July 13, 2020
What Is a Rapid Response Team in a Truck Accident?
Posted in: Truck Accidents
A commercial truck can destroy smaller vehicles involved in an accident. Their occupants can be left severely injured or dead. These accidents can result in very high payouts for insurance companies, so it makes sense for them to make an extra effort to investigate them. They use rapid response teams who may be at the scene of an accident in less than an hour, so it makes sense to hire an attorney as soon as possible to protect evidence that might be vital to your case.
If you or a loved one were injured in a truck accident, contact Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. right away. Call us at (312) 236-2900 or use our online contact form to schedule a free, no obligation consultation.
The Rapid Response Team is Deployed Quickly
A driver may contact his employer soon after the truck accident. The company will call its insurance company, which will dispatch a team or one from an independent adjuster or insurance defense law firm. This rapid response team will be at the scene before the truck is towed.
While all this is going on, the injured victim may be unconscious in an ambulance or in a hospital. The victim’s family will be scrambling to get to the hospital while the insurance company is laying the groundwork for its legal defense. The insurance company will be off to a quick start, but Staver Accident Injury Lawyers know how to catch up.
What Does a Rapid Response Team Do?
One independent adjusting company offering its rapid response team to insurance companies describes their work as:
- Driver interview, which may or may not be recorded
- Recorded statements by other drivers, passengers, and witnesses
- Driver drug testing
- Photographs of evidence and the accident scene
- Creating scene diagrams
- Damage appraisals and photos of vehicles and property
- Interviewing police officers
- Working with the medical examiner and first responders
- Obtain available video recordings of the accident
All this work is done quickly. Evidence could be moved or destroyed within hours of the accident. After the truck is moved, calculating the distance between the vehicles and other objects could be difficult. Physical evidence (skid marks, debris, and fluid spills) can be quickly destroyed by traffic or weather.
Insurance Company and Government Investigations May Destroy Evidence
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has standards for collecting data and evidence following a truck accident. Local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies also have their own procedures for investigations.
These agencies are focused on governmental or law enforcement goals. Their interests aren’t to protect the interests of the parties involved in the accident. A government agency may not preserve information or evidence so it could be used in an insurance or legal claim.
A rapid response team typically includes a defense lawyer, investigator, and an accident reconstruction expert. Why would an insurance company pay to have a lawyer at a truck accident scene? Normally the parties involved in litigation swap the evidence they’ve found. There’s an exception if the evidence is found in the course of defending a potential legal claim under the supervision of legal counsel. The insurance company can claim their work falls under this exception to try to keep their work secret.
There’s No Time to Waste Because Evidence May be Lost
As soon as a client retains us, we act to preserve the accident’s evidence. We go to court and file a restraining order to protect physical and electronic evidence in the truck. Critical information could be found, such as electronic data showing the truck’s speed, truck dashcam, and driver view video.
By the time a victim’s family hires a lawyer, the most crucial evidence may have disappeared. If a lawyer without commercial truck crash experience is retained, it may make things worse. The attorney may not know all the games insurance companies play in these complex cases. He or she may fall one step behind the insurer during the whole process.
It All Starts with a Free Consultation
Staver Accident Injury Lawyers can’t help you until we meet and talk about your case. An initial, free consultation is a chance to discuss your case with one of our attorneys and decide your next step. You can use this time to figure out if our attorney is a good fit for your case and we will determine if you’re the right client for our firm.
If you or a loved one was severely injured or killed in a commercial truck accident, call us at (312) 236-2900 today to schedule your consultation. The insurance company is already hard at work on your case. You must take action before it’s too late.