Going to Court After a Trucking Accident

February 28, 2024 | Ed Bernstein
Going to Court After a Trucking Accident

Suffering an injury in a trucking accident is one of the most terrible situations anyone can experience. If this has happened to you, and the at-fault party's insurance company refuses to offer a fair settlement, your case will likely go to trial. You'll need a skilled trucking accident attorney to defend your rights and present the most compelling case possible.

The following is a look at some of the complexities of trucking accident cases and the typical trial process.

Navigating the Complexities of Trucking Accidents

Going to Court After a Trucking Accident

There were hundreds of thousands of trucking accidents in the US. These accidents led to tens of thousands of severe injuries and thousands of tragic deaths. Injury victims and the surviving family members of those lost will usually take legal action through a personal injury lawsuit.

More than 95 percent of personal injury cases end with a settlement. Insurers usually prefer settlements due to the expense of going to trial. But in those rare instances where an insurance company refuses to settle, the victim's only recourse is to go to court.

Trucking accidents present a unique set of challenges due to commercial vehicles' massive size and weight. The aftermath of such accidents often involves severe injuries, extensive property damage, and intricate legal considerations.

Only a skilled, experienced trucking accident attorney can build a compelling case to help victims obtain maximum compensation.

Demonstrating Liability

The biggest reason trucking accident cases are complex is that several parties often play a role in causing them.

Unlike typical motor vehicle accidents, trucking accidents often involve multiple defendants – the truck driver, the trucking company, maintenance contractors, and manufacturers. Truck accident attorneys uncover the details to identify the negligent actions or failures that led to the accident. These failures may include violations of federal and state trucking regulations, driver fatigue, inadequate maintenance, or other factors contributing to the collision.

A truck accident attorney will handle these and other complexities through their deep understanding of all laws and regulations relevant to your case. Their role is multifaceted, encompassing legal experience, strategic planning, and effective communication. Here are a few ways a trucking accident lawyer will work to make your case as strong as possible.

Since truck accident attorneys know the complex web of federal and state trucking laws, they use this knowledge to identify areas where at-fault parties fall short of upholding their responsibilities to others on the road. This legal experience allows them to pinpoint the responsible party's failures and establish a strong foundation for the case.

Investigative Skills

Building a compelling case requires an in-depth investigation into the accident's details. Truck accident attorneys work with accident reconstruction specialists, investigators, and other professionals to determine why the accident happened and who was to blame.

As you'll learn later, investigations typically involve:

The goal is to gather irrefutable evidence that strengthens your case.

Trucking Industry Knowledge

Beyond legal intricacies, a truck accident attorney understands the trucking industry's dynamics. They are familiar with standard practices; potential shortcuts carriers take to maximize profits, and industry safety standards. This insight allows them to establish the negligence of those who fail to uphold those standards.

Communication Skills

Presenting a compelling case also requires effective communication. Truck accident attorneys translate legal complexities in a way that's easy to understand. They avoid unnecessary legal jargon, ensuring the facts are clear and accessible to the court. This skill is crucial in captivating the audience and garnering their understanding and support.

Negotiation and Advocacy

A significant part of a truck accident attorney's role involves negotiation. Before reaching the courtroom, attorneys speak with opposing parties, insurance companies, and other stakeholders. Their negotiation skills are pivotal in securing favorable settlements that reflect the actual value of your case.

If negotiations fail, the attorney seamlessly transitions into the role of a tenacious advocate in the courtroom. But you need to know that even if your case goes to trial, the two sides can still settle the dispute at any moment.

Gathering Critical Evidence

Solid evidence is the foundation of any case. Your trucking accident attorney will use this evidence to show you weren't to blame for the accident and that you deserve every dollar you're demanding. The following is a look at some of your lawyer's methods to collect that proof.

Accident Reconstruction

One of the crucial components of an investigation involves reconstructing the accident. Attorneys collaborate with accident reconstruction specialists who utilize advanced technology to recreate the sequence of events. This collaboration provides a visual representation of how the accident occurred and aids in illustrating the specific actions or negligence that led to the collision.

Black Box Data Analysis

Trucking companies outfit many commercial vehicles with event data recorders, commonly called "black boxes.: These devices record critical data such as speed, braking patterns, and engine performance. Attorneys work with professionals to analyze this data, extracting valuable insights into some of the reasons why an accident occurs.

Driver Logs and Records

Federal rules require most truck drivers to maintain detailed logs of their driving hours, rest breaks, and other pertinent information. Attorneys scrutinize these records to identify violations of hours-of-service regulations or potential inconsistencies. This meticulous examination establishes the driver's adherence – or lack of adherence – to safety protocols.

Vehicle Maintenance Records

Regular maintenance of commercial trucks is essential for preventing accidents. Attorneys can obtain the vehicle's maintenance records, looking for signs of neglect or inadequate upkeep. Any mechanical failures contributing to the accident can be traced back to the responsible parties, strengthening the case for negligence.

Witness Testimonies

Eyewitness accounts provide a human perspective on the accident. Attorneys interview witnesses to gather firsthand testimonies that can corroborate the details of the accident. Witness statements add a layer of credibility to the case, offering real-time perspectives that resonate with judges and jurors.

A truck accident attorney focuses on proving liability and quantifying your damages or financial losses. They meticulously calculate medical expenses, rehabilitation costs, lost income, and emotional distress, considering every potential avenue for compensation. By presenting a comprehensive assessment of the damages, your lawyer will work to make sure you receive every dollar you have coming.

Crafting Compelling Arguments

The best truck accident attorney designs convincing arguments before a trial. Attorneys bring in professionals, such as skilled accident reconstructionist, medical professionals, or industry specialists, to provide authoritative testimonies that support those arguments. These professionals lend credibility to the case, offering insights that may not be apparent to the average person but are crucial in establishing the facts.

What to Expect During the Trial

The trial process in a truck accident case is a pivotal stage where your trucking accident lawyer will use various strategic maneuvers to convince the court to award you fair compensation.

Navigating the complexities of courtroom procedures is challenging. It involves filing motions, overcoming objections, examining witnesses, and more. Here's a closer look at what your trucking accident lawyer will do.

Pre-Trial Motions

Before the trial begins, your trucking accident attorney may file pre-trial motions to address specific legal issues. This can include motions to admit or exclude certain evidence, requests to dismiss specific claims, or other legal challenges.

Motions During Trial

Your lawyer may file motions to address emerging issues as the trial unfolds. These motions can, for instance, involve challenging the admissibility of evidence presented by the opposing party or requesting the court to instruct the jury on specific legal principles. Each motion is a strategic move aimed at advancing your case.

Protecting Your Case By Objecting to Evidence

During the trial, your trucking accident lawyer will continually monitor the evidence the opposition presents. Your lawyer will object if they introduce irrelevant, prejudicial, or inadmissible evidence. Strategic, valid objections protect you from unfair tactics. They also ensure that the trial remains focused on the relevant legal issues.

Challenging Expert Witnesses

It's likely the opposition will also present expert witnesses. If they do, your trucking accident attorney may challenge their qualifications or the reliability of their opinions. Your lawyer must understand the rules governing professional testimony and take a strategic approach to discrediting or limiting the impact of opposing expert witnesses.

When dealing with expert witnesses, the attorney aims to expose any biases, methodological flaws, or limitations in their analysis. Effective cross-examination can significantly impact the weight the court gives to the opposition's professional testimony.


One of your trucking accident lawyer's essential roles will be to cross-examine witnesses the opposing party presents. Cross-examination is a systematic approach to undermine a witness's credibility by highlighting inconsistencies. Effective cross-examination can also help your attorney extract information favorable to your case.

Preparing You for the Courtroom Experience

What to Expect During the Trial

You may have to testify in your case, but your attorney will ensure you're well-prepared for the courtroom environment. For example, they'll guide you on proper courtroom etiquette and demeanor. You'll also learn about responding appropriately to witness testimony. Maintaining a composed and respectful presence will help ensure the court's positive perception of you.

A seasoned attorney always strives to be one step ahead of the opposition and ready for unexpected occurrences. They'll make sure you're ready as well. Your lawyer will conduct preparation sessions, including asking simulated questions the opposition will likely ask. They'll also address any concerns or anxieties you may have about testifying.

Responding to Challenges Strategically

Trials can be unpredictable, with unexpected developments or challenges arising. Your attorney will adapt strategically, whether it involves responding to unforeseen objections, addressing unexpected testimony, or navigating legal issues that emerge during the trial.

What if the Opposition Appeals the Verdict?

When the opposition in a truck accident case decides to appeal a court verdict, the role of your truck accident attorney will become even more critical. The following is detailed information on how a truck accident attorney can help in such a scenario.

Understanding the Appellate Process

Your trucking accident lawyer will carefully review the grounds on which the opposition is basing its appeal. This review will analyze the trial record, court transcripts, and the legal arguments presented during the trial.

Identifying the legal errors or issues the opposition claims during the trial is crucial for determining the most effective response. This process involves examining the trial proceedings carefully to understand and address alleged errors or issues. The legal team can strengthen their case by pinpointing these aspects and presenting a robust defense or counterargument. This thoughtful analysis forms a cornerstone in crafting an effective legal strategy to bolster the client's position.

Your attorney will also conduct extensive legal research to address the appellate issues the opposition raises. They'll examine relevant case law, statutes, and legal precedents.

The lawyer will then prepare a comprehensive appellate brief, presenting compelling legal arguments countering the opposition's claims. The brief will persuade the appellate court to uphold the trial court's decision as legally sound.

Presenting a Strong Appellate Argument

Your trucking accident attorney will prepare a persuasive presentation if the appellate court schedules oral arguments. This preparation typically involves anticipating questions from the appellate judges and effectively articulating legal points to strengthen your case. They'll use their understanding of case law and precedent to respond promptly and convincingly.

In addition, your lawyer will look at the strengths and weaknesses of your original case. They may need adjustments to reinforce solid points and address potential vulnerabilities.

Speak With a Trucking Accident Attorney to Protect Your Future and Put Your Mind at Ease

Going to court after a trucking accident can be stressful for those who haven't previously had the experience of a trial. By hiring a seasoned trucking accident lawyer, you can rest easy, knowing you'll be as well-prepared as possible.

By understanding the complexities involved and the meticulous efforts your attorney will put forth, you can navigate the legal terrain with confidence. You'll know your lawyer protects your rights in the pursuit of justice. You'll also know you and your Las Vegas personal injury lawyers will be ready to defeat whatever challenges arise.


Ed Bernstein

Edward M. Bernstein, Esq. is the owner and founding partner of Edward M. Bernstein & Associates, and one of the most recognizable figures in Nevada. Ed is one of state’s premier personal injury attorneys and has hosted The Ed Bernstein Show for over 31 years. He has served the Las Vegas community for decades with dozens of community appointments and terms of service. In the year 2000, he was Nevada’s Democratic nominee for the United States Senate.

Ed received his B.A. from Long Island University in 1971 and his J.D. from Widener University in 1975. Since then, Ed’s professional accolades include numerous publications, honors and awards, court appointments, and has been named one of America’s Top 100 High Stakes Litigators.