When Do You Need a Truck Accident Attorney?

Post By Corey Heit

Why is It Important To Hire An Experienced Attorney When Injured In A Trucking Accident

Personal injury and wrongful death cases following truck accidents differ from those involving car crashes in many ways. The most obvious—and tragic—difference is that people who get hit by a tractor-trailer, construction vehicle or some other large truck tend to suffer more serious injuries. Simple physics put people in cars, on motorcycles, and in medians or on highway shoulders as pedestrians at serious risk from a negligent or reckless truck driver.

An even greater difference involves answering questions about who bears liability for covering the victim’s medical bills and making other forms of compensation for things like pain and suffering. Usually, when the driver of one car collides with another vehicle, a single insurance policy exists to handle claims. A loaded 18-wheeler will be covered by three, four, or more policies.

Federal and state laws require commercial drivers to carry insurance on themselves. The vehicles they operate must also covered by insurance policies held by the trucking company.

Beyond those two legally required policies, the trailer may be insured by yet another company, and the freight being transported could be covered by still one more, distinct insurance policy. Last, if a truck crash results from a blown tire, faulty brakes, or some other mechanical failure, the equipment manufacturer could have liability.

This reality makes determining which insurance policies apply given the facts of the client’s case one of the most important services a Columbus truck accident lawyer provides. Sometimes, claims can be filed against more than one policy.

Even before that determination is made, a personal injury or wrongful death attorney in Franklin County will be able to take essential steps to aid their client. A few of these legal services are

  • Securing a court order that compels the truck driver and trucking company to preserve trip logs, shift records and so-called “black box” data (i.e., information recorded by computers on board the truck);
  • Putting injured clients in touch with medical, occupational and financial specialists who can provide assessments on the full extent and lifetime costs of the client’s crash-related injuries;
  • Securing a court order that prevents the trucking company from repairing the truck or disposing of potentially defective equipment;
  • Requesting vehicle service records;
  • Requesting health records and drug and alcohol test results for the truck driver; and
  • Hiring independent investigators and relevant experts to examine physical evidence, reconstruct the accident, analyze data, write reports, and testify in court if the insurer will not settle.

Once insurance claims are filed, a truck crash attorney in Westerville or elsewhere can handle communications and negotiations with claims adjusters. Relying on their legal representative to do paperwork, protect their rights, make phone calls, and crunch numbers on settlement offers allows a truck crash victim to focus on healing and returning to their lives.

If you or your family needs advice and representation from a personal injury lawyer in central Ohio, consider reaching out to Corey Heit of Heit Law in Westerville. Corey takes appointments online, and he offers free consultations to all potential clients. To speak with him directly, call (614) 898-5300.

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