You might have heard that successfully pursuing a truck accident claim can be a challenge. That’s true.
But you shouldn’t let those challenges keep you from claiming the compensation you deserve. And there’s good news: you don’t have to pursue your claim by yourself.
In fact, trying to represent your own interests in the face of an experienced and resourceful corporation is almost never a good idea. The companies have a lot on the line and will likely put up a fight to protect their interests. They have legal and financial support so extensive that no individual could realistically match it alone.
Instead, you should make arrangements to talk with an experienced lawyer as soon as possible.
In today’s article, we’re going to walk through some of the biggest difficulties in proving negligence in a truck accident case.
While these challenges can be significant, they are generally not insurmountable. On the contrary, our West Virginia truck accident lawyers have a long track record when it comes to proving negligence and getting our clients the compensation they deserve.
What Do I Need to Prove in a Truck Accident Case?
Before we explore the difficulties in proving negligence in a truck accident case, let’s begin by talking about what you’re required to prove in the first place.
Most (though not all) truck accident claims are based on a theory of negligence. In other words, the claim alleges that the defendant acted carelessly and therefore has a responsibility to pay for the costs of their carelessness.
Under West Virginia personal injury law, to successfully prove negligence after a truck accident case, you will need to establish all of the following:
- The defendant owed you a duty of care.
- The defendant breached that duty.
- The defendant’s breach caused you injury.
- As a result of the injury, you have suffered damages (i.e. losses, which may be economic or noneconomic in nature).
You’ll need to prove each of these elements by “a preponderance of the evidence.” That is, you’ll need to show that it’s more likely than not that the defendant’s actions (or inaction) meet each of these elements.
If that sounds like a lot of legal formality, don’t let it scare you. An experienced West Virginia truck accident lawyer can help you understand how each of these elements applies in your particular situation. Your lawyer can talk about any challenges you might have in proving negligence and how he or she can help.
Who Might Be Liable for Negligence in a Truck Accident Case?
In most truck accident cases, the victim will bring a claim for negligence against one or more of the following parties:
- The truck driver
- The trucking company (freight company, carrier company, etc.)
- The truck manufacturer
Below, we’ll look at each of these potential parties and some of the most common difficulties in proving their negligence.
Difficulties in Proving That the Truck Driver Was Negligent
Truck drivers engage in many of the same types of driving negligence that we see with other motorists: speeding, distracted driving, and so on.
Some other types of negligence are especially closely associated with truck accidents: drowsy driving, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, failure to adjust for weather or road conditions, etc.
As West Virginia truck accident lawyers, we might look to any of the following for evidence of the driver’s negligence:
- Accident reconstruction expert testimony
- Forensic evidence
- An official accident report
- Witness accounts
- Video footage or photographs
- The driver’s commercial trucking license
- Black box data
…To name just a few examples. Many large trucks have a black box, similar to an airplane’s, that will record data about the how the truck was being operated and whether the driver was following proper safety protocol.
Difficulties in Proving That the Trucking Company Was Negligent
Depending on the circumstances, even if the driver was at fault for the accident, his or her employer might still be liable for your damages.
Indeed, most truck accident injury cases ultimately involve a claim against the trucking company and its insurance provider.
Additionally, to establish that the trucking company was itself negligent, we might look to any of the following forms of evidence (to name just a few examples):
- The driver’s logs
- The driver’s employment history with the company
- The company’s truck maintenance records
- The driver’s work schedule
- Black box data about whether the driver was able to take adequate rest breaks
Access to evidence is certainly one of the biggest difficulties in proving negligence in a truck accident case. An experienced lawyer can help you navigate the legal process and stand up against the carrier’s defensive tactics.
Difficulties in Proving That the Truck Manufacturer Is Liable
If your injury was caused by a defect or dangerous condition in the vehicle itself (or an accessory, such as the tires), you may have a claim against the manufacturer directly.
In these cases, depending on the circumstances, you may not need to show that the manufacturer was negligent — only that the defect existed and caused your injury.
Often, the manufacturer will attempt to escape liability by pointing blame back at the truck driver or the trucking company — or even by trying to point the blame at you.
At Colombo Law, we work closely with investigative experts who can help us determine whether a vehicle defect might have contributed to your injuries. If so, we will work tirelessly to build a strong evidentiary case for the compensation you deserve.
What If Someone Else Was Liable?
Some truck accident cases involve an allegation of negligence against a third party, for example:
- The driver of a third vehicle
- Anyone else whose negligence might have created a dangerous condition that contributes to the accident
Here again, evidence is critical to establishing negligence. But don’t assume that you don’t have the evidence you need. Instead, talk with a lawyer who has specific experience in building an evidence-based case for negligence in a truck accident claim. Colombo Law can help.
Schedule a Cost-Free, No-Obligation Legal Consultation Today
Want to learn more about the difficulties in proving negligence in a truck accident case and how an attorney might be able to help you overcome those challenges?
We invite you to contact our office and schedule a free, confidential consultation with our West Virginia truck accident lawyers.
We fight to maximize compensation. Let us fight for you. Colombo Law proudly serves truck accident victims and their families throughout West Virginia, not only in Morgantown but also in Bridgeport, Buckhannon, Clarksburg, Elkins, Fairmont, Parkersburg, and Weston.
Here is our promise to you:
- A free case evaluation with absolutely no obligation to hire us
- Honest guidance and advice
- No attorney fees unless and until we recover damages for you
- Our time, passion, respect, and attention to your needs
A strict legal time limit (i.e. statute of limitation) applies to most West Virginia truck accident claims, so please don’t delay. Contact Colombo Law and schedule a free case review right away. Just dial 304-599-4229 (888-860-1414 outside of Morgantown) or contact us online.