One of the biggest industries in the United States is the commercial trucking business. Each day thousands of trucks take to the roadway to transport goods because this type of transport is both cost-effective and efficient. However, there are many commercial truck accidents daily, and they result in serious injuries. Injuries mostly happen to those in smaller vehicles, but there is also a significant number of victims in the commercial vehicle as well.
Drivers’ Expenses When Involved in Accidents
If a driver is involved in a commercial truck accident and is injured, he may have the ability to receive workers’ compensation benefits if he was driving within his “scope of employment.” What this means is that the driver could not have been on a side trip for another personal job or errand. If the driver is deemed to be injured while working, he may be entitled to such benefits as money for medical bills and other losses. Because he receives workers’ compensation, he is not allowed to sue his employer for damages above and beyond his compensation benefits.
Third Party Claims
Sometimes, workers’ compensation benefits don’t cover all the damages that are related to a work accident. Therefore, it’s important that you hire a trucking accident personal injury attorney also to investigate the possibility you can file a third-party claim.
A third-party claim is a claim against another person or individual who may be partially or fully at fault for an accident. For example, if the brakes on your truck are defective, you could have a claim against the manufacturer of the brakes and the company who both marketed and sold those brakes. Another example is if a driver cuts you off in traffic, causing you to lose control of the truck. In this instance, the other driver could be deemed at fault for the accident.
When filing a third-party claim, you may be able to receive full compensation for the damages along with compensation for pain and suffering. It’s safe to say that pain and suffering, along with lost wages and other damages could be possibly substantially more than when filing for workers’ compensation alone.
As a side note, your employer could be liable in some limited situations. It’s best to talk with a Vancouver truck accident attorney to determine if you would have a claim against your employer.