Trucks are large and powerful vehicles. They dominate the highways and overshadow every other type of vehicle on the road. You should always take caution when driving near a tractor trailer truck, also known as an 18-wheeler. Always be obvious about your intentions and keep a safe distance when behind or beside a truck. You should also monitor carefully the movements and motions of other vehicles near the truck.
However, there are times when taking such precautions makes no difference. If you have been injured in a truck accident that owes to the negligence and recklessness of the other driver, you should build up a case and sue.
Taking a Stand
As you recover from the accident, you should start thinking about your future. Contacting a Truck Accident Attorney will help you do just that. The first thing that such an attorney will want you to do is recount what you can remember of the events that led to the accident. Your attorney will also ask you to describe all that you have had to endure since then. Based on this telling, your lawyer will determine whether you have a case. If you do have a case, your story will form the basis of the legal strategy that your attorney will subsequently put together.
Who Gets Sued?
The most natural question to ask is: who gets sued? Although the accident was the fault of the driver, the latter is an employee of a larger truck company. And it is the truck company that will be the target of the lawsuit.
Truck companies have a responsibility to ensure that each of their drivers is qualified to be on the road—that is to operate the vehicle safely. They must also have strict policy and enforcement procedures in place to ensure that each driver takes federally-mandated rest periods. Indeed, many truck companies do the exact opposite. They give truck drivers every incentive to blow through rest periods by forcing them to adhere to tight schedules and quick turn-around times.
If the accident was caused by the failure of a system or part in the truck, then you may be able to sue both the manufacturer of that part and the truck company. The latter has a responsibility to maintain a safe fleet of trucks. The flaw that led to the failure should have been discovered before the truck was sent onto the road.
How a Lawyer Can Help
The first thing your lawyer will do is get a copy of the accident report from the police. They will then engage their own professional investigators to re-examine the accident scene and re-interview witnesses. Your lawyer will also bring in accident experts to re-evaluate the damage done to both vehicles and develop a simulation of how the accident unfolded. Medical experts will explain the nature and extent of your injuries and why they could have only been sustained in the truck accident. In the end, the truck company may decide it is better to settle than to risk a jury trial.