If you or a loved one has been involved in a truck accident that resulted in injury or death, you have the legal right to pursue monetary compensation for your damages and losses. These types of lawsuits are typically extremely complicated, and it’s often difficult to even determine who bears responsibility without the counsel of a legal professional. For this reason, the first step in suing a commercial truck company for a truck accident should be retaining a personal injury lawyer who has a great deal of experience in this area.
The following are some of the steps your truck accident attorney will take when pursing your lawsuit against a commercial truck company.
Preserve the Evidence
Your case hinges greatly on the evidence the trucking company possesses. This includes driving/duty logs, maintenance records, human resources files, drug and alcohols test results and much more. Some of these records may be destroyed if steps aren’t taken. Your truck accident lawyer will send the commercial truck company a spoliation letter to ensure this doesn’t happen.
This letter gives the company notice of your client’s claim and informs them that they are responsible for the preservation of evidence that may be related to your suit. A failure to comply with this legal request will lead to severe court sanctions against the company.
Determine Causation and Fault
To be successful with your claim, your attorney will need to demonstrate the cause of the accident and identity who was at fault.
- Police reports – Responding police officers will assess the accident scene and typically assign fault to one or more of the parties involved.
- Witnesses – In a truck accident, witnesses aren’t always limited to individuals present before, during and/or after the accident. There may be important witnesses who can testify to negligent activity by the driver and/or company prior to the collision. Perhaps someone can attest to repeated poor business practices that led to the crash. A thorough investigation is imperative to identify and locate these individuals.
- Experts – Your attorney may retain the services of expert witnesses to help determine the cause of the accident and who was at fault. These include accident reconstruction specialists, mechanics and engineers, and other professionals who are familiar with semi-trucks and the industry.
Decide Who to Sue
As we discussed in Responsible Parties in Truck Accidents [Insert link], there may be multiple parties who are liable for your damages. Your attorney will review the evidence to determine which parties to name in your lawsuit. It’s important to identify as many liable parties as possible to obtain the best possible monetary award for you damages.
Your attorney should have extensive experience negotiating with insurance companies and commercial company lawyers in order to present your case aggressively and skillfully to obtain the compensation you need and deserve for your catastrophic truck accident. He should also possess excellent litigation skills and be prepared to move forward with a court trial when warranted.
If you are contemplating a commercial trucking company lawsuit, contact the New Jersey truck accident lawyers at Keefe Law Firm to discuss your case with a seasoned personal injury litigation attorney today.