The pressure placed on commercial truck drivers to deliver their loads quickly and cheaply can cause some drivers to compromise safety and caution in the name of speed and profit. Nearly 50,000 injuries and 4,000 fatalities result from big rig related accidents annually.
You may have been recently injured or have a loved one who has perished in a tractor trailer accident for which you were not at fault and are feeling overwhelmed with both your injuries and the trucking company’s attorneys. You may be feeling pressured to sign papers that you do not fully understand, or believe you are being forced to accept an offer for settlement that you know will not cover all of your medical expenses and lost wages since the accident. There are steps you can take to protect yourself from being further victimized by a company who is at fault.
First, timing is critical because the more time that lapses between the accident and filing a lawsuit, the more compromised evidence crucial to your case can become. Seek the advice of a personal injury attorney with experience and expertise in dealing with commercial truck accidents. A professional with knowledge of the trucking industry will know the types of documentation and records that will need to be secured and how to go about insuring your access to them for litigation purposes. These records will include the motor carrier’s certificate and filings .
All other company records showing driver logs, mileage, weight tickets, bills of lading, equipment inspection, driver records and any other documentation concerning all activity must be preserved at least 30 days prior to the accident. Many of the records are required to be kept in accordance with Federal law. A qualified personal injury attorney can secure the authority to insure that all records pertinent to your case are accessible and will likely be able to prevent their untimely disposal.
Second, obtain all police and patrol records that show date, time of day, road conditions, cause of the accident and charges filed, statements, witness accounts and experts in the necessary areas of the trucking industry that can verify compliance, accountability or the circumstances and issues that led to your accident. Expert witnesses can provide powerful testimony that can secure a recovery for your losses.
All diagnostic records, emergency room, rescue associated costs, medical costs, hospital bills, rehabilitation and lost wages that resulted from your injuries must be documented and available for review. These will be needed to help determine recovery amounts.
There is little substitute for thorough preparation and professional representation when going against a large trucking company who is at fault for the accident that caused your injuries and loss.