Commercial Truck Accidents
Tractor trailers and other large commercial vehicles play a key role in the Alaskan economy, getting supplies and goods where they need to go. Unfortunately, though, these large commercial trucks can also put other motorists in danger on the state’s highways. While most professional drivers exercise care behind the wheel, crashes still happen. And when they do, the resulting injuries are often life-altering for the occupants of the smaller passenger cars involved.
If you suffered injuries in an Anchorage commercial truck accident, let the lawyers at Kelley & Canterbury L.L.C. go to work protecting your rights and ensuring you get the compensation you deserve to cover medical bills, lost wages, and more. We have the resources and skill necessary to take on a trucking company and win. Call us today at 907-276-8185 to schedule your free case evaluation with one of our semi-truck accident attorneys in Anchorage, AK.
Why is liability different in a truck accident than in most car crashes?
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulates the trucking industry with a set of strict federal laws that set minimum training requirements for drivers, weight limits for trucks and cargo, and even how often drivers must rest. Truck drivers must follow these regulations in addition to the typical laws all road users must abide by. When a driver or trucking company fails to follow traffic laws or FMCSA regulations, they are not meeting the duty of care required to prevent accidents. This is negligence.
So a careless truck driver who does not get the required rest is liable for my injuries, right? Not so fast.
Another law holds employers responsible for the on-the-job actions of their employees. Known as vicarious liability, this means it is actually the trucking company who is responsible for providing financial compensation for your injuries after an Anchorage truck crash. This is true even if the trucking company had no reason to suspect there might be an issue with the trucker’s logs or rest schedule.
How does vicarious liability make commercial truck accidents unique?
While this may not seem like a big difference, vicarious liability changes a lot of things about a truck accident claim. You are not taking on another driver. Instead, you are filing a claim against a company — sometimes a large, well-known, multinational corporation. We understand that this can be intimidating, but rest assured we have the resources, skill, and experience to handle claims against even the largest trucking companies.
During our initial meeting, we will discuss your accident, injuries, and other information about the crash. We will analyze your situation, and provide a free review of your case. From there, we can help you weigh your legal options for compensation and take the next steps.
Most commercial truck accident claims settle out of court. This means we submit all the evidence in your case to the trucking company’s insurance provider, and it offers a settlement. We negotiate this settlement to ensure it provides all of the financial support you may need for ongoing care costs or lost income and to cover your losses to this point.
If the insurer refuses to offer you a fair settlement, we can take it to court.
How can you gain access to the evidence we need?
Trucking accidents also present a unique challenge when it comes to collecting evidence to prove your claim. Much of the evidence that supports your case is in the hands of the trucking company.
This is especially true when the negligence occurred due to violation of FMCSA regulations. The trucking company possesses the trucker’s hours of service logs, all data collected electronically from the truck, maintenance records, the driver’s employee file, drug testing results from after the crash, and the truck itself.
While this would be problematic in the average situation (most defendants will not willingly give up evidence that will hurt their case), FMCSA laws allow trucking companies to destroy documents after a certain period of time.
As soon as we accept your case, we send the trucking company a spoliation letter. This letter announces our intention to take action against the company, and demands it retain and protect all possible evidence. If it destroys — or fails to preserve — any evidence after receiving this letter, the company could face sanctions from the court.
We will request copies of this potential evidence as a part of our investigation into your accident. We may also use accident reconstruction, testimony from expert witnesses, and other resources to prove your claim and demonstrate your losses.
Why is a lawyer so important in winning an Anchorage commercial truck accident claim?
Taking on a car accident claim while recovering from crash injuries is hard enough when the liable party is another individual. Trucking companies often have large legal teams on their side. You do not want to face a corporation and its legal team on your own.
If you do not know what you might be facing when filing a truck accident claim, you might lose out on thousands of dollars or get nothing at all. For this reason, it is paramount you contact an Anchorage commercial truck accident attorney as soon as possible after suffering crash injuries.
Call Kelley & Canterbury L.L.C. for a Free Consultation
The truck accident lawyers at Kelley & Canterbury L.L.C. represent injured truck accident victims and families who have lost loved ones in these crashes. We serve Anchorage and elsewhere in the south central region. To learn more about our services or to get started, call us today at 907-276-8185.