When you’re recovering from a traffic accident, the damage to you and your car may be obvious. You are hurt, and your car is wrecked. When it comes to being hit by a semi, the damage is even more serious. An 18-wheeler with an unloaded trailer can weigh 35,000 pounds, and the maximum weight for a loaded single trailer is 80,000 pounds on the national Interstate. Some states allow double-trailers on state highways.
A loaded semi traveling at 65 miles per hour has the capability to cause tremendous damage when it hits you on the highway. Because of that, you will have damage to pay for that goes beyond your medical treatment and the repair of your vehicle.
If you were injured and your property was damaged in a crash with a commercial truck and the accident wasn’t your fault, you could be owed compensation. Call DeMayo Law Offices, North Carolina truck accident law firm, at (877) 333-1000 now to schedule a free consultation about how to recover money for your losses.
Types of Covered Property Damage
Rather than wait for the insurance company to make you an offer for repairs, you should know what other types of damage you are entitled to.
- Repairs. The basic cost of repair is what most of us think of when we think of “insurance.” Repair includes replacement of parts, cosmetic damage, and restoration of the vehicle. Following an accident, the auto shop will provide an estimate to the insurance company for repairs. In cases where the cost of repairs exceeds the value of the vehicle, the insurer may declare your car “totaled.”
- Loss of Use. If the repairs will take more than a day or two, you can recover compensation for the expenses of the vehicle you had to rent for transportation, or for any alternate transportation you had to pay for out-of-pocket, such as Uber or Lyft.
- Loss of value. Assuming your car was not totaled but was still badly damaged, and depending on the degree and nature of the damage, you may be able to claim “diminution of value.” Because you must declare the vehicle was damaged in an accident if you wish to sell it, the value of the car is now less than it otherwise might have been. The lost value of your car could be included in the assessment of the value of your claim.
- Personal property. Anything within your car that was damaged in the crash should be replaced. In a semi accident, you can expect that luggage, electronic devices, clothing, spectacles, and loose items inside your vehicle will be destroyed, and you have a right to have them replaced. Typically, the truck company will offer the current or depreciated value of the items; your attorney should include their replacement value in the assessment of the value of your claim.
When Your Car Is Totaled
Following a semi accident, it is very likely that your car will be declared a total loss. This means that the cost of repair exceeds the price of repairs. Unless a vehicle is rare, new, or otherwise special in some way, it is very difficult to talk an insurance company out of totaling a vehicle. If they believe it is not worth fixing, they probably will not approve it.
Your attorney can include the replacement value of the car in the value of your claim.
Other Property Damage
Semis don’t only hit cars on the road. They can hit vehicles in parking lots, or damage the parking lots themselves while backing into loading docks. An 80,000-pound truck will easily crush a planter or put a hole in a wall if the driver is not careful or if the brakes fail.
You should call DeMayo Law Offices with this type of damage as well. The truck company’s insurer may tend to put the blame for this type of accident on the driver and attempt to avoid liability for the accident. Under the theory of vicarious liability, the company should not be able to avoid paying for the damage, and you should not wait to speak with an attorney.
If you have suffered this type of property damage due to a semi crashing into something, you will need an attorney just as much as if you were struck on the highway. Some of the things to look for are:
- Signs the driver was impaired
- Evidence of mechanical failure
- Evidence of driver distraction
- Proof of clear sightlines and unobstructed access
If your property was damaged by a truck driver, you will want to contact a law firm right away. At DeMayo Law Offices, we can give you the guidance you need to file your claim and get your property repaired.
How Can an Attorney Help?
With bigger accidents come bigger issues. Semis will cause larger accidents because of the speed and size of the truck, and the sheer weight of the trailer behind them. Semis are also owned by trucking companies, are sometimes driven by contractors, and are subject to Federal and state rules and regulations regarding how long drivers may drive, how much cargo they can carry, and so on.
There may be multiple insurance companies to deal with as well. The company may have their own insurance, and they may have a second insurance to cover their driver, or the driver may have his own insurance.
At DeMayo Law Offices our attorneys know about these rules and regulations, and about the types of insurance that trucking companies carry. We can help you navigate through these rules and get the settlement you deserve following your accident.
We offer a free consultation to review your case and help you figure out the next best steps toward compensation. Contact DeMayo Law Offices at (877) 333-1000 today to set up your free consultation now. Your time is limited to file a lawsuit. We are prepared to help you.