Accidents caused by trucks can be traumatic and deadly. Truck drivers are mostly responsible for causing these accidents. These drivers are pressed to make deliveries with a strict deadline. These drivers are actually advised to take quality rest in between. However, drivers in pressure of meeting deadlines, avoid taking rest. This leads to fatigue and carelessness resulting in truck accidents.
Anyone who got injured in such accidents should immediately get in touch with an experienced personal injury lawyer and consider the following
Get Immediate Medical Attention
Injury may not look serious at first glance, but it may be worse than what it looks like. Therefore, it is always advised to get immediate medical attention after an accident.
Report the Incident to Police as Soon as Possible
Police officer will be able to file charges if the truck driver is found guilty. These reports are required for insurance claims and court proceedings.
Collect Witness Contact Information
A witness can help and support you with the legal proceedings. Collect his name, address and phone number if possible.
Although the police will take photographs, personal photos can be beneficial. Take pictures of vehicles from different angles. Photos of tire tracks and broken lights are also deadlines.
Keep Conversation Light
Make sure to check the physical well-being of the other party involved in the accident. Don’t lose your calm when talking to the other party. It might affect when facing legal proceedings.
Call the Insurance Company and Personal Injury Lawyer
The victim’s insurance agent can immediately initiate the insurance claim process. The lawyer will start an investigation and check the accident spot to find the guilty. If the truck driver is found guilty, the lawyer will start legal proceedings.
Types of Truck Accidents
All truck accidents are not the same. There are different types of trucks and so the impact of truck accidents can change from one truck to another. If you don’t know what kind of truck caused the accident, you need not worry, as an attorney is experienced in identifying different truck types.
Types of Trucks
- Big rig
- Commercial bus
- Cargo trucks
- Concrete trucks
- Construction trucks
- Coal trucks
- Delivery vans
- Fuel trucks
- Garbage trucks
- Logging trucks
- Moving vans
- Steel trucks
- Tanker trucks
- Tow trucks
- Tractor trucks
- Fire trucks
- Ambulance and EMS trucks
Factors That Can Cause a Truck Accident
- Poor road conditions
- Distracted driving
- Impaired driving
- Failure to yield
- Fatigued driving
- Improper reversing
- Improper passing
- Over-sized loads
- Poor route planning
- Poorly screened drivers
- Load spillage
- Unrealistic schedules
Hire an Experienced Attorney
It is important to hire an attorney who is experienced in handling truck accident cases. He/she will know how to handle the case. They are lawyers, who have dedicated their practice to handling serious truck accident cases. Here are a few things a lawyer will take into consideration.
- Logbooks will be examined for violation of federal laws regulating commercial driving operations by the driver or the truck company.
- GPS and BlackBox data is critical. Blackbox data will show what driving inputs were applied by the driver prior to the impact.
- A thorough inspection will be done immediately. The attorney with their investigator will personally inspect the site, which includes looking for evidence such as debris and tire marks. A well-established attorney will employ an accident reconstruction expert when investigating the cause of truck accidents.
The driver is not the only person guilty in a truck accident. There are other parties involved too.
The Trucking Company
The truck may be owned by a different person or by a company. In case of a company, drivers insurance is covered by them. In case of accident, the representatives of the company will handle the legal proceedings.
The Truck Manufacturer
A mechanical failure of the truck shifts the accountability of accident to the manufacturer. Air brakes are the most common malfunction in a commercial truck.
The Shipping Company
The shipping company which paid to have the truck on road also faces legal proceedings.
The Loading Company
If loose cargo falling out of the truck caused the accident, there is liability on the part of the shipping company which loaded the truck.
Other Drivers and Pedestrians
Other drivers and pedestrians may also get injured at the time of an accident and their fault might also be responsible for the accident.
Settling a Truck Accident
Settlement option always comes in case of an accident. Settling things outside the court of law helps both parties, if both parties are happy with the terms that they have come up with.
Benefits of Settling a Truck Accident Lawsuit
- A Trial is Time Consuming
It may take years for a lawsuit to get a trial and there is option to appeal. In case of an appeal, the case goes to higher courts and sometimes the entire process starts all over again.
- You Might Have to Testify
For some people, testifying before a jury is stressful and complicated. If the trucking company claims that you were liable for any part of accident, you will be required to answer questions asked in the court of law.
- Attorney Fee
Some attorney only charges 0isfee after winning the case. But you may be required to pay a fixed percentage of the settlement.
- You Lose Privacy at Trail
A settlement outside the court of law is private. When you go to a trail, everything becomes public record. Witness testimony, evidence and money awarded will go public.
- A Jury is Unpredictable
You may think the case in already won. But the jury may have a different opinion. Jury trial is always a calculated risk. Proving the opposite party guilty can be a challenging task. You will need the assistance of an experienced lawyer. Make sure to get an attorney who is well aware of California truck accident laws.