Experience navigating commercial truck accident investigations tells us this: Commercial truck accident investigations take on a life of their own and can become very complex, very quickly.
Success in truck accident claims often boils down to experience
“Understanding the difference between car wrecks and truck litigation is where a case can be won or lost.”
— Paul Dickinson, Litigation Attorney at the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin
There are a whole host of state and federal rules and regulations that govern how commercial trucking companies and truck drivers should operate. Millions of dollars can potentially be at stake, which is why insurance companies are likely to do almost anything to deny fault. They often have their best and most experienced adjusters handle these claims. Some have been known to send a defense lawyer to the scene within the hour to begin gathering evidence on behalf of their client.
Experience in this industry has proven to me that it is extremely difficult to be successful in this type of claim unless you know how to navigate the trucking industry and its rules and regulations.
A collision with a commercial truck is subject to different rules and regulations than car crashes. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) mandates operating codes that apply only to commercial trucking companies and truck drivers. Truckers also have special training and licensing requirements. Trucking companies are required by law to keep records that must be produced as evidence in the event of a crash. However, sometimes these documents have been destroyed if they were not accessed immediately.
Preservation of evidence is a critical reason we urge truck accident victims to contact us as soon as possible after an accident.
Serious injuries and potentially millions of dollars could be at stake
Multiple companies are often involved and will potentially point blame at each other – and at you. Trucking companies often act immediately, putting their best people on the scene to start making a case against anyone but them.
If we take your case, we will immediately begin gathering evidence to try to get you the maximum compensation you may deserve.
We take immediate action to preserve critical evidence
Trucking companies will often call on their best investigators, insurance reps, supervisors, and other truck accident experts. They will be looking at skid marks, the debris field, talking to witnesses, the police. They will obtain data from the truck’s black box and driver log books – and they will work to get the data that was recorded from your own vehicle, such as speed and braking.
Truck accident victims may need their own accident experts on the scene to gather evidence and secure critical information.
Multiple companies will likely obtain their own lawyers to try to prove fault
In my experience, it is rare that anyone wants to pay or accept fault, including companies who broker truck drivers, loaders, and maintenance, parts manufacturers, and the trucking company itself. The driver’s very livelihood may depend on his innocence. So he may try to do everything he can to exonerate himself, even if that means blaming you.
Let us work to deflect these accusations to try to prove you were not at fault and that you deserve maximum compensation.
We investigate to try to uncover all parties that may be liable to you in a trucking accident, including:
- Owner of the trucking company
- The parent company of the trucking firm
- Big-rig owner
- Truck driver
- Truck driver’s employer
- Owner of the cab and owner of the trailer
- Manufacturer of the truck’s parts
- Maintenance company that services the truck or its parts
- Manufacturer of other vehicles, if involved
- Owner and driver of any other vehicle involved
- And potentially other at-fault parties
You may get nothing if they can show you were partly to blame
If the defense lawyers can show that you were just 1% at fault, they may claim they do not have to pay you one dime under North Carolina’s contributory negligence laws. Unfortunately, they may be correct. Contributory negligence means that even if you were just a fraction at fault for your injury, the insurance company may not be legally obligated to compensate you. That is why you need a lawyer who can help you try to prove someone else was 100% to blame for the injuries you suffered.
Insurance companies sometimes offer far less than what you deserve
Or they may offer what you might believe is a substantial sum of money. Don’t be fooled by an offer of quick cash up front. In many cases, we’ve found these types of offers to be a ploy to entice the unwitting victim to settle quickly and disappear – fast.
Our advice? Talk to us before accepting any type of truck accident settlement.
Let us even the playing field and fight for maximum recovery
Trucking companies have lawyers looking out for them. That’s why it’s important to have an experienced truck accident attorney fighting for you. We complete our own investigations and take steps to preserve evidence in the possession of the trucking company, by court order if necessary. This evidence may include:
- Hours of Service (HOS) data: HOS data can be found in logbooks or electronic logging devices. It can show whether the driver followed federal regulations concerning the number of hours drivers are allowed to spend on the road.
- Employment records: Did the driver have a poor safety record or was otherwise unqualified to drive a truck?
- Maintenance records: Were there maintenance problems with the truck or any of its individual parts?
- Electronic data: Today’s trucks have electronic control modules (“black boxes”) that record information about the truck’s operation. This information has been known to disappear quickly.
We fight for maximum compensation the law allows
You may have a right to maximum compensation for:
- Medical and rehabilitation bills
- Future medical
- Lost time from work
- Cost of vehicle repairs
- Diminished earning capacity for permanent injuries
- Funeral expenses
Pay no attorney’s fee if we don’t recover
You pay us nothing upfront and no attorney’s fee whatsoever if we don’t recover for you.2
You have a lot on your shoulders right now – a lot of decisions to make about your recovery and medical bills. Let us try to go after all the money you may be owed so you can focus on recovering from your injuries.