Commercial truck accidents are often more complicated than normal motor vehicle crashes. The vehicles involved are more complex, the regulations covering those vehicles are vast, and there are often multiple insurers and parties involved. This can make it difficult to identify who or what caused the accident. It also makes it easy for the at-fault party to point blame towards someone else. A skilled attorney can uncover the truth through about what caused the crash by conducting an in-depth investigation.
Here’s a brief overview of truck accident investigations, what they involve, and how they are handled.
The Goal of Truck Accident Investigations
The point of an investigation is to figure out what went wrong in an attempt to identify who is responsible. Insurance companies representing at-fault parties tend to twist the truth in their favor and try to find ways to blame the accident victim or others.
An attorney can protect you and your rights in these situations. When you come to Shaheen & Gordon, P.A., we will conduct our own investigation into the accident to find what really happened not what the insurance companies want you to think happened.
Conducting a Truck Accident Investigation: A Step-By-Step Guide
Listening to the Accident Victim’s Story
The first step in an investigation will be listening to the victim's firsthand account. This often happens during a free consultation with one of our attorneys. We recommend that you speak with an attorney before talking to any insurance companies. Save your detailed account for your attorney who will provide representation during statements to insurance companies if appropriate.
Anything you say to the insurance company can be used against you. What might seem like an innocent side comment to you could be a golden nugget to an insurance adjuster. However, anything you say to your attorney is protected and privileged. Our attorneys will help prepare you for statements and interviews to protect you and your claim.
Investigating the Scene of the Accident
The insurance company may have an insurance adjuster travel to the scene of the accident to do an inspection. Often, we will do the same for you.
Our attorneys and consultants will look for and evaluate any physical evidence, like tire marks, damage to surrounding property, and debris from the crash. They will also look for things that may have contributed to the collision, such as poor lighting, hidden or otherwise obstructed road signs, potholes, guardrails, traffic patterns, and more.
Inspecting the Vehicles Involved
An insurance adjuster will likely have the ability to inspect the vehicles involved to find additional evidence. If contacted early, an attorney or consultant can do the same. However, time is often of the essence as vehicles involved in accidents are often repaired or destroyed shortly after collisions.
During vehicle inspections, adjusters and attorneys will keep an eye out for any problems with:
- Engine parts
- Seat belts
- Steering components
- Seats, especially if the seatback collapsed
- Vehicle roofs, such as in rollovers and underride accidents
Truck company reports or a truck's black box may have preserved other key evidence like information about speed, tire pressure, cruise control, and more. Commercial truck drivers are also required to keep detailed logs that often shed light on the events preceding a crash.
Speaking to Witnesses and Experts
If there were witnesses to the incident our attorneys will interview them as soon as possible to get their account of what happened. In many cases, independent witness testimony is crucial to the case.
Industry experts may also be consulted and interviewed as part of an investigation.
Reconstructing the Accident
Often accident reconstruction is used to determine how the crash unfolded and who was at fault. This involves utilizing all the evidence gathered up to this point.
Accident reconstruction will likely reveal additional information that might not be captured by witness accounts. Accident reconstruction can also contradict witness and defendant testimony revealing what truly happened.
At Shaheen & Gordon, P.A., our attorneys know how to thoroughly investigate a truck accident to reveal what truly happened to protect victims and help them get the compensation they deserve.
If you are injured in a crash involving a commercial truck our New Hampshire and Maine injury lawyers want to help. We will conduct a comprehensive investigation and fight to get you full and fair compensation.
Call (888) 801-9916 or contact our firm online for a free consultation.