Trucking accidents in the United States cause over 5,000 deaths annually, and an additional 100,000 injuries. The blame for these accidents can be spread between numerous parties, including:
- The truck driver
- The trucking company
- The shipping company
- The truck manufacturer
- The truck maintenance company
- Passenger vehicle drivers
Due to the complexities of these types of accidents, it is important to contact an experienced trucking accident attorney as soon after the accident as possible. Your attorney will need to begin the claims process quickly to avoid potentially losing valuable evidence.
Stages of a Trucking Accident Claim
Without an attorney on your side, it will be difficult to obtain the compensation you need after a devastating trucking accident. Trucking companies typically have large legal teams on their side, and their main objectives are to reduce liability, as well as the amount of a settlement. They do not care how much you truly need to recover or rebuild your life, which is why you need someone on your side who will protect your rights throughout the legal process.
The first phase of your trucking accident claim involves collecting evidence that could help your case. This includes the driver’s logs, maintenance records, and black box data. It may also include reviewing the personnel files of the driver to ensure they received adequate training and maintained a good safety record. Unfortunately, some of this evidence can be lost or destroyed after an accident if you do not act quickly. In fact, black box data is often rewritten or discarded after 30 days.
To obtain this information, a protective order may be required to save the data, and a subpoena may be necessary to obtain access to it.
Once evidence is gathered, a demand letter will be submitted to the at-fault driver, which:
- Notifies them that you wish to file a lawsuit
- Lists the damages you are seeking
- Specifies the amount you are seeking as a settlement to your injuries
The responsible party named in the lawsuit will then have the opportunity to respond to your letter and make a counter-offer. During this process, it is important that you discuss any offers received with your attorney so you are able to reach a mutually acceptable settlement.
If you cannot reach a mutual agreement, then your case will proceed to trial. This can easily take a year or more. During the trial, your attorney will have a chance to make opening statements, call witnesses to testify, and show the jury the evidence of your case. Experts may even be called from both sides to substantiate their claims. Once the trial is concluded, the jury will reach a decision and the verdict will be read in court.
Have You Been Injured in a Trucking Accident?
At Zimmet & Zimmet, our lawyers know how complex and difficult trucking accident cases can be. We know that trucking accident victims need aggressive representation from the moment they are injured, and we aren’t afraid to go toe-to-toe with large insurance companies. Contact us today at 386-255-6400 for a free initial consultation and review of your case.