In 2021, the number of fatal truck accidents and truck accidents resulting in injuries was higher than the previous year. According to the National Security Council (NSC), around 5,700 large trucks were involved in fatal accidents, and 117,300 trucks caused catastrophic accidents. In a separate report by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCA), the organization revealed that driver error is the leading cause of truck accidents.
Because of the significance of driver error, it is essential to hold negligent truck drivers accountable for their actions. By doing so, victims can receive compensation for losses and damages from the crash.
At Richman Law Offices, we’ve helped countless truck accident victims in the Greater Cincinnati area stand up against negligent truck drivers and their employers. Through our experience, we developed a guide to help victims understand how to hold negligent truck drivers accountable.
Understanding Negligent Truck Driving
By proper definition, negligence refers to abandoning the responsibility of maintaining a safe environment for others. Similarly, when it comes to truck operations, negligent truck drivers are those who fail to comply with state laws and industry regulations. This disregard can lead to devastating harm and losses for innocent victims, so they must be held responsible for their actions.
Some examples of negligent truck driving are:
- Falling asleep behind the wheels
- Driving while distracted on the phone
- Exceeding the speed limit
- Improper vehicle maintenance
The sheer size and weight of trucks could easily crash any vehicle it collides with. Because of this, truck drivers must be conscientious when behind the wheel. Unfortunately, some fail to do so, endangering the lives of others on the road.
Gathering Evidence To Support Your Case
Retaining tangible and viable evidence is critical to ensure a successful case when building a truck accident case. If you’re involved in a truck accident, here is some evidence you should obtain as soon as possible:
- Accident reports: You can obtain a copy of the accident report from the police officer responding to the accident scene.
- Witness statements: You don’t necessarily need to record what the witness says. You only need their contact number to contact them for their testimony when required.
- Black box data: Most commercial trucks have a black box installed. This data can be used to prove the truck driver’s negligence, but it might be tricky to obtain it.
- Driver logs: Companies keep track of their drivers’ activities through logs. The company might withhold this information from you, so getting a lawyer to help you is vital.
- Surveillance footage: The footage might be helpful for your case if the truck accident occurs near a surveillance camera or traffic cam.
Hiring a truck accident lawyer ensures you get all or most of these proofs. They can also help you hasten the process to build your case quickly.
Hiring an Experienced Truck Accident Attorney
Hiring an experienced truck accident attorney brings countless advantages to your negligent truck driver case. With their expertise in personal injury law and extensive experience defending victims, you can count on them to solidify the success of your case.
Here’s how our truck accident lawyer at Richman Law Offices can help you:
- In-depth case investigation: We meticulously investigate your case and look into all aspects, such as traffic laws, trucking regulations, and product liability.
- Case building: By gathering essential evidence and testimony, we create a convincing case that proves the truck driver’s negligence. We compile all the facts and use them as leverage to get you the compensation you deserve.
- Excellent negotiation skills: We have decades of experience negotiating with large insurance companies and convincing them to provide the maximum compensation to our clients.
- Assertive case representation: When your case fails to settle, we’ll represent you in court and deliver persuasive arguments to help you receive a favorable ruling.
Pursuing Compensation for Damages
Victims of a negligent truck driver can recover compensation equivalent to the damages they sustained. This could be economic damages (medical bills, lost wages, property damage, etc.), non-economic damages (pain and suffering, diminished quality of life, loss of consortium, etc.), or punitive damages.
Understanding the process of making a personal injury claim is necessary to ensure you’re following the correct procedure. This procedure includes:
- Reporting the accident to authorities
- Seeking immediate medical attention
- Talking to your insurance company
- Finding and hiring an attorney
- Working with them to arrange a claim
Different states have varying lengths of statute of limitations regarding truck accidents. In Michigan, injuring another person has a three-year statute of limitations. This means you only have three years from the truck accident date to file a case.
The Legal Process and Seeking Justice
To recover compensation from the defendant, you need to follow the process of a personal injury claim. Here’s a birds-eye view of the process:
- Consulting an experienced lawyer
- Conducting a thorough investigation
- Making full recovery
- Drafting and sending the demand letter
- Negotiating with the insurance company
- Litigation (if the settlement fails)
Filing a truck accident case doesn’t only secure your compensation for the damages you suffered. It’s also necessary to hold negligent truck drivers accountable for their actions and discourage similar crimes in the future.
When working with an attorney, being truthful and maintaining constant communication is vital. Knowing the right questions to ask before hiring them is essential to prevent any surprises during the case process.
Truck accidents are one of the most catastrophic accidents that can occur on the road. When you’re in a truck accident, it’s critical to ensure your safety first. Once you’re safe, you can begin your search for an attorney to help with your case.
Don’t let the negligent truck driver get away unscathed. Remember, you’re not only doing this for yourself; you can help prevent potential accidents like these in the future.
If you’re lost in the process and don’t know where to turn for help, you’re in the right place. Our truck accident lawyer at Richman Law Offices can help you build a strong case and get the justice you deserve. Contact us now and schedule your consultation with us.