When pursuing trucking accident cases, there is often more at stake than other injury claims. Loaded 18-wheelers are enormous and extremely heavy compared to standard passenger vehicles, so when a wreck involves both, the injuries left behind can be absolutely devastating. The sheer chaos can make it extremely difficult for a victim to gather information on the wreck, which may harm their ability to pursue compensation in court. With the assistance of a personal injury attorney, though, the victim can get the data they need to pursue their claim in court.
WHY ARE TRUCKING ACCIDENT CASES DIFFICULT TO PURSUE WHEN COMPARED TO OTHER VEHICLE WRECKS?
When a commercial vehicle causes an accident, there are several parties that may be held responsible. This includes the vehicle’s driver, its owner, the leasing company that contracted the vehicle, the vehicle’s manufacturer, and/or the company responsible for loading cargo on the truck. It is rather common for the responsible party to attempt to misdirect a claim and blame the crash on others. This can obfuscate facts tied to the claim and slow down the process. This process is meant to tire out a victim and get them to drop the claim altogether.
Thousands of people are killed every year in commercial vehicle accidents, and more than 100,000 injuries occur annually. With these staggering numbers, it is no surprise that most commercial vehicle contractors employ private crash investigators. In the aftermath of a wreck, the company investigator is dispatched to the scene and often arrives before the victim even has a chance to receive medical attention. The company’s investigator will take pictures of the crash and interview witnesses, and this information will often slant against the victim. Evidence may be discounted or even possibly tampered with, and any gathered data will often be presented to incriminate the victim instead. This will place a greater burden of proof on the victim and force them to counter with their own data.
HOW CAN A PERSONAL INJURY ATTORNEY HELP WITH TRUCKING ACCIDENT CASES?
The Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulates cargo carriers, so when a commercial vehicle has a crash, a state investigator also attends the scene and checks the status of the cargo carrier. The investigator’s report will reveal any mechanical problems with the vehicle, and when paired with police reports and witness testimony, this can paint a clear picture of who is responsible. Most commercial vehicles have high tech recording devices that track the vehicle’s speed, acceleration and braking, among other things. If driver error were the reason for the wreck, this recording device would expose it.
Gathering all of this information, organizing it for the court, and using it as a platform for negotiation is difficult, especially when dealing with an aggressive defendant. A personal injury attorney with experience in these types of accidents will be able to extract as much information as possible and use it to build a convincing demand package.