In the aftermath of an 18-wheeler accident, emotions run high, injuries mount, and blame often becomes a central point of contention. Our peers from Kiefer & Kiefer explain what your next steps are after being accused of causing a serious semi accident and how an 18-wheeler accident lawyer can protect your rights and help you seek compensation for your losses.
In many jurisdictions, the concept of comparative negligence comes into play when determining liability in an accident. This means that even if you are partially at fault for the accident, you may still be entitled to recover damages, though the amount could be reduced based on your level of responsibility. If the other party is attempting to blame you, the legal process will involve an assessment of each party’s degree of negligence. In some states, however, plaintiffs (the accident victim) are prohibited from recovering damages if found to shoulder more than 50% of the blame, so the role of a semi-truck accident lawyer becomes even more crucial, to prove that you didn’t contribute more than 50% responsibility.
The strength of your defense lies in the evidence you can present. If the other party is trying to shift blame, you need to be proactive in collecting evidence to support your version of events. This may include photographs of the accident scene, witness statements, traffic camera footage, and any other relevant documentation. The more comprehensive your evidence, the better positioned you’ll be to counter accusations.
Accident reconstruction experts play a crucial role in establishing the sequence of events leading to the accident. These professionals use scientific methods to analyze the crash, vehicle movements, and contributing factors. If the other party is attempting to blame you, an accident reconstruction expert can provide an unbiased analysis that may refute their claims and provide a clearer picture of what actually happened.
Maintenance And Inspection Records
The responsibility of 18-wheeler safety extends beyond the driver. The trucking company and maintenance crews are obligated to ensure that the vehicle is in proper working condition. If the other party is trying to shift blame, a thorough examination of the truck’s maintenance and inspection records can reveal any potential issues that might have contributed to the accident.
Driver Logs And Compliance
Commercial truck drivers are required to adhere to strict regulations, including limitations on driving hours and mandatory rest periods. If the other party is blaming you, scrutinizing the driver’s logs and ensuring compliance with these regulations can be crucial. Violations may establish the other party’s negligence but also diminish their credibility in attempting to shift blame.
Credible witnesses can provide invaluable accounts of the accident from an unbiased perspective. If the other party is trying to blame you, securing witness testimonies can corroborate your version of events and contradict any false accusations. Their statements can add credibility to your defense and contribute to building a more comprehensive case.
Facing accusations in the aftermath of an 18-wheeler accident can be overwhelming, and legal representation is vital. By gathering robust evidence, enlisting the expertise of accident reconstruction professionals, and securing legal representation, your truck accident attorney can build a solid defense and seek fair compensation for any injuries or damages you may have suffered in the accident.