Need advice relating to accident, and personal injury.

Discussion in 'Experienced Truckers' Advice' started by Discount Iceman, Dec 9, 2022.

  1. Discount Iceman

    Discount Iceman Bobtail Member

    Dec 9, 2022
    Hello everyone,

    Thanks for taking a moment to read. I have read this forum on and off since I became a professional driver, and never thought I'd have anything to contribute.

    I have been a team driver with one of the larger expedited companies for about 18 months. About a week ago, when my co-driver and I were starting our trip, I went sleeper berth overnight, and he was first to drive, as is our routine. On an isolated stretch of the interstate, he fell asleep, crashed the truck up the side of a mountain, and then refused a drug test, resulting in his termination. I suffered a few injuries, which will limit my ability to work for a few weeks, require therapy, and more than that... it sucks. I hurt everywhere, can't use my phone or watch television, and am nearly immobile.

    Does anyone here have experience or advice related to the personal injury aspect of this, and would you feel it is worth exploring? Right now my injuries are being handled through worker's compensation, but my spouse is angry about the lost income and the actual injuries, and wants to explore our legal options, if there are any. I am looking at physical therapy, and if that does not work, surgery, but I hope it doesn't come to that. But I'm wondering if I even can do anything about it, or should. I don't want to sound like an opportunist or scumbag, but also am concerned about my ability to earn in the future. Do you guys consider this worth exploring? Is the industry and your court experience slanted in such a way as to make it a waste of time?

    Many thanks in advance.
    bryan21384 and LtlAnonymous Thank this.
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  3. Lennythedriver

    Lennythedriver Road Train Member

    Feb 14, 2020
    I don’t have any legal advice for you but you just reminded me why I will never team drive. Ever. And I don’t understand those that do unless it’s like a husband and wife team. I just don’t trust anyone else in control of that truck while I’m sleeping in the back. Good luck to you though driver. Definitely get yourself some legal advice. And don’t underestimate your injuries. Sometimes those injuries can come back to nag you when you’re older
  4. Hawkeye72

    Hawkeye72 Light Load Member

    Feb 20, 2015
    If your a company driver 100% go see a lawyer and at least have a conversation with them. You were hurt by someone else's actions.
  5. ibcalm19

    ibcalm19 Road Train Member

    Nov 30, 2015
    Go and do everything to get what is necessary for your physical and financial well-being. As @Lennythedriver said don't under estimate those injuries. I would hope they don't come back to nag you later. Mine did in a bad way. All the best to you and your family. P.S. Your wife is right
  6. Ridgeline

    Ridgeline Road Train Member

    Dec 18, 2011
    First you need a lawyer to make sure the WC pays for the medical. Also they will explore the company’s insurance responsibilities to recover some lost income,

    however …

    Here is the problem, when you go to this personal injury crap, it comes to who are you going to sue?

    Your co-driver?

    chances are you won’t get a penny,

    the owner of the fleet?

    They shouldn’t even be a consideration because they didn’t cause the accidents even indirectly.

    So workman’s comp is the only place to go.
    LtlAnonymous Thanks this.
  7. MM71

    MM71 Heavy Load Member

    Jun 28, 2008
    Definitely get a WC attorney. If you have any long lasting disability, a lawyer is about the only way to get fairly compensated .... after the snake takes their cut.
    LtlAnonymous Thanks this.
  8. Lazer

    Lazer Road Train Member

    Jan 22, 2017
    Everybody hates lawyers…… until you need a good one.
    Definitely consult one.
    Why not ‘explore’ suing your employer?
    It was their employee, while on duty that caused the issue. Even though you were ‘off-duty’ at the time, you still were under control of the company at the time.
    Maybe the company didn’t due their ‘due diligence’ during the hiring process of the co-driver?
    skallagrime and silverspur Thank this.
  9. Accidental Trucker

    Accidental Trucker Road Train Member

    Jun 4, 2015
    It’s a work place injury, so WC is the first place to seek compensation, which should include lost wages.
    Beyond that, you were injured due to the actions of your co-worker during his work hours, which means the company has liability.

    if you consult a lawyer, be really careful about signing a contract. If it’s a contingency, their motivation will be to swing for the fences, rather than take a reasonable settlement quickly. If you pay hourly, their motivation is th get lost in the weeds for years and milk the hours. YOU have to manage the case and direct the lawyer. I suggest doing an initial consult with three or four.

    But, I would not play the lawyer hand until talking to your company and discussing how they will address their liability in this case. It might be covered under their truck liability or business liability policy.
    Discount Iceman Thanks this.
  10. Kshaw0960

    Kshaw0960 Road Train Member

    Jun 17, 2018
    By the other driver refusing a drug test you pretty much are guaranteed to win any case for compensation as your company is liable. Don’t feel bad about it as that is what insurance is for. I would seek legal counsel.
  11. wis bang

    wis bang Road Train Member

    Jan 12, 2011
    Levittown, PA
    Providing workman's compensation protects the employer from some liability but it looks like OP has a few additional reasons for seeking more than just surgery and/or therapy. Lawyer specializing in WC is needed, sorely needed.
    Discount Iceman Thanks this.
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