You were lucky to survive such a horrific accident last week when you were hit by a tractor-trailer. The driver of the truck lost control and crossed into oncoming traffic. You were not able to get out of the way fast enough. Now, you are facing months of healing from your injuries followed by months of physical therapy. The doctor informed you that you may not regain a full range of movement and it is questionable as to when you can return to work.
Due to the nature of the accident, you more than likely have a case not only against the driver, but against the trucking company that employed him as well. However, commercial truck accident litigation can be very complicated. It often includes unique aspects that are not present in typical motor vehicle accidents. An experienced New York personal injury attorney can help you with these differences and provide guidance on your case.
Your attorney may examine and use many pieces of evidence to prove fault. This evidence will go beyond the typical police report and one or two witness statements that are useful in less complex cases. Read below for examples of the evidence your attorney may gather.
Investigation and evidence preservation
It is extremely important that your attorney conduct an immediate investigation. He or she can request a court order, such as a restraining order or an order to impound all vehicles involved in the accident as well as their contents. The items in the truck may give an indication as to the driver’s state of mind or the type of activities he was engaged in leading up to the accident. This must be done quickly in order to limit other people’s access and to preserve the evidence.
Witness statements from first responders
People that witnessed the accident will usually provide witness statements describing what they saw at the moment of the accident. Paramedics, tow truck drivers, fire personnel, and even investigating officers also need to provide witness statements describing the accident scene, the driver’s behavior, and any off-the-record remarks that they overheard. An experienced investigator can gather this evidence for your case.
Social media and employment history
The internet and social media can provide valuable information concerning both the driver and the transportation company. For example, if the driver posted a social media comment just before he lost control, it may be used as evidence of distracted driving.
This may not be the first accident or traffic infraction that the driver caused. An investigation into the driver’s employment history, driving records, experience and any other documented source may uncover a history of problems.
Most large commercial trucks are outfitted with devices that record GPS and speed. It can provide evidence that the driver was not operating within trucking regulations or company guidelines at the time of the accident.
The history of the trucking company
Check into the history of the trucking company. It may have higher than normal accident statistics, driver citations and other violations that provide evidence against the company. If the company was aware of dangerous conditions and hazardous driving habits, the court could find that it is guilty of negligence.
After an accident with a negligent truck driver, you should not bear the cost of high medical bills and lost wages. When dealing with a personal injury claim, it is important that you are aware of your rights and options.