Truck Accident Lawyer
Poor road maintenance contributes to accidents in two ways. First, striking a pothole or a deep crack in the road can cause vehicle damage that causes a truck driver to lose control. Shredded tires, broken axles, and misaligned steering systems can cause a truck to leave the road and strike a guardrail or to overturn in a ditch.
Second, a driver who loses control because of road damage may inadvertently steer into another lane of traffic. Even if the truck driver is not injured, occupants of cars that collide with the truck might suffer from serious injuries.
Whether you are an occupant of the truck or a victim of a collision with a truck, a traffic accident caused by road damage poses unique problems. At least part, and perhaps all, of the fault may rest with the government that failed to correct the problem. State law may allow injury victims to hold the government accountable, but there are often barriers to recovering compensation.
A truck accident injury lawyer can advise injury victims about the steps they should take to protect their rights. Here are few things to keep in mind if a pothole or other road damage contributed to your injury.
Obtain Medical Treatment After a Truck Accident Caused by a Pothole or Road Defect
Serious accident injuries require serious medical attention. If a paramedic advises an ambulance ride to an emergency room, don’t worry about the cost. Your health should be your first priority.
If you don’t need emergency treatment, you still need prompt treatment. Most accident injuries get worse before they get better. A prompt diagnosis and treatment plan can speed recovery. Ignoring a nagging injury might turn it into a permanent injury.
After seeing a doctor, it is important to follow the doctor’s advice. Busy people too often blow off follow-up appointments. When that happens, injuries get worse.
When medical records reflect gaps in treatment, insurance adjusters assume that the injury must have healed. When treatment resumes, adjusters argue that the treatment must be for a new injury. Following a doctor’s advice protects a victim’s opportunity to receive full compensation for accident injuries.
Preserve Evidence of the Pothole or Road Defect that Caused a Truck Accident
Holding the government responsible for accidents that are caused by damaged roads begins by proving that the road was damaged. Taking a picture of a pothole before it is fixed can be vital proof.
Other important pictures will show the truck and other involved vehicles at the accident scene. Of course, it is important to report the accident to the police, who may or may not take their own pictures. Even if an officer takes some photos, it never hurts to have extra pictures that tell the story of how the accident happened.
Injury victims may not be able to take their own pictures, particularly when they are hospitalized because of their injuries. When that happens, they should have a loved one contact a truck accident attorney as soon as possible. Retaining the attorney and describing the accident location makes it possible for the attorney to arrange for the road damage to be documented.
Get Legal Advice Concerning a Truck Accident Caused by a Pothole or Road Defect
In addition to gathering evidence, a truck accident lawyer can provide important information about the accident victim’s rights. Victims need to know that the deadline for settling or bringing suit will not pass.
When a claim is made against the government for a negligent failure to maintain roads, an even shorter deadline may apply. Most states have a “notice of claim” procedure that may require a notice to be filed within a few weeks or months. A truck accident lawyer can file that notice within the time frame established by state law.