Accidents involving commercial vehicles are frequently more catastrophic and the process for filing legal claims is often different from a typical car accident. The difference in size alone between a commercial truck and a passenger vehicle can be devastating, especially if there is a tractor-trailer involved. When these accidents occur, they may end in wrongful death or serious injuries that can lead to lifelong disability. Because of this, you need an experienced law firm to help protect your legal rights through this tough time. Many factors are taken into consideration when looking at how to best determine your basis for a legal claim.
Determining the Cause
Determining the cause and who is at fault is one of the biggest considerations you will need to take when looking at your accident. Some of the questions that your truck accident lawyer will ask are:
- Was the truck driver careless, driving too fast, or tired?
- Does the driver have sufficient training and experience to safely handle the commercial vehicle?
- Did he/she break any traffic laws like speeding, not using turn signals, or running a red light?
- Was the cargo loaded/secured properly and was the trailer attached correctly?
- Was there a vehicle malfunction or failure, like a problem with the brakes or tires?
- Are there any log violations? Did the driver take mandated breaks and rest periods?
- Are there any past records of safety or other types of violations?
These and many other questions will help you and your truck accident lawyer build your case towards getting you the compensation needed during this tough time.
What to Avoid After A Truck Accident
Any type of accident can be overwhelming, and it is important to try to remain calm. Knowing what not to do in the aftermath can prevent you from having long-lasting undesirable consequences. The minutes after the accident and the days and weeks following can determine whether or not you will receive a fair settlement.
It is important NOT to:
- Leave the scene of an accident without communicating with the other driver(s) and contacting the police.
- Give the police any information that could lead them to believe that you might be at fault.
- Post on any social media websites.
It is very important to be careful of what you say and do after an accident. While emotions tend to run high, being calm can be one way to ensure that you do not do or say things that you may later regret and that may hurt your settlement. Do not post on social media. If you need to contact friends and family to let them know you are ok, do so directly. Anything posted on any social media platform can be used against you in court.
What to Do After a Truck Accident
Knowing what to do after an accident with a large truck can also help save you trouble. If you or a loved one have been involved in an accident with a commercial driver it is very important you take the right steps to safeguard your future.
- Make sure you remain calm.
- Take lots of pictures of the scene and include pictures of property damage, injuries, police, witnesses, skid marks, traffic devices and signs, et cetera.
- Write down important information such as license plates, driver’s license numbers, insurance information, police report numbers, and badge numbers.
- Document your recovery process daily.
- Contact a skilled personal injury lawyer as soon as possible.
Why You Need an Experienced Lawyer
An experienced truck accident attorney knows that there are differences between commercial vehicle accidents and a typical passenger vehicle collision. Many standard auto accidents happen after dark, while two-thirds of all car versus commercial truck accidents happen during the day. Catastrophic injuries and death are more likely in a commercial vehicle crash and 12% of these accidents that involve fatalities have a rollover component. This type of motor vehicle accident is more likely to cause large medical bills and future medical complications.
The complex nature of truck-caused accidents and the resulting injuries are why you need an experienced attorney to help you navigate court appearances, lawyers, insurance companies, trucking companies, hospitals, law enforcement, and anyone else who may be involved in your case. Most commercial motor vehicle companies have their own team of lawyers and insurance adjusters working for them. You will need someone with proven expertise to help you win your case.