The lawyers of Gilloon, Wright & Hamel, P.C. practice personal injury law involving truck accidents all over the state of Iowa. Call or email us now and one of our experienced attorneys would be happy to answer any questions you have and talk about helping you with your Iowa truck accident case.
Many of the concepts of liability and damages in truck accident cases are the same as the legal principles discussed in the auto accident practice area of our website. Additionally, there are some special issues that frequently come up in truck accident cases.SPECIAL AREAS OF TRUCK LIABILITY
In addition to regular violations of the “Rules of the Road” such as speeding and failure to keep a proper look out, there are certain liability issues that tend to come up exclusively or more frequently in truck accident litigation. These include:
Because trucks have longer stopping distances many truck collisions are caused by the truck driver following too closely.
Some truck accidents are caused by maintenance issues such as the failure to replace worn brakes or tires.
The shifting of truck cargo can also lead to the truck driver losing control of the truck, or the truck even overturning. The cargo shifting can be a result of the cargo being improperly loaded or the driver might execute a maneuver which is dangerous for the type or size of load he is hauling.
Lack of proper rest and breaks for the driver can lead to fatigue and inattention which causes accidents.
Investigating claims and preserving evidence is important in every case, and can be especially critical in accidents involving trucks. Several of the key areas of investigation and preservation that need to be addressed are:
Commercial trucks are equipped with “black boxes” that record the history of the truck’s speed and other driving information. It is important to preserve the black box and the truck operation details in order to be able to accurately analyze the accident.
Commercial truck drivers are required to carry and fill in log books which should contain a detailed history of the driver’s work and breaks.
In truck accidents there can be many witnesses. Some may simply have been traveling on the same roadway, and others may have responded as ambulance personnel or law enforcement officers. It is important to identify all potential witnesses and talk to them as soon as possible before their memories of the accident and post-accident events possibly begin to fade.
Photographing and measuring the accident scene and the damaged vehicles is also very important. Such photographs and measurements will help prove the case. It is important to take these steps before the involved vehicles are potentially destroyed, or the accident scene itself is substantially changed.
Liability experts are especially important in truck accident cases. One or more experts may be necessary to interpret the evidence and help explain how the accident occurred and what the defendants did wrong. The expert services can include analyzing the data from the “black box” and providing accident reconstruction evidence to show and explain exactly what the defendants did wrong.DAMAGE EXPERTS
Because commercial trucks are so much larger than personal cars, trucks or SUV’s, the collisions can frequently lead to very serious or even deadly injuries to the occupants of the smaller vehicles. In cases involving serious injuries damage experts are necessary to analyze the facts and give opinions on issues such as reductions in the lifetime earnings of an injured party, the cost of long term future medical care, or the loss of lifetime support to a family from the death of a spouse and parent.POTENTIAL DEFENDANTS IN TRUCK ACCIDENT CASES
Truck accident cases require investigation and analysis to determine all of the parties which may be responsible for damages from the accident. This can include:
The driver of the truck.
The owner of the truck.
The owner of the trailer.
Separate businesses that provided maintenance and servicing of the truck and/or trailer.
The owner of the load being carried by the truck in certain circumstances.
The parties responsible for how the trailer contents were loaded.
Potentially anyone supervising or directing the driver’s conduct.
Call or email us now, and our lawyers will be happy to talk to you about your Iowa truck accident case, and answer your questions without charge or obligation.