Not all car accidents are the same. The way the insurance companies settle the case, and how the courts view it, often depends on what type of vehicles are involved and the status of the drivers. Any time you are in a crash with a commercial vehicle, there are special considerations involved with how things are handled. While you may let your insurance company handle everything for you, if you want to be sure that everything is being done for you that is possible, you should talk with a lawyer experienced in motor vehicle accidents. You want to make sure that all the details of the vehicle, driver and accident come to light; your lawyer will ensure that all pertinent details are part of the accident record.
Commercial drivers are required to have a commercial driver's license. They must have undergone the proper training and passed the right tests. If the driver of the vehicle has a regular license, this could pose a big problem to the case. The insurance policy for the vehicle's owner may not provide coverage to anyone not properly licensed. If this is the case, you will need to sue the driver directly for all damages.
Even if the driver has the proper credentials, other issues will be important to the case. Commercial drivers are limited to how long and far they can drive in a 24-hour period. If it is shown that they had been driving longer than that when the accident occurred the insurance may again deny the claim.
Commercial vehicles must be properly maintained and have very specific limits on how much they can haul at a time. Your lawyer will gather all the weight tickets, dispatch logs and bills of lading for the truck on the day of the accident.
Your lawyer will ask for copies of the GPS route the truck took to the accident. He or she will also look over any onboard system reports, such as the brake module. Any records of communications between the driver and the company will also be looked over. The more information that is available from the truck, the better the accident can be recreated.
Keep in mind that a business is going to have a team of lawyers to protect itself against any losses from an accident. Their insurance company is also there to protect themselves first and the driver second. You need to have your own attorney like Shaevitz Shaevitz & Kotzamanis if you want the case to be handled in a way that will be fair and serve your best interests.