Maneuvering a big rig in traffic is no easy task. Not only do tractor-trailers have massive blind spots because of their size, but they also require considerable stopping distance because of their weight.
What’s more, changing lanes and decelerating aren’t the only challenges truckers face. Upon pulling off the highway, for example, turning poses a problem, too.
Because of their length, truckers must make wide turns so as to avoid sideswiping the vehicles around them. Should they take a turn too wide, though, they could veer into oncoming traffic or lose control of the 18-wheeler altogether.
If you were seriously hurt in a turn-related truck accident, here’s what you should know about pursuing compensation for the resulting damages:
1. How Can I Prove Liability for a Truck Accident Caused by a Miscalculated Turn?
Generally speaking, demonstrating fault for a turn-related wreck calls for the same kinds of evidence as virtually any other accident scenario. Proof that might contribute to the strength of your claim includes:
- The police report;
- Eyewitness deposition;
- Photographs of the wreckage;
- Surveillance recordings or dashcam footage;
- Driver’s logs;
- Black box data;
- Fleet maintenance logs; and
- Deposition from an accident reconstruction expert.
Should the opposing party assign you some portion of the blame, you may have to gather evidence to disprove your own liability. For example, the trucker might assert that you were traveling too closely or that you failed to yield the right of way at the intersection. A resourceful personal injury attorney can help you collect evidence to corroborate your own version of events.
2. How Long Do I Have to Take Legal Action Against the Liable Trucker or Motor Carrier?
If the opposing party disputes liability or refuses to offer a fair settlement, proceeding to litigation may be the only way to pursue the compensation you deserve. In South Dakota, injured parties typically have three years from the date on which they were hurt to sue those who are liable for their damages. Because there are a few exceptions to this deadline, though, it’s wise to consult a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible.
3. What Kinds of Damages Can I Seek Following a Turn-Related Truck Accident?
When a big rig strikes a small car, it’s not uncommon for the passenger-vehicle occupants to sustain catastrophic injuries. Fortunately, those who do get hurt may be able to recover compensation for all associated damages, including:
- Medical bills;
- Lost wages;
- Loss of future earning capacity;
- Property repairs;
- Alternative transportation;
- Home and vehicle modifications;
- Child care;
- Replacement services;
- Pain and suffering;
- Mental anguish;
- Anxiety; and
- Loss of enjoyment in life.
Speak with a Rapid City Truck Accident Lawyer Today
If you were struck by a drunk, drowsy, distracted, or otherwise negligent trucker, contact Beardsley, Jensen & Lee, PLLC. Our attorneys counsel clients across South Dakota, North Dakota, Wyoming, Nebraska, and Minnesota. Call (605) 777-7466 or use our online contact form to set up a free consultation with a truck accident attorney in Rapid City.