The stakes are high if you were injured in an accident with a large truck or other commercial vehicle. The injuries and consequences from these crashes are much more devastating than collisions solely between passenger cars. The medical bills can be massive along with lost wages, lost future earning capacity, future medical care and rehabilitation needs, and all too often permanent disability or disfigurement.
You should know that you are not entitled to compensation just because you were involved in an accident with a commercial truck, tractor trailer, or 18 wheeler. To recover damages in a truck accident case, you must prove that the defendants were liable in causing the accident and your damages. In some cases, the commercial truck is clearly at fault. But in many cases, the truck driver or trucking company will try to pin the blame on the injured person or another vehicle.
Unfortunately, the person who is most serious injured in a trucking accident is the one driving the passenger car. Due to their injuries, the injured parties are usually taken to the hospital by ambulance, and the only person the investigating officer is able to speak to at the scene of the accident is the truck driver. As a result, the police report may only reflect one side of the story, and this may result in the trucking company and its insurance company to deny causing the accident. Fortunately, an experienced truck accident attorney can help you investigate and prove the truth as to how the accident was caused by the trucking company and its driver.
An experienced accident attorney will take several actions to prove your right to recover damages for your injuries. Many of these actions are necessary in any type of personal injury lawsuit. However, some of these actions are of unique importance in trucking accident lawsuits, including:
- Identifying all potentially liable parties and businesses who may have contributed to causing the truck accident.
- Investigating and reviewing all potential insurance policies that may cover the truck accident victim's injuries and damages.
- Obtaining and analyzing data including the speed of the truck from the "black box" of the truck during an inspection of the vehicle.
- Working with an expert known as a accident reconstructionist who has specialized engineering training to recreate the accident through advanced techniques including animation.
- Researching and documenting the complete history of the driver and the company involved in the crash obtaining and evaluating the repair and maintenance history of truck involved in the accident and comparing with requirements and state and federal law.
- Hiring private investigators to identify and interview witnesses and uncover important facts that may be missing from the police officer's report.
- Retaining medical experts and interviewing treating physicians regarding past and future medical treatment and expenses.
- Hiring an economist to evaluate and opine as to wages that were lost as a result of the accident as well as losses in future earnings capacity.
All of these actions may not be necessary in every truck accident case. Depending on the circumstances, an experienced truck accident attorney will likely need to issue document requests, serve subpoenas and take depositions to identify all the factors that went into causing the accident. Many times there is not just one factor, but there are many poor choices made by the trucking company and his driver that caused the harm and injuries to result from the truck crash.
Our legal team is ready to assist you in finding answers to these critical questions so you can hold all the parties who caused the accident accountable for your injuries. For more information about personal injury claims in Missouri and Kansas, please download a free copy of my book, Crash Course: 9 Mistakes That Can Wreck Your Injury Claim in Kansas and Missouri. You can also contact our firm by calling (816) 203-0143 or by filling out a form on this website for a free, no-obligation consultation to learn how we can assist you.