How Truck Accident Attorneys Determine Liability After a Crash

A crashed blue car. tanker truck, and fire engine in the middle of an intersection with a yellow truck and white car in the foreground

Determining liability after a truck accident is a complex process that requires the experience and knowledge of seasoned personal injury attorneys. At Thomas, Conrad & Conrad, our truck accident lawyers in the Lehigh Valley have decades of experience handling these types of cases. We have a proven record of success when it comes to helping clients find justice and compensation for their damages. Knowing how we determine liability after a crash can help you better understand the truck accident claims process and feel confident that your case is in capable hands.

Extensive Investigation

Unlike most car accidents involving only passenger vehicles, multiple parties may be liable after a crash involving a commercial truck. To determine what happened and identify potential parties that may be at fault, your truck accident lawyer will conduct a comprehensive investigation. Some common types of evidence that they gather include:

  • Police reports
  • Photographs of the scene, damage to vehicles, and victims’ injuries
  • Data from onboard recording devices like the truck’s black box
  • Driver logs
  • Cell phone records
  • Dashcam and surveillance footage
  • Repair, inspection, and maintenance records
  • The driver’s training and employment records
  • Witness statements
  • Other evidence specific to the case

Physical evidence like skid marks, damage to guardrails or signposts, debris, weather and road conditions, and vehicle damage all play a part in putting the pieces of the puzzle together. Your personal injury lawyer may employ accident reconstructionists and trucking industry experts who know how to use this evidence to determine vehicle speeds, potential trajectories, and other factors involved in an accident. Their findings can provide valuable insight into liability and clarify complex technical issues that might be hard for laypersons to understand.

Truck accident lawyers also analyze data from the truck’s black box, cell phone records, photographs, video, repair and maintenance records, and driver logs to determine who is at fault for a crash. Witness statements and testimony can also provide valuable information that can help them pinpoint potentially liable parties.

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Regulations

Truck accident attorneys must be well-versed in the rules and regulations that govern the trucking industry. This includes those set forth by the set forth by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and state agencies. If a driver or trucking company fails to comply with regulations like hours of service (driving) limits or insufficient vehicle maintenance, they may both be liable for damages.

Although some drivers are employees of trucking companies, others are independent contractors, which can make it tricky to sort out who is liable. That’s why it’s vital to have an experienced truck accident lawyer who knows how to determine the relationships between drivers and trucking companies so they can pursue compensation from the proper parties.

Trucking Company Policies and Procedures

Examining a trucking company’s policies, procedures, and practices can help an accident attorney determine whether adequate training was provided, safety protocols were enforced, cargo was properly loaded, and required maintenance and inspections were conducted. A driver’s personnel file can also offer insights into their performance and whether they were involved in previous accidents.

Maintenance, Repairs, and Mechanical Defects

In some cases, another company or mechanic may be responsible for maintenance, inspection, and truck repairs. Your truck accident attorney may review maintenance records, inspection reports, and repair documentation to determine whether the vehicle was properly maintained and serviced. If a mechanical failure or defect caused a collision, the designer, manufacturer, and distributor of the parts or vehicle could be liable for damages as well.

Why You Need an Experienced Truck Accident Lawyer on Your Side

There are many additional factors involved in determining liability in personal injury or wrongful death claims involving truck accidents. Not only do they have to identify liable parties, but they may have to determine the degree of fault attributable to each party as well. Factors such as negligence, recklessness, and other actions or inaction that may have contributed to a crash can have a significant impact when assigning degrees of fault to each party.

Your personal injury attorney handles all negotiations with insurers so you can focus on healing. If a reasonable settlement cannot be reached, they may take your case to court and advocate for you in front of a judge and/or jury. Hiring one of the best truck accident attorneys in the Lehigh Valley who won’t back down until you get fair compensation can increase your chances of a successful claim.

Contact a Lehigh Valley Truck Accident Attorney

For more than 30 years, the attorneys at Thomas, Conrad & Conrad have helped personal injury clients in eastern Pennsylvania get the justice they deserve and the compensation they need. If you’ve been hurt in a crash, we can evaluate your case and advise you of the best path forward. To schedule a consultation with a truck accident lawyer in the Lehigh Valley, contact us or call us at 610-867-2900. We offer several locations for your convenience.


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