If you’ve suffered injuries in an accident and the other driver is at fault, you may want to hold the person who hit you accountable. But what if the other vehicle was an 18-wheeler?
When a large commercial truck hits your car, it’s easy to feel victimized by the big trucking companies and overwhelmed by the thought of moving forward. But you shouldn’t have to suffer because of a driver’s negligence.
Trucking companies are often large corporations that have deep pockets and big legal teams. If you’re looking at building a case against a trucking company to get financial compensation for your injuries, talk to an attorney that has experience with these types of cases. Gibbs & Crivelli, Slingshot Law will guide you through the legal process step by step.
When Trucking Companies Are Liable
If the driver of a commercial vehicle was at fault, it’s likely that their employer will be held liable.
Trucking companies are responsible for the actions of their drivers and the maintenance of their vehicles. They also have a responsibility for training their drivers, ensuring the safe operation of the equipment, and providing a safe working environment.
To start building a case, we’ll ask a few questions about the circumstances surrounding the crash:
Driver Fatigue – Did the driver seem sleepy or overworked? There are regulations about how many hours drivers can work, and if you are victimized by trucking companies who break these rules, you may have a strong case.
Driver Lack of Experience – Because of driver shortages, trucking companies have put people with little experience behind the wheel of a commercial vehicle sometimes. Ask your lawyer to investigate and check the driver’s credentials and experience.
Faulty Equipment – Check around for evidence of malfunctioning equipment. Are there skid marks that point to faulty brakes?
Evidence can help build a strong case against trucking companies by discrediting claims made by employees who may want to shift blame away from themselves onto others. They don’t want to lose their job or face disciplinary action from management. Because of this, it’s important to gather as much evidence as possible.
You’ll want to get a copy of the police report first. But that’s only the first step when you need to investigate the sometimes complicated circumstances surrounding commercial vehicle accidents.
Here are a few more examples of the evidence you and your lawyer may collect:
Witnesses – If there were witnesses, try to find out what they saw and where they were when it happened. If possible, get their contact information so they can provide testimony later.
Pictures – Take photos of the damage done to all vehicles involved. Often, crashes involving a commercial vehicle like a big truck involve multi-car pileups. Don’t panic, and try to take as many pictures and videos as possible.
Medical Records – You should keep a copy of all medical records relevant to your injuries for yourself and any passengers in the accident. Make sure they include any treatments or medications related to your injury, including prescriptions for painkillers, so that these can be used as evidence as well.
Damages for Your Injuries
When you’re hurt in a car accident, you may be due economic damages. These damages cover the financial losses you’ve suffered because of your accident, such as medical bills, property damage, and lost wages.
You may also believe you deserve compensation for the emotional damages you suffered. If so, your lawyer has the tools needed to calculate your claim’s value and get the coverage you need for your pain and suffering.
While these elements are important to building a case against a trucking company after an accident, it’s not always possible to collect evidence after being hurt by another driver’s negligence. Simply do your best to collect as much evidence as is feasible for you and call an attorney for help.
Get Legal Representation Immediately
It’s important that you consult with a lawyer with experience in this practice area as soon as possible after the incident occurs so that you don’t miss any deadlines for filing a claim against another party, such as insurance companies.
Claims can climb into the tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars. Trucking companies should pay for negligence on the part of their drivers so you aren’t victimized twice by being forced to pay for your own medical care.
If you’ve suffered injuries, building a case against a trucking company is within your reach even if it seems like too much to handle right now. Contact Gibbs & Crivelli, Slingshot Law online or call 800-488-7840 so we can start building a strong case against the responsible party, starting with a free consultation.
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