Did you know that around 500,000 trucking accidents take place each year in the US? This might seem like a small number compared to car accidents. But truck accidents are generally much more severe than other motor vehicles. This is because trucks are around 20 to 30 times heavier than an average car, with much higher ground clearance. Plus, it is also quite hard for loaded trucks to come to a halt quickly.
This is why despite the small number, truck accidents led to the death of more than 4,100 people in 2018, according to data provided by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The state of Texas has a high number of annual injuries and deaths due to 18-wheeler crashes. Houston alone recorded more than 68K crashes in 2019, out of which 240 were fatal, according to data by the Texas Department of Transportation.
The serious nature of trucking accidents often includes legal implications; especially for companies’ logistical units.
Determining who is Liable
Determining liability in trucking accidents is much more complex than other auto accidents. It can involve many different parties such as the truck driver, manufacturer of the truck, the trucking company which employs the driver, the distribution company responsible for loading the truck, and the owner of the truck, according to legal experts at Law Office of Alexander M. Gurevich PC; prominent Houston truck accident attorney firm.
When you get a trucking accident lawyer, they would conduct a thorough investigation into the reasons behind the accident. They would also look into circumstances before the event, regarding the approval of the truck for the road. After this, the parties liable would be determined. A trucking lawyer would also help you in identifying damages. There are generally three types of damages, minor injury, major injury, and property damage.
Following the wreck, the truck accident lawyer would coordinate an investigation wherever the accident has taken place, be it in Houston or some other city. Some of the evidence that the attorney would collect is:
- Get the names and contact information of the witnesses and record their testimonies.
- Examine the qualifications, employment history, alcohol, and drug tests of the truck driver.
- Get the insurance carrier information of the trucking company.
- Inspect the other vehicle that is involved in the accident.
- Inspect the damage to the truck.
- Medical record of all those involved in the accident.
- The electronic control module of the truck. This is also known as the truck’s black box.
- Testimony from investigators, accident reconstructionists, mechanics, engineers, and other technical experts regarding the mechanics, cause, and effects of the accident.
Navigate the Laws and Regulations
Dealing with trucking laws and federal regulations can be a tricky task. The trucking accident attorney would take care of all these aspects. Plus, they would also handle communications with the insurance company. The insurance company could deploy tactics to stall your claims. They may use your own statement against you or might deny the claim because of some slight delay.