Rockport Truck Accident Lawyer Standing Up for Clients Hurt in a Truck Accident
Truck accidents can cause significantly more damage than accidents involving passenger vehicles. A collision between an automobile and a commercial truck can lead to life-altering injuries and fatalities due to the sheer size and mass of a fully loaded truck and trailer. Yet, in spite of numerous safety regulations, trucking companies may sometimes choose to focus on profits and cut corners, creating a dangerous situation for truck drivers and other people using the roadway. Learn your rights as a truck accident victim and see why working with a Rockport truck accident lawyer may be the best choice for your case.
What Should I Do at the Scene of a Truck Accident?
It goes without saying that the first thing you should do if you were involved in a truck accident is to get medical help right away for any serious injuries. If you are not seriously hurt, take pictures and video of the scene of the accident, especially if the vehicles are blocking traffic and need to be moved. Only move the vehicles if absolutely necessary or when told to do so by law enforcement.
If an officer is dispatched to the scene of the accident, try to obtain a copy of the police report. You will also want to write down information about the truck driver and the trucking company that they work for, including the name of the business and home office address and phone number, and any insurance information, if available. If anyone witnessed the accident, you might also want to obtain their contact information. Finally, contact a Rockport truck accident lawyer as soon as possible so you can initiate your claim.
When Is the Trucking Company Liable After a Truck Accident?
Truck accidents are not only potentially more catastrophic but also significantly more complex to investigate. It is not uncommon for a truck accident to involve multiple at-fault parties, which could mean you may end up filing a claim not just with the truck driver’s insurance, but also with the trucking company and even the company responsible for loading and securing the cargo the truck was carrying.
When the accident investigation uncovers reasons that point to the trucking company as being liable for the accident, you may likely have to file an insurance claim with the insurance carrier that provides business insurance coverage for that company. Some of the reasons that may make a trucking company liable for your accident could include improper maintenance of their fleet, failure to require drivers to maintain updated driving logs, and unsafe company policies that force drivers to forgo mandatory rests just to make deliveries on time because they fear losing their jobs.
An experienced truck accident attorney can conduct an independent investigation to help determine which parties are mostly at fault for your accident and advise you on the best course of action.
Is It True That Trucks Have a Black Box?
Another unique aspect of a truck accident is the type of evidence that may be available to help you and your attorney reconstruct what happened in the moments leading up to the accident. Some commercial trucks are equipped with a piece of equipment called EDR (event data recorder) or ECM (electronic control module), sometimes informally referred to as a ‘black box.’
The EDR works in a similar fashion to the black box of an airplane, recording important data about the truck’s operation. The data an EDR records varies depending on the year the truck was manufactured. More modern trucks may be equipped with EDRs that record the truck’s drive time, GPS location, engine diagnostics, driving speeds, and even sudden or harsh braking incidents. Recovering data from the truck’s EDR is fundamental for a truck accident victim to build their case, and for that reason, trucking companies may be hesitant to provide access to the EDR data of a truck. A skilled truck accident attorney will know the steps necessary to collect important evidence – such as the EDR data – to help pinpoint what happened in the moments leading to the accident and who may have been responsible for it.
Can I Sue if I Was Hurt by a Truck in a Jackknife Accident?
A jackknife accident is a dangerous accident in which a truck and its trailer fold at a 90-degree angle. Sometimes the trailer pushes the towing part of the truck because the truck’s axles have locked due to improper braking; other times, the trailer tires lock up while the tractor continues moving, which makes the back end of the trailer swing sideways. Either type of jackknife accident can leave a path of destruction along the way and cause a serious collision.
While a lot of jackknife accidents are caused by the truck driver – due to lack of training, distracted or fatigued driving, improper braking or speeding, for example –the simple fact that the truck jackknifed does not automatically mean the truck driver is at fault. Poor weather conditions, potholes on the roadway, and improperly secured cargo can all lead to jackknife accidents. Sometimes, a truck driver may be forced to jackknife their truck in order to avoid a more serious accident. In order to initiate a lawsuit to recover compensation for injuries sustained after a jackknife accident, your attorney will need to conduct an investigation to find out exactly what happened and who was at fault for your accident.
What Should I Do if I Am Being Pressured to Accept a Low Settlement Offer?
If you are dealing directly with the at-fault party’s insurance company, you may quickly discover that they will go to great lengths to protect their profits and close your claim as quickly and cheaply as possible. A common tactic they may try to use is to come up with a low settlement offer shortly after your claim is filed and then pressure you into thinking you are obliged to accept it.
For starters, there is no law requiring you to accept an offer from the insurance company when the amount they offered is too low and does not cover all your losses. If you turn down their offer, they are simply required to come up with a new offer. In addition, it is never a good idea to accept an offer from an insurance company without discussing it with your attorney first. You may also choose to have your attorney handle all insurance phone calls and letters on your behalf – that way, you can rest assured your case is being handled in a professional manner, and you won’t have to worry about falling for the usual pressure tactics some insurance companies may try to use.
When Should I Hire a Rockport Truck Accident Lawyer?
Many truck accident victims have been unable to work due to their injuries, and they worry about being able to afford a truck accident attorney. However, they may quickly discover that trying to handle their claim without the help of an experienced professional is an overwhelming experience, and the chances of receiving the compensation amount they really deserve are very slim. It is incredibly more difficult to get trucking companies to cooperate and provide access to important pieces of evidence – such as EDR data – and insurance companies may try to get away with denying a valid claim or paying you as little as possible.
At the Law Offices of S. Dylan Pearcy, Attorney S. Dylan Pearcy and his legal team are very familiar with the process of fighting for fair compensation for their clients after a truck accident. Even if your case does not end up going to trial, simply relying on the knowledge and skills of a law firm such as the Law Offices of S. Dylan Pearcy is enough to get all parties to take you seriously and be more willing to cooperate in order to avoid the expense and hassle of a court trial. If you have been hurt in a truck accident in or near Rockport, TX, contact the Law Offices of S. Dylan Pearcy at (361) 203-7097 to see how we can help you get the compensation you deserve.