In order to operate safely and legally, commercial truck operators and trucking companies often carry extensive insurance policies backed by companies who handle an immense number of claims every year. With so much liability on the line, these companies know that the best way to protect their bottom line is to respond quickly in the event of a truck accident, get to the scene, and conduct an investigation in order to gather evidence and build their defense case. This is because commercial trucks often carry at least a portion of liability in the event of an accident, and that portion can equate to thousands of dollars in compensation, and the more money a company has to pay out, the less they get to keep in their coffers as profit.
So when you’re involved in a truck accident, you need to be able to respond quickly as well and start building a case of your own, especially if you’ve been injured as a result of these accidents. Knowing what insurance companies will do after an accident can help you strategize for what actions you should take in the immediate aftermath of an accident, which could make the difference between an optimal case outcome and struggling to get the compensation you’re entitled to.
In the Immediate Aftermath
When you’re injured in a truck accident, trucking insurance companies will often send a team of investigators to the accident scene, sometimes within as little as a few hours of the accident actually occurring. These investigators will work quickly to collect evidence, document the accident scene, and start building their defense case. This is to be expected, and they’re well within their right to do so.
However, that doesn’t mean their conduct is always entirely ethical. Unfortunately we hear far too often about onboard recorder logs being “corrupted” or certain damaged pieces simply going “missing.” Sometimes these things happen, but in many cases this evidence could be what proves the negligence on behalf of the trucking company or their driver, and thus places the financial liability on the insurance company. This becomes even more likely once the insurance company has the wreckage from the accident transported to their facility where it can be investigated in even greater detail.
Protecting Your Case
So what can you do? If you’ve suffered a serious injury, you can’t always stay at the accident scene to investigate it yourself—you need to see a doctor and receive medical treatment right away. Even further, how would you even know what to look for? The first thing you should do is reach out to a qualified and experienced Waterbury truck accident attorney as soon as possible and have them start representing you. An attorney can make decisions on your behalf, and work to hold the trucking company and their insurance accountable for what they’re liable for.
In many cases, the first thing a lawyer will do is file a restraining order against the company and their insurance to prevent them from destroying any evidence. It’s not uncommon for companies to finish their investigation and then start destroying the wreckage to get rid of it permanently. Not only does this prevent you from being able to have your attorney investigate the accident (along with any experts they wish to have help them with this task) but it could get rid of evidence that could be a difference maker in your case. It’s not uncommon for this evidence to be the first thing that they destroy.
A restraining order stops any destruction of evidence, and makes anybody who alters the evidence further criminally liable for doing so. This gives your legal team a chance to conduct their own investigation of the accident and build your case as the prosecution. Having sufficient opportunity to build your case will go a long way towards getting the outcome you deserve in your case.
For assistance after you’ve been injured in a commercial trucking accident, contact Fitzpatrick Mariano Santos Sousa, P.C. today!