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What are the Legal Rights of Injury Victims (Children and Adults) in a Crash with a Semi Tractor Trailer?

By David Wolf, Attorney and Robert Chaiken, Attorney

Truck Accident.001In communities throughout the United States, there is a common danger that is out on the roadways – day and night. The common danger is in the form of large commercial vehicles and semi-tractor trailers.  Certainly, companies have a right to conduct business and it is proper to utilize commercial trucks and semi tractor trailers in intrastate commerce and in interstate commerce; however, when the commercial or truck driver crashes into other vehicles or causes a crash due to the negligent driver of the commercial or truck driver then there is a cause of action against both the driver and the company that he or she is driving on behalf of.  When there is a crash with semi tractor trailer, the resulting damage to both other vehicles, drivers, and passengers can and often is quite significant and in some cases tragic and devastating.  Certainly, all drivers have a duty to operate the motor vehicle in a safe and reasonable manner by observing and obeying speed limits, street signs, traffic, and weather conditions.  Commercial and truck drivers have special training or at least should have special training to operate such large vehicles.  It is important that the trucks are well maintained and that driver logs are meticulously maintained and followed.  One drowsy or overworked truck driver can change the life of another person and his or her family in a split second.
In the aftermath of a commercial truck or semi tractor trailer accident, there are a host of challenges to the injury victims which can range in age from infants to seniors and every age group in between.  It is quite clear that a motorcycle, compact vehicle, or even a large SUV will be no match size, mass, or weight wise in a crash with a commercial truck or semi tractor trailer.  Soon after the crash, the company for the truck driver is immediately contacted and then springs its risk management and insurance company into action. The injury victim and his or her family should do the same except most people in the community do not necessary have an experienced personal injury attorney on speed dial.  It is at these times that the injury victim and family should get a trusted and hard working attorney in place to protect the legal rights of the injury victim and the family.
David A. Wolf has dedicated his entire legal career to the protection of children, adults, and seniors who have been victimized due to the negligence or fault of others.  He has always represented individuals and families and has never by choice represented an insurance company or large corporation.   Certainly, insurance companies and large corporations are well situated and have no issues lining up an attorney in a quick manner no matter the issue or case involved.  David A. Wolf strongly believes in individual rights and protecting and enforcing  the injury victim’s rights. He is the author of five books that focus on personal injury issues including the book – When the Wheels Stop Spinning – Legal Rights of the Injured Child – What Parents Need to Know After the Accident.  This book has chapters on Medical Bills, Automobile Insurance, Settlement and Compensation, and other topics. You can get this book for free at When the Wheels Stop Spinning.
A recent crash in the State of Texas shows the chain reaction devastation in the wake of a semi tractor trailer crash. It was reported that semi tractor trailer rammed into several vehicles in heavy traffic.  There were adults and children seriously injured in this crash. It was reported that alcohol, impairment, and careless driving may have played a roll in the crash.  Law enforcement and fire rescue responded to the scene of this trucking crash. You can read more about this crash at Driver Intoxicated in Trucking Wreck that Causes the Death of Three People in Texas. 
A child or adult injured as a result of the negligence of semi tractor trailer truck driver or a commercial driver has the right to pursue a case or claim for compensation for medical bills – past and future, wage loss, vocational damages, and educational expenses that are incurred due the injuries. There are also damages in the form of what is called non-economic damages which include mental pain, mental suffering, loss of companionship, and loss of enjoyment of life.  The legal term “Non-economic damages” is somewhat confusing by the name; however it should be made clear that these damages are compensable when a person is injured due to the fault or negligence of another person.  It should also be noted that a wrongful death case is handled differently than a case involving personal injuries that do not result in the death of the injury victim.  Most states have a separate wrongful death statute or law that controls how these cases are pursued, who are the statutory survivors, and what kind of damages can be recovered.