Q: Late last year my niece was rear-ended by a Mack truck. The truck driver claimed that his brakes failed and he couldn’t stop. At first, we didn’t think that my niece was hurt too badly. However, they later discovered that she had bleeding into her brain, and she has been left with a partial paralysis on her left side. What do you recommend?
A: The insurance company for the truck will undoubtedly attempt to avoid responsibility for what happened to your niece by claiming that the accident was “unavoidable.” The “brake failure” claim is suspicious, and for this reason it is critical that your niece’s attorney make immediate arrangements to have an expert inspect and evaluate the trucks brakes.
She should not rely on the police investigation, and certainly not on the insurance company’s or the trucking company’s conclusions. The police investigation may not be as thorough as is necessary, and the insurance company’s conclusions will likely be biased and self-serving. Even if the truck’s brakes did fail, there is a significant issue as to the sufficiency of the trucking company’s maintenance program.
Your niece’s attorney will need to obtain all records related to this. If the company had a slipshod brake maintenance program, they should not be permitted to escape responsibility by attempting to claim that the accident could not have been avoided. Your niece obviously suffered life-altering injuries as a result of this accident, and no stone should be left unturned to make sure that she receives the compensation she is due. The truck accident attorneys at Cellino & Barnes are available 24/7 to answer your questions.