Proving liability in a truck crash can be particularly tricky, especially if you have no real idea of what you’re doing and after going through the trauma of a nasty incident. However, it doesn’t have to be difficult at all. This post will outline everything you need to know about proving liability and how easy it can be when you follow these simple tips.
Besides looking at who could be liable, you should:
- Gather Evidence at the Scene
- Even if You Suspect it is, Don’t Admit Fault at the Scene
- Hire an Attorney as Soon as Possible
Who Can Be Liable in a Truck Accident?
There are many potential responsible parties in a truck accident. In the trucking industry, many individuals and entities come together to get the job done, this makes determining the liable party in a truck accident more complicated. Fault could lie with one or more of the parties involved in the entire process. These include:
- The truck driver. Whether it’s an operational mistake, breaking the law, becoming distracted whilst driving or DUI (driving under the influence) they may be held accountable for the damages that they may have caused.
- The trucking company. The company are responsible for the hiring of safe drivers and the establishment of safe driving schedules. Some companies often put unrealistic deadlines on their drivers in busy periods, which can lead to unsafe driving.
- The owner. Not all trucks are owned by the trucking company themselves. The owner is responsible for maintenance should the truck require it. Vital parts like brakes, fluids and tires could all be the cause of a major accident if not well looked after.
- The cargo loader. A large number of truck accidents are caused from carrying too heavy a load. Whoever loads the truck must ensure that it meets federal law legislation and is distributed evenly. Otherwise, a sharp corner or a lane change could cause the vehicle to crash.
- The parts manufacturer. A truck is made of many parts, as is any vehicle. If a part on the truck proves to be defective this can obviously lead to a major incident. This will then come back to the parts manufacturer who can be held accountable for the making of a dodgy part.
As you can see, there are many different people who can be involved in a truck accident and pinning the liability to one/a group of them can be particularly tricky. Not to mention after being involved in an incident as traumatic as a truck crash.
Also, trying to deal with these kind of incidents on your own without representation can seriously hamper your chances of winning your deserved compensation and getting the decision you want. Trucking companies usually work with personal injury lawyers who have vast experience with dealing in similar cases, with large companies too. The following tips will make proving liability a whole lot easier.
Gather Evidence at the Scene
Unless, of course, you suffered serious life threatening injuries you should photograph the incident from all available angles. This will make it easier for an accident reconstruction expert to review the photos to determine what may have happened in the moments leading up to the crash.
Along with your photographs, you’re going to need names and contact information of everybody involved, this includes drivers, passengers and anyone else. Along with their contact details you should take their license plate number and their driver’s license number too.
Even if You Suspect it is, Don’t Admit Fault at the Scene
It’s crucial that you don’t discuss the matter before consulting an attorney, not to anybody. By doing so, you’re only setting yourself up for something to come up further down the line in the decision stages and bite you on the backside. Anything you say can be used as evidence against you later in the investigation.
Hire an Attorney as Soon as Possible
We strongly advise that you hire an attorney to help you through the aftermath of a truck incident. They can be very traumatic to go through without then having to represent yourself in your case afterwards. An attorney gives you the best chance of winning every cent of compensation you deserve.
Act fast after your incident and get looking for the right attorney for your case. Truck companies reserve the right to destroy the majority of evidence from the incident just six months after it happened, so the sooner you get to work with your attorney, the better.
As touched on earlier, trucking companies usually work with personal injury lawyers that deal with significantly larger cases and businesses. These are experts in their fields and would more than likely walk all over a self-represented case. Reasons being, you won’t be advised on what to say, so they’ll likely pick out something that you’ve put your foot in and they know the complicated rules and regulations of truck accidents inside and out. Representing yourself will only weaken your case.
Your attorney will get right to work on your case and will gather further evidence on top of yours to work out liability. Other kinds of evidence they will gather are:
- Black box
- Dash cam footage
- Surveillance footage
- Hours of service logs
- Toll booth receipts
- Bills of lading
- Cell phone records
- Police reports
- Results of any chemical tests
Your attorney will also contact experts and use their opinion to help them work out the liable parties in the crash scene.
Once your personal injury lawyer has decided who the liability of the case falls with, they’ll guide you all the way through your truck accident claim and give you advice on whether to accept, decline or dispute the offer given to you by the insurance companies.
Be Represented by the Best
Proving liability can seem a little overwhelming. However, it doesn’t have to be. At Coxwell & Associates, we’ve been working hard for over 35 years to earn Mississippians the compensation they deserve after a traumatic accident. Sit back and let us do the work, it’s that easy.
So, why not get in touch with one of our expert consultants today? Or, check out our guide which is packed with loads more helpful information.
Disclaimer: This blog is intended as general information purposes only, and is not a substitute for legal advice. Anyone with a legal problem should consult a lawyer immediately.