A truck accident can leave a path of devastation in its wake. If you’ve been unfortunate enough to find yourself amidst that destruction, then you’re probably concerned about your future given the extensive physical and emotional pain and suffering you’re going through, in addition to the massive financial losses confronting you.
But you don’t have to despair. Instead, you can consider these steps to support a personal injury claim. After all, succeeding on one of these claims can lead to accountability and the recovery of compensation for the damages you have suffered.
- Seek medical attention: First and foremost, make sure you receive all of the medical treatment you need. This includes ongoing care and rehabilitation. This is the only way you’re going to get better and be able to physically move on with your life.
- Keep records: Part of a personal injury claim is proving that the other driver was at fault for causing your accident, but if you succeed in doing that then you’ll need to prove the damages you have suffered. Obtaining and keeping medical and employment records can help you prepare for this aspect of your case by demonstrating incurred lost wages and medical expenses, as well as anticipated future medical and rehabilitation costs and lost earning capacity.
- Obtain medical records from the trucker: This may take some legal maneuvering, but obtaining these records may uncover an untreated medical condition that affected the trucker’s ability to safely operate his or her rig. Sleep apnea, for example, is a condition that disrupts breathing during sleep, causing an individual to wake up as many as 400 times per night. This can lead to extreme fatigue. All too often truckers who have this condition fall asleep behind the wheel. Sadly, federal regulators don’t police specific medical conditions, but they do say that truckers cannot drive if they have a condition that negatively affects their ability to safely drive their vehicle.
- Seek out trucking logs: Truckers are on tight schedules, but they are subject to regulations that limit the amount of time they can spend on the road in any given period of time. These regulations seek to prevent tired truckers from taking to the road, but these rules are often violated. A trucking log that shows a violation of hours of service regulations can strengthen your case.
- Consider vicarious liability: Trucking companies can be held liable for the actions of their employees if certain facts are established. Essentially, in order for vicarious liability to apply, the trucker in question must have been conducting his or her job duties at the time of the wreck, and the employer must have been benefiting from those services. By pursuing a vicarious liability case, you give yourself the opportunity to reach a larger pool of resources to more adequately recoup your losses.
Although these are some of the major steps to be taken in the aftermath of a serious truck accident, they are by no means the only ones. We understand how stressful this can be for victims who are more focused on their health and reclaiming their normal lives than they are on legalities.