In most instances, an accident involving a commercial truck is treated the same as other car accident cases. However, there are some steps you and your attorney need to take to ensure success in your case. Here are some tips to help your case.
Send a Notice/Spoliation Letter
One of the first steps you have to take in a car accident case is to notify the defendant of your intent to hold him or her responsible for the damages caused by the accident.
In a commercial trucking accident, you not only need to notify the trucking company of your intention to hold it responsible for your damages, but you also need to serve notice that you expect the company to preserve evidence related to the accident.
In this instance, evidence can include the truck's maintenance logs, the driver's logs, and the information derived from the onboarding device. The device logs information, such as how long the trucker drove.
If you fail to send notice, the trucking company could destroy the evidence before you have a chance to review it.
Decide If Other Parties Are Responsible
Depending on the details of your accident, it might be possible that other parties are responsible for the accident in which you were involved. For instance, if the truck's tire was defective and it led to a blowout that resulted in the truck slamming into your car, you could hold the manufacturer of the tire responsible, too.
If the truck was loaded by personnel at a store and it was improperly loaded and that led to the accident, you could hold the store responsible, too.
Your attorney can help you assess your case and determine whether or not other parties needs to be listed as defendants.
Find Out If Criminal Charges Are Pending
In some cases, the driver's actions were negligent enough to warrant criminal charges. For instance, if the driver made an illegal U-turn and caused the accident, he or she could be charged with negligence.
If there were criminal charges filed, this can greatly help your case. Your attorney can use this information as leverage in settlement talks with the trucking company. The trucking company might want to avoid a judge and jury if the driver has already been found guilty of an accident-related charge.
Since there is a time limit on how long you have to act, consult with a truck accident attorney as soon as possible following a trucking accident. He or she can help determine what other steps you need to take to protect your case and ensure its success.