Accidents involving trucks on our nation’s roadways are almost always serious, and often involve catastrophic injury or death. The immense size and weight difference between a fully loaded semi-truck and a passenger car make an accident devastating for the smaller vehicle. Secondary injuries can also result from a post-collision explosion, fire, or release of toxic chemicals.
Even after a horrific accident, insurance companies may delay a claim or lowball a settlement offer, which just adds insult to injury. The victims cannot wait, as their injuries may be life-threatening.
If the accident was due to negligence on the part of the truck driver or third-party entity, pursuing a claim may be the best option. For residents of Scranton and throughout Northeastern Pennsylvania, it is vitally important to find out how to get the compensation you need when you need it.
Finding out what caused the accident
After a severe truck accident, part of an independent investigation will turn to the black box or dashcam video to see what happened just before and during the accident, as well as eyewitness accounts. If there was evidence of driver error or distraction, it is possible to look up the driver’s cell phone records, and someone may have seen the driver holding a phone or looking down.
If there are discrepancies with logbook entries or hotel receipts, this could prove that the driver was violating federal hours-of-service regulations by not taking proper rest and break times, which could lead to fatigue or drowsy driving. Checking the driver’s qualification files or the post-accident drug or alcohol tests can point to drug or alcohol impairment.
The role of third-party entities
The accident may not have been the driver’s fault. There may be liability on the part of the vehicle equipment manufacturers, the trucking company, or the cargo-loading company. It is possible to piece together a chain of causation through an investigation of:
- The hiring practices of the trucking company to determine if the driver had received adequate training, and maintenance records to uncover lapses in standard maintenance service.
- Weight tickets to see if the truck was overloaded, or the shipping or cargo company responsible for loading the truck to reveal if they did not balance the load.
- Parts manufacturers that may share liability for the accident if it was caused by a tire blowout, defective brakes, or malfunctioning wheel bearings.
Third-party truck accident claims are quite complex, so getting full compensation will hinge on a proper and thorough investigation of the evidence to build a strong case.