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MOTOR VEHICLE ACCIDENTS (TRUCKS, CARS, MOTORCYCLES)

Automobile accidents make up the majority of personal injury and wrongful death claims.  To file a personal injury case someone must be at fault for the accident.  Fault is proven through the testimony of the injured person, the investigating police officer and witnesses.  Thus always report the accident to the police, and get names and phone numbers of witnesses.  A personal injury case also requires an injury sufficient to require medical care.  Delays in getting medical care can be used by an insurance company to suggest that there was no injury.  Finally, a personal injury case requires there to be a source of payment.  That might be the insurance company of the driver or owner.  It might be the employer of the driver.  Or it might be your insurance, or even the insurance of an adult relative with whom you reside, if the driver and owner are uninsured.

Trucks cause many of the worst accidents due to their size and weight.  They are hard to stop and the laws of physics cause them to hit you with great force.  Further, the drivers are usually under pressure from their employers to get places quickly.  Frequently the drivers are paid in a manner (payment per mile traveled) that encourages them to speed and ignore federal rules covering the maximum number of hours that they can drive or be on the job. 

The question of who is at fault in an accident involving a truck is the same as in an accident only involving autos.  However, a number of laws are in place that can help in a claim against a truck driver or trucking company.  First there are laws specifying who is financially responsible for an accident where the truck driver is at fault.  Thus not only the driver and his employer, but also companies which leased the tractor or trailer or who share in the profits being made may be liable as well.  Further there are laws that require that an interstate truck driverís logbook be kept for six months.  This allows preservation of evidence of where a driver has been, when, and how long he has been on the road. 

Motorcycle accidents are, of course, usually the most severe of accidents.  Due to the size of a motorcycle, other motorists frequently fail to see them when pulling out from stop signs, making a left turn, or changing lanes.  The handling of these claims is often complicated by the insurance companiesí view that all motorcyclist are speeding.  Fortunately, what is relevant is the recollection of the parties and any witnesses, not preconceived notions of an insurance company.

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