A truck accident can be devasting. Especially if you are hit by a truck while driving a car. Usually, it is the occupant of the smaller vehicle who suffers the most injury.
In some regards, a truck accident is no different than any other motor vehicle crash. In order to recover physical injury compensation, the victim must prove certain things. One key thing, of course, is that someone else was primarily at fault for the accident.
Another item that all accident victims must typically prove is that the accident in question was the direct cause of the injuries that they seek compensation for.
Still, there can be important differences between a truck accident case and other types of motor vehicle mishaps. Perhaps the single most important difference pertains to what type of injury the victim can sue for.
Insurance Coverage Matters
As a personal injury lawyer, I can tell you that most people in New Jersey purchase car insurance that often lets them sue only for certain types of injuries. Tragically, many people don’t even realize that they’re buying such limited coverage.
(Hint: To avoid this problem, make sure your auto insurance policy has the unlimited right to sue option. By the way, some insurance companies may refer to the option differently. They may use terms such as “limited right to sue” vs. “unlimited right to sue, “lawsuit threshold vs. “no lawsuit threshold,” etc.
With some exceptions, this limitation on suit option typically will prevent a car owner or his family member from suing an at-fault driver of another passenger car unless the accident caused certain specific injuries. Namely,
- dismemberment (e.g., amputation of a body part);
- significant disfigurement or significant scarring;
- a displaced fracture of a bone;
- loss of a fetus; or
- a permanent injury (other than scarring or disfigurement).
How a Truck Accident Case Differs
However, the “limitation on lawsuit” option will usually not prevent a victim from suing the driver of a commercial truck, regardless of what the victim’s injuries are. Such a victim generally can also sue the company that the truck driver worked for.
There are other possible differences between truck accident cases and other motor vehicle accidents. If you become a victim, immediately contact an experienced personal injury attorney to protect your rights.