Proving a Truck Accident Claim
A collision with a commercial 18-wheeler initiates a complex legal case in which proving liability on the part of a driver, trucking company, or another third party can be challenging.
If you’ve been injured in a Houston truck accident, you may be aware that you can file a lawsuit to get your medical bills and other losses compensated, but be unsure how to get started or what you need to do.
What You Must Prove
Most personal injury lawsuits are based on the idea that you were injured through someone else’s negligence. Negligence is a legal concept meaning that someone owed you what is known as a duty of care, and failed in that duty. In other words, the person or entity that was negligent had some obligation to behave in a way that protected people like you from reasonably foreseeable harms.
When you file a lawsuit alleging that a truck driver or trucking company was negligent, there are a few things you have to prove. In essence, you must show that:
- You were injured or suffered losses
- Your injuries or losses were caused by the negligent actions or inactions of another person
- The other person failed to exercise reasonable care
You have to prove each one of these things in an accident lawsuit — and it’s important to note that the burden of proof is yours because you’re the person who filed the lawsuit. In order to prove each of these elements of your case, you’ll need evidence.
Types of Evidence You May Need
No lawsuit can succeed without evidence. If you lack evidence to support your assertion that someone else’s negligence caused your injuries and other damages, a judge may dismiss your case early in the process. If your case goes to trial, you’ll need evidence to convince a jury that you deserve compensation and to give a basis for the dollar amount of your damages.
Each case is unique, and the types of evidence you may need will be based on the specific circumstances of your accident and injuries. However, there are certain common types of evidence that are used in commercial truck accident cases to demonstrate negligence on the part of the truck driver or trucking company. Those may include:
- Photos and/or videos of the accident site, vehicles, and your injuries
- Your medical bills and medical records for treatment
- Accident report filed by law enforcement
- Data recorder or “black box” information from the truck
- Truck driver’s log books
- Trucking company’s maintenance records and policies
- Trucking company’s hiring and training policies
- Trucking company’s personnel records for the driver
- Eyewitness statements from bystanders, passengers, other drivers on the road at the time of your accident, or the police officers or paramedics who responded to your crash
In addition, it’s often beneficial to your case to hire expert witnesses who can render independent analysis or opinions based on science or standard practices. Experts may be used to provide authoritative opinions about the details of your accident, the nature of your injuries, the impact of your injuries on your earning capacity, or other aspects of your case. Types of experts often used in commercial truck accident cases may include:
- Accident reconstructionists whose specialty is in determining just how an accident occurred and the possible effects of an accident based on science and engineering
- Medical experts who can evaluate your injuries and support your assertion that your injuries were caused by the accident
- Life care planners who can estimate your future medical costs
- Trucking experts who can explain standard practices required for the safe operation and maintenance of an 18-wheeler, as well as discuss the applicability of various Department of Transportation regulations
- Forensic toxicologists who can explain how the use of drugs or alcohol might have impaired the truck driver who caused your accident
- Black box specialists who can interpret the data that is captured by modern computing systems installed in trucks
The types of experts you’ll need will depend on the specific details of your accident.
How Our Lawyers Can Help
Even if you believe you have clear-cut evidence that proves a commercial truck driver was responsible for the collision that injured you, that doesn’t necessarily mean the case is won. You also need the help of a skilled Houston truck accident lawyer who knows how to use the evidence to construct a strong argument in favor of your right to compensation.
An experienced team of Houston truck accident lawyers such as those at The Krist Law Firm, P.C. will know how to thoroughly investigate an 18-wheeler accident, what evidence to obtain to support your case, and how best to present that evidence to a jury. Our attorneys have decades of experience handling commercial truck accident cases and working to secure maximum compensation for our clients.
When you hire us, we will:
- Perform a comprehensive factual investigation of the specific evidence and liability issues involved
- Perform an exhaustive analysis of all possible legal claims
- Review the truck driver’s traffic record, analyze any previous traffic violations, and investigate the possibility of drug or alcohol use
- Highlight any failure to perform vehicle maintenance
- Negotiate with the trucking company or any insurance companies to get you the best possible compensation
- Take your case to trial and explain to a jury why you deserve the maximum compensation
Find out more about what the Houston personal injury attorneys at The Krist Law Firm, P.C. can do for you in the wake of your commercial truck accident by calling us at 281-283-8500 or contacting us online. We offer a free consultation and there are no fees unless we recover compensation for you.