Being involved in a passenger vehicle vs. truck accident is never a pleasant experience. Fully loaded semi trucks can weigh as much as 10 to 20 times the average weight of a passenger car. The results can be devastating.
In many cases, passenger vehicle-truck collisions result in fatalities or very serious and permanent physical injuries for the passenger vehicle’s occupants. After a truck accident in Amarillo, you may want to consider contacting D. Miller & Associates, PLLC™, for your truck accident lawyer.
Determining Who Is Responsible
It is easy to determine responsibility for a traditional accident. There are two cars, two drivers, and two insurance companies. Accidents involving trucks are not as simple.
The driver may have caused an accident, but the company that owns the truck may bear responsibility for the damages incurred.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) does require trucking companies to carry liability insurance covering bodily injury, property damage, and environmental restoration. Minimum requirements for the amount of coverage change depending on the type of cargo being transported.
The List of Possible Defendants Can Be Long
The complexity of truck accidents includes a long list of potentially liable parties. The list includes the driver, the company that owns and operates the truck, the manufacturer of the truck, and parts suppliers.
In cases where improperly loaded cargo contributed to an accident, the shipping company that loaded the truck might bear liability. Insurance companies will frequently attempt to plant blame anywhere as a tactic to avoid paying claims.
With so many potential defendants, having a truck accident lawyer can help sort the details in a complex matter.
Building a Truck Accident Case
When building a truck accident case, an accident lawyer will gather information about every aspect of the accident. The goal during the building phase is to satisfy four areas of proof.
- DUTY: Did the truck driver have a duty to operate his truck safely and responsibly? The answer is, “Yes.” Drivers operating any vehicle on a roadway are expected to drive safely and responsibly.
- BREACH: Did the driver breach their duty, causing the accident?
- CAUSATION: Did the breach of duty cause injury or damage?
- DAMAGE: Did you suffer damages or injury due to the breach of duty?
Once those four elements are met, a truck accident lawyer will continue to build a case incorporating all the details.
What to Do ASAP After Your Accident
Depending on your injuries, you may not be thinking as clearly as usual. If you have been involved in an accident, please do as many of the following items as safely as possible as soon as you are able:
- Notify the authorities, including law enforcement personnel, firefighters, and paramedics or ambulance personnel. Please allow medical personnel to perform an on-scene assessment.
- If you can, safely take pictures of the vehicles before moving them to safety off the road. Please do not endanger yourself in obtaining pictures.
- Do not admit fault.
- As soon as possible, it is recommended that you consult with a legal representative.
While at the scene of a motor vehicle accident, it is essential to stay safely out of traffic. Remain safe along the side of the road while awaiting authorities. Make sure to attend to any injuries.
Contact Your Insurance Company
Contact your insurance company when you are able to do so. Immediately after an accident, it is not recommended to answer any questions. Simply inform them about your accident and brief them on the essential information.
No matter how serious an accident is, vehicle occupants often suffer some degree of shock. Being in shock causes thoughts to become fuzzy, and your brain isn’t at its best. Allow yourself a day to recover, even following a minor accident. A truck accident lawyer will talk to your insurance company in many cases.
Save Your Paperwork—You’ll Need It
Paperwork begins to pile up at the scene of an accident. The other driver will (hopefully) provide their insurance information and additional info you will need. The police may provide you with a field report. You may have pictures on your camera.
When you get home, it is a great idea to designate a specific location to collect all the information about your accident. This location might be in a filing cabinet or drawer for many. Whatever you choose, the idea is to keep everything together.
What Information Will a Lawyer Need from You?
Your truck accident lawyer serving Amarillo will be able to obtain many of the supporting documents they will need to build a solid case for you. If you can provide some of them, it will save time and expedite the evidence-gathering portion of your case.
Some of the necessary documents are:
- Statement of fault issued at the scene of your accident
- Medical records specific to your injuries from the accident
- Financial impact statements
- Medical bills and statements of treatment
- Proof of lost wages (pay stubs)
Your lawyer may obtain additional information from the trucking company, other defendants, or insurance carriers. A lawyer can assist you in gathering the necessary documents.
The Benefits of Having a Truck Accident Lawyer
A truck accident lawyer will handle all your worries. They will talk with witnesses, obtain the information necessary to build a solid claim for you, and will fight for you through the entire process.
If you are recovering from physical injuries, your lawyer will be busy taking care of all the legwork. They will ensure that the four elements of proof are met and gather the necessary information to support that.
At D. Miller & Associates, PLLC™, our truck accident lawyers have years of combined experience dealing with the many details necessary in an accident claim. They will work with monetary and non-monetary damages and provide you with the support you need to recover from your accident.
Your Truck Accident Lawyer Serving Amarillo
Your first consultation with D. Miller & Associates, PLLC™ is free and confidential. If you need a truck accident lawyer, please don’t hesitate to contact our office today.