Truck accidents are serious incidents that may lead to death or serious injuries. If you have been involved in a truck accident, it is essential to know your legal options. This blog post will discuss the steps you need to take if you are in such a situation and how you can win your case against the trucking company.
Hire a Lawyer
You should hire a truck accident lawyer as soon as you meet with an accident in the United States. The reason for hiring a truck accident lawyer is that he will help you get all your compensation by arguing your case in court. According to Statista, there are 4,200 deaths due to truck accidents, and over 119,000 injuries every year. Here are two major tips on how to choose the best truck accident lawyer:
- Look for a local attorney. Every state might have different regulations. Hence, hiring a local lawyer who knows and understands all the laws is best. Suppose you meet with a truck accident in St. Loius. It is better to hire a Louis truck accident lawyer so that he or she can use the knowledge of local laws in the arguments during court hearings and trials.
- You must also determine whether your lawyer has expertise in personal injury law or not. If yes, then check their record of winning cases against big insurance companies. A good attorney knows how much money can be recovered from these companies by claiming damages-related losses such as medical bills that were caused due to negligence of another party, lost wages while recovering from injuries, etc.
Get a Copy of the Police Crash Report
A police crash report is a document that describes the cause of a motor vehicle accident, who was involved, and how they were injured. Police officers must fill out these reports after every accident in which an injury occurs or damages property.
To get a copy of your police crash report, you need to ask for it from the officer who investigated the incident. The process varies depending on where you live. In some states, you can request one over the phone or through an online portal; in others, you’ll need to visit your local police station with identification and make your case in person.
If there wasn’t an official investigation by law enforcement which might happen if no one saw what happened, then there won’t be any such document available for inspection—but this doesn’t mean that evidence couldn’t exist elsewhere! For instance, photos taken by passing motorists may have captured footage relevant to what transpired during your accident.
Gather Truck Driver Medical History Information
The next step is to collect the truck driver’s medical history. You need to check whether the driver was suffering from any condition or disease that may have affected his/her driving ability. For example, if he/she was suffering from sleep apnea or narcolepsy, it could have affected his/her ability to drive safely.
If there is one, you must also find out about the truck driver’s driving record and criminal record. If you can prove that he/she had a bad driving record, then this will help strengthen your case against them in court as it shows that they might not be safe drivers and should not be allowed on public roads.
Examine the Trucking Company’s Safety History
According to the statistics by FMCSA, on average, 3 out of every 10 trucks involved in fatal accidents were found to have serious safety violations before they crashed. The most common issues include lack of proper driver training and failure to inspect vehicles regularly.
Hence, the next thing you should do is examine the trucking company’s safety history. This will help you determine whether they met their legal obligations to provide a safe working environment and how much they have failed to meet them. It can also help you determine if the accident was caused by negligence on behalf of the trucking company, its employees, or another party affiliated with it, such as a subcontractor.
According to statistics by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, over 50% of all fatal crashes involving large trucks happened because of driver error rather than mechanical failure or poor road conditions. To hold these drivers accountable for their actions and seek compensation for your injuries, you must find out if any previous crashes were reported before this one occurred so that there are no other victims who might be able to join your lawsuit against these drivers.
Check Trucking Company’s Certificate of Insurance
You can also check if the trucking company has a current certificate of insurance. The certificate should be in the trucking company’s name and issued by a reputable insurance company. It should cover the trucking company for the state in which your accident happened, not just its home state.
You can also check if the trucking company is licensed to operate in your state. For example, if the company does not hold the license to run in your state, then you may be able to sue them for more than just medical expenses and property damage.
Locate Eyewitnesses of the Accident
You can find out the contact details of these witnesses from your insurance company. Once you have their contact details, it’s time for you to call them and ask whether they are willing to talk about what happened during the accident.
If your car was hit by another vehicle on the highway, then it is possible that there were other vehicles around at the time of the accident. Ideally, these other cars should have recorded dashboard camera footage of what transpired between the two vehicles in question. If yes, approach those drivers and get their dashcam videos and any other evidence that can help your case.
Remember that it is essential for you to take witness statements right after an accident has occurred, as memories fade away quickly and become unreliable over time. Fresh memory gives 97% accurate information and can help you win the case.
File a Lawsuit in Timely Manner
The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure stipulate that you must file a lawsuit within the time prescribed by law. The general rule is that your claim must be filed within two years of its accrual unless state laws provide otherwise. In some states, there is no statute of limitations for filing lawsuits related to car or truck accidents.
However, if the state has a statute of limitations for these cases and you fail to comply with them, your claim will likely be barred from being heard in court and dismissed without further consideration by a judge or jury.
If you do not file your case within this period, it will be considered ‘time-barred’, and you cannot proceed! Courts strictly enforce these rules because they do not want to hear about claims that have been missed or delayed beyond their allowed window for filing suit due to negligence on behalf of another party.
If you’ve been injured in an accident due to someone else’s wrongdoing, it may be worth your time to explore legal options. If you’ve been hurt due to another person’s fault while driving a truck—whether they were drowsy or drunk, speeding or texting while driving—you deserve compensation!