The use of a cellphone, tablet, radio, or GPS device takes a driver’s eyes off the road. Eating, drinking, smoking, or simply looking at roadside sites can also divert the driver’s attention from operating the truck, which can travel hundreds of yards in just a few seconds. A distracted trucker can cause a catastrophic accident in the blink of an eye if that eye is not on the road.

Faulty Equipment

A truck’s brake system, lights, reflectors, horn, and other safety equipment should be inspected before every trip. If any such system fails, a catastrophic crash can result.

Unbalanced Cargo

If loading dock personnel load a truck’s cargo improperly or fail to secure the cargo in or on the trailer, the truck’s load can shift and make it impossible for the driver to control the truck. Cargo that falls off a flatbed truck onto the highway can cause a multiple-vehicle chain-reaction crash.

Bad Weather

Rain, snow, ice, fog, and strong winds increase the likelihood of a truck crash, especially if the driver does not slow down to accommodate the weather conditions.

Poor Road Conditions or Faulty Signs or Signals

If a road is not properly maintained or traffic signs or signals are missing or faulty, an accident is likely to occur. In such a case, a local or county government agency could bear partial responsibility for your wreck.

Truck-Motorcycle Crash Injuries

Because motorcyclists have almost no physical protection in a truck crash, their injuries are generally severe or fatal. Common injuries include the following:

  • Fractured or crushed joints and bones
  • Road rash
  • Nerve damage
  • Lacerations and disfigurement
  • Spinal cord damage
  • Paralysis
  • Concussion or traumatic brain injury (TBI)
  • Amputation
  • Decapitation
  • PTSD

A motorcyclist who survives a truck crash is likely to require surgery and expensive ongoing medical care, sometimes for life. It’s possible that such a survivor might never be able to work again. With the help of any attorney, the loved ones of a biker who dies in a truck crash can file a wrongful death action against the at-fault parties.

Recovering Damages

If you’re a motorcyclist injured by an at-fault trucker for any of the reasons listed above, you’re entitled to file insurance claims to recover all your current and future medical expenses, including:

  • Transportation by ambulance
  • Emergency room visits and hospitalization
  • Diagnostic tests
  • Surgeries
  • Follow-up and disability care
  • Physical therapy
  • Assistive equipment for your home or vehicle
  • Home nursing care
  • Psychological counseling

You’re also entitled to recover all lost income, including wages, bonuses, commissions, and lost earning potential. Replacement or repair of your motorcycle is the responsibility of the defendant(s). You’re also entitled to compensation for non-economic damages, including emotional trauma, loss of enjoyment of life, and physical pain and suffering, which could make up the largest part of your damage award.

Fighting the Insurance Companies of Multiple Defendants

Damage claims resulting from truck-motorcycle crashes are apt to be astronomically expensive for the insurers involved. Fortunately for you, trucking companies are required to carry liability insurance with very high coverage limits, and there might be multiple defendants who are partially responsible for your damages, including the following:

  • Trucker
  • Trucking company
  • Truck owner
  • Manufacturer
  • Repair service
  • Cargo-loading personnel
  • Government agency

This means there is plenty of insurance coverage to compensate you for your damages, but don’t assume the insurer(s) will simply pay you because they’re supposed to. Insurance companies are in business to make a profit, not to lose money by paying out huge damage awards. Their adjusters and attorneys are well-trained to dispute, devalue, delay, and deny expensive claims. They’re likely to make you a quick, lowball settlement offer that won’t come close to meeting your expenses, more or less daring you to sue them.

If, however, you have an experienced attorney in your corner, you can level the playing field. Your lawyer will know how to investigate your accident to determine the fault of multiple defendants, estimate your long-term medical expenses, put a dollar amount on your pain and suffering, and make demands for fair settlements from all liable parties. If reasonable compensation is not offered, your lawyer can file multiple lawsuits on your behalf and fight for you in court.

Dirk J. Derrick
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South Carolina Lawyer Dirk Derrick helps victims recover from car accidents, personal injury & wrongful death.