The trucking industry is a critical part of Hawaii’s economy. However, strict federal and state regulations cannot completely mitigate the potential danger large commercial vehicles may present to other drivers. If you suffered an injury in a truck accident, a Honolulu truck accident lawyer can answer your questions and help you understand your right to compensation for your losses.
How Our Honolulu Truck Accident Lawyers Can Help
Trucking accidents are the most common form of personal injury claims. Truck accident attorneys work with those physically and financially affected by negligent drivers daily. They offer a professional perspective and moral support during a challenging time.
Consider some of the specific tasks legal professionals perform and how they may help you build a more substantial claim:
- Handling communication with the insurance company and legal defense team
- Investigating the accident and the other party to find evidence proving negligence
- Taking care of administrative work, such as filing the necessary paperwork
- Identifying recoverable damages from your accident, including any noneconomic losses
- Preparing your case for trial, should the insurance company fail to offer a fair settlement
Your claim is only as strong as the evidence you can provide. An experienced Honolulu truck accident lawyer removes the burden of building a case so you can focus on healing. Many offer their services at no upfront fee and only receive payment when they secure a settlement or award for you.
Common Types of Truck Accidents
Every truck accident case is different. However, most occur under certain circumstances. These are types of accidents truck accident lawyers see often:
- Rear-end collisions: Commercial trucks’ excessive size and weight make rear-end collisions significantly more dangerous for standard passenger vehicles.
- Rollovers: Truck trailers have a higher center of gravity, making them more susceptible to rollovers under various circumstances.
- Wide-turn accidents: Right-hand turns require a wide swing left for truck drivers. The maneuver can be dangerous for cars in the neighboring lanes.
- T-bone accidents: Most T-bone accidents occur at intersections and can have devastating results.
- Jackknife accidents: When the truck trailer swings to one side, folding like a jackknife, the driver losses control of the vehicle and typically causes a crash.
During their investigation, a Honolulu truck accident lawyer will determine the cause to identify who is liable for damages.
Common causes of truck accidents in Hawaii
Truck accidents are most commonly the result of human error. Distracted or fatigued driving may lead to rear-end and T-bone collisions. Overloading or inadequately securing cargo can result in a truck rollover. Improper braking and turning maneuvers may cause trucks to jackknife.
Hawaii is a no-fault state, meaning you can file a claim for damages using your personal injury protection coverage. However, severe injuries may warrant bypassing the no-fault system. In that case, you must understand how to identify the at-fault party.
Liability in a Truck Accident Case
Truck collisions are often more complex because of the possibility that multiple parties could be liable. An experienced Honolulu truck accident attorney knows where to look for evidence of negligence and how to meet the burden of proof. Any of these parties could be responsible for a truck collision.
The truck driver
Truck drivers owe everyone sharing the road with them a duty of care in the form of abiding by traffic laws and federal trucking industry regulations. Sleep deprivation causes up to 100,000 truck crashes annually, often as a direct violation of the permissible federal hours of service. An independent truck driver who contracts with a trucking company carries even more responsibilities than a driver with an employer.
The trucking company
Trucking companies can be liable under several circumstances:
- Failing to adequately train or vet truck drivers
- Incentivizing truck drivers to violate the allotted hours of service on the road to increase company profit
- Failing to perform routine maintenance and inspections for their fleet of trucks
Proving the trucking company’s liability can be more challenging than proving a traffic violation. A qualified truck accident lawyer knows where to look for substantial evidence.
A third party
Third-party liability can make a truck accident case significantly more complex. The individual or company responsible for loading cargo in the truck trailer must follow the weight and security restrictions set by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
Truck manufacturers can be liable if a part malfunction causes the truck driver to lose control. Even a third-party mechanic can be responsible if they fail to complete maintenance assignments correctly.
If you have questions about who could be liable for your injuries and losses, a Honolulu truck accident lawyer can guide you through the legal process. Most importantly, they help you understand the damages owed to you.
Recoverable Damages in a Truck Accident Case
Tort law involves the recoverable financial, physical and emotional losses sustained from a personal injury as compensatory damages. In a truck accident case, typical examples of these economic and noneconomic losses include:
- Necessary medical expenses, including the cost of current and future treatments
- The loss of income due to missed work and loss of earning capacity
- The cost of repairing or replacing your damaged property
- The physical and emotional pain and suffering endured from the accident and resulting injuries
- The cost of replacement services, such as household help
The adequate valuation of noneconomic losses that truck accident lawyers can offer may drastically increase the value of your claim and settlement.
Contact an Experienced Honolulu Truck Accident Lawyer
Truck accidents are among the most severe and deadly auto accidents. With the help of a legal representative, you have a better chance of recovering your financial losses and receiving compensation for the pain and suffering you endured due to someone else’s negligence. If you or a loved one recently sustained injuries in a truck accident due to negligence, you can contact Recovery Law Center to schedule a free consultation with a Honolulu truck accident lawyer today.
Honolulu Truck Accident FAQs
What happens if you are partially liable for the accident?
Hawaii applies the modified comparative negligence rule to cases involving shared fault. It allows you to recover a portion of damages as long as you are less responsible than the defendant.
How long do you have to file a truck accident lawsuit?
In Hawaii, you have two years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit against the at-fault party.