Following any type of auto accident, there is a great deal of work to be
done in order to determine who was at fault and who can be held liable
for damages suffered by victims. In auto accident cases, investigations
may sometimes be straightforward, and a matter of highlighting how a driver
failed to uphold their legal obligation to drive safely. In others, including
those involving commercial trucks and tractor-trailers, the process of
investigating wrecks, determining fault and liability, and battling large
corporations that do all they can to dispute claims can be a challenging endeavor.
With more than 30 years of experience in personal injury law, Wes Pittman
has advocated for many victims and families who suffered harm as the result
of preventable truck accidents. Because these cases often involve more
serious injuries, and because they can be complex, it becomes critically
important to work with an attorney like Mr. Pittman, as an effective case
demands experience, resources, and the ability to ensure insurance and
trucking companies fairly compensate victims.
At The Pittman Firm, P.A., we make ourselves available 24/7 to help victims
in need. Not only does this ensure that they can obtain the support, counsel,
and medical treatment they need during their legal journeys, but also
that investigations can be immediately conducted. Wes Pittman understands
the importance of a thorough and timely investigation following truck
accidents, and leverages his insight and firm resources to make sure they
are performed diligently.
Truck accident investigations will vary from case to case, depending on
the facts at issue. Generally, however, these investigations will focus
on several important issues:
Trucking Regulations – Because commercial trucks pose substantial risks to public safety,
the trucking industry is heavily regulated. Unfortunately, trucking companies
who want to maximize their profits may take short cuts or not always abide
by these rules. This is why an investigation needs to involve exploration
into whether any safety violations occurred. These can include violations
of Hours-of-Safety rules designed to ensure tired drivers stay off the
road, vehicle maintenance regulations, cargo securement regulations, and
more. Having handled many truck wreck cases throughout the years, Wes
Pittman knows the many Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)
regulations in place, as well as common violations that lead to wrecks.
By highlighting violations and establishing that they more likely than
not caused an accident, victims have a strong opportunity for securing
full and fair recoveries.
Trucking Companies – Trucking companies are ultimately responsible for their vehicles,
drivers, and the safety of the public with whom they share the roads.
It becomes important to investigate the trucking company involved in the
wreck to determine if they were properly licensed and in compliance with
the law. Evidence of previous wrecks involving the same issue as the new
accident, multiple accidents, or a history of citations for violations
can help provide direction in an investigation, and shed light on whether
trucking company negligence was habitual and likely an underlying cause
for a crash.
Truck Drivers – Truck drivers also have a responsibility to abide by the law, safety
regulations, and stiff standards that other drivers would normally not.
Aside from investigating whether driver error played a role, it is also
important to look at the drivers themselves, their employment history
and driving record, physical exams and drug and alcohol screening, training,
and licensing. Records of poor driving history or other questionable issues
call into question whether a driver was truly fit to operate a commercial
vehicle, and whether they were negligently hired or retained by a trucking
company. This type of information can be obtained through DQF file, which
an attorney can compel a trucking company into providing for the investigation,
among other avenues.
What Happened at the Scene – Piecing together what transpired at the scene of an accident is a crucial
part of the investigation that requires a comprehensive review of many
different matters. This includes reviewing driver and witness statements,
police reports, video footage if available, electronic on-board recorders,
property damage to vehicles, and more. In cases where fault and liability
are being disputed, an attorney can also work with experts, including
accident reconstruction experts, to gain a better understanding of what
happened during the crash and how it may have been caused. Further, attorneys
can work to interview involved parties or conduct depositions.
It is important to remember that trucking companies and their commercial
insurance providers are typically large companies with substantial assets
at their disposal. They use these assets to dispute claims from victims
and to pay them as little as possible so as to protect their bottom line.
Following a crash, trucking and insurance companies work immediately to
conduct their own investigations, which is why it should be a top priority
for victims to reach out to an attorney as soon as they can in order to
conduct their own.
Having secured millions of dollars in compensation for clients, including
truck accident victims, Wes Pittman knows how to level the playing field
between the average victim and powerful corporations that place profits
over people. In addition, he devotes the necessary time and effort to
conduct investigations and build a clear and convincing case that can
help victim secure the compensation they rightfully deserve.
We encourage you to contact us to discuss a recent truck accident as soon
as possible. The Pittman Firm, P.A. serves clients throughout Florida,
offers FREE consultation, and is available 24/7.