Road traffic accidents are considered to be the leading cause of death by injury in Houston and one of the leading causes of all deaths globally. They also make up a significant part of the worldwide burden of ill-health, and the recent studies show that large trucks are most involved in fatal crashes and in injury and property-damage-only crashes. The studies have shown that large trucks are more likely to be involved in multiple-vehicle crashes with fatal outcomes than are passenger vehicles. Because of their large mass, trucks lead to more severe crashes that usually result in more serious road trauma outcomes.
Who Suffers Most from Truck Accidents?
In crashes involving trucks, most of the people who suffer serious injuries or die are not truck drivers but the drivers of smaller vans, passenger vehicles, pedestrians, motorcyclists, cyclists, and the other users of the road who have been involved. In the collision between large trucks and small vehicles or unprotected users of the road, the occupants of the smaller vehicles and unprotected users of the road are more likely to be seriously injured than the occupants of the large vehicles such as trucks.
As soon as the truck accident occurs, the appropriate investigation to secure all the evidence necessary to determine the cause of the accident and to identify the faulty parties should be conducted, and this cannot be done without an experienced truck accident attorney. Although hiring a truck accident attorney to investigate the case might be the last thing on the minds of the injured parties immediately after the accident, it is a necessity that could help them prevent the faulty parties destroy the evidence and get an appropriate compensation for their losses.
How Can an Experienced Accident Attorney Help?
An accident attorney whom the injured party decides to hire will first of all interview the client and try to gather as much information and as many details about the accident as possible. This will include gathering the information about the exact location where the accident occurred, the names of the people and the truck companies involved, where the crashed vehicles are stored, and whether anyone spoke to the victims of the accident or their families since the crash. The accident attorney will advise the injured parties on what to do and how to behave and explain to them the procedure and what it will involve. He/she will also take into concern the costs of the medical treatment of the injured party, wage loss, the emotional and physical consequences of the accident and how they will influence the quality of life of the victims and their capability for working and earning for living, so that he/she could determine what amount of compensation would be necessary.
Investigating the Case
As soon as the attorney is hired, he/she will assemble a truck accident emergency investigative response team comprised of a truck accident investigator, driving safety expert, and accident reconstruction specialist to collect all the evidence that might be of help. This will involve taking photographs of the place where collision occurred and its surrounding area, interviewing witnesses and a truck driver, inspecting the truck and searching for alcohol, drugs and other substances that the driver might have used, downloading the information from the electronic control module where the data on the vehicle speed, braking times and hours driven is stored, etc. Further, the attorney will try to obtain the licensing, insurance, registration, the information about trucking company and other things. The attorney will also immediately prepare and serve a preservation letter on the truck driver and his company and their insurers and enlist there every piece of evidence that he/she and his/her team has obtained. Once the Investigation is done, an accident attorney will file the legal complaint in the court and an emergency motion to preserve all the evidence.
*U.S. Department of Transportation – National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, NHTSA’s National Center for Statistics and Analysis – Trafic Safety Facts
*New Zealand Government – Ministry of Transport – Trucks (2014)
*NWS Centre for Road Safety – Heavy Truck Fatal Crash Trends and Single Vehicle Heavy Truck Crash Characteristics
*Truck Accident Magazine – Investigating Trucking Accidents