Navigating the Legal System After a Commercial Truck Accident

After a commercial truck accident, truck is damaged on the road.

Unfortunately, commercial truck accidents resulting in severe and debilitating injuries and lengthy recovery periods are prevalent on our roadways.  Collisions involving large commercial trucks, which often lead to catastrophic injuries, continue to pose a significant problem nationwide.  Understanding your legal rights is crucial if you have been involved in a commercial truck accident.

This article aims to guide those involved in a commercial truck accident through the legal process, from the immediate aftermath of an accident to the resolution of your case.

Table of Contents  

  1. Steps That You Should Take After a Commercial Truck Accident

  1. Gathering Evidence for Filing A Claim

  1. Contacting the Authorities after an Accident

  1. Seeking Medical Attention

  1. Choosing the Right Lawyer

  1. Understanding Liability and Negligence

  1. Negotiating A Settlement

  1. Going To Trial

Steps That You Should Take After a Commercial Truck Accident  

After a commercial truck accident, it’s crucial to take certain steps to protect your rights.  If you are transported by ambulance to a local emergency department or trauma center, call a family member or friend to:

  • Request the identity of the truck driver, the company that he works for and the name of the insurer that affords coverage of the collision

  • Get the name, address and phone number of any witnesses

  • Take pictures of the accident scene and damage to the vehicles

  • Notify your insurance company

  • Schedule an appointment to meet with an experienced commercial truck accident attorney

Gathering Evidence for Filing A Claim  

Filing a claim after a commercial truck accident is a complicated process. It’s essential to seek the advice of an experienced commercial truck accident attorney who can gather evidence on your behalf.  The attorney should take the following steps:

  • Obtain local police and state police accident reconstruction reports

  • Obtain photographs from the Deputy Sheriff’s office

  • Engage an investigator to identify witnesses and obtain statements from witnesses

  • Request medical records and bills

  • Put your insurance company on notice that the collision occurred, that you were injured and request a Personal Protection Benefits (PIP) package necessary to get your medical bills paid

  • File a claim with the trucking company’s insurer

  • Consult with liability and medical expert witnesses

  • Commence a lawsuit against the truck driver

  • Complete discovery, file requests for admissions and conduct depositions

  • Attend Pre-Trial Conference, Trial Status Conference and prepare for trial

  • Negotiate a settlement or appear for trial

Contacting the Authorities after an Accident  

If involved in a commercial truck accident, you should call the local police if you are able to do so.   A well-trained law enforcement officer is an invaluable source of assistance in the confusion following an accident and can provide you with pertinent information.

An officer possesses the ability to:

  • Can render or summon emergency medical aid

  • Safeguard the accident scene

  • Investigate and document the potential cause of the incident and identify the at fault operator

Seeking Medical Attention  

Even if you prefer not to or don’t require an ambulance to transport you to the local emergency department, it is important that consult your primary care physician because you may have sustained injuries that have yet to manifest noticeable symptoms. Certain signs and symptoms of head trauma, for example post-concussion syndrome, may emerge hours or even days after a commercial truck accident.

Choosing the Right Lawyer  

The right lawyer for your commercial truck accident case will ensure a successful outcome. Key factors to consider when selecting an attorney include the following: experience in handling similar cases, a track record of results and communication skills that allow you to understand how your case is being handled. It is important to choose an attorney who you feel comfortable working with for the duration of your case which can take years to prosecute.

Understanding Liability and Negligence  

Multiple parties, including the driver and/or owner of the “big-rig” as well as other operators on the roadway may be responsible for causing a commercial truck accident. Depending on the circumstances of your case, you can bring a claim against any negligent party and more than one party may be at fault for causing the motor vehicle collision and your resulting injuries.

Determining liability in commercial truck accidents may be complex, if multiple parties are involved in the crash.  The opinion of an accident reconstructionist may be warranted determine liability.  In addition to identifying the driver or owner/operator, it may be helpful to identify any leasing agent doing business with the trucking company. An experienced attorney can help identify all potential responsible parties or defendants, and with the assistance of liability and medical experts, so be able to successfully prosecuted your case at trial.

Negotiating a Settlement  

In many instances, commercial truck accident injury cases are settled out of court before appearing for jury empanelment.  The amount of your settlement will be determined by a number of factors, including the nature and extent of your injuries, the amount of insurance coverage available,  whether you have obtained expert opinion which sets forth the extent of your permanency of injury and how long you will live with any such disability according to the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services Life Expectancy tables.  Your lawyer should understand how to posture your case and should discuss this process throughout the course of your case.

Going To Trial   

If a settlement cannot be reached, your case may go to trial. This can be an endeavor that affords closure where you get to tell your story to the jury and explain just how the commercial truck collision, intentionally not referred to as “accident,” has affected you personally and impacted your family.  An competent commercial truck accident injury lawyer understands jury selection and the manner in which to present your case to the ultimate fact finder, the jury of your peers to hold at fault parties accountable for their negligence.


If you or a member of your family has been involved in a commercial truck accident, it’s essential to seek legal advice as soon as possible. The Snow Law Firm located in Mashpee, on Cape Cod, specializes in representing individuals injured in commercial truck accidents get substantial justice.   

Attorney Steven Snow understands the complexities of these cases and will navigate the legal process with confidence. He offers a free consultation to discuss your case and answer any questions you may have. Contact The Snow Law Firm today to schedule an appointment and take the first step to successfully resolve your case.


What should I do immediately after a commercial truck accident?

If the injuries that you sustained in the wreck prevent you from doing so, have Attorney Snow secure a copy of the police and accident reconstruction report, obtain the identity, address and phone number of any witnesses, photograph the accident scene and damage to the vehicles and put the commercial truck insurance company and your insurer on notice of your intent to pursue a claim. You should seek the medical attention necessary to ensure that you reach the best possible medical end result.

Who can be held liable for a commercial truck accident?

Depending on who caused the commercial truck accident, all relevant parties including the truck driver, their employer and the owner of the truck, and any other potential defendant may be held accountable for your harms and losses.

How long does the legal process take in a commercial truck accident case?

Resolution of your commercial truck accident injury case depends on several factors, including the nature and extent of your injuries, when you reach a medical end-result and whether your case is resolved by settlement, mediation, arbitration or jury trial. Your lawyer receives a “Tracking Order” from the Court which sets forth the dates upon which discovery and depositions must be completed by, the date when expert disclosures must be shared with opposing counsel as well as when the Pre-Trial Conference, Trial Status Conference and Jury Trial will be held.  An experienced lawyer will have little difficulty explaining this process to you.

How much compensation can I receive for a commercial truck accident?

The amount of compensation you can receive for a commercial truck accident depends on several factors, including the severity of your injuries and the insurance coverage available to either the at fault party or under your own policy, called uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage.  In general, the categories that determine the amount of your settlement or verdict are as follows:

medical expenses, future medical expenses,  lost wages, loss of earnings capacity, physical pain and mental suffering, permanency of injuries, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of Spousal Consortium and wrongful death.


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