Truck accidents take many lives and cause millions of dollars in property damage and personal injury each year, and the legal issues at hand are often hard to resolve. Unlike accidents between consumer drivers, truck accidents may be the liability of the driver, the driver's employer or some other third party.
Building a strong claim after a truck accident involves gathering as much evidence from the scene of the collision as possible, so that you can identify the party that holds liability and present evidence that backs up this claim. Without strong evidence that clarifies why the accident happened and what party is liable, it is difficult to protect your rights and seek full compensation for your losses.
Is the driver an employee?
One of the first things you need to do as you build your claim is define the relationship between the driver and the party that hired them to drive. If they acted as an independent contractor when the accident occurred, they may hold liability directly. However, if they acted as an employee, then their employee may be liable.
It is also good to know who owns the truck, because the owner of the truck has the legal right to delete electronic control module data until they receive a request to turn it over. You should request this data as soon as you can, to build your claim. Regardless of the driver's employee relationship, they can give you their drivers' logs upon request.
Third party possibilities
The driver is not always the cause of the accident. If some other vehicle did not cause the accident, a crew may have done a bad job packing the cargo and securing it within the truck, allowing the load to shift while the truck was in motion. In this case, the company employing the crew that secured the cargo may have liability.
It is also possible that a faulty part or a bad repair by a maintenance team caused the accident. Carefully examining all the evidence can help you determine what exactly caused the accident and who should pay for your expenses, losses and suffering.
Your claim may take some time to assemble, and you should not wait to receive medical care and begin rehabilitation. Do not hesitate to use the legal guidance that you need to stay on top of this complex process and ensure that your rights remain secure while you work toward recovery.