Semi-trucks and tractor-trailers can weigh 20-to-30 times more than the average automobile; even a large pickup or an SUV is no match for that kind of size and weight. Yet every year in the United States, commercial trucks are involved in more than more than 400,000 traffic accidents resulting in injuries to about 140,000 people – mostly passengers in automobiles, SUVs, and pickups, although plenty of motorcyclists, bicycle riders, and pedestrians are injured in truck accidents too. If you or someone you love is injured in a truck accident in south Florida, now or in the future, an experienced Palm Beach personal injury attorney may be able to help you recover compensation for your medical treatment and related expenses. Don’t hesitate to make the call and get the legal help you need.
For clients injured in truck accidents, a good personal injury attorney will interview witnesses, review police and medical reports, consult accident reconstruction experts, and use every available legal tool to fight for the maximum possible compensation. A good lawyer can help you obtain the compensation you need and the justice you deserve, but it’s up to you to take the first step and make the call. If you’re in any accident in south Florida that involves a truck, seek medical treatment immediately. Then speak without delay to an experienced Palm Beach personal injury attorney.
Trucking Company Investigations After An Accident
Investigations conducted after a truck accident will typically focus on the trucking company and its operations. A trucking company is responsible for hiring responsible, skilled, and capable trucking drivers, and the company can definitely be held liable when it fails to hire good drivers. When it fails in its recruitment policies, the trucking company can be liable in a personal injury claim.
After a trucking accident, law enforcement will conduct investigations, and the police report of the accident will provide clues to the cause of the accident. However, your trucking accident attorney in Palm Beach will also conduct his own investigation that will target the trucking company’s operations, maintenance of records, the driver’s history and all types of other vital clues. A good personal injury lawyer can investigate your case, determine where liability falls, and help you compile the evidence and testimony that supports your claim. Act quickly. The insurance company will launch its own investigation with the aim of limiting the amount they’ll have to pay you. Do not agree to any settlement with an insurance company before consulting with a good personal injury lawyer; let your lawyer handle all negotiations with the defendant, the insurance company, and their attorneys.
If investigators suspect that the driver was fatigued, they will analyze the driver’s log books. This is done to determine whether the driver was driving beyond the Hours Of Service driving regulations. Failure to comply with the Hours Of Service law can lead to fatigued driving. Truck drivers often manipulate log books in order to conceal the fact that they were violating the law. Investigations can identify whether the log books were tampered with.
Apart from excessive driving, truck driver fatigue is sometimes also the result of medication use. Truck drivers may be on prescription medications for a variety of health problems that can increase the risk of drowsy driving. Obesity is a chronic problem in the trucking population, and is also strongly linked to hypertension, diabetes, heart problems, and other chronic conditions that involve medication use. Many of the medications used in the control of these conditions are linked to drowsiness. It’s important to conduct a complete medical checkup of the driver, as well as an analysis of his medical records to determine if the trucking company allowed a medically unfit driver to operate a motor vehicle.
For help filing a trucking accident claim, speak to a trucking accident lawyer in Palm Beach.
What is a Spoliation Letter?
Proving that the trucking company was liable in your trucking accident requires extensive and substantial evidence. That evidence can come in the form of investigations of the trucking accident, driver personnel records, drug and alcohol test records of the driver, and other pieces of information.
The trucking company will have access to this information, and it is important to make sure that the company does not move to damage or destroy evidence in order to reduce its liability. Unfortunately, trucking companies often do this, and a spoliation letter will prevent this.
Your lawyer will help you send a spoliation letter that outlines important pieces of evidence that the company must retain. Those pieces of evidence can include the following:
- The truck involved in the accident
- Vehicle inspection and daily inspection reports
- Maintenance, repair and inspection records
- All permits and licenses applicable to the truck
- Bills of lading relating to the shipment that was transported to the truck on the day of the accident
- Driver file, including his application for employment, copy of his Commercial Driver’s License, and his employment history
- Driver’s drug testing records
- Reports of the driver’s drug tests conducted after the accident
- Photographic evidence of the accident scene, including photographs and video recordings
For help sending the company a spoliation letter to retain evidence crucial to your claim, seek help from an experienced Palm Beach trucking accident lawyer.
Why You Need a Truck Accident Lawyer
A trucking accident can result in substantial injuries, and severe losses. Apart from property damage, you’re also looking at expensive treatment of your injuries, because the injuries that result in trucking accidents are often so severe. You’re looking at not just immediate medical expenses, but also possibly long-term care, rehabilitation, and other expenses. It is important for you to file a claim that takes into account all of your damages.
Soon after a trucking accident, you will meet with representatives of the company who will offer you a settlement to settle any claim you may have against the company. It would be a major mistake for you to agree to the company’s settlement, without discussing with a Palm Beach trucking accident lawyer.
A lawyer can help you protect your interests by educating you about your rights under the law, and informing you about all the types of damages that you’re eligible for in a trucking accident claim. On your own, you may make mistakes and underestimate the value of your claim.
Lawyers have more experience negotiating with insurance companies, and a Palm Beach trucking accident lawyer will be able to get a much better settlement for you, than if you decide to go it alone.
If you were injured in a truck accident, don’t attempt to settle with the trucking company on your own. Seek help and legal counsel from a Palm Beach trucking accident lawyer.