Peter Thompson
Peter Thompson

Truck Accidents

Despite increased regulation of the trucking injury, the sad reality is that many truckers still drive more hours than are permitted by law. Tired truckers cause thousands of accidents every year. Peter Thompson & Associates has investigated hundreds of truck accidents for our clients, using state-of-the-art technology to determine who was at fault. We are the only personal injury firm in the state who employs an in-house private investigator who specializes in investigating accidents.

Our investigations of truck accidents include analysis of the electronic log records of the trucker to determine how long the driver had been operating his/her vehicle at the time of the accident and whether appropriate rest breaks were taken. We also obtain statements from witnesses, including the investigating officer. Also critical to determining fault is obtaining physical evidence at the accident scene (e.g., skid marks, road scrapes, debris), sight distances, and evidence of other environmental conditions. We also examine evidence of the damage to the vehicles to determine the speed of the vehicles immediately prior to the collision.

Because determining fault in truck accidents is often very difficult, it is critical that an investigation occur as soon as possible after the accident. In almost all cases involving serious injuries, the insurance company for the trucker will send out an investigator to look for evidence that you were at fault. That is why our firm prefers to have the opportunity to start working on these types of cases as early as possible, so that physical evidence which may be very important to the case is preserved. However, even when we are hired long after a truck accident occurs, we are almost always able to piece together the evidence necessary to determine who was at fault through photographs of the scene and damage to the vehicles.

Truck accidents often cause serious and catastrophic injuries. Attorney Thompson has successfully represented hundreds of accident victims who were seriously injured by tired or distracted truckers. A recent example of a successful case we handled involved a near-fatal collision when a trucker failed to realize that traffic had slowed. In that case we were able to establish through the trucker’s cell phone records that he was on the phone at the time of the accident. This evidence was critical to counter his claim that he was paying complete attention to the road ahead and that the accident was unavoidable. Our firm used studies that show that speaking on a cell phone has as much impact on reaction time as driving while intoxicated. Attorney Thompson was able to use this evidence to settle the case favorably.

In another recent case, we successfully represented the driver of a vehicle who was seriously injured when a wheel came off an 18-wheeler. The trucker’s insurance company claimed that the accident was unavoidable because everything that could possibly be done to maintain the truck had been done. By obtaining copies of the maintenance records from the trucking company, Attorney Thompson was able to establish that the wheels had not, in fact, been properly maintained and that complaints about improper maintenance had been ignored.

Frequently the most difficult issue that we face in injury cases is how the injuries will affect our clients in the future—at work, at home, etc. Treating physicians are generally willing to provide some information about our client’s future restrictions and the future impact of his/her injuries. However, because treating doctors often do not have the time or inclination to provide a thorough analysis of the future impact of injuries on work activities and other activities of daily living, we use the best experts in the field to provide more comprehensive analysis of these issues in order to prove our cases. We find that, by providing this type of detailed and comprehensive analysis to insurance companies, we are able to settle cases favorably without having to go to court over 98 percent of the time. Insurance companies know Attorney Thompson’s reputation in court and, in the vast majority of cases, choose to settle rather than risking an unfavorable result at trial and having to pay the high the costs associated with trial.

Example of a Truck Accident Case We HandledAdditional Truck Accident Topics