company could also come into play. Commercial trucks must carry insurance with policy limits much higher than what most private drivers have on their cars. Your own insurance may also be available to you if the trucking company’s insurance is not enough to cover all your damages and losses.
Talk to a Wyoming Truck Accident Attorney Today
The Olson Law Firm, LLC represents those injured by commercial trucks and 18-wheelers. Whether your claim is settled with a trucking company or whether you need a trial to prove the trucking company’s liability, the Olson Law Firm, LLC promises to treat your problem and your injuries as if they were our own, and will make sure that you are compensated for your injuries.
Don’t let the insurance company bully you into a low settlement. Give us a call or talk to us online to set up an appointment today. We can help with car accidents, wrongful death cases, nursing home abuse, premises liability, and much more!