Last week, we looked into how car accidents differ from truck accidents, investigating which types of collisions are most common in each scenario, and the injuries that can result. Today, we present our next piece in this series: “Car Accidents vs. Truck Accidents: Claims and Litigation.” This week, we are examining the legal similarities and differences that exist between car accident and truck accident claims.
Evidence and Building a Case
In the immediate aftermath of a car accident or a truck accident, gathering evidence will involve many of the same processes: You will need to take photographs of the scene, file an accident report with the police, and gather the contact information of all involved parties and witnesses. Following these initial steps, the case building process begins to differ.
After a car accident, the evidence you gathered initially may be the only evidence you have besides documentation relating to your injury. However, truck drivers are required to keep records of nearly every aspect of their vehicle’s operations — records that can be helpful if you are involved in a collision. The trucking company’s maintenance records, trip logs, and hiring documents can provide insight into the cause of an accident, such as mechanical issues, driver fatigue, or driver incompetence.
Who Is Liable?
When people are injured in car accidents, fault can usually be attributed to one driver or another. There are other liable parties in rare cases, but in general, car accident liability falls on the drivers.
Truck accidents differ because a whole team works to support the driver, and therefore could be liable for any collisions they are involved in. Truckers rely on their employer’s company, and the staff associated with them, to keep their vehicles operating safely. If any of those people are negligent in their responsibilities, they could be at fault for an accident.
For example, a mechanic who fails to properly address an issue with the truck’s brakes could be liable if an accident occurs because the driver can’t stop in time. The employer would likely be at fault as well because they are responsible for overseeing all operations. A trucking company could also be liable if the negligently hire a trucker with a history of reckless driving, or fail to monitor their employees’ driving hours, contributing to accidents caused by driver fatigue.
Troy Law Firm PLLC is available to assist with your collision-related legal needs. To schedule a free consultation with our attorney, send us a message or call (304) 315-2299.