Truck accidents are easily one of the most devastating types of accidents there are. Accidents of this nature can result in thousands of dollars in damages, medical bills, or even wrongful death. Somebody has to pay for all that, and it’s only fair that it’s the person responsible for what happened.
Determining who is the right party to file a claim against following a truck accident can be a little difficult. In Louisiana, there is a one-year window in which you can file a claim against somebody for an accident. To figure out who you should file a claim against, the best thing to do is to first use some of that time to gather more information. We’ll look at what you should do immediately following a truck accident, why it’s so important to investigate the accident, and who you should file a claim against below.
What Should I Do After I’m in a Truck Accident?
It can be incredibly confusing to figure out what to do after you’ve been in an accident, even more so if you’ve been injured during the event. If you are able to, call 911 and report the accident. If you are injured, then try to stay still if you are in a safe position and wait for medical professionals to arrive. With some injuries, it can be dangerous to try to move the person.
If you are in good enough shape then you may want to offer assistance to the other driver or any other injured parties. However, Louisiana law states that you should never move a deceased person without authorization from a coroner and some individuals shouldn’t be moved if injured, so don’t try to do anything that requires a professional.
Louisiana law also requires that you exchange your contact information, insurance information, and registration info with anybody that was involved in the accident. This obviously means you’re exchanging information with the truck driver but it could also be other drivers, such as when a truck pushes your vehicle into the one in front of you at a stoplight.
Finally, if you can, take lots of pictures of the scene. These are important for reporting and, especially, investigating the accident. Let’s see why the investigation is so important.
Why is it so Important to Investigate a Truck Accident?
Following your accident, contacting a lawyer is the best move you can make. You might be foaming at the mouth, angry about what happened, and ready to make those who are responsible pay. You might also assume that it is the truck driver, which sounds like a perfectly logical scenario.
But not every case is as cut as dry as it first appears. An investigation into the accident is going to reveal what party is truly at fault, and it might not be the party you first assumed.
But almost as important is the reality that those you file charges against are going to look to defend themselves. This means they’ll be doing their own investigation with the goal of proving that they are innocent, or at least innocent of the charges that you are specifically leveling against them. If you go up against a well-built defense without first doing a rock-solid investigation, then you are looking to run into trouble.
One piece of important information that you’ll find when investigating all the details of the case that you need is that of the trucking company’s policies and insurance. Determining who is responsible for paying out damages to you helps to determine which parties to level charges against. Typically, you’ll find that you bring charges against both the company and the driver.
But the investigation into your accident might prove that there is another circumstance at fault for your accident. Let’s talk about the different parties you might file a claim against.
Who Do I File a Claim Against After My Metairie Truck Accident?
In most cases, you are going to find that the best person to file claims against is the truck driver and the company they work for. However, that is making the assumption that the accident happened while the driver was working on a paid delivery. If the truck driver owns his own rig then you might need to only file a claim against the truck driver.
A claim of this nature is going to argue that negligence was responsible for the accident. That is to say, the negligence of the truck driver. You’re going to have to show the court that it was the negligent actions of the driver that led to the accident. They’re going to argue that there were other circumstances, or that their actions were totally justified despite the fact that there was an accident.
There can be a single or several ways in which negligence played a part in the accident. A lack of experience, an overloaded truck, distracted driving, reckless driving, or many other reasons might be considered as the cause of negligence in this case.
But in some cases, your investigation will find that the truck driver was in no way negligent. However, an accident still occurred. It could be that the responsible party is another driver, somebody in a car that caused the chain of events that caused you and the truck to collide.
Another possibility is that your claim is better pressed as a product liability claim. In this case, a mechanical problem was the cause of the accident. This malfunction is the fault of the company that made the truck and so you would file a claim against them and then prove that they were negligent in allowing the product to market.
When Should I Get a Lawyer After a Truck Accident?
You should get a lawyer as soon as possible. You only have one year to press a claim about the accident. The sooner you get a lawyer, the sooner the investigation can get started and the more time you have to follow up on any important leads that could take the case in an important new direction.
If you’re looking for a lawyer to represent you following your truck accident then look no further than The Law Office of Glenn C. McGovern. The experience of each of the attorneys on our team is unparalleled and we’ll work day and night to get you the justice you deserve.