Any accident can be traumatic, but when involved in a collision with a truck, the results can be devastating. Several things make truck accidents different from other crashes. The injuries that truck accidents cause can be much more severe, and the recovery period might be lengthy. Truck crashes can be complicated, and there are often several factors that caused or contributed to the incident. The truck driver, trucking company, and/or manufacturer might hold some responsibility for the crash. It is best to seek guidance from an experienced Houston truck accident attorney soon after a truck crash.
Negligence in Truck Accidents
Following an accident, the negligent party has to be identified and held accountable. Truck accidents are more complicated because there could be various factors that cause or contribute to an accident. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) categorizes factors into three classifications, including human error, mechanical failure, and outside conditions. Human errors occur when the driver does something wrong.
Some of the most common mistakes include:
- a) failure to yield,
- b) speeding,
- c) failure to obey a traffic signal,
- d) improper lane change,
- e) distracted driving, and
- f) driving while impaired.
The most common mechanical failures in trucks are brake problems and tire blowouts. Road and weather conditions may also contribute to the cause of accidents. Drivers need to be prepared to drive in inclement weather such as rain, ice, fog, and snow.
After a truck crash, it is essential to gather information about the truck driver and the vehicle to determine negligence. New trucks must have electronic logging devices (ELDs) installed to track data. Following an accident, your attorney will immediately request the information from the trucking company, along with maintenance reports for the truck.
Talking to the Insurance Company
The insurance company will be vital in resolving your claim. A public adjuster will take statements from drivers and review police reports to determine fault in the accident. Remember that anything you say to the adjuster could be used against you later to minimize your compensation. Most often, the insurance company records these statements. It is best to talk to a reputable truck accident attorney before you speak to the insurance company.
You want to make sure that you make no statements that are incorrect and that nothing you say hurts your case!
Unfortunately, adjusters are explicitly seeking responses that can limit and hurt your claims. Using leading questions like “when did you first see,” or similar subjects are designed to help the insurance company limit what they must pay.
Getting an attorney will also help when negotiating a settlement. Do not accept a fast settlement check from the company because it will prevent you from taking further legal action. Too often, the settlement offer is too low, and it might not cover all of your medical expenses and other damages you suffered in the accident. Your lawyer will work with the insurance company to ensure that you get the money you deserve for your injuries. You should receive compensation for your medical bills, medications, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.
A reputable truck accident lawyer will work hard to get the money people may deserve for their injuries. It is best to retain an attorney early after an injury accident.