Each and every accident involving a semi-truck has the potential to cause serious, life-changing injuries. If you were hurt in a crash, you might have already considered taking a negligent driver or their irresponsible employer to court. However, going up against the multi-billion-dollar transportation industry is a challenge. To succeed, you will need to understand and demonstrate what, exactly, caused your accident.
Identifying Causation in a Missouri Truck Accident
When you are trying to understand the cause of a truck accident, it is always important to collect and analyze every piece of available evidence. Reviewing the evidence of an accident not only lets you demonstrate that the other driver was to blame but can shed light on the root cause of a crash, too. Consider: while the semi-truck operator may have been negligent, their negligence could have been facilitated by poor employer practices, improperly secured cargo, or even faulty equipment.
To determine what went wrong, you will want to look at:
- Police records. You should always call the police after getting into a semi-truck accident. The responding officer’s records can help you establish the driver’s liability, and may assist you in substantiating your injuries and property damage, too.
- The driver’s record. Even if your driver was not speeding or swerving over the road, their actions—or lack thereof—may have still contributed to the accident. You may be able to obtain copies of their cell phone records, moving violations, and qualifications.
- The company’s record. Trucking companies are subject to both federal law and Missouri state law. Trucking companies are obligated to regularly maintain their vehicles, keep close tabs on their drivers’ hours of service, and repair faulty parts and equipment. Furthermore, trucking companies must keep exhaustive records to demonstrate compliance. A company’s failure to monitor their drivers’ hours of service, or to perform regular vehicle inspections, may have contributed to a crash.
When to Contact an Attorney
You should always contact a personal injury attorney whenever you have been in a truck-related accident. Collecting evidence and pursuing records can be a challenge. You may have to peruse government websites, pay for background checks, and spend hours speaking to corporate officials before getting the information you need to make a claim. Furthermore, trucking companies—even the small ones—tend to have vast resources at their disposal. They have six-figure bonds, big insurance policies, and their own legal teams. They may try to deny you access to the information you are entitled to collect or accuse you of contributing to an accident in which you were the victim.
Even if you have evidence and can provide an exact dollar amount of damages, the trucking company’s insurer may continuously offer low-ball settlements, hoping you will eventually get frustrated enough to accept an unreasonable offer. A Missouri truck accident attorney knows how to negotiate with insurance companies, secure critical records, and thoroughly investigate every angle of an accident. The sooner you contact a lawyer, the sooner they can begin aggressively building a case to get you the compensation you deserve.
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