Accidents involving commercial trucks are often far more severe than an accidents involving passenger vehicles alone — simply because the average commercial truck far outweighs the average passenger vehicle. The crushing force of all that metal on the truck is a huge threat to the occupants of passenger cars.
However, the size of the vehicles involved and the severity of the accident isn’t the only thing that affects the outcome of a truck injury lawsuit. Two other things that may affect an outcome include:
1. Whether or not the evidence was all preserved
Your attorney is going to take steps to preserve things like the download from the truck’s GPS data, logbooks, maintenance records, drug tests and more. All of these things can provide valuable evidence of negligence and liability.
Your attorney is looking for clues that show that the truck company was negligent in the way it kept its vehicles maintained, or in the way it kept drivers on the road. He or she is also looking for signs that the driver was distracted or overly fatigued. There may also be evidence that the truck — or some critical part of it — was negligently manufactured. A blown tire, for example, may be the result of either poor maintenance or poor design.
2. Whether everyone is properly included in the lawsuit
One of the main reasons that truck accidents are unlike other roadway accidents is that your attorney has to determine who can reasonably be held responsible for your accident. It isn’t always easy.
Sometimes accidents are the result of a combination of failures. A driver might have been negligent by not checking to see if a load was properly secured before getting on the road, but the driver’s employer also bears responsibility under the theory of vicarious liability. A separate company could also be liable if that company was in charge of the actual loading of the truck and its workers did the job badly. If a piece of the equipment holding the load steady broke because it was poorly designed, a manufacturer may also be liable.
The complexity of the evidence involved in a truck accident and the need to find out who should be held accountable is what makes truck accident claims unique — and difficult to handle without professional assistance.
Source: FindLaw, “Truck Accident FAQ,” accessed Feb. 16, 2018