Nearly half a million motor-accidents annually in United States involve large transport vehicles like freight trucks and buses. Just because trucks are often seen on highways doesn’t mean that encounters with them on city and residential streets should be ruled out.
Very few predictions can be made in any situation involving massive vehicles like trucks, so an objective approach is required in resolving these cases. Considerations must be made in commercial truck accident cases, which is why resorting to professional legal advice immediately is recommended to all parties involved. A HURT-511 attorney experienced in truck motor-accidents can guide you through the legal process and help take the initial steps towards a successful resolution of your case decisively.
The first in a series of those initial steps is getting the accident report from the responding law enforcement agency. Multiple reports may need to be obtained in more serious accidents or in fatal wrecks where police must investigate more extensively. A HURT-511 truck motor-accident attorney will obtain all relevant accident reports, including a crash report (common in New York) and a separate CIRT (Critical Incident Response Team) report with scene metrics and accident data.
Most motor-accidents cases pivot on proving negligence or failure to act reasonably under the circumstances. While reasonable behavior is expected from all occupants of a roadway, truck drivers are required to exercise more caution than others while always abiding by the specific federal regulations concerning operation of a commercial vehicle. Truckers must follow hours of service rules, designed to ensure adequate rest and prevent fatigued driving.
Big rig trucks must go through proper inspections, and there are weight limitations designed to prevent jackknifing and brake issues. Federal law also mandates special procedures for transmitting hazardous materials. To prove liability, it is important to examine all theories of recovery.
No accident case can be won without evidence. When handling a truck wreck case, your attorney should seek to conduct a thorough investigation into the accident. This will include taking steps to obtain evidence and prevent the spoliation of evidence. If the proper steps are not taken in a timely manner, evidence could get lost or destroyed. In a trucking accident case, relevant evidence could include:
- The defendant truck driver’s personnel file and application
- Maintenance records
- “Black Box” or ECM data from the truck
- Your medical records
- Scene photographs
- Witness statements
- Video footage, if available
In many cases, the parties dispute what actually happened. Word versus word accidents can make it hard for you to meet the applicable burden of proving liability. In these situations, it may be necessary to hire experts, including trucking experts and accident reconstructionists. An accident reconstruction expert can physically visit the accident scene, take measurements, look for physical evidence like skid marks and depressions in the road, and download black box data.
All of this information can then be complied into a report about how the accident likely took place and can be instrumental in helping you recover fair compensation. Victims of accidents should seek a law firm with the resources to hire all necessary experts or consultants.
In addition to establishing liability, experts can be valuable in terms of proving damages. In an auto accident case with serious injuries, your attorney may need to retain a doctor to testify to your injuries and any permanent impairment. Vocational economists can testify regarding loss of future earnings or earning capacity.
A HURT-511 personal injury lawyers help injured workers recover the benefits to which they are entitled by law. For a free consultation with an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer, call us toll-free at 800-4878-511 or complete our online form. Our firm handles accident and injury claims throughout all five boroughs of New York.
HURT-511 operates in all boroughs of New York including all Bronx neighborhoods, namely: Bedford Park, Belmont, Fordham, Highbridge, Hunts Point, Jerome Park, Kingsbridge, Morris Park, Morrisania, Mott Haven, Parkchester, Riverdale, Spuyten Duyvil, Throgs Neck, University Heights and Woodlawn.