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Proving Negligence in a Truck Accident Case: What to Know

By Jason Bottlinger on April 30, 2024

Proving negligence is a vital factor in personal injury claims, including truck accident cases involving serious or fatal injuries. Understanding how negligence is proven and its impact on personal injury law is a central issue when seeking full compensation for damages.

The Law of Negligence in Truck Accident Cases

Negligence, in legal terms, refers to the failure to exercise reasonable care that results in harm to others. Regarding truck accidents, negligence can involve various parties, including truck drivers, trucking companies, and even manufacturers. Common examples of negligence in truck accidents include distracted driving, fatigue, improper maintenance, and violations of traffic laws.

Elements of Proving Negligence

To establish negligence, several elements must typically be proven:

  • Duty of Care: Truck drivers and trucking companies owe a duty of care to others on the road. This duty includes adhering to industry regulations and standards set forth by agencies like the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Violations of these regulations can constitute a breach of duty.
  • Breach of Duty: A breach of duty occurs when a party fails to meet the required standard of care. For example, a truck driver exceeding the legally allowed hours of service or a company neglecting to properly maintain its fleet could be a breach of duty.
  • Causation: Establishing negligence requires proving that the breach of duty directly caused the injuries or damages sustained. To do so requires linking the negligent actions to the plaintiff’s harm. Evidence such as medical records, expert testimony, and accident reconstruction reports may be used to establish causation.
  • Damages: In truck accident cases, various types of damages may be claimed, including medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and property damage. Documenting the damages with evidence is essential to effectively supporting the negligence claim.

Gathering Evidence to Support a Negligence Claim

To support a truck accident injury claim, various types of evidence can be collected and utilized to establish the elements of negligence and demonstrate the extent of the damage suffered. Evidence commonly used in truck accident injury claims includes:

  • Accident Scene Investigation: Conducting a thorough investigation of the accident scene is crucial for gathering evidence. It may involve collecting photographs, measurements, and other physical evidence that can help reconstruct the events leading up to the accident.
  • Witness Testimony: Eyewitnesses can provide valuable testimony regarding the circumstances of the accident. Their accounts can help corroborate the plaintiff’s version of events and establish liability.
  • Expert Analysis: Expert witnesses, such as accident reconstruction specialists, engineers, or medical professionals, can provide expert opinions to help clarify complex issues related to liability, causation, and damages.
  • Electronic Data: Many commercial trucks are equipped with electronic logging devices (ELDs) and onboard recorders (OBRs) that capture valuable data, such as vehicle speed, braking patterns, and driver activity. This electronic data can provide critical insights into the cause of the accident and help prove negligence.
  • Truck Maintenance Records: Maintenance and inspection records for the truck involved in the accident can reveal whether the vehicle was properly maintained and in safe operating condition. Disregarding maintenance can be indicative of negligence on the part of the trucking company or driver.

The Role of an Experienced Truck Accident Lawyer in Omaha

The role of legal representation in truck accident cases cannot be overstated. An experienced attorney specializing in personal injury law can tackle the legal process head-on, gather evidence, and advocate on behalf of the plaintiff. By enlisting the services of a skilled lawyer, individuals injured in truck accidents can increase their chances of securing fair compensation for their damages.

Don’t hesitate to seek legal representation if you’ve been injured due to negligence — an Omaha truck accident lawyer at Bottlinger Law L.L.C. is ready to speak with you. Contact our firm today at (402) 505-8234 to schedule a consultation. Attorney Jason Bottlinger will discuss your case, explain your rights, and explore your options for pursuing a negligence claim.

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Posted in: Truck Accidents

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