Getting into a truck accident is not a pleasant thing, especially given how destructive a truck accident can be. The unfortunate thing is it tends to last longer than the initial accident. There are a lot of costs and frustrations associated with truck accidents, and when you are involved in one, the question stands: how is fault even determined? This is going to be an important question, given that who is actually at fault will be the difference between you being responsible for your medical and repair costs or not.
How do you determine fault in a truck accident?
First off, the important thing to know about determining fault is that it is not going to be true from one state to another. Each state, being independent of one another, has the power to determine their own laws, and some handle fault in different ways. For example, when an automobile accident in certain states, they set it up so that no matter who may be at fault in the accident, the responsibility to cover losses falls on each driver’s respective insurance. This is called a “no-fault policy.” However, no-fault states are a minority, as 38 states in the United States, Texas included, subscribe to an at-fault policy. As such, if there is fault to be found in either party, that person will be responsible for the damages the other party received.
There is a lot of crossover between determining fault for a truck accident vs. determining fault for a car accident. If someone is driving while under the influence and gets into an accident, for instance, that will be a fatal blow to any claim that they should not be held at fault. Beyond a civil case against them, they may find themselves facing charges in criminal court for driving while under the influence (on top of any additional charges, should it go worse). Truck drivers also have an obligation to maintain their trucks to ensure that they do not break down, leading to an accident.
One thing you should consider when dealing with a truck accident specifically is the different levels of responsibility held. Truck drivers have the same levels of responsibility as any other driver to take care while driving, but there are circumstances at play that determine whether they have an increased duty of care. One of the key examples of this is when a truck driver is operating in bad weather. While any driver could lose control and potentially harm or even kill someone, when a truck driver loses control of their vehicle, the potential damage is significantly higher. As such, the truck driver is required to take extreme care in the operation of their truck.
An attorney, like one of those at Terry Bryant accident and injury law firm, will work hard to ensure that they get a positive result for your case. Often, a settlement in this kind of case helps things resolve in a quick and efficient way, and a lawyer is going to be significantly more capable of getting you a positive result than if you went at it alone. For one, if you decided to go without a lawyer, the other party may go ahead with a trial because they think you would not be able to win. Of course, not every case is going to be settled out of court, especially if the other party is adamant that they were not at fault for the truck accident. If you do go to court, that is when the courts will take over, investigating the details and evidence surrounding the truck accident in order to determine which party is at fault. This evidence will often be presented by police if the accident had their involvement.
Even if the police are involved, however, you would do best to have your own evidence as well. Evidence collection begins from minute one. Photos of the damage, photos of your injury, witness testimony (especially if you can get audio recordings), etc. The longer you wait to gather evidence for a potential case, the more likely you are to see evidence completely disappear. As far as witnesses go, you may find that some people who were present for the accident completely disappeared. A lawyer has a lot of experience working with evidence gathering, so even if you feel like you have collected a lot of good evidence, having your lawyer find more evidence to help strengthen your case will not only help secure a settlement, or help ensure that the results of your court case go your way. After all, the last thing you want to have to do is lose a court case and wind up having to handle your own expenses from the trial and your previous expenses as well.