Truck Accident Lawyers in Melbourne
So alarmingly is the ongoing news of Australians being killed in truck accidents across Melbourne and the news is becoming more frequent. Given the disparate weight of a semi-trailer compared to a car, this is hardly surprising. If you are 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.
Like any other motor vehicle accident claim, the most important aspect in a truck accident claim revolves around the evidence needed to show how the accident happened and the extent of the injuries suffered factoring in the long term impact on the quality of life for the injured person and their families.
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.
It can many times be unknown who is truly at fault until all the evidence is considered, the truck driver, another driver or a combination of both.
At Henry Carus + Associates, gathering as many details and putting together actual events is always a key focus for us, and one we do not waste any time at attending to right after the accident. Yes, the right move is to lodge a TAC claim for benefits, but at the same time instructing our firm from the outset will insure the evidence of what happened is preserved and there to assist you later on when you need to seek compensation for the damages caused to your life.
The evidence starts with the physical evidence at the accident site and we add to it, statements from witnesses who attended the site or saw what occurred. Then we give all to our accident reconstruction experts to advise us as to what really happened and who is at fault.
We are regularly amazed when we inherit files from other firms and see how little has been done to gather and preserve evidence right after the accident. Our amazement then turns to bewilderment when we discover the former firm has had no staff member go out to the accident scene with the injured client or witnesses, and has not retained any expert advice whatsoever.
It is as though these firms are willing to accept anything TAC has to offer, even if the offer is NIL because they think their driver has done no wrong.
At Henry Carus + Associates, we regularly pursue such claims against the TAC, as the insurer of the wrongdoer, and succeed for the injured person. It is all simply a reflection of our firm policy that says YOU DESERVE MORE.
Nicholas had a passion for restoring old vintage cars – a past time he had enjoyed with his brother since his younger days. It was therefore not surprising that a large part of his working career included employment as a truck driver. He particularly loved working on cars from the pre-war era, such as an old 1929 Chevrolet he and his brother had purchased from a friend.
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Why Choose Our Truck Accident Lawyers To Help You Seek Compensation After An Accident Involving A Truck?
Commercial Truck Accidents in Victoria
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 from the Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economies (BITRE).
Despite fewer deaths in semi-truck vehicle accidents, motorists are increasingly 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 have been injured by one of these dangerously large vehicles we can help you get the maximum compensation you require and deserve.
What Makes Truck Accident Claims Different from Car Accident Claims?
Simple physics is the main reason for this. The average passenger car weighs approximately 1,500 kilograms, whereas some fully loaded heavy vehicles can 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 with far more serious injuries due to the weight, size and the speed of the truck.
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 addition to fatigue, other common causes of truck accidents include:
- Driver distraction;
- Driver inexperience;
- Following too closely;
- Defective or improperly maintained equipment;
- Dangerous overtaking or other manoeuvres; and
- Improperly loaded or secured cargo.
What Is The Process To Lodge A Successful Truck Collision Claim In Victoria?
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 medics arrive on scene, and the treating hospital will typically submit a claim to the TAC (Transport Accident Commission) for payment of 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 those additional benefits. This is when a skilled truck accident lawyer can help.
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 the 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.
Information from the device may be very valuable in establishing that the trucker did something careless to cause the accident.
What Damages Are Covered in a Truck Accident Claim?
The no-fault benefits available from the TAC for a Victorian motor vehicle accident may include the following:
- Lump-sum benefits if your accident-related injuries caused permanent impairment.
- Replacement of lost earnings caused by the inability to work while recovering from your injuries.
- Payment of reasonable medical expenses to treat injuries suffered in the accident.
- Payment of reasonable rehabilitation costs related to the injuries from the accident.
- Payment for in-home assistance made necessary by your injuries.
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.
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