If I have heard it once, I have heard it a hundred times from other attorneys, “trucking accident cases are nothing like car wrecks”, and that is the truth! There are numerous factors that make trucking claims very different from your typical car accident claim. For instance, think about how many different folks are involved in the operation of a truck: Mechanics, loading docks, drivers and product manufacturers just to name a few. Another thing to consider is all the different insurance companies that one may have to deal with to hold everyone accountable.
After a serious trucking accident involving catastrophic injuries or wrongful death, an injured person or their family must recognize the difficulty of pursuing a crash claim involving an 18-wheeler and the importance of seeking competent legal and technical counsel very quickly. This is because evidence can literally be driven away, never to be seen again.
First things first after a serious heavy truck accident! It is very important to remember that these heavy truck accidents often require an accident reconstructionist and these experts should be dispatched quickly so evidence does not disappear. There is a lot you can learn from an expert accident reconstructionist. For instance, a reconstruction can often determine the following:
- Speed of the truck
- Weight of the truck
- Equipment Condition
- Faulty Equipment
Without an accident reconstructionist or heavy truck expert, an accident victim may have to rely on the truck driver or the companies involved with the load to tell the truth. This is no way to proceed to litigation considering the motivations of the driver, the company and its insurers. When a catastrophic accident occurs, one must find all avenues of recovery to take care of the victims and provide for their disabilities and other harms and losses.
Another area of concern is the coordination of the various insurance companies that may be involved. A few of the various people and entities who may have insurance that is applicable to an accident are as follows:
- Loading Dock Company
- Load Owner
- Truck and Trailer Manufacturer
- Truck and Trailer Owners
- Maintenance Company
- Part Manufacturers
- Tire Manufacturers
Logbooks and Mileage Rules
Truck drivers must follow special rules about time on the road and mileage that passenger car drivers don’t. And, believe it or not, some truckers carry two different sets of logbooks, one to show the weight control and law enforcement and another one to get paid. This means that the logbooks will often need to be examined by an expert who understands how some truck drivers manipulate the time and mileage logs to avoid getting in trouble with the law but still get paid for all the time they are on the road. Put simply, drivers who are too sleepy to be on the road are often out there, relying on bogus logbooks to keep them out of trouble. This is dangerous to the traveling public and can often require substantial digging to prove the discrepancy.
Finally, if a person has suffered serious, disabling injuries, the health insurance company, hospitals and follow up providers, like physical therapists and occupational therapists will have to be managed. Put bluntly, everyone wants to get paid for their work and if this is not handled correctly, it can dramatically reduce the amount of money left in a settlement to take care of a disabled 18-wheeler accident victim. A health insurance company, Medicaid or Medicare will need to be reimbursed for their payouts. Hospitals will often do everything they can to maximize their collections which sometimes means they take advantage of unrepresented people.
The bottom line: After a trucking accident involving serious injuries, victims need counsel to guide them through the complicated liability and regulatory issues as well as the complex insurance and healthcare issues.
Roberts Wilson, P.A. Injury Lawyers is here for you and ready to put its resources and expertise to work for you in any serious trucking accident claim.