Unlike passenger vehicles, large trucks like semis have unique features that make them especially dangerous on the road and in an accident.
If you were hurt or a loved one was killed in a collision with a large truck in Nebraska, it’s advisable to consult an attorney before speaking with an insurance company representative or accepting a settlement offer. The Omaha injury lawyers at Hauptman, O’Brien, Wolf & Lathrop are dedicated to helping injury victims recover the financial peace of mind they need.
Please call us today at 402-241-5020 or contact us online to tell us your story and schedule your free consultation.
Why You Need an Experienced Truck Accident Lawyer
If you have been involved in a truck accident in Omaha, you could be entitled to compensation for the damages you have incurred. Pursuing compensation isn’t easy to do on your own. It helps to have the direction of one of our experienced truck accident lawyers throughout your case. You can trust that we will fight hard for you and your rights against the powerful opposing insurance companies. Our truck accident lawyers will be at your side throughout the entire process and will represent your best interests in scenarios which include:
More Than One Party is Responsible for Your Injuries
One aspect of truck accident cases that differentiate them from other motor vehicle accidents is that multiple parties may be held liable for damages. These parties could include the truck driver, the trucking company, the truck’s manufacturer, contractors and government entities (you can read more about liable parties in a truck accident claim below). Our truck accident lawyers have the experience necessary to identify the liable parties in your accident in a timely matter. This will allow us to help you pursue compensation before the statute of limitations for your case runs out.
Negotiating with Multiple Insurance Companies
If your truck accident case involves multiple parties, negotiation with multiple insurance companies will likely be the result. While this could be more than overwhelming for you, leave it to our experienced personal injury lawyers to get the job done. Our attorneys know how to negotiate with multiple insurance companies and will work hard to gather the compensation you deserve from each one of them.
While some truck accident cases need to be resolved in court, others can be settled out of court with the help of skilled and aggressive negotiation by our lawyers. We know what strategies work, and with you at the forefront of our minds, we will weigh the different options given in the mediation process and choose what is best for your case.
The Complicated Nature of the Trucking Industry
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration requires truck drivers and truck companies to follow strict standards and regulations while on the road. These include recording weight, hours on the road, hours off of the road, and more. Our truck accident attorneys know how to determine if these guidelines were violated leading up to your accident. We will use this information to identify liable parties, as well as use it as evidence to support your case for compensation.
Don’t go about your truck accident case alone. Trust that the truck accident lawyers here at Hauptman, O’Brien, Wolf & Lathrop can help. We will take on all of your stress and handle the insurance companies while you focus on healing your injuries.
Compensation for Truck Accidents in Nebraska
The compensation you receive for your truck accident claim will depend on a variety of factors. Our truck accident lawyers will assess fault in your accident and will take the required steps in valuing your injuries and damages.
What Compensation is Available for a Truck Accident Claim?
After a detailed and thorough review of police reports, eyewitness testimonies, medical records, photographs and more, our Omaha truck accident lawyers may seek compensation for the following damages on your behalf:
- Property damage
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of quality of life
- Surgical costs
- Home alterations
- And more
Who is at Fault in a Commercial Truck Accident?
For truck accidents that occur in Nebraska, our truck accident lawyers can determine if one or more of the following parties were responsible for your accident:
- The Truck Driver: Just like the rest of us, truck drivers have a responsibility to maintain their duty of care for those around them. When a truck driver behaves negligently behind the wheel and causes an accident, he or she may be held responsible for damages.
- The Trucking Company: Many trucking companies have been found guilty of making their drivers adhere to unrealistic travel schedules. Because of this, truck drivers experience fatigue, which can result in accidents. If our truck accident lawyers investigate your case and determine that the trucking company was negligent, and consequently caused your accident, we can hold them liable.
- Cargo Loading Company: Overloaded and misloaded cargo are common causes of truck accidents. Based on the circumstances of your accident and our investigation, if we determine that improperly loaded cargo may have caused your accident, we can hold the cargo loading company liable for your damages.
- Truck Manufacturers: If a truck is poorly manufactured, it can be a serious hazard to everyone on the road. This can include faulty axles, trailers, tires and more. Our experienced truck accident lawyers will investigate your accident and determine if an equipment malfunction was the cause of your accident. We aren’t afraid to take on large companies to get you the compensation you deserve.
This list is not exhaustive, and there could be other parties responsible for the accident in which you were involved. However, these are the most common. At Hauptman, O’Brien, Wolf & Lathrop, P.C., we are committed to serving our clients with aggressive representation and will do everything we can to recover the compensation your case deserves.
What Makes Truck Accidents So Dangerous?
“Large trucks” are commercial motor vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of greater than 10,000 pounds. These trucks are also commonly known as semis, tractor-trailers, and 18-wheelers.
Other types of large trucks that pose severe injury risks to passenger vehicle occupants in the event of an accident include:
- Charter vans or shuttles
- Construction vehicles
- Delivery trucks
In addition to their size and weight compared with passenger vehicles, many large trucks have other attributes that make them especially dangerous in accident scenarios:
- Tractor-trailers and other big trucks require longer stopping distances
- The air brakes used in many big rigs can fail without proper maintenance
- Freight can shift with sudden movements and affect a truck’s maneuverability
- Cargo may include toxic or otherwise hazardous materials that compound the severity of an accident and resulting injuries
Accidents involving large commercial vehicles result in higher rates of catastrophic injuries and death than crashes involving only passenger vehicles. According to the Nebraska Department of Transportation, passenger vehicles were involved in 28,186 traffic accidents that resulted in 92 fatalities in 2016; conversely, large trucks including semis and buses were involved in fewer than 17,000 crashes that resulted in 99 deaths the same year. Approximately 15 percent of all fatal accidents in Nebraska in 2016 involved a heavy truck.
Common Injuries in Omaha Truck Accidents
Truck accidents can have severe consequences for their victims. Often, if a truck accident does not kill a person, it usually leaves them with lifelong injuries. Injuries that result from truck accidents include but are not limited to the following:
Neck and Spinal Cord Injuries
Neck and spinal cord injuries can range from minor neck pain to ruptured discs. A person’s neck and back are critical for everyday functionality, so an injury that affects the spinal cord or spinal structure can be debilitating. Serious injuries to the neck and back can lead to symptoms that include the following:
- Partial to complete paralysis
- Numbness in various areas of the body
- Loss of quality of life
- Inability to complete basic daily functions
- Moderate to severe daily pain
- Loss of earning capacity
Broken, Fractured and Shattered Bones
Commercial trucks are massive and powerful machines. The human bone structure stands little chance when a crash occurs. Some bone breaks can be so severe they need surgical repair and extensive rehabilitation. When a person is involved in a truck accident and breaks bones as a result, they may experience symptoms such as:
- Compound fractures
- Severe pain in the affected area
Head Trauma and Traumatic Brain Injuries
Brain injuries are very common in commercial trucking accidents and can have incapacitating effects on their victims. Head injuries often occur when the head is impacted by blunt force. Brain injuries do not always show immediate symptoms, and when symptoms begin to show, victims may experience:
- Blurred vision
- Minor to severe headaches
- Minor to severe vertigo
It is also common in truck accidents for the body to be jostled around violently. Because of this, blunt force trauma to internal organs is very common. This trauma can result in bleeding and ruptured spleens, kidneys, lungs, etc. These injuries are hard to treat and should be taken care of immediately. Anytime you are involved in an accident, call 911 right away and receive medical treatment.
If a loved one has been killed in a truck accident in Nebraska, our experienced truck accident lawyers can help you hold the at-fault party accountable. We will never be able to replace your lost loved one, but we can certainly help your family pursue the compensation necessary to begin moving forward.
Steps to Take After a Commercial Trucking Accident in Omaha
The time after your truck accident can be very traumatic and hectic. While we understand these moments could be some of the scariest of your life, the steps you take after your accident will have a significant impact on your ability to recover compensation for the damages you sustain.
At the Scene of the Truck Accident
If your injuries don’t prohibit you from doing so, call 911 immediately. While you are waiting for emergency responders to arrive:
- Collect the contact, insurance and employment information from the driver of the truck
- Collect the contact information of any eyewitnesses
- Take photographs of the scene
- Contact your insurance provider and report that you have been involved in a truck accident
Once the police and EMTs arrive, make sure that you file a police report and get medical attention for your injuries. Many truck accidents cause serious injuries, which can make following these steps extremely difficult. When this occurs, our experienced truck accident lawyers can obtain all of this information through a detailed investigation into your accident.
Following the Truck Accident
Even if your injuries were cleared at the scene of your accident by EMTs, it’s strongly advised you still set up an appointment with your primary care doctor for further evaluation. Brain injuries and whiplash do not always show symptoms right away but can be detected later during a doctor visit. This examination will be pivotal for identifying injuries that may have gone unnoticed at the scene of your accident. It is important you obtain a copy of the doctor’s findings.
Contact the truck accident lawyers at Hauptman, O’Brien, Wolf & Lathrop, P.C., as soon as you can so we can evaluate your case. Our legal team will gather evidence, determine liability and decide what course of action is best for your case going forward. You will feel comfortable knowing we will work very hard on your behalf so you can get the compensation your case deserves.
Your First Consultation With a Truck Accident Lawyer is Free!
The Omaha lawyers at Hauptman, O’Brien, Wolf & Lathrop, P.C. have been helping truck accident injury victims since 1980. We investigate, analyze and diligently prepare truck accident claims to ensure our clients can recover the maximum compensation available.
If you lost a loved one in a large truck accident that was caused by another’s negligence, our attorneys might be able to help you pursue compensation through a wrongful death claim.
If you were hurt or a family member was killed in a Nebraska truck accident, please call Hauptman, O’Brien, Wolf & Lathrop today at 402-241-5020 or contact us online. Our experienced injury lawyers offer free initial consultations, and we don’t charge for our services until we win your case.