Truck accidents are some of the most severe accidents on the road. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), over 5096 large trucks and buses were involved in fatal crashes in 2018.
Truck accidents are known to cause severe and life-altering injuries to survivors which can be very expensive to manage. The catastrophic nature of truck accidents makes them very different from other accidents, and they are also quite complicated to litigate.
Various factors such as speed, fatigue, distracted driving, aggressive driving, and more contribute to these accidents. Having an attorney from a reputable truck accident law firm who fully understands how complex these accidents are is the right legal advantage you need.
If you or your loved one has been involved in a truck accident, it is vital that you hire an experienced attorney to have a better chance of successfully recovering compensation for your loss, lost wages, pain, and suffering, and other damages.
Determining Liability in a Truck Accident
One of the critical issues in such accidents is determining who is at fault. To get the compensation you deserve, your lawyer must prove that the truck driver or their company was negligent.
Trucking companies can be held liable for their employees’ misconduct or negligence. At times the companies are also guilty for failing to maintain their vehicles properly or making their employees drive while fatigued. However, if the driver is an independent contractor, they can be personally held liable for the accident.
To avoid a lawsuit, the company can claim that the driver is an independent contractor. Your lawyer will have to investigate the details of your contract, including Medicare, Social Security, and federal employment taxes to prove that you are not an independent contractor.
If the crash was caused by a faulty or defective vehicle part or an improperly loaded cargo, the vehicle manufacturer or cargo loader might be held liable for the accident.
Crash Scene Investigation
A key part of proving fault and building a strong case is investigating the accident scene. Your lawyer can visit the site, talk to witnesses, collect and preserve critical evidence such as pictures, and more.
To get fair compensation, your lawyer might need more than the police report or witness statements. They will hire trained accident scene investigators to visit the site and get data from the truck’s black box to help determine how the accident took place.
The investigators can reconstruct the accident, conduct crash tests, and examine evidence such as impact angles, skid marks, weight dimensions, and points of impacts to help with your case. Because lawyers have contacts with the best investigators, you can have a better chance of a successful lawsuit with them.
There are times when the victim is also partly to blame for the accident. If the evidence points to this, the at-fault insurance company or the court can use comparative negligence to determine liability.
For example, if you are 10% to blame for the accident, and you were to get $1 million as damages, you will recover $900,000. Several states follow this law in most personal injury cases. Other states follow the 50% rules, and, in such states, if you are more than 50% to blame, you will not get any compensation for the accident.
Your lawyer will let you know the comparative law in your state to know if you have any damages to recover and how much you can hope to get.
Get Legal Help when Dealing with a Truck Accident
Handling insurance and trucking companies after an accident are not easy. Whether they are fully or partly to blame for the accident, you have a legal right to seek compensation for your injuries and loss. Hire the best legal representation in your area to ensure that your rights are protected, and you get compensated.