If you are hit by a car or truck, you can initiate a personal injury lawsuit and obtain money needed to pay for your rehabilitation and medical care. However, commercial truck accidents are a little different than auto accidents. If you or a loved one was hit by an 18-wheeler, here's what you need to know.
In the immediate aftermath of an accident, if possible, you should always take pictures of the scene. If there are witnesses, including emergency personnel, get them to give brief statements about what they saw or heard. Even a muttered remark by the truck driver could be relevant.
Afterward, look for information about the truck driver online. Social media updates or internet searches about the driver's employment history or relevant experience can paint a larger story. If the driver was unqualified, not properly trained by the company, or had a history of drug and alcohol use, it can support your claims.
Nowadays, trucks have GPS systems, speed recorders, and black box recorders connected to fleet maintenance software. Information captured by the black box could prove that a truck driver was speeding, or that the truck was overdue for brake work, for example.
Are other parties liable?
Not only may the truck driver be at fault, but the trucking company, third-party shipper, or other party may be legally liable for the accident. If the truck has a logo of a specific motor carrier, that carrier automatically assumes liability for the actions of the driver. If you believe the truck driver has a history of poor driving or driving under the influence, the truck's owner may be legally negligent.
There is a limited window of time in which you can obtain all of the evidence you need to put together a compelling and strong case. Physical pain and emotional distress after an accident may make it difficult for you to pursue your case with the care and attention it deserves. An attorney can act aggressively to position you for success with a personal injury lawsuit while shielding you from the stress of a lawsuit so you can focus on recovery.
Do not delay if you are hit by a truck. Schedule a consultation with a personal injury lawyer to learn the options you have for seeking redress through the legal system and find an attorney you can trust to pursue this matter aggressively.