Relief After A Big Rig Crash
Twin Cities Attorneys Representing People Injured In Trucking Accidents
Your first thought after a truck accident injury may be to contact an insurance provider — your auto insurance carrier or an insurance representative for the trucking company. It is important to understand, however, that any insurer you approach has a vested interest in paying you as little as possible. Therefore, your first step should be to contact a lawyer, someone who knows how to handle the early communication that follows a crash.
A knowledgeable personal injury attorney will know the steps to take right away to protect your rights. In the long run, an experienced lawyer can help you receive full and fair compensation for your losses. Without a knowledgeable and experienced attorney, you will be thrown into numerous situations where everyone knows what is going on except you.
Insurance policies spell out rules and set policy limits but they do not tell the average person what they need to do to recover all benefits due to them after an accidental injury. Instead, insurance companies and their lawyers will find endless ways to delay, diminish or even deny your claim. In case of controversy over the circumstances of the accident or your prognosis, you need a skilled, zealous advocate. You need experienced legal counsel from the beginning to protect your rights now and safeguard your future.
At Harper & Peterson, P.L.L.C., we handle all matters related to truck accident claims. Once you retain our personal injury firm, we will immediately commence an investigation of the facts and circumstances of the accident. We will work with expert witnesses, including accident reconstruction specialists and medical experts, to prepare and present the most compelling arguments for your financial recovery.
The Importance Of A Thorough Investigation
The scene of a collision must be examined and photographed by an investigator and reconstruction expert as soon as possible, since the condition of the scene will change rapidly with the passage of time. Tire marks, gouges, scratches and scrapes in the roadway, the resting position of the vehicles, and other physical evidence at the scene can reveal a great deal about the cause of the collision.
The vehicles involved in the collision must be secured in order to ensure that no evidence is lost or tampered with. Oftentimes, in a crash involving a tractor and a semitrailer, only one of the vehicles may be damaged. In such a case, within one day of the crash, the undamaged tractor could be hundreds of miles from the crash site. An undamaged semitrailer could be delivered to its final destination and unloaded, or the cargo on a damaged semitrailer can be loaded onto other semitrailers to be delivered to its final destination. A damaged commercial vehicle can be repaired and be back on the road within a week of the crash.
Witnesses to the collision must be interviewed as soon as possible while the details are still fresh in their minds. Therefore, it is imperative that you consult an attorney as quickly as possible following the crash so a prompt investigation can be conducted and arrangements made to preserve all the evidence.
Trucking Regulations And The Keys That May Unlock Evidence For Your Claim
The trucking industry is heavily regulated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), which requires motor carriers to maintain documents in the following seven major areas for a specified length of time:
- Driver drug use and alcohol misuse
- Financial responsibility and insurance
- Accident information
- Driver qualifications
- Hours of service (driver’s logs)
- Vehicle maintenance
- Business records
All these records should be reviewed in each case. Two areas — hours of service and vehicle maintenance — are time-sensitive. Motor carriers are only required to maintain copies of the driver’s logs for six months and copies of the driver’s daily vehicle inspection reports for only 90 days. An experienced lawyer can ensure you meet deadlines to build a strong case for compensation.
Our attorneys have a comprehensive understanding of the laws and regulations governing commercial trucks, tractor-trailers and delivery vehicles. We know that the law requires that, whenever a commercial vehicle is involved in an accident, the vehicle must be submitted for inspection and the driver must take a drug test. We also know how to read driver and maintenance logs to determine if noncompliance with regulations led to a crash.
Contact Our Law Firm To Schedule Your Free Consultation
Ultimately, our goal is to help you recover both physically and financially after suffering serious injuries or losing an immediate family member in a truck accident. Were you injured in a truck accident or was your loved one killed in a crash? For a private, no-cost consultation with an experienced attorney, call our law offices in Woodbury, Minnesota, at 651-738-8539 or 800-779-1466. You may also use our online form to send us a message right away for a prompt response.