Truck accidents and car accidents may both include motor vehicles but the claims or lawsuits that surround them can vary significantly. In particular, evidence necessary to win a case and liability – or who to sue for damages – in a trucking accident may seem like night and day compared to the typical car accident claim. If you were struck by a commercial truck, here’s a few things you should know that may make the upcoming legal procedures easier.
How Evidence Can Differ
In a car accident, most of the evidence pertinent to the case can be found right there at the scene of the crash; photographs, eyewitness testimonies, and a police report can come in handy for a car accident case. In a commercial truck accident, you may need to look elsewhere for evidence you might not have even suspected would be useful for your claim.
Talk to your attorney about obtaining:
- Truck driver’s qualifications and training
- Schedule for the day and the last few weeks
- Electronic on-board recorder files
- Vehicle inspection and maintenance records
- Cargo weight tickets
- Specific instructions from truck’s dispatcher
It is important to realize that many crucial documents that can be used in your case are time-sensitive. Some logbooks can be disposed of after only six months, according to regulations by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). You should act quickly with a lawyer’s help to get the documents you need while they still exist.
How Liability May Differ
When you get struck by a driver in a civilian vehicle, you will have one person in mind when creating your lawsuit: the driver. They might ultimately be defended by the efforts of their insurance company but liability, according to your lawsuit, falls solely on them. When you are injured in a semi-truck accident, liability may fall on one or more parties.
Parties that could be liable for your injuries in a truck accident include:
- Truck driver that drove recklessly
- Maintenance crews who failed to make the truck serviceable
- Employer who worked the trucker too many consecutive hours
- Load crew who poorly stacked or loaded freight
There are even instances in which the owner of the trailer, not the tractor rig pulling it, could be liable. With so many potentially liable parties, the chance of filing against the wrong person and losing claim validity increases. If you want to have confidence in your lawsuit, you should make certain you work with professional lawyers who have handled countless car and truck accident claims.
At Rourke and Blumenthal, our Columbus personal injury attorneys have 75+ years of combined legal and trial experience. Through our efforts, we have won more than $300 million in successful verdicts and settlements on behalf of our clients. We are also proud to say that we have Super Lawyers® on our team, as well as an AV Preeminent® rating from Martindale-Hubbell®.