Alarmingly the news of Australians being killed in truck accidents in Melbourne is becoming more frequent. Given the disparate weight of a HGV compared to a car this is hardly surprising. If you’re dealing with a truck accident that has harmed you or your family our truck accident lawyers can help you get the most out of your TAC claim. You truly deserve more.
The families of those killed and those individuals who survive and suffer serious injury are usually entitled to an award of significant damages for the loss suffered.
In our experience those injured tend to be passengers riding in lighter vehicles (normally a car) that sustain the most significant injuries after colliding with a much larger and heavier vehicle like a HGV.
Like any other motor accident claim, the most important aspect in a truck accident claim revolves around evidence and damages occurred.
In particular, analysis of the truck’s tachograph will go a long way to putting together the actual events that occurred before and after the incident.
Add to this the evidence we will seek to obtain from accident witnesses, as well as an independent analysis of physical injuries from a general practitioner, and we are well placed to get you the positive result you are looking for. We truly believe YOU DESERVE MORE.Click For Legal Help Now
Even though deadly accidents involving commercial trucks have declined slightly in recent years, motorists in Victoria and across Australia still face a significant threat from vehicles like trucks, semi-trailers, B-doubles and even road trains. In 2014, 220 people lost their lives in crashes involving heavy vehicles in Australia, according to an official federal government report.
Despite fewer deaths in semi-truck vehicle accidents, more motorists are suffering injuries that require hospital treatment. In fact, more than 1,500 Australian motorists per year are hospitalised for injuries suffered in collisions with heavy semi-truck vehicles, according to the report. Our plea is that if you’ve been injured by one of these dangerously large vehicles we can help you get the maximum compensation.
Most fatal crashes involving articulated trucks occur on national or state highways. For heavy rigid trucks, the statistics are split fairly evenly between highways and city streets, the report states.
Victoria alone saw 55 deaths in crashes involving heavy vehicles in 2014 – and hundreds more were injured. In fact, one-fifth of all fatal heavy vehicle accidents happen on Victorian roads, according to the report.
The severity of injuries that typically result is one of the main differences between truck accidents and car accidents. When a passenger car and a heavy vehicle collide, the car usually fares much worse.
Simple physics is main reason for this. An average passenger car weighs about 1,500 kilograms, whereas some fully loaded heavy vehicles may weigh more than 60,000 kilograms (60 tonnes), according to VicRoads.
Heavy trucks handle very differently from cars and require much more distance to stop, making collisions far likelier. When a heavy vehicle collides with a car, ute, or other smaller vehicle, the occupants of the smaller vehicle are likely to suffer far more serious injuries due to the weight and size of the truck combined with the speed.
Driver fatigue is another factor that is of particular concern in heavy commercial vehicle accidents. Truckers, particularly long-haul drivers, spend many hours on the road each day and are often under tremendous pressure from their employers to make deliveries on time. This can lead drivers to lose focus behind the wheel or even fall asleep. Some truck drivers turn to illegal drugs or abuse legal medications to stay awake while driving. The quicker they can get to deliveries, the more deliveries they can do in a short space of time which turns into more profits for the corporations hiring these truckers.
In general, the truck accident claim process is similar to the process for recovering compensation for injuries suffered in a car accident in Victoria. The TAC works about the same. Injured accident victims are often taken to the hospital for treatment after police and medical arrive on scene, and the treating hospital will typically submit a claim to the TAC (Transport Accident Commission) for payment for its medical services.
As with car accidents, victims of truck accidents are frequently entitled to additional benefits from the TAC, but they are often unaware of them or lack the information necessary to pursue a claim. That’s when a skilled truck accident lawyer can help.
The trucking lawyers at Henry Carus + Associates in Melbourne have deep understanding of the TAC accident claims process, and have the experience and commitment necessary to secure full compensation for people injured in a Melbourne crash on Victorian roads. It’s where we’re passionate and what we love to do all day.
If the truck driver or another party was at fault for the collision, the injured victim may be able to file a common law claim in addition to recovering no fault benefits from the TAC. An investigation into the accident may uncover several types of evidence that indicate fault on the part of the truck driver, the trucking company, or another responsible party.
One type of evidence frequently used in a truck accident claim comes from the tachograph found on many heavy vehicles.
The tachograph, similar to the “black box” found on airplanes, records information like the vehicle’s speed, the distance traveled, the amount of time in operation, and other information about the driver’s actions behind the wheel.
Information from the device may be very valuable in establishing that the trucker did something careless to cause the accident.
No fault benefits typically available from the TAC for a Victorian truck accident include:
Additional compensation may be available through a common law claim with the TAC if the injuries satisfy the legal definition of “serious.” Common law claims require a showing of fault on the part of another party and may result in significantly broader compensation than what is available in a no fault claim. This includes:
Pain and suffering compensation
Compensation for lost or reduced earnings – both past and future – caused by the injuries in the accident
The seriousness of the injuries, as well as the victim’s age and income, could affect the amount of money available in a common law claim.
To find out how you can maximise the benefits you receive after a truck accident in Victoria, contact Henry Carus + Associates for a free claim review and consultation.
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