Factors to Consider When Hiring a Truck Accident Law Firm
From a legal perspective, trucking accidents are far more complicated than car crashes. In a car crash, it is relatively simple to determine which driver was at fault. In a trucking accident, the truck driver may be at fault, the other driver may be at fault, the trucking company may share in the blame, and even the trucking manufacturer may bear some responsibility for the accident. If you or a loved one was injured in a trucking accident, you'll want to hire a truck accident law firm.
Hiring a Truck Accident Law Firm
The operation and use of large trucks is regulated by numerous federal and state transportation laws.
Trucking laws cover such details as how long a truck driver can drive a truck before having to take a rest break. These laws are designed to protect motorists from the negligence of truck drivers and trucking companies. As a truck accident victim, you want to hire a law firm familiar with these laws and regulations.
Another reason to hire a law firm that concentrates on truck accidents is that proving liability, or responsibility, in a trucking accident is more complex than in a car crash. The trucker, the trucking company, the manufacturer of the truck, and others may all share responsibility for the accident.
It is important to hire a truck accident law firm as soon as possible after being involved in a truck accident, for a couple reasons:
- The law limits the time a victim has to file a lawsuit against a negligent truck driver
- Trucking companies usually begin investigations of truck accidents immediately, so it is important to get quick access to evidence and witnesses
If you are the victims of a truck accident, you should not speak to trucking company investigators or sign statements until you have hired a truck accident law firm to represent your interests.
Investigation of a Truck Accident
Many accidents are caused by the actions of a truck driver. Injuries resulting from a collision between a large truck and a vehicle can be severe, so it is important to carefully examine the truck drivers actions.
An investigator will usually take a close look at the truck driver's actions and responsibilities, including his or her driver's credentials and training, and his or her physical and mental state (including fatigue and whether there was alcohol or drugs involved).
An investigation of a truck accident will also involve collecting information on how the truck was maintained and loaded, and whether it was properly inspected and tested according to industry standards.
In certain circumstances, the trucking company can be held responsible for the actions of the truck driver. The manufacturer of the truck may also be liable if equipment on the truck malfunctioned.
Victims of truck accidents may be entitled to the following damages:
- Economic damages, which could include medical care and loss of earnings
- Non-economic damages, for things such as pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium on behalf of the victims spouse
- Punitive damages, if the trucking company acted in bad faith, or if the truck driver acted under specific circumstances, including drunk driving