What to Do After an Accident with a Landstar Truck
Landstar is one of the largest truckload carriers in the world. However, they do things a bit differently than most trucking companies in that they contract with owner-operators rather than directly employing drivers.
If you or a loved one has been in an accident with a Landstar truck, call 800-863-5312 for a free case evaluation with our truck accident attorneys. Zinda Law Group operates on a contingency basis, meaning you will not owe us anything unless we win your case.
WHAT TO DO AFTER AN ACCIDENT WITH LANDSTAR
Following an accident, it is critical that you complete a few key steps to keep yourself safe and to protect any legal claim that you might have.
1. Seek Medical Attention
First, it is imperative that you seek medical attention as soon as possible after the accident. The sooner you address any injuries, the less chance there is of them compounding and becoming something worse. In addition, any delay in going to the doctor could potentially be used by Landstar in a lawsuit to make the claim that your injuries are not as bad as you say.
2. Exchange Information
An accident with a Landstar driver is no different than most automobile accidents in this way—it is important that you get the information of the truck driver involved in your accident.
3. File a Police Report
If the police were not called to the accident scene, call them so that you can file a report. Even if the accident seems relatively minor, it is important that you file a police report.
4. Document Your Medical Visits
After leaving the scene and going to seek medical attention, make sure that your visits to medical professionals are well-documented. This includes keeping any paperwork that you are given and asking for medical records.
LANDSTAR SAFETY VIOLATIONS
According to data compiled by the Federal Carrier Motor Safety Administration, Landstar drivers have received over 1,000 violations due to unsafe driving over the past couple of years. Though many of these are relatively small infractions that did not cause an accident, unfortunately, accidents can and have happened. For example, in 2015, a verdict for $19.25 million was reached against Landstar for a wrongful death resulting from a truck parked at an unsafe distance from the highway. Though safety violations may sound like minor infractions, they can end up causing major injuries to other drivers and passengers on the road.
COMMON CAUSES OF TRUCKING ACCIDENTS
No two trucking accidents are ever the exact same, but there are a few common causes that tend to recur in the majority of claims:
According to a study conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, driver fatigue is the most common cause of trucking accidents. Fatigue is dangerous in that it combines with any other conditions that may be present on the road to make an accident more likely. For example, poor weather or lighting conditions combined with a driver whose reactions have been dulled by fatigue can be the cause of an accident.
Trucking companies can often play into this problem by asking a lot of their drivers. Like any other company, they try to make a profit from their business, and one way to do this is by pushing drivers to try to reach unrealistic goals. Paying truck drivers by the mile also feeds into the problem. To maximize their earnings, truck drivers can sometimes skirt the federal rules that are in place that put caps on driving time.
COMMON INJURIES FROM TRUCKING ACCIDENTS
Because trucks are so much bigger than a standard passenger vehicle, the typical injuries that result from accidents involving trucks are a bit different and can often be more severe. Here are a few of the common truck accident injuries:
Head and Brain Injuries
Head and brain injuries are often caused by whiplash, which is when the head is “whipped” forward as a result of being rear-ended. Because 18-wheelers are so much heavier than a normal passenger vehicle, the consequences resulting from a truck accident can often be more severe.
Broken bones often result from blunt force trauma. Again, because trucks have so much more force behind them than a car, this problem is exacerbated in the case of a truck accident.
Lacerations happen when broken glass or other parts of a car or truck become loose and strike you or a passenger. In addition, anything that is not secured in the car can become a projectile and cause cuts—for example, a cellphone, baby toy, or sunglasses can all cause cuts.
LANDSTAR ACCIDENT SETTLEMENTS
When you are in an accident, you may have expenses in the form of medicals bills and car repairs that you need to pay. This is typically where insurance comes into play. After an accident, you can make a claim with the insurance company, after which you may be offered a settlement amount to cover your damages. When the accident involves two passenger vehicles, the process is a bit more straightforward than when a truck is involved.
When a truck is involved, however, there is an added wrinkle in that the trucking company may be liable for your injuries. This is further complicated by the fact that drivers for Landstar are not “employees” of the company per se but are rather referred to as “owner-operators.” The added complication of filing a claim against a trucking company means that it is even more important that you consult with an experienced attorney before taking any action.
Learn More: How Do Truck Accident Settlements Work?
FILING A CLAIM AGAINST LANDSTAR
As mentioned previously, there are not two truck accident claims that are exactly the same. However, there are a few important steps that generally will need to be followed in order to have a chance at being compensated for your injuries.
1. Contact an Attorney
Filing a claim of any sort can be complicated, and the complexity only increases when a truck is involved. That is why it is important that you contact an attorney before you try anything on your own. Not only could an attorney increase your chances of receiving maximum compensation, but they may decrease the risk that you say or do something that results in you getting nothing at all.
Once you have hired an attorney, they may investigate the accident to find the necessary facts to build a strong case. In a truck accident, this means collecting medical records, looking at the safety records of the truck driver, and gathering any photo or video evidence that may be available of the scene.
3. Negotiate a Settlement
Once your attorney has put together all of the necessary information, they may be able to enter into settlement negotiations. At this point, it is important for attorneys to have experience negotiating truck accident settlements in order to be able to put together an argument that maximizes the strengths of your claim.
COMPENSATION FOR ACCIDENTS WITH LANDSTAR
After being in an accident, one of the most common questions that victims have is, “How much is my case worth?” That depends on a lot of different factors, but generally speaking, your compensation will come from two different sources:
Economic damages are things like medical expenses and damage to your vehicle or other property that you were forced to repair or replace. Economic damages are usually fairly easy to prove and can be calculated down to a fairly exact amount.
Non-economic damages are typically referred to as “pain and suffering.” They are damages that can’t be as easily quantified, such as the physical pain from your injuries or the loss of enjoyment of certain activities in your life because of the accident.
LEGAL TIME LIMITS
For every accident claim, there is a corresponding “statute of limitations.” The statute of limitations is simply the amount of time from the date of the accident that you have to file a claim. If you attempt to bring a claim after the statute has expired, then you risk having it dismissed or thrown out. For example, if the statute of limitations for a truck accident is three years, you have three years starting on the date of the accident to file your claim. One important note—the statute of limitations differs state by state, so speaking with an attorney in your area as soon after the accident as possible may help you file on time.
GET HELP FROM THE TRUCKING ACCIDENT LAWYERS AT ZINDA LAW GROUP
Zinda Law Group provides all of its clients with the resources of a large firm combined with the individual attention of a small practice. Our attorneys are experienced with trucking cases and may help you pursue maximum compensation for your injuries. In addition, we believe that accident victims shouldn’t have to worry about affording legal representation. Zinda Law Group operates on a no-win, no-fee payment policy—you don’t owe us anything unless we achieve a favorable settlement in your case.
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