Accidents involving large trucks tend to be extremely complex when examining, especially if there are multiple contributing factors. A driver of such a vehicle requires training to operate them and to secure a commercial driver’s license of CDL. The reason drivers require certification and training to operate them is because truck accidents have the potential to result in catastrophic injuries such as head injuries, spinal cord trauma, amputations, and internal organ damage. In truck accidents, passengers of other vehicles are more likely to get seriously or fatally injured.
Large truck companies understand that they have a lot at stake after a catastrophic accident involving one of their vehicles. They often use significant resources to defend such claims. Also, in truck accidents, as with any other personal injury claim, the burden of proof is on the plaintiff (injured party). This means injured victims must show evidence that the truck driver, trucking company and/or other involved party was negligent (careless) to be held liable for monetary damages such as medical expenses, lost income, cost of future surgeries, treatment and pain and suffering.
Important Aspects of the Investigation
Therefore, a thorough investigation is imperative in a truck accident case. This is where it becomes important to obtain police reports and contact witnesses who can help corroborate your account of the accident. Retaining the services of an experienced truck accident lawyer can go a long way in ensuring that you get critical information that is necessary to prove your case.
Here are some of the pieces of information and evidence that may prove extremely useful for your truck accident case:
Physical evidence: When a truck collides with another vehicle, there is significant physical damage. After the accident, the trucking company may track down their vehicle and immediately pay to have it moved elsewhere since it can yield a lot of important evidence that may help prove your case. Your truck accident lawyer can send an investigator to inspect the vehicle for evidence before it is repaired. The same is true for the accident scene. Your attorney can have an accident reconstruction expert visit the scene, document all evidence and look for clues such as skid marks.
Truck driver logs: The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires truck drivers to log their driving time. New rules require drivers to log their hours electronically. This is done to make sure truck drivers adhere to Hours-of-Service laws and to ensure that drivers get sufficient rest and are not fatigued behind the wheel.
Personnel files: Trucking companies are also required to maintain records regarding employees and their driving record. Your lawyer can immediately send a spoliation of evidence letter, which will require them to preserve information including the truck driver’s personnel file such as the driver’s job application, commercial driver’s license, background check results, drug and alcohol testing results, etc.
Black box information: Most large trucks contain a “black box” or Electronic Control Module that records data before and during an accident. This can give a lot of valuable information about the truck’s speed, braking and other factors that may have contributed to the crash.
Contacting an Experienced Lawyer
Victims injured in truck accidents may be able to seek compensation for damages including, but not limited to, medical expenses, lost income and benefits, hospitalization, rehabilitation, permanent injuries, disabilities, past and future pain and suffering, etc. Families of deceased accident victims may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit seeking compensation for damages such as lost future income, funeral costs, medical expenses, pain and suffering, etc.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident, or if you have lost a loved one in a motor vehicle accident caused by a negligent or careless driver, the experienced New York personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Kenneth A. Wilhelm can help you better understand your legal rights and options, and also fight hard to recover just compensation for you.
For over 49 years, our skilled accident attorneys have established a proven track record of helping injured victims. Our law firm recently recovered $5,600,000 for a bicyclist who was hit by a van, and $2,550,000 for another victim of a truck accident, and $3,000,000 for a pedestrian who was hit by a car, and the full $1,000,000 insurance policy for a pedestrian who was hit by a truck, and $4,625,000 for a driver who was in a car and was hit by a van, and $2,500,000 for a man who fell through an improperly secured hole. Also, one of our clients obtained a verdict for $43,940,000 and another of our clients got a verdict for $23,500,000, both in medical malpractice cases.
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