Who Is Liable in Accidents Involving Commercial Vehicles, the Driver or the Employer?
Interviewer: If someone was to be in a collision with an 18 wheel truck—who is liable in that case? Is it the truck driver or is it the company?
Adam Hunt: It could be either or both. It depends on the definition of what duty was owed and was the driver operating within the scope of his employment. Typically, it is both parties that are brought into any lawsuits. If they’re driving for a trucking company, there’s substantially more insurance available to tap into in order to compensate the individuals.
Interviewer: Do you find that there are common misconceptions that people have about auto accidents or auto injuries?
Adam Hunt: I think that biggest one, again, is they think they’re okay and it’s not worth their time to pursue any type of suit or claim against the insurance company. The second one is making the mistake of settling for a very little amount of money when it’s early after the accident and they don’t know that there might be some latent injury.
Soft Tissue Injuries to the Neck and Back Are Common in Auto Collisions
Interviewer: What are some of the more common injuries that people are suffering in auto accidents particularly?
Adam Hunt: The most common injury I probably see is soft tissue. That would involve back, neck, shoulder; those are probably the three main areas of the body to sustain injury. Those are also the types of injuries that are more latent because typically they could be in pain in several areas. The individual doesn’t realize that those are also the areas that are most likely to be damaged and be damaged significantly and then cause them long term suffering.
Case History: A Personal Injury Case Attributed to an Auto Collision
Interviewer: Can you share a case history of an auto collision personal injury case?
Adam Hunt: I guess the first auto injury case that I worked on was my own.
Some Injuries Sustained Do Not Heal as Expected and May Require Additional Treatments or Surgeries
I was riding a bicycle down the road. It was a straight flat stretch of land. An elderly woman struck me from behind at about 45 miles an hour. As a result of the accident, I had several fractures and had to have seven or eight surgeries.
In that sense, I can empathize with what an individual goes through when they understand or realize that they’re not going to be the same. For me, it was just a matter of having a little bit of arthritis in my hand. It wasn’t anything significant, but there are other people that have experienced significantly more than that.
Interviewer: How did that experience assist you in working with other peoples cases?
Adam Hunt: It gives me an opportunity to empathize with them and also to understand what they need to do as far as treatment. Sometimes you don’t realize how significant an injury could be. For me, like I said, it was several surgeries over a process of a year or year and a half.
I wouldn’t have known that if I would have settled with an insurance company on day two or day ten. The injury was more involved because my hand wasn’t healing properly so I had to have additional surgeries on it.
If I would have settled, then I wouldn’t have obviously had that good of a settlement. It was one of those things that you have to make sure you go through with the treatment. I understand that part. You have to understand and respect how important it is when a doctor says, “Well, you need to do this.”
There’s a reason he or she says that. They’re educated in the human body. They know what a person needs, even if the person doesn’t necessarily believe that they should have to follow through with orders and they’re going to be just fine. Unless they’re a doctor, they probably don’t know for sure what they need.
By Adam Hunt