When you have been hurt because of the reckless or careless actions of a commercial truck driver, you deserve to be fully and fairly compensated for your injuries. Unfortunately, you cannot always rely on insurance companies to do this for you—their incentive is to pay out as little as possible. When the insurance companies do not step up to the plate, the only option left to try to get what you are owed is to file a lawsuit.
The legal system can be overwhelming and intimidating, but an experienced truck accident attorney may be able to assist you with starting a truck accident lawsuit through the following process.
The first step at the beginning of any lawsuit after a wreck with a commercial vehicle is to adequately investigate the crash. Most accidents happen so quickly that it is impossible for any one individual to understand exactly what occurred to cause the crash. A police report can be helpful but does not always provide enough detail to support a civil lawsuit. An attorney could find and interview all the eyewitnesses and drivers involved, access and review any traffic camera or CCTV footage that captured the event, and work with expert accident reconstructionists to determine what led to the wreck.
Accidents involving tractor-trailers and other commercial vehicles also require an attorney to determine who is ultimately responsible for the crash. Depending on the situation, this could be the truck driver, the trucking company, the company that loaded the cargo on the truck, or the company that designed or manufactured the vehicle itself.
Once the attorney has gathered all the necessary evidence regarding the truck wreck, they will file a complaint to officially begin the lawsuit. A complaint is a legal document filed with the court that makes the first statement of the injured person’s case and notifies the people who caused the accident that they have been sued.
A complaint has many technical requirements, but generally, it will include the names and identifying information of all parties to the lawsuit, the facts that led to the injured person being hurt, the legal theories the injured person is asserting, and the relief, or compensation, the injured person would like the court to order the person who caused the accident to pay.
According to 42 Pennsylvania Statute § 5524, the injured person and their attorney must file the complaint within two years from the date the accident occurred. If the complaint is filed late, the court will dismiss it immediately, and the injured person’s ability to recover will be severely limited. Although two years may seem like a long time, an injured person should try to give their attorney as much time as possible to investigate the crash thoroughly and prepare a strong complaint. The longer an injured person waits, the colder the evidence becomes as cars are repaired, footage is deleted, and memories fade.
When you have been injured in a serious wreck, you do not have to navigate the road to compensation on your own. An experienced attorney could help you with investigating the crash, drafting the necessary legal documents, and starting a truck accident lawsuit to protect your legal rights.
Schedule an initial consultation today to learn more about what this process will look like in your situation.