Trucking accidents lead to serious injuries and property damage, and after the accident, a series of events take place to determine who caused the accident and how victims who sustained losses collect compensation. When possible, trucking accidents file an insurance claim and compensate all individuals who suffered injuries and have economic losses.
If the insurer doesn’t manage the claims, victims have the legal right to start a lawsuit against the trucking accident and/or the commercial driver. In the cases, the plaintiff must prove that the trucking company or driver is at fault for the person’s injuries and all losses that resulted from the accident. Evidence is a must for the cases, and an attorney helps the claimants get all the documentation necessary for the case and deposes eyewitnesses that offer support for the case.
Report the Accident Right Now!
After any motor vehicle accident, someone must contact law enforcement and emergency services to report the accident. The officers examine the scene of the accident and figure out what happened and what driver caused the wreck.
After the cops make distinctions about the wreck, an accident report is created, and all parties who were involved must get a copy for their insurer. While the officers are managing the accident investigation, the victims have a chance to collect auto insurance information from the accountable driver. Victims can get started on a claim by contacting a truck accident lawyer houston now.
The Investigation of the Driver
In a truck accident, federal regulations apply to the driver and their actions during and right before the wreck. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration issues regulations that define what commercial drivers must do to remain safe on roadways. This includes taking an 8-hour resting period if the driver operates the truck for more than 12 hours.
There must be a log of all the hours the person drove each day to ensure that the driver is compliant with the government regulations. If officers determine that the cause of the accident was exhausted driving, the trucking company and the driver are liable because of the violation of the law.
A Full Inspection of the Truck Itself
The trucking company’s insurer requires a full inspection of the truck to determine if there are any other liabilities that caused the accident. If the driver didn’t stop at local weigh stations on the roadway, the company is liable if the load on the trailer wasn’t balanced, and the truck jackknifed. If a mechanic installed faulty parts on the truck, the auto repair service is liable for the installation, and the auto parts manufacturer is liable for selling dangerous products.
The Medical Needs of the Victim
Anyone injured in the truck accident needs to go to the emergency room to get a complete examination. When the doctor examines the individuals, the clinician identifies all injuries the victims sustained and creates medical records for each patient.
The medical records are critical for the accident claim and show that the person was injured in the trucking accident, how severe the injuries are, and if the individual needs ongoing healthcare services for the injuries.
Estimates for Auto Repair Costs
The claimant secures at least three auto repair estimates that show how much the bodywork and other repairs cost. Even if the individual gets a chance to file an insurance claim, the insurer requires no less than three estimates, and the court reviews the estimates and chooses the median cost when setting up a monetary award for the victim if the person wins the case.
6Did the Victim Lose Wages?
Many victims of serious truck accidents cannot return to work on time and lose wages until the person has recovered enough to get back to work. When starting a legal claim, claimants must get a financial statement from their employer that shows an exact calculation of all income the person lost because of the accident injuries.
According to personal injury laws, victims of truck accidents can include lost income in the claim to recover the earnings the person was unable to collect because of the injuries and the inability to work. The financial support is a must for everyone, and the loss could present economic issues for the individual.
Do Not Speak to Anyone but Your Attorney
An insurer that presents the trucking company may attempt to contact the victim to get the person to agree to a settlement offer and lower the financial loss for the trucking company. If the person answers certain questions, the defense can use the information to discredit the claim or get the lawsuit thrown out of court. When advising clients, lawyers suggest that clients refer all callers to the attorney instead of answering questions and discussing any aspect of the case with any other parties.
Attempts to Dismiss the Victim’s Case
In a motor vehicle accident, the comparative-fault rulings are common strategies to discredit a victim’s case, and defense attorneys search for eyewitnesses that saw the accident and saw the victim commit a traffic violation.
With the ruling, the judge assesses the risk related to the violation and assigns a rate. If the rate reaches any quantity that makes the person over half to blame for the entire accident, the plaintiff won’t get any compensation for injuries, lost wages, or any other economic damages. The defense will try any strategy available to refocus the blame onto the victim and avoid a payout.
Was an Insurance Claim Filed?
Many trucking companies act quickly to file an insurance claim to settle the matter as quickly as possible and provide compensation to all victims injured in the truck accident. If the victim received funds through the insurance claim, the legal claim is not necessary to collect compensation.
However, if the person sustained serious injuries and the maximum coverage level isn’t sufficient to cover all the medical expenses the individual incurred, and the court may present the victim with an award if there is evidence that substantiates the claim and proves that the injuries are profound and the person requires further compensation.
The Exact Identity of the Defendant
In a truck accident case, the claimant must know which party is actually at fault. The officers can determine if the commercial driver caused the accident and provide information to the victims. However, if there was an underlying issue with the truck that wasn’t the driver’s fault, the blame could be redirected to a different defendant.
For example, if the brakes installed in the truck were faulty, the defendant wouldn’t be the commercial driver, but the party at fault would be either the mechanic shop that installed the brakes or the manufacturer who created the brakes is at fault.
Did the Victim Suffer Permanent Losses?
A permanent loss such as loss of organ function, a lost limb, or a disfigurement the individual has access to non-economic or tort-based damages. Since the individual cannot recover from the injuries and return to the condition the person was in previously, the injuries are classified as serious or severe.
If the plaintiff wins their case, the court may present a higher-than-average monetary award, and if the person cannot financially support themselves because of the injuries, the court calculates lifelong ways and determines how much the person should receive because of these negative outcomes.
Did the Victim Survive the Injuries?
If a victim dies as a result of the injuries, the person’s family starts a wrongful death lawsuit to collect compensation for all financial losses. Typically, the economic damages include all the victim’s medical costs, the total cost of the person’s funeral, and any other losses incurred by the family as a result of the avoidable fatality. The defendant in the lawsuit is the trucking company and the driver. The plaintiff must prove that the victim died because of the accident injuries and no other reason, and an autopsy could provide adequate evidence to support the allegations.
Settling In or Out of Court
In some cases, the trucking company or their insurer presents an offer to the victim’s attorney that provides adequate compensation. However, the attorney will review all the losses incurred by the victim when determining if the offer is reasonable and fair according to what the person has lost because of the collision. If the settlement offer isn’t adequate, the case goes to court, and the judge renders the final decision about the claim.
A trucking company faces a serious financial loss when a driver causes an accident and others get injured. The owners must enforce federal regulations that apply to their drivers to lower the risk of accidents and risks to others on the roadways. This includes controlling how many hours each driver is on the road each day.
When drivers fail to comply, there is an increased risk of exhausted driving which is a common cause of trucking accidents. Many drivers take stimulants to stay awake when driving long hours, and trucking companies have policies against the medications. By hiring an attorney, victims have an opportunity to collect compensation for all losses related to their accident injuries.