Truck Accidents 

What should you do in the aftermath of a truck accident? 

The drivers and manufacturers of commercial “18-wheeler” trucks are held to a different set of standards than most other vehicles. Due to its huge differences in size and weight, a commercial truck creates its own specific body of legal concerns.

Whether you are a driver of a truck or someone who has been involved in an accident with a truck, we highly recommend you deal with a specialist in this field of accident law.

Do I Need a Truck Accident Lawyer? 

Hiring a lawyer is the best way to protect your rights after a truck accident.

Because trucks, their drivers, and the companies that insure them, are all held to different standards, it can be difficult to decide who is to blame in a truck accident. Here are several ways a truck accident lawyer can help you: 

  • They may be able to successfully sue for compensation despite the fact you are partly responsible for the accident. 
  • They will use their expertise to choose the best legal strategy 
  • They can help you decide which party’s are to be held responsible for your accident.  
  • They will negotiate the best possible settlement deal on your behalf.

There are multiple party’s who may be liable for a commercial truck accident. Some of them will not be immediately obvious: 

  • The truck driver’s employers 
  • The vehicle manufacturers 
  • The trucking company in ownership of the truck 
  • The various insurance companies involved
  • Government entities charged with keeping the roads hazard free

What Information Should I Gather Before Meeting With My Lawyer? 

If you have been involved in an accident with a truck and are preparing to make a legal compensation case, there are certain facts and details you should try and gather before your meeting. 

Driver and Trucking Company Details

For Example:

  • Name and license number of the driver 
  • The license plate of the truck 
  • Name of the trucking company

Accident Details

For Example:

  • When, where, and how exactly did the accident occur? 
  • Was a police report filed? 
  • Was either driver charged with any traffic violations?

Medical Details

For Example:

  • Did you incur any injuries as a result of the accident? 
  • Did you receive medical treatment, from who and where? 
  • Have you been unable to partake in your usual activities as a result of your accident?

Your Vehicle Details

For Example:

  • Year, make, and model of your vehicle 
  • What damages did your car receive as a result of the accident? 
  • Can you provide before and after photographs of your vehicle?

Your Financial Details

For Example:

  • Employment status and wage if applicable 
  • Insurance details 
  • Medical and loss of income costs that resulted from the accident

Common Causes of Truck Accidents 

When the truck driver is responsible: 

  • Some truck drivers do not receive adequate training. This can lead to a poor driving technique and limited awareness of truck-specific safety concerns. 
  • The truck driver being financially encouraged to drive above the advisable speed  
  • The truck driver being financially encouraged to drive the vehicle for more consecutive hours than advisable 
  • Trucking companies setting hard to meet scheduling demands despite poor weather conditions and other hazards. 

When the other vehicle is responsible: 

  • Changing lanes abruptly in front of a truck 
  • Failure to slow down or speed up when a truck is changing lanes 
  • Being blown into a truck while overtaking 
  • Misjudging and approaching trucks speed at an intersection 
  • Pulling out in front of a truck without sufficient acceleration 

Truck Specific Laws 

Here is a brief description of some truck specific laws to consider if you have been involved in a truck-related accident: 

  • Truck drivers must have a commercial truck driving license. 
  • Truck drivers must adhere to the strict regulation in their hours of service - this refers to the amount of consecutive driving time they are allowed to do without resting. 
  • There are maximum weight restrictions on all trucks that must be adhered to.
  • Quality control regulations place unique requirements on truck manufacturers to ensure their vehicles are safe to drive
  • Any truck carrying hazardous waste falls under the related set of regulations concerning hazardous materials

Get Your Pocket Sized Guide

Find law (R) have provided this excellent print out guide on the steps to follow in the case of an accident. Simply print it out and put it in your automobile.

Get Your Personal Injury Worksheets

Enjuris (tm) have developed these excellent worksheets to help you keep track of your injury costs following and accident.

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