Commercial trucks are some of the largest and most destructive vehicles on the road today, and when consumer drivers are involved in truck accidents, the results are often devastating. If you experienced a commercial truck accident recently, you may have serious injuries and property damage, which is a huge concern that probably overshadows many areas of your life. This is common, particularly for those who suffer injuries that make them unable to keep working.
Truck accident victims face a difficult journey on the way to physical and financial recovery, even when there is little or no confusion about which party is liable. Even if the consumer driver is not at fault, filing a truck accident claim is significantly more complicated than pursuing most accidents among consumer vehicles.
Fully recovering from a truck accident begins with understanding and protecting your rights. Do not waste time building a strong legal strategy to keep these rights protected and achieve fair compensation. The longer you wait to build these protections, the more difficult it is to seek a fair outcome.
Who is liable?
Even if the truck or driver is responsible for the accident, it is not always simple to determine which parties to file a claim against. For instance, it is important to understand the relationship of the driver and the party that hired the driver, if they were on the job when the accident occurred.
If the driver is an independent contractor, then they may be the primary defendant. However, if the driver is an employee of another company, then the company may be on the hook for the damages.
Similarly, if the accident occurred because of a malfunction in the truck itself, then the manufacturer of the malfunctioning component may hold liability. If the accident occurred because the load the driver was hauling came loose and shifted during transit, then the crew or company that secured the load to the trailer may hold liability.
These are only some of the many parties who may have share responsibility for the accident. With the medical bills piling up and income slowing down, many victims need to begin filing the claim as soon as possible, so that the strains of the process don’t overwhelm them.
Gather special evidence to build your claim
Truck accidents involve two kinds of evidence that typically do not factor into consumer vehicle accidents, drivers’ logs and electronic control module data. You must request both of these sets of information from the driver and from the owner of the vehicle respectively, or you may miss out on key claim-building evidence.
Drivers’ logs detail how often the driver stops to rest during a long haul, while electronic control module data is gathered from many systems throughout the truck, much like a black box records airplane flight data. Make sure to request this information quickly before the owner destroys it, which they may legally do before receiving a request.
Your recovery must begin with a strong understanding of your rights and the priorities you hope to protect. With a well-built strategy, you can keep yourself safe and protected while focusing on your physical and financial recovery.