Can You Sue a Trucking Company if Their Driver Caused Your Accident?
If you were critically injured in a collision with a tractor-trailer, you might be ready and anxious to demand justice. Large commercial trucks are known for posing a serious threat to other drivers.
When you’ve suffered devastating injuries caused by someone else’s negligence, you have the right to total compensation for your damages. However, figuring out who is responsible for causing your injuries and who to sue for your damages can be complex.
Why are Truck Accidents so Dangerous?
Truck accidents are significantly more dangerous than traditional motor vehicle accidents. This is partly because commercial trucks are so much larger than other types of vehicles on the roads.
Their large size and higher center of gravity means slower reaction times and greater momentum in a collision. The size of these tractor-trailers also results in low visibility for the truck driver, leaving them with blind spots that could cause catastrophic injury in a crash.
Why Can Trucking Companies Be Found Negligent?
Negligence refers to another party’s failure to uphold their duty of care. For your truck accident claim to be successful, your lawyer must show that another party owed you a duty of care and breached that duty of care in some way, ultimately causing your truck accident and resulting injuries.
Trucking companies are commonly found responsible for truck accidents. This is particularly true when their truck drivers are found to be at fault for the collision. There are many reasons these accidents occur, some of which include:
- Failure to properly secure cargo
- Failure to perform safety inspections
- Lack of necessary truck maintenance
- Failure to provide truck drivers with adequate training
- Hiring truckers without valid commercial driver’s licenses
- Failure to provide truck drivers with necessary safety equipment
- Forcing truckers to work schedules that violate federal trucking regulations
- Negligent hiring by trucking companies
When one of those situations occurs, the trucking company can be held responsible for the crash because they violated state or federal regulations, or neglected to properly train or vet their driver. If a crash occurred because of a vehicle defect, the company could be responsible because they did not complete proper inspections.
These are just a few ways trucking companies could be held accountable when their vehicles are involved in commercial truck accidents. Your lawyer will extensively evaluate the evidence and circumstances of your case to determine who is at fault and ensure they are fully held accountable of the law.
What Evidence do You Need to Prove Negligence?
Proving negligence can be challenging. However, it is necessary since the burden of proof is based on a preponderance of evidence in personal injury claims, including truck accident lawsuits.
There are many types of evidence that could be used to help prove negligence and liability for your damages. Examples of such evidence could include:
- Prescription medications
- Medical documents
- Medical treatment plans
- Truck company employment records
- Witness and bystander statements
- Photos of the truck accident scene
- Analysis of black box data
- Police reports
- Accident reports
- Reports from accident reconstructionists
- Truck driver records
- Vehicle maintenance records
- Truck driver logbooks
- Photos of skid marks
- Photos of road signs, tire treads, and property damages
You may be surprised to learn that trucking companies are only required to retain their records for a maximum of 90 days. The sooner you get an attorney working on your case, the sooner your truck accident lawyer can file a notice to cease document destruction, which will protect valuable evidence that could be used to prove liability and negligence in your truck accident claim.
What’s the Process for Suing the Trucking Company?
When you are ready to move forward with a truck accident lawsuit, there are certain steps you can take to maximize the compensation you are awarded. These steps include:
- Getting medical treatment
- Contacting a Chicago truck accident lawyer for help
- Investigating and gathering evidence to support your case
- Filing a claim with the liable party’s insurer
- Negotiating with the insurance company
- Bringing your truck accident case to trial if necessary
There are many factors that can impact the amount of time it will take to resolve your case. Generally, the more complicated a truck accident case, the longer it will take to resolve. However, with an experienced truck accident lawyer on your side, the process will be significantly easier than if you were to attempt to go at it alone.
When you have a respected and knowledgeable truck accident lawyer at our firm working for you, you will get insight into the Illinois trucking industry, how the claims process works for truck accidents, and have your best opportunity to recover maximum compensation for your damages.
Call a Chicago Truck Accident Lawyer
When you have suffered tremendously after a collision with a commercial truck, you need an experienced Chicago truck accident lawyer at Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. to help you get through these difficult times.
Our track record of success and reputation for putting our clients first gives you an edge when you are ready to fight back against negligent trucking companies and other liable parties. Learn more about what is next for your case when you contact our office for a free claim evaluation. You can reach us by phone at (312) 236-2900 or through our online contact form to schedule yours today.