Why Timing Is Important In A Truck Accident Case
If you are injured in a car accident, the law in Florida allows you up to four years to file a claim for personal injury to recover for your medical bills and other related losses. While it is always advisable to discuss your rights with an attorney well before the four year time limit, timing is even more critical if you have been injured in an accident involving a commercial truck.
Trucking Reporting Requirements and Post-Accident Testing
Whether or not you report a truck accident to the authorities or to an insurance company, truck drivers are often required to report accidents in a certain period of time following the event. Both companies and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) have these reporting requirements for various reasons, one of which is for necessary post-accident drug and alcohol testing of the truck driver. According to FMCSA regulations, such drug and alcohol testing must be performed “as soon as practicable” if any of the following are true of the accident:
- The accident resulted in a fatality;
- The driver was cited for violating a moving traffic law within a certain period of time following the accident (8 hours for alcohol testing and 32 hours for drug testing) and the accident either caused bodily injury or damage that disabled another vehicle.
Because of these reporting requirements, the ball often starts rolling quickly following a truck accident and you should communicate with law enforcement when they get involved regarding your side of the story.
Avoid Evidence Destruction Or Alterations
Following a truck accident, the trucking company and/or its insurance company will almost certainly begin investigating the cause of the accident and determining what evidence exists as soon as possible. These companies have many resources and can often be ready to start an investigation at a moment’s notice. Unfortunately, many injured victims do not have similar resources until they seek help from an experienced truck accident law firm.
Because trucking companies and drivers often get a head start in identifying evidence of a truck accident, there is always a risk that some of the evidence will be destroyed, hidden, or altered to avoid liability. While many trucking companies are honest and will comply with the law when it comes to sharing evidence, there are some companies who will try to cover up the cause of an accident. The sooner your attorney starts investigating, the greater chance that evidence will not be tampered with.
Call a Boca Raton Truck Accident Attorney For a Free Consultation Today
Commercial truck accidents can cause devastating and life-changing injuries. Trucking companies will also work to avoid liability whenever possible, so you never want to delay in taking the necessary steps to pursue a legal claim. At the law office of Lavalle, Brown & Ronan in Boca Raton, our truck accident lawyers know how important it is to take swift action in this type of case. If you would like us to evaluate your situation for free, call us today at 888-646-1315.