Trucking Accident Attorneys Serving Cody and All of Wyoming
A Cody truck accident lawyer at Burg Simpson can help you pursue the maximum compensation you deserve for a crash with a large commercial vehicle in Wyoming. Truck wrecks can be very serious and often result in severe, potentially permanent injuries. Our team is here to help you navigate the legal process and fight for the justice you deserve.
It is important to act quickly. The trucking company may already be taking steps to build a case against you. Because of this, it is crucial to seek legal representation as soon as possible to protect your rights and interests. The sooner you get started, the better your chances of achieving a successful outcome.
Reasons to choose a truck accident attorney at Burg Simpson include:
- Decades of experience. Since our founding in 1977, Burg Simpson has built a reputation for excellence in matters of personal injury law.
- Award-winning attorneys. Many of our lawyers have earned prestigious awards in the legal industry. Our team has been recognized by our peers, our community, and our clients.
- More than $2 billion in results. We have obtained more than $2 billion in verdicts and settlements on behalf of our clients. Through diligent effort and thorough preparation, we pursue the maximum compensation for each person we represent.
Call 307-527-7891 today for a FREE case evaluation. You can also contact us online. Burg Simpson handles truck accident cases on a contingency basis, which means you pay nothing unless we reach a successful outcome in your case. Our office in Cody serves clients throughout Wyoming.
How Can a Truck Accident Attorney Help?
Although every auto accident case presents certain complexities, truck accident cases can be particularly difficult, and should not be approached without the knowledgeable representation of a seasoned attorney.
The commercial trucking industry is governed by numerous federal regulations and state laws, and all parties involved, including truck drivers, their employers, and others, are required to follow these laws and regulations. When these parties fail to do so, it can lead to serious accidents and injuries.
To be successful in a trucking accident claim, it is necessary to prove that one or more parties were negligent in some way and that their negligence caused your injuries and damages. This requires a thorough understanding of the applicable laws and regulations, as well as how the parties at fault may have violated these rules.
One of the key services that our trucking accident attorneys can provide is conducting a thorough investigation of the crash on your behalf. We have the skills and resources necessary to:
- Assess the damage to your vehicle and any other vehicles involved in the collision. The location and severity of the damage can provide important information about how the accident occurred and the sequence of events.
- Examine the accident scene for important evidence, such as skid marks, damage to the roadway, and other clues that can help to determine the cause of the accident. This evidence can be critical in building a strong case and seeking the compensation you deserve.
- Talk to witnesses who were at the accident scene.
- Obtain and review copies of all accident reports related to the trucking accident, including those prepared by local and state police and, if applicable, the National Transportation Safety Board.
- Perform a background check on the truck driver.
- Reconstruct the truck accident using witness testimony, photographs, and other evidence.
- Communicate with your doctors and review medical records to assess the nature and seriousness of your injuries.
- Obtain copies of trucking company records and electronic data such as the truck’s “black box,” the driver’s cell phone history, etc.
- Hire experts to testify about the cause of the wreck, the severity of your injuries, the damages in your claim, who is at fault, etc.
By conducting an extensive investigation, our experienced truck accident lawyers will develop a customized strategy to pursue the full compensation you deserve for the losses you sustained in the crash.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents
A number of factors can contribute to a truck accident in Wyoming. Some of the most common causes of truck wrecks include the following:
Insufficient Driver Training
It is the responsibility of trucking companies to ensure that their drivers are qualified, safe, and adhere to all relevant regulations. If a trucking company fails to meet these obligations and a crash occurs as a result, it may be held liable for any damages or injuries that result.
A trucking company can be held liable when a driver it employs causes a crash and the trucking company:
- Knowingly hired an untrained or undertrained driver: If a trucking company knowingly hires a driver who is untrained or inexperienced, and this lack of training or experience contributes to a crash, the company may be held liable for any damages or injuries that result.
- Hired a driver with a poor driving record: It is the responsibility of the trucking company to ensure that their drivers are qualified and capable of operating their vehicles safely. A trucking company may be held liable for a crash caused by one of their drivers if the driver had a poor driving record and the company hired them without taking steps to address the driver’s safety issues.
If you were involved in a collision with a commercial vehicle and the trucker was intoxicated at the time of the accident, you have a right to recover damages for your physical, financial, and emotional losses. In these cases, you may also be able to pursue a claim for gross negligence, which could allow you to seek punitive damages in addition to any other damages you may be entitled to. It is important to speak with a Cody truck accident lawyer as soon as possible after the accident to understand your legal options and determine the best course of action.
Driving aggressively refers to any behavior on the road that puts others at risk of harm or violates traffic laws. This can include speeding, tailgating, failing to signal, running red lights or stop signs, or making illegal turns. Truck drivers are often under pressure to drive long distances in short amounts of time. This can cause truckers to disregard certain rules and operate their vehicles in a dangerous manner. Aggressive driving poses a serious threat to the safety of all road users and should be avoided, especially by truck drivers who operate massive vehicles.
Examples of aggressive driving include:
- Blocking cars attempting to pass or change lanes
- Changing lanes without signaling
- Weaving in and out of traffic
- Running red lights
- Cutting in front of another driver and then slowing down
Truck Driver Fatigue
Truck driver fatigue is a leading cause of truck accidents. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) estimates that up to 13% of commercial truck drivers involved in crashes were experiencing fatigue at the time of the incident.
Federal law subjects commercial truck drivers to strict limits on the number of hours they can work without rest breaks. They must take a break after 11 consecutive hours of driving, provided that they have taken at least 10 hours off before that period. Truck drivers are also required to stop driving after 14 hours on duty. In addition, truckers are prohibited from driving for more than 60 hours in a week or more than 70 hours over a period of eight days. These regulations are in place to help prevent fatigue and ensure the safety of all road users.
Improper Truck Maintenance
A truck that is not well-maintained can pose a risk of causing a crash due to various factors, with some improperly maintained components being more hazardous than others. Some of the most common causes of truck accidents involving improper maintenance include:
- Brakes: If a truck’s brakes are not well-maintained, it may take the driver longer to bring the vehicle to a stop. In the event of brake failure, the risk of catastrophe is heightened when the truck is on a steep slope.
- Wheels and tires: Worn or improperly inflated tires may burst while a truck is in motion, leading to a loss of control for the driver. Misaligned wheels can also make it difficult for the driver to maintain control of a large, heavy vehicle.
- Mirrors and windshields: A damaged windshield, malfunctioning wipers, or misaligned mirrors can all inhibit a truck driver’s ability to see and potentially cause a collision.
- Lights: If a truck’s lights are not functioning properly, it may be difficult for other drivers to see the truck in low visibility conditions, such as at night.
Overweight or Overloaded Cargo
Carrying too much cargo can create a number of challenges for truck drivers, even those who are experienced. Overloading a truck can cause it to:
- Accelerate downhill
- Shift weight to the rear and affect steering
- Raise the center of gravity and increase the risk of a rollover
- Put extra pressure on the tires and potentially cause a blowout
- Tilt if it hits a bump in the road
- Make it difficult for the driver to accurately calculate stopping distance and potentially cause a rear-end accident
- Cause cargo to fall onto the roadway, potentially leading to secondary accidents as other drivers try to avoid the hazard
To address these risks, federal and state agencies have established load restrictions for commercial trucks. However, some trucking companies and drivers may violate these rules in an effort to transport their cargo efficiently.
Improperly Secured Loads
An unsecured load is one that has not been attached or fastened to the vehicle or trailer using tarps, metal braces, ropes, netting, or chains. A load may be considered unsecured if there is a possibility for it to detach or move during the vehicle’s operation.
The FMCSA has established various cargo securement rules over the years. It is not surprising that there is no single rule for securing a load, as different vehicles have different designs and carrying capacities. The specific requirements for securing a load on a truck depend on the truck’s design.
Truck accidents are not always caused by mistakes made by truck drivers or negligence on the part of the trucking company. In some cases, accidents are caused by defective automotive parts that can cause tire blowouts, brake failure, electrical issues, and acceleration problems.
Common Types of Truck Accidents
Some of the most common types of truck accidents in Wyoming include:
- Jackknife truck accident: A type of truck wreck where the cab and trailer of the truck fold in on themselves at the point where they are connected, creating a V-shape. This movement is similar to the way a pocketknife blade folds into its handle when closing, which is why it is called a jackknife.
- Underride truck accidents: An underride accident happens when a smaller vehicle collides with the side or back of a tractor-trailer and ends up sliding under it. These kinds of truck accidents are often deadly, killing hundreds of people in the United States every year.
- Right turn squeeze truck accident: An accident that occurs when a truck makes a wide right turn, leaving a gap between the curb and the truck that is wide enough for another vehicle to drive through. When the truck makes its turn, it collides with the vehicle that is between the truck and the curb.
- Blind spot truck accident: Every vehicle has areas that are not visible to the driver when using mirrors, known as blind spots. These blind spots can be particularly large in tractor-trailers, which are heavy vehicles that can cause significant damage when they collide with smaller passenger vehicles.
- Rollover and tip-over truck accident: A truck rollover is a specific type of accident that occurs under specific conditions related to the truck’s stability when it travels around a corner or curves or makes a turn.
Common Injuries in a Truck Accident
The difference in size and weight between an 18-wheeler and a passenger vehicle increases the risk of catastrophic injuries in virtually every collision.
Some of the most common serious injuries in truck accident claims include:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Burn injuries
- Amputation injuries
- Damage to internal organs
- Internal bleeding
- Broken bones
These injuries often leave victims facing high medical bills, pain, disability, and time away from work that they cannot afford.
In some tragic cases, truck wrecks end in death. If you lost a loved one in a trucking accident, you may be able to seek damages such as burial costs and lost benefits through a wrongful death claim. A Cody truck accident lawyer can help you determine the full value of your losses and pursue compensation to help you family avoid undue financial hardhips during a difficult time.
Who Is Liable in a Trucking Accident?
One key distinction between truck accident cases and other types of motor vehicle accidents is the number of parties that could potentially be held responsible. In a car accident, fault is usually assigned to one or more of the drivers involved. However, in a collision involving a semi-truck, liability may be shared by multiple parties.
Potentially liable parties in a truck accident claim may include:
- The driver of the truck: Truck accidents often result from mistakes made by the truck driver. However, it is possible that the driver’s negligence may be just one contributing factor in a series of events leading up to the accident.
- The trucking company: The trucking company has a responsibility to hire qualified drivers, provide proper training, and monitor their employees for violations. However, companies sometimes prioritize profits over these obligations, leading to unreasonable schedules, excessive pressure on drivers, and a lack of adherence to traffic laws and trucking regulations. This can increase the risk of accidents caused by driver error.
- The shipping company: Inadequate cargo loading can cause serious accidents involving commercial vehicles. If the truck was loaded improperly or the contents were not secured by a third-party company, you may be able to seek compensation.
- Service technicians: Proper maintenance is crucial for the safe operation of large trucks. If the owner of the truck or the mechanic or service center fails to properly maintain the vehicle or make necessary repairs, they could be held partially responsible for a trucking accident.
- The manufacturer of the truck or its parts: Faulty or defective parts can contribute to serious truck accidents, or make an accident caused by a driver’s error even more severe. In order to determine if a defective component played a role in an accident, it may be necessary for an attorney to thoroughly inspect the truck.
Determining liability in truck accident cases can be extremely complex, and require the knowledge and resources of an experienced attorney. A Cody truck accident lawyer at Burg Simpson can investigate the facts in your case and work to identify the parties that may share responsibility for your crash.
How Much Is My Truck Accident Case Worth?
The damages that can be recovered after a truck accident go beyond just physical injuries and damage to your vehicle. A serious truck accident could result in fatal or catastrophic injuries that can have a lasting impact on every aspect of your life. It is important to speak with an attorney to understand all of the damages that may be recoverable in your specific situation.
Damages in a truck accident case can include:
- Medical Bills
- Lost Wages
- Lost Earning Capacity
- Pain and Suffering
- Emotional Distress
- Loss of Enjoyment of Life
- Wrongful Death Damages
Punitive damages are a type of compensation that may be awarded in cases where gross negligence has occurred. These damages are meant to punish the wrongdoer and discourage similar behavior in the future. Not every truck accident claim includes punitive damages, but they may be awarded when the actions of the truck driver or trucking company were grossly reckless or negligent, such as driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Contact a Cody Truck Accident Lawyer for Free
If you were hurt or lost a loved one in a serious truck wreck, a Cody truck accident lawyer at Burg Simpson can help. With more than $2 billion in verdicts and settlements, we have the experience and resources necessary to achieve justice in your case.
Contact Burg Simpson today online or at 800-330-2195 for a FREE and confidential case evaluation. Our truck accident lawyers serve clients in and around Cody and throughout Wyoming.