Car accidents can get complicated even when everything seems so straightforward to you. Sometimes, pointing out the driver at fault involves many parties like police officers, insurance agents, eyewitnesses, and so on, which may prove to be a headache when it comes to getting compensated.
It gets even more complex when trucks or heavy commercial vehicles are involved. Why is this the case?
What Complicates Truck Accidents?
These are some of the reasons why accidents involving a truck are complicated compared to those involving normal cars.
Damages and Injuries Suffered
This is arguably the top of the list when it comes to trucking accidents and it all boils down to the sheer size of these vehicles. Accidents involving trucks result in significant injuries to other drivers and extensive damage to smaller cars.
A significant number of such accidents result in write-offs, in addition to the bodily harm suffered by the drivers. Generally, in auto accidents, the more damages or injuries, the more complicated the case will become when it comes to settlement.
Laws and Regulations
Heavy commercial vehicles are subject to rules that don’t apply to smaller capacity vehicles. Given the size of some of these trucks, drivers have to be very alert on the road to prevent accidents.
As such, there is a limit on the number of hours a truck driver can be on the road to help prevent accidents caused by fatigue, carelessness, or slip-ups. A trucker who drives beyond the specified time may be deemed liable in the event of an accident. Besides, regular truck maintenance is also a legal requirement, and a record of the same is required for all trucks. The numerous laws and regulations surrounding trucks add to making such accident cases complicated.
Truck Ownership and Liability
Some truckers on the road do not own the trucks they drive, nor are they insured. It gets even more complicated when the goods being hauled belong to a third party. Even when the driver is at fault, it may be difficult to determine who is liable for an accident.
Where does liability fall in the event of an accident? Was it the maintenance guys who failed to do their job? Was the driver negligent? How liable is the truck’s owner?
Truck’s Data Box
Commercial trucks have a black box that records and stores data such as speed and location. Should the data in the black box conflict with information provided about the accident, it may further complicate the case. Keep in mind that dishonest truck operators can tinker with such data to avoid liability.
Steps to Take After Being Involved in a Trucking Accident
Here are the steps to take after being involved in an accident with a truck:
- Prioritize your safety as well as that of other drivers if you are in a position to. Pull up to the roadside to ensure the safety of other motorists, administer first aid to any injured persons, and call in emergency services.
- Collect and record information about the accident from eyewitnesses or surveillance cameras around the area. If you have a dashcam, it could help paint the picture of the accident to car-crash investigators which may aid your case.
- It is advised that you get a police report after an accident since that will be considered formal acknowledgment. Official records detailing the facts of the accident may be presented as evidence in a court of law.
Given the complexities that may arise with trucking accidents, it is vital to get in touch with a reputable truck accident law firm that will help you navigate the case as you seek compensation for your losses. Remember not to admit liability without legal advice as it may disqualify your claims.