When you or a loved one is involved in an accident with an 18-wheeler truck, it can be a devastating and life-altering experience. It’s often necessary to seek compensation for injuries and damages.
But recovery isn’t always as easy as simply filing a claim to cover your damages and expenses. The defense strategies that trucking companies and their insurers use can be complex and formidable. In this blog, we’ll explore some common defenses that may arise in 18-wheeler accident cases so you can protect your rights.
Driver error vs. mechanical failure
One primary defense that trucking companies may employ is shifting blame onto the truck driver. They may argue that the accident resulted from the driver’s error, such as speeding, distracted driving, or failing to obey traffic laws. Alternatively, they might claim that the accident was caused by mechanical failure, placing the responsibility on equipment malfunctions rather than driver negligence.
In some cases, the defense may argue that you, the injured party, contributed to the accident through negligence. They may allege that you were at least partially responsible for the accident, meaning you won’t recover any damages.
Maintenance and inspection records
Trucking companies often maintain meticulous records of their vehicles’ maintenance and inspections. If they claim that a mechanical failure was not due to the truck driver’s negligence but rather a sudden, unforeseeable issue, they may present these records as evidence. Your lawyer must scrutinize these records to identify any inconsistencies or lapses in maintenance that could have contributed to the accident.
Driver training and certification
Trucking companies may assert that their drivers were adequately trained and certified and that the accident was an isolated incident. They might argue that the driver’s training met industry standards and that the driver was not acting outside the scope of their duties at the time of the accident.
Government regulations compliance
The trucking industry is subject to numerous federal and state regulations governing safe operations. They may argue that they complied with all relevant regulations at the time of the accident, implying that the accident was an unforeseeable event. A personal injury lawyer should investigate to ensure all regulations were followed.
Sometimes, a third party, such as another driver, may have contributed to a tractor-trailer accident. Tractor-trailer companies may attempt to shift liability onto these third parties to reduce their own responsibility.
Don’t go it alone against a trucking company
The trucking companies may seem to have the edge in 18-wheeler accident cases. They may have a big, powerful law firm. But don’t forget that you also have rights and options.
An experienced personal injury law firm can help you navigate the complex legal issues involved in trucking accidents, build a strong case, negate the trucking company’s defenses, and protect your interests. If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident with an 18-wheeler, reach out to us for a free consultation. By being prepared and informed, you can assert your rights and pursue justice.