If your spouse has been seriously injured in a semi-truck crash in Iowa, it’s likely you have questions on the next steps to take. Here are 5 things you need to know after your loved one has been injured:
1. Truck Accidents Are Different Than Car Accidents
Many people mistakenly believe that truck accidents are similar to “regular” car accidents. This is not true. The laws and regulations that govern semi-trucks and their drivers are very different than the basic rules of the road. Semi-truck accident law is a very specialized subsection of personal injury law, and very few attorneys in Iowa are experienced in these types of matters. To give yourself the best chance at a fair settlement, hiring a lawyer experienced in semi-truck crashes is essential.
2. Multiple Companies May Be Responsible for Your Loved One’s Injuries
One of the ways a trucking accident is different than a regular car crash is that there may be multiple responsible parties for your spouse’s injuries. One company may have hired the truck driver; another company may own the tractor; a third may own the trailer or be responsible for the maintenance. It’s not always clear who was actually at fault for the crash. That’s why all of these different parties need to be investigated by a truck accident attorney to determine who is responsible.
3. Your Spouse is Not the Only One Who Can File a Claim
Your spouse is not the only one who suffers a loss after a serious crash. Depending on the severity of your spouse’s injuries after the accident, your relationship with them may suffer. They may no longer be able to help you with chores or care for your children. If this is the case, you may be able to file a loss of consortium claim.
This type of claim compensates you for the loss of relationship you experience with your spouse because of their truck accident injuries. An experienced Iowa personal injury lawyer can explain if it makes sense for you to file a loss of consortium claim.
4. You Don’t Have a Lot of Time to Settle Your Claim or File a Lawsuit
Although your spouse may still be healing from their injuries, it’s important you talk with an attorney as soon as possible after the accident. There are a couple of reasons for this:
There is a statute of limitations on all Iowa personal injury cases. It’s generally two years from the date of the crash. That means you have two years to either settle your claim or file a lawsuit.
5. It’s Critical to Speak with an Attorney before Important Documents are Destroyed
As we mentioned previously, truckers are held to a different standard than other drivers on the road. One of the ways they are monitored more closely is through the use of driver logs. These logs are records of when the trucker last stopped, when they slept, and how long they’ve been on the road. If these regulations are not followed, the truck driver may be held liable for your spouse’s injuries.
Obviously this means these logs are essential documents to your crash case. Unfortunately, the trucking companies are allowed by law to destroy driver logs after just six months. That’s why it’s critical to speak with an attorney as soon as you can. A retention of evidence letter from the attorney to the trucking company can keep these records from being destroyed.
RSH Legal has spent 30 years fighting for fairness for those Iowans injured in serious trucking collisions. We may be able to help you. To get a free, no-obligation case evaluation, call us today at 1-319-774-1783.