Hamilton Truck Accident Lawyer
Although semi trucks, 18-wheelers, tractor trailers and other large commercial vehicles are greatly outnumbered by passenger vehicles on the roads of Ontario, trucks can be dangerous. This class of vehicles is responsible for the largest proportion of fatal motor vehicle accidents that occur each year.
Although infrequent, trucking accidents can have extremely severe consequences when they occur, often causing injuries or fatalities that can greatly affect someone’s life. Whether as a result of driver error, negligence or mechanical failure, there is almost always someone directly at fault in most trucking accident cases.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a trucking accident, there’s no reason to shoulder the responsibilities and difficulties of handling such a terrible situation alone. At Wynperle Law, our team of experienced personal injury lawyers support accident victims by defending their right to sue and claim damages for pain and suffering, past and future income loss, expenses incurred, and cost of care.
Book a Free Consultation with a Hamilton Truck Accident Lawyer
What to do if You Are Involved in a Trucking Accident
Most people have no idea what it’s like to be involved in serious truck accidents or car crashes, so when these events occur it’s important to remember to act quickly and take the following steps after emergency services have been contacted.
If you are able to safely exit your vehicle, gather information from any other parties involved, including personal identification and proof of insurance. If possible, document the scene with photo and video.
If there are bystanders in the vicinity who might have witnessed the accident, ask them for their contact information in case you or your truck accident lawyer needs to contact them later.
Collecting this information will make it much easier for your lawyer to build your case.
Seek Medical Attention
A truck accident injury can slowly develop in the days and weeks following a crash, so you should always seek medical attention in a truck accident case, even if you think you feel fine.
Certain injuries, like traumatic brain injuries or spinal cord injuries, only manifest their symptoms once the body has recovered from the initial shock of a motor vehicle accident. Worse yet, they can persist for months or even years. If such an injury develops, your medical records will form an important part of your case for compensation.
If you don’t seek medical attention right away, your insurance company may argue that this shows you don’t have a serious injury and thus are not entitled to damages. Don’t let the insurance companies take advantage of your pain and suffering or short change you.
Contact a Hamilton Truck Accident Lawyer
In the immediate aftermath of an accident, there’s a lot to process, but it is vitally important that you contact an experienced truck accident lawyer as quickly as possible.
After collecting information at the accident scene and seeking medical care, contact Wynperle Law for a free consultation. Our truck accident lawyers will walk you through the process for filing your insurance claim and potentially seeking compensation, while defending your rights throughout and making sure you get the best possible outcome for your case.
Trucking Accident Victim Rights and Responsibilities
All too often, the victims of trucking accidents aren’t sure how to proceed in the immediate aftermath of the incident. A truck accident is a potentially traumatic and stressful event, one that often leaves victims in a state of disoriented shock.
Remember: If you or a family member suffers personal injury and property damage as the result of a truck accident, you are likely entitled to compensation for damages, expenses, health care costs and replacement income.
In order to determine the benefit amount payable, accident benefits are generally classified as either “catastrophic” or “non-catastrophic” in nature.
If you were employed at the time of an accident that leaves you unable to perform your duties, you may be entitled to receive:
- Up to $400/week, usually payable after a 7-day waiting period.
Rehabilitation & Attendant Care Expenses
- Up to $1,000,000 if catastrophically impaired (over your lifetime).
- Up to $100,000 if non-catastrophically impaired (over a period of 10 years after the accident).
Expenses for attendant care are generally awarded as follows:
- Up to $6,000/month up to $1,000,000 maximum if you’re catastrophically impaired.
- Up to $3000/month for up to two years after the accident to a $72,000 maximum.
If you were unemployed at the time of the accident, you may still qualify for compensation. “Non-earner benefits” can begin on the 6th month anniversary of the accident, and pay up to a maximum of either $185/week or $320/week.
Caregivers who are unable to fulfill their duties after a truck accident can claim up to $250/week for the first dependent, plus $50/week for each additional dependent.
Tort Claims Against The At-Fault Driver
Within certain limits, you and your family members are entitled to claim against the driver and any others who are wholly or partly at fault for your accident for pain and suffering; losses of income; future care; losses of care, guidance and companionship; expenses they have incurred on your behalf; and the value of their time in caring for you.
Common Trucking Accident Causes
In 2019, Ontario Road Safety Annual Report showed that large truck collisions were responsible for more fatal road incidents than any other category. Despite some statistical variation from year to year, the takeaway is clear: Trucking accidents occur regularly and are much more likely to have catastrophic consequences for people than accidents involving passenger cars only.
Collectively, truck accidents account for fewer personal injuries than passenger vehicle accidents, but a truck crash is far more likely to have severe or fatal consequences for the vehicle occupants as well as major or catastrophic property damage to the passenger vehicles.
When they occur, truck accidents have severe consequences for car drivers due to the sheer size and weight of a tractor trailer. But it’s not the size and weight of these vehicles that makes them inherently dangerous, as truck accidents have a number of common causes, many of which are related to trucking company policies and practices.
Common trucking accident causes include:
When a trucking company tries to cut corners and operate their trucks beyond capacity specifications, accidents become much more likely. If a vehicle is carrying too much weight, shifting cargo or weight imbalances increase the risk of a rollover, jackknife or trailer tipping incident.
Inadequate Driver Training
Although most professional drivers receive the necessary training to operate their vehicles safely, accidents are sometimes caused due to the driver’s lack of training, qualifications or experience. If any of these situations apply to a truck accident you were involved in, you could be entitled to compensation.
Like anyone else, trucker drivers can become distracted while driving. Anything that takes your attention from the road constitutes a distraction, including communication devices, like CB radios or cell phones, as well as things like eating or drinking behind the wheel.
Vehicle maintenance is one area where some trucking companies and drivers cut corners in order to minimize their costs and downtime. Unfortunately, this puts all road uses at risk because failing parts, like brakes or tires, can easily cause a serious accident.
Driver fatigue is a well-established cause of trucking accidents throughout Canada, and Ontario is no exception. Although truck driver hours are limited by law to help combat driver fatigue, drivers will nonetheless burn the candle at both ends in order to increase their productivity, which increases the risk of accidents.
For drivers who get paid per delivery, rather than by the hour, there is a clear incentive to drive as fast as possible. Although most professional drivers obey the rules of the road, it only takes one driver in a hurry to create a potentially severe trucking accident.
Despite the stringent laws and public awareness campaigns surrounding this issue, impaired driving remains a problem even among truck drivers.
The Ontario government took steps to further clamp down on the problem by instituting changes to the impairment rules for commercial drivers in 2018. The drivers of vehicles that require an A-F class licence or vehicles requiring a Commercial Vehicle Operator’s Registration are prohibited from having any trace of alcohol or other drugs in their system when they operate the vehicle in question.
Wynperle Law Truck Accident Lawyers Offer Free Consultations
At Wynperle Law, our truck accident lawyers have years of experience navigating Ontario’s legal system and getting favorable results for our clients.
Truck accident victims often suffer devastating injuries with long-term consequences, so having a legal partner with your best interests in mind can help ease the burden on families and loved ones, while at the same time making sure that they receive compensation commensurate for the pain, injuries and property damage they suffer.
Contact Wynperle Law for a free consultation.