Consult with a truck accident attorney in Cleveland to evaluate your case to determine if you have a valid truck accident claim following an accident. According to data from the NHTSA National Center for Statistics and Analysis, in 2010, nearly 3,500 people were killed in truck accidents, with 80,000 more injured. If you are a victim of an accident involving a large truck, be prepared for a challenging court case.
Challenges of a Truck Accident Claim
One of the biggest challenges of truck accident claims is proving liability. There are a variety of parties that may be liable for the accident, in addition to, or instead of the truck driver. Other responsible parties could include the owner of the truck or trailer, the leasing company, the cargo loader, the shipper, and even the manufacturer if a part proved to be defective and caused the crash.
Of course, there is often a lot of finger pointing with one party blaming another for the accident. Nobody wants to assume liability because of the high amounts of insurance trucking companies must pay.
Some trucking companies have gone as far as destroying accident records, or any signs of damage to the truck, in order to deny an accident ever took place. This is considered fraud, and may result in fines for the company, as well as additional compensation for the victim. A truck accident attorney in Cleveland can help overcome these challenges and ensure that liability is placed with the right party.
Advantages of a Truck Accident Claim
Despite the challenges, a truck accident may provide some benefits compared to other types of traffic accidents. In a car accident, witness statements, photographs, and police reports are examples of the evidence that may be used. In an accident involving a large truck, there are other resources you may use in court to prove fault.
One such resource is the appropriate government agency. Before a truck is removed from the accident scene, a truck inspector must thoroughly inspect it. The inspector will look for any defects and note the condition of all mechanical parts of the truck. It is important to obtain this report from the appropriate agency, as this information will not be included in the police report.
The trucking industry also uses devices in trucks that are similar to an airplane’s black box. These devices include data about the truck, such as the truck’s speed, any detectable patterns, and even when truck’s breaks were used. These devices may also record how long the driver has been on the road.
All this information is important evidence that may be used in your claim. For example, if the device shows the truck was speeding at the time of the accident, or that the driver had exceeded the maximum number of hours on the road, then liability could be placed on the truck driver. Be sure to ask for this data immediately following the accident so it can be preserved. If you fail to do so, the trucking company may erase it.
Contacting a Lawyer
Commercial vehicle accidents may be very complex because of the many laws surrounding liability and negligence. Contact a lawyer who has knowledge of state and federal trucking regulations.
If you were a victim of a truck accident, consult with a truck accident attorney in Cleveland to discuss whether you should file a truck accident claim. The lawyers at Mellino Robenalt, LLC can review your case and discuss your legal options. Contact them today at 444-333-3800.