Filing a Truck Accident Claim in DC

Injured in a truck accident and interested in filing a claim? If so, the following is what you should know including how long you have to file a claim, and whether you can file if you live outside of Washington, DC. To learn more about truck accidents and discuss your case call and schedule a consultation with a DC truck accident lawyer today.

Can You File a Truck Accident Claim in DC If You’re From Out-of-State?

Yes, you definitely can file a claim in DC if you’re from out-of-state. If the accident happens in DC, or if the defendant resides or works in DC, or, in the case of the company, if the company has its principal place of business or does business in DC, you can and should and most likely will have to file a claim in DC. So, it doesn’t matter that you are out-of-state, it’s where the accident occurred and where the defendant or the at fault party is located.

What Do You Need to Prove in Truck Accident Claims?

The responsibility of the companies are to put safe drivers on the roadway. If the driver is negligent in the operation of the vehicle, then you have to prove that there was a duty by the truck driver that was breached such that they violated traffic laws. You have to have damages, so that the negligence resulted in someone being injured, and then there has to be causation which means that the negligence has to have caused the damages. Basically those are the basic requirements of any negligence action:

  • Duty
  • Breach
  • Damages
  • Causation

Then the issue is whether the company has independent responsibility for failing to properly hire and/or supervise their drivers, and/or failure to properly inspect and maintain the equipment.

The driver can be responsible for improperly operating the vehicle, the company can be responsible for failing to properly hire and supervise the driver and/or properly inspect to maintain the equipment. As a result of the driver, if he is within the scope of his employment, meaning that he’s on a route for the trucking company at the time of the accident, then the company can be held liable for the truck operator’s negligence as well.

So, that’s how we look at it both from the driver’s standpoint, from the company standpoint directly, and then the driver’s negligence for which the company can be found responsible as well.

What Are Some Unique Aspects of Filing a Truck Accident Claim in DC?

Since many trucks are subject to the Federal Motor Carrier Act, there are specific requirements and an investigation is usually undertaken when a tractor trailer or commercial vehicle is involved in an accident. The first place that the investigation starts can be trying to obtain the filings with the Federal Motor Carrier Act and seeking information from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, which maintains information and investigates the accident when it occurs. Sometimes OSHA is involved, or other federal agencies that investigate more serious trucking accidents. So, in that regard, there’s information to be obtained from different sources because a truck is involved in an accident.

Is There a Statute of Limitations For Truck Accidents in DC?

Generally speaking it will be a three years statute of limitations from the date of the accident.

It’s extremely important to hire an experienced attorney who knows how to navigate the special laws and statutes and rules and regulations and requirements regarding the operation of commercial vehicles, because it is different than just a motor vehicle accident. When trucks are involved, there are a lot of regulations, there are a lot of requirements, so there are a lot of rules to navigate.

Particularly in truck accidents, it’s very important to get the attorney involved as soon as possible so that the injured party can concentrate on their injuries and medical treatment, and the attorney with the expertise of handling trucking cases can immediately get involved and make sure that proper investigation is done.