Accidents involving 18-wheeler trucks are some of the most devastating motor vehicle accidents you could be involved in. The results are nearly always catastrophic. Large commercial tractor trailers can weigh more than 80,000 pounds, so any collision is likely to result in serious, if not fatal, injuries. In addition to the seriousness of the injuries, litigation of a truck accident case can be very complicated. So, if you want to bring a truck accident claim, it is wise to seek the advice of an attorney.
Determining fault can be a challenge
Establishing where liability lies in any motor vehicle accident case can be a challenge. Figuring out who is responsible in a truck accident case is even more complicated. There are usually several potential sources of liability, including individuals and companies.
With every truck accident claim, you must consider the driver and the owner of the truck, any leasing company that was involved, manufacturers of the truck or its related equipment, and possibly anyone who loaded the truck’s cargo. With all of these possibilities, you should consult with an experienced attorney to help narrow down the correct parties.
Accident Investigation is Crucial
The purpose of investigating a truck accident is not only to determine liability, but also to develop and preserve evidence required to prove that liability. Evidence at the scene must be preserved immediately, before it can be lost or tampered with. Your attorney needs to contact the truck owner to put them on notice to preserve all evidence. A thorough investigation of a truck accident will require photographing the scene and all vehicles involved, as well as your injuries.
Why are Truck Accidents Claims so Different?
Accidents involving commercial trucks are different from simple automobile accident cases. One difference is that the laws applicable to trucks are different. The rules and regulations that govern operating trucks on the highways, as well as truck drivers themselves, are very specific.
The parties involved are different and there are generally more parties involved than just the drivers. Driving a tractor trailer is obviously more complex than driving a car. The physical dynamics of what happens during a truck accident are unlike automobile accidents, and the resulting injuries are typically more catastrophic.
Litigating a truck accident case is more complicated
Handling a truck accident, from a legal standpoint, is very different from the beginning. Truck accident cases are more time-sensitive, due to the distinct need to preserve evidence. The insurance issues involved are more complicated, as well.
Another point is that the trucking industry is governed by a very specific set of regulations that play a critical part in every truck accident lawsuit. Because the industry involves transportation of both industrial and commercial products, these regulations are important for the protection of consumers, and must be followed by trucking companies and their drivers. For instance, it is important to determine whether the regulations regarding the number of hours a driver can work were complied with.
If you have questions regarding truck accidents, or any other personal injury concerns, call the Cottrell Law Office at (888) 433-4861.
He is licensed to practice law in the United States District Court for the District of Kansas, eastern Arkansas, western Arkansas, and western Missouri. He was Deputy Prosecuting Attorney in Crawford County, Kansas from 1987-1989.
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