Any kind of motor vehicle accident can have serious consequences, but truck accidents may lead to some additional complexities. One reason is that the size of the truck simply means that more damage is likely. This size also means an accident takes up more space on the roadway, raising the likelihood of additional accidents.
It can also be difficult to determine who is actually at fault in an accident that was caused by a truck driver. Some drivers own their trucks, but others may be driving a truck that belongs to a company. Who the load belongs to may also be relevant. Trucking regulations can introduce further complications. For example, it may be necessary to determine whether the driver exceeded the maximum number of hours of driving in a day. This could determine whether the driver is at fault. Some trucks also carry black boxes that record data that could be helpful in determining the accident’s cause. However, it can make the accident investigation more difficult if it contradicts other information.
People who are in a truck accident should try to stay calm and record as much information about the accident as possible. They should try to get a copy of the police report. Documentation is important because the trucking company and insurance company may resist paying compensation.
Examples of accidents that could be the fault of the driver, the trucking company or both are those in which a fatigued driver falls asleep at the wheel or in which brakes or other equipment is faulty. A person could be catastrophically injured and left struggling with medical bills, loss of income and other expenses. An attorney might be able to negotiate compensation with the insurance company or file a lawsuit. An out-of-court settlement may be offered in lieu of going to court.