A big commercial truck or even a semi-truck weighs on an average of not less than 75,000 pounds. Its phenomenal weight and size alone can cause disastrous consequences when it is involved in a collision with another vehicle. Brain injuries, broken limbs and amputated body parts are some of the general results for the victims of these unfortunate accidents. If the truck was carrying inflammable material as cargo then the dangers can only compound his woes. Burns and toxic inhalations could maim him beyond repair, making him surrender completely his ability to make a living and lead a normal life.
Because of their very nature, putting everything on record about these accidents is vital for the victim to be recompensed. Compensation will most certainly have to be paid for medical bills, damage to your vehicle, not to mention the trauma caused for life to the victim and his loved ones. Your accident lawyers in md should also help you understand these factors.
God forbid – if you or your loved one is to be involved in such an incident, it is essential to know how to go about this daunting task. Only an experienced attorney can handle this for you. Naturally, the one injured cannot be in any state to unearth and establish on paper all that has occurred. Your lawyer with his experience in dealing with claims like yours will put to work his team of experts to prepare and fight your case for receiving compensation. Most certainly he will need to take note of the following and act…
* A thorough probe into the accident is essential to capture all evidence necessary to lay forth your claim.
* The driver’s log book, the records of the truck’s periodic maintenance checks and the all-important “black box” should be collected from the scene of crash without any delay. As everyone should know, the black box contains data about the time the truck has spent on the road, the speed of the truck at the time of the accident, whether the driver was braking, and much more.
* The lawyer will investigate whether the driver or his company has violated any laws for running the truck before the accident.
* Putting on record eyewitness accounts that will play a key role in corroborating facts.
* To prove his case, you the plaintiff must clearly show negligence on the part of the truck driver; that the defendant owed a duty to the plaintiff to exercise care under the circumstances and that the defendant failed in that duty. His line of action would be to prove that you the plaintiff were severely harmed in the tragic incident.
* The first responders of the accident scene the first-aid and ambulance personnel, the traffic police officers their accounts should be taken into account.
* Your lawyer will certainly use the services of an expert to testify in court if necessary about negligence on the part of the trucking company. The expert can be anyone who has had wide experience in the trucking industry. He may also be a former employee in the department of transportation in your state. Again, he may be a computer specialist who has the technical experience in gathering information from the all-important black box.
Who else are the candidates for being potential defendants in the event of a truck accident with you as the victim? Read further..
(a) Your lawyer may have the option of seeking claims against other potential parties in addition to the claim to be made against the driver. He can go after the truck company, the mechanic, the inspector of vehicles and even the insurance companies to hold all of them responsible for your injuries. Most likely the trucking company will be held responsible under a legal statute called as “respondent superior.” Under this provision in the law, the company and the employer can be held liable for the driver’s negligence. It may so happen that the trucking company may try to fight the liability theory by disputing that the accident did not occur within the parameters of employment. They may also try to avoid liability by employing drivers as “contractors” and not as employees.
(b) The truck manufacturer can be held liable if the accident was caused by a fundamental manufacturing defect in the truck. Many are the instances of companies withdrawing trucks with defective brakes from the road.
(c) If the truck was carrying inflammable or dangerous chemicals on board, then the shipper of such material can be held accountable for the injuries caused by the kind of cargo the truck was transporting.
(d) If a company that does brokering services is involved, it may not be easy to recover damages from such a company. These are generally called as “logistics companies” and the responder theory may not work with them as such. Most often these companies employ drivers as independent contractors only. Then again, Section 14704 of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) does not allow the liability of third party logistics companies to operate in personal injury cases like the truck accident.
To sum up, an accident involving you with a commercial truck or semi-truck can leave you incapacitated for life. You are fully justified to seek retribution of every kind. Recovering the “black box” will be the first step to put you or your loved one on the right path to claim damages. It is therefore vital that you consult with a well experienced truck accident lawyer to lay forth your case as quickly as possible. Use his valuable services to secure a court order, if needed, to recover and hold in custody the black box from the scene of the crash. You may be well compensated as a result. Good luck.