5 Steps A Truck Accident Attorney Can Take To Win Your Truck Accident Claim
According to research, around 67% of all deaths in truck-related accidents are occupants of passenger vehicles. Therefore, if you or your loved one are lucky to escape a truck accident with injuries, it's vital to seek compensation. Unfortunately, truck accident claims can be difficult because they involve multiple claimants. Also, trucking companies come armed with fierce lawyers, and without proper representation, you may end up with little or no compensation.
A truck accident lawyer can help you file a claim or suit against the truck driver and get compensation for your injuries. Beyond offering legal representation, a lawyer will take the following steps to increase the chances of a win.
Establish the Negligent Parties
Research shows that 87% of truck accidents are the driver's fault. The driver may have been fatigued, asleep, intoxicated, inattentive, or physically impaired. Sometimes, the driver may have misjudged the road conditions or exercised poor vehicle control. In these instances, the driver is responsible for the accident.
However, the trucking company may also have been negligent. Examples include:
- Allowing incompetent drivers to drive commercial trucks
- Allocating unreasonable working hours
- Sending out poorly maintained or unroadworthy trucks
An accident attorney can assess the circumstances of the accident and determine the negligent parties. If you can prove negligence by both the driver and trucking company, you have a high chance of winning the case.
Collect Evidence at the Site
Truck-related accidents often cause severe injuries, and the injured party may not be able to take photos, talk to witnesses, or corroborate statements with the police. Therefore, without key evidence, you may lose out on compensation. Your attorney should liaise with the authorities to access crucial evidence for your injury claim. They can also get witness statements that will solidify your case against the trucking company.
Issue Demand Letters
It's not uncommon for trucking companies to conceal evidence to frustrate the individuals pursuing injury claims. They can tow their truck or salvage it, making it difficult for you to collect evidence or establish negligence. An experienced attorney will issue demand letters ordering the company to preserve the truck, black box, and other pertinent evidence. Your lawyer can also demand access to the following information:
- The driver's working hours
- Hours the driver slept before starting their shift
- Driver's licensing information and driving history
- Company's drug testing policies
- Vehicle inspection, maintenance, and servicing reports
- Vehicle safety regulations
Any information that points towards negligence or non-compliance can strengthen your case against the company. For example, if the truck hadn't been inspected in the last 12 months as required by law, you can hold the company liable.
Hire an Accident Reconstruction Expert
Accident reconstruction is the use of technology to recreate the accident scene in order to understand and analyze the circumstances leading to the collision. Reconstruction experts use evidence from the site, including photos, car debris, tire marks, weather, witness reports, and traffic videos, to analyze the scene.
The reports and statements issued by the expert can pin liability on the at-fault driver. Where the claimant was partially liable, the expert can help protect the claimant's right to compensation. For example, if dangerous road conditions caused you to be partly liable for the accident, you can sue the government alongside the trucking company.
Compile a List of Damages
Calculating damages after a trucking accident can be a tedious job. Besides listing potential damages, you need to provide proof. For example, you need evidence of future medical treatment, which you may not accurately quantify in the present. You also need proof of lost wages, disability, pain and suffering, and trauma. You may need an expert witness to quantify damages such as trauma and pain and suffering. An attorney can arrange this for you and ensure that you receive adequate compensation.
Pursuing a truck accident claim without proper representation can leave you at the mercy of the trucking company's brutal attorneys. Consult a truck accident lawyer who can follow these and other essential steps to fight for your compensation.