What Is Your Question About Your Truck Accident?
We know how challenging truck accidents can be. That's why we're dedicated to helping victims. Our law firm's co-founder, Kasie Braswell, is a member of the Association of Plaintiff Interstate Trucking Lawyers of America and a proven winner in truck accident cases. Our attorneys are proud to share the knowledge they've gained about these devastating accidents over the years.
- What should I do after a truck accident?
- Can I sue the trucking company? What about the shipper of the cargo?
- How can an attorney help me after a truck accident?
- The trucking company is located out of state. Can you help?
- Should I answer questions from the trucking company or their insurance?
- When should I accept a settlement offer from the trucking company?
These questions and answers should give you a general idea of what to expect as your claim proceeds. However, every accident is unique, and we urge you to get legal representation to handle the specifics of your individual case. Contact Braswell Murphy LLC to schedule your free consultation with an experienced Mobile, AL truck accident lawyer. We know how to stand up to the trucking companies, and we won't charge you a cent until we recover for you.
As with any crash, you need to remain at the scene - unless you have to leave to seek emergency medical attention. Make sure the scene is safe and contact emergency services.
Call the police and make sure you get the investigating officer's department and badge number. The police report will become a critical piece of evidence if you later need to file an insurance claim.
Get the driver's name and license plate number as well as the trucking company's name, location and contact information. You'll also need name and contact information for any witnesses to the accident. Keep your conversations with anyone else at the scene brief and avoid saying anything admitting fault for the accident. Take note if the trucker or another involved motorist does admit fault.
Take pictures of the accident scene, including damage to your vehicle, the truck and any other property damage, as well as skid marks and visible injuries.
See a doctor right away, even if you feel fine. You may have a brain injury or internal injury with delayed-onset symptoms. Getting immediate medical attention is the best option for your health.
Finally, contact our law firm as soon as possible after the accident. The trucking company will move quickly to collect evidence and start building their case against you. The sooner we can take legal action on your behalf, the easier it will be for you to get the compensation you need.
If the truck driver was responsible for your accident, you may be able to sue the trucking company, depending on the circumstances. Because of the legal doctrine of respondeat superior, an employer is legally liable for the actions of an employee who is on the job. If the trucker is a direct employee of the trucking company, this doctrine applies. However, if the trucker is an independent contractor, respondeat superior may or may not apply, depending on the amount of supervision exercised by the trucking company.
There are also cases in which the trucking company is directly liable for your injuries. For instance, our investigation may show that the trucking company failed to properly maintain the truck, leading to a collision when the brakes or engine failed, or that the truck driver was under pressure to work through mandatory breaks, leading to fatigue. Or we may be able to show that the trucking company negligently hired a driver with a history of drunk driving or speeding.
The shipper of the cargo is generally not liable for your injuries - unless they also own the truck, of course - but there are exceptions. If the cargo was hazardous or otherwise dangerous and the shipper failed to properly notify the driver, we may be able to pursue a product liability claim.
Immediate legal action is needed to protect your legal rights after an accident, and an attorney's help is critical. For instance, you need an attorney to take action to prevent the trucking company from destroying the hours of service (HOS) log, which they are normally only required to keep for six months. The information in that log may show that the trucker was fatigued at the time of the accident, leading to a collision.
In addition to helping you prove that the trucker was at fault, an attorney can help you get maximum compensation for your accident. Truck accidents often cause serious injuries that will require long-term medical care. You need an experienced truck accident lawyer from our firm on your side to fight for compensation for the full, long-term cost of that care.
Finally, an attorney can help with the often complex insurance situation following a truck accident. Tractor-trailers generally have separate insurance policies for the cab and the trailer, and depending on the circumstances, other insurance companies may be involved as well. Our attorneys know how to coordinate different available coverages and handle subrogation claims to maximize the amount of compensation that actually goes to you.
Unfortunately, out-of-state trucking companies often believe they can hide from accident victims. Our attorneys know how to track down the trucking company and bring them to the negotiating table - or face them in court. If necessary, we'll retain a local attorney in the trucking company's home state to help with your case. If that's the case, we'll split our fee with the other law firm, so you won't end up paying more.
Absolutely not. The trucking company's priority is to reduce their own liability - at your expense. Any information you give them will be used for that purpose. That's why you should contact our law firm immediately after your accident. Once you have us on your side, we'll contact the trucking company and their insurance carriers to let them know you have retained an attorney, and we'll handle all of their questions from that point forward.
In general, you shouldn't even entertain a settlement offer until you have completed your medical treatment and have a sense of the full cost of your accident, and you definitely shouldn't accept the trucking company's money until you've gone over the settlement offer with an experienced attorney from our firm. You only have one chance to be made whole again - once you've taken their money, you can't go back and sue for more. That's why you need us to review your case and see whether the settlement actually covers the full cost of your accident.