Truck Accidents

Truck Accidents

Operating a tractor trailer/large truck is difficult and requires rigorous training. This is why a commercial driver’s license is required to operate large trucks. All too often, however, accidents happen. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration an estimated 439,206 large trucks were involved in police-reported traffic crashes nationwide during 2020.

Of those traffic crashes, 4,965 people were killed in crashes involving large trucks. Seventy-one percent of people killed in large truck crashes in 2020 were occupants of other vehicles.

A trucking accident can occur for many reasons. Some of the reasons include:

When trucking accidents occur, it often leads to serious injuries or death. Some individuals may require medical treatment for months or even require long-term care. Having severe injuries and being forced to undergo treatment can disrupt a person’s life. People often lose their job, suffer from emotional distress, or incur serious financial worries.

To make things even more difficult, trucking companies usually comprise of large, powerful corporations who will fight tooth and nail before giving victims the compensation they deserve. Our office has extensive experience in trucking accidents and will get you paid for your injuries and property damage. We handle the claim from start to finish and, if necessary, will file a lawsuit to hold the responsible party liable for the damages and harm you were forced to suffer.

While many people do not realize this, there are many pieces of evidence that needs to be put together in order to prove fault. This can include police reports, black boxes, event data recorders (EDR), witness statements, and photos. In many cases, multiple experts will be required to establish liability and damages.

Contact our office for a case evaluation. If we do not get a recovery for you, then you do not pay us anything.

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Trucking Accidents FAQ

Common causes of trucking accidents that can lead to legal claims encompass a range of factors. Driver fatigue due to long hours on the road, insufficient rest breaks, and unrealistic delivery schedules can impair a driver’s reaction time and decision-making, contributing to accidents. Mechanical failures, such as brake malfunctions or tire blowouts, can result from inadequate truck maintenance and lead to loss of control. Distracted driving, including texting, using a GPS, or eating, diverts a driver’s attention from the road. Improperly loaded or overloaded cargo can cause balance issues and lead to rollovers or loss of control. Poor weather conditions can exacerbate the risks of truck accidents, particularly if the driver fails to adjust their driving accordingly. Violations of traffic rules and regulations, aggressive driving, and driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol are additional factors that contribute to trucking accidents. When these factors result in injury or loss, victims may pursue legal claims to seek compensation for their damages.

Determining the validity of a legal claim after a trucking accident involves several key steps. Firstly, assessing the circumstances of the accident is crucial – factors such as driver negligence, vehicle maintenance issues, road conditions, and potential violations of traffic laws should be considered. Gathering evidence is essential – photographs of the accident scene, vehicle damage, skid marks, and witness statements can help establish liability. Consulting with a personal injury attorney experienced in trucking accident cases is highly recommended, as they can provide expert guidance on the legal aspects, evaluate the strength of your case, and navigate the complexities of trucking regulations. They can also examine logbooks, maintenance records, and potentially identify any violations of industry regulations that might contribute to your claim. Ultimately, a valid legal claim after a trucking accident hinges on establishing the responsibility of the involved parties and demonstrating the impact of the accident on your well-being and quality of life.

Taking immediate steps after a trucking accident is crucial to protect your legal rights. First and foremost, prioritize your safety and the safety of others by moving to a safe location, if possible, and seeking medical attention for any injuries. Contact the police to report the accident and ensure an official record is created. Collect information from all parties involved, including the truck driver, their employer, and any witnesses. Document the scene by taking photographs of vehicle damage, road conditions, skid marks, and relevant traffic signs. Avoid discussing fault or liability with anyone at the scene and refrain from signing any documents without consulting an attorney. Obtain the truck driver’s information, including their commercial driver’s license (CDL) number and the truck’s license plate number. Seeking legal counsel from an experienced trucking accident attorney as soon as possible is critical, as they can guide you in communicating with insurance companies, preserving evidence, and taking necessary steps to ensure your legal rights are protected.

Liability determination in trucking accident cases involving commercial vehicles revolves around a thorough investigation into various factors. The driver’s behavior, compliance with traffic laws, adherence to industry regulations, and overall driving conduct are scrutinized. Trucking companies’ maintenance records, logbooks, and training protocols are examined to ascertain if they met industry standards. Gathering evidence such as accident scene photos, witness statements, data from electronic logging devices (ELDs), and black box data from the truck can provide critical insights into the sequence of events. Additionally, if poor weather, road conditions, or mechanical failures were involved, their contribution to the accident is assessed. An experienced trucking accident attorney can navigate these complexities, analyze evidence, and employ their legal expertise to establish liability, whether it’s on the driver, the trucking company, or other parties involved in the operation of the commercial vehicle.

Yes, you can seek compensation for damages in a trucking accident case. Damages in such cases encompass a range of losses you may have incurred due to the accident. Economic damages include medical expenses, covering immediate and ongoing treatment, surgeries, rehabilitation, medications, and medical devices. Additionally, compensation can extend to lost wages and diminished earning capacity if the accident resulted in your inability to work. Non-economic damages, which address intangible losses, include pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, and impact on personal relationships. If the accident was caused by gross negligence or intentional harm, punitive damages might also be sought to punish the responsible parties. Consulting an experienced trucking accident attorney is crucial to accurately assess the full scope of damages applicable to your case and to navigate the legal process effectively in pursuit of fair compensation.

Federal regulations play a significant role in trucking accident cases due to their importance in governing the trucking industry’s safety standards. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) sets forth regulations that cover various aspects, including driver qualifications, hours of service, vehicle maintenance, and cargo securement. These regulations are designed to ensure the safety of both truck drivers and other road users. In trucking accident cases, violations of these regulations can often be indicative of negligence or a lack of adherence to industry standards, potentially contributing to the accident. Attorneys handling trucking accident cases use these federal regulations as benchmarks to assess whether the truck driver or the trucking company complied with safety requirements. This can be crucial in establishing liability and building a strong case for compensation.

Yes, there can be differences in the legal process for accidents involving different types of trucks, such as semi-trucks (also known as tractor-trailers or 18-wheelers) and delivery vans. The key distinction often lies in the size and weight of the vehicles and the regulations that govern them. Semi-trucks are subject to extensive federal and state regulations due to their larger size and potential for catastrophic accidents. Accidents involving semi-trucks often entail a more complex investigation into factors like driver fatigue, cargo securement, and compliance with hours-of-service regulations. On the other hand, accidents involving smaller trucks like delivery vans might be subject to different regulations, and determining liability could involve different considerations, such as the nature of the cargo being transported. An experienced trucking accident attorney can assess the specific circumstances of the accident and apply the relevant regulations and legal principles to guide you through the legal process effectively.

Gathering comprehensive evidence is crucial to support your trucking accident claim. Start by securing accident scene photographs that document vehicle positions, road conditions, traffic signals, and skid marks. Obtain a copy of the police report, as it contains vital information and initial findings. Preserve any available witness statements, and collect contact information from those who saw the accident unfold. Preserve evidence related to the truck, such as its license plate, company name, and USDOT number. Black box data, which records the truck’s speed and actions leading up to the accident, can also be critical evidence. Additionally, consider consulting an accident reconstruction expert who can provide a professional analysis of the crash sequence. Medical records and expert medical opinions are essential to establishing the extent of your injuries. Consulting a skilled trucking accident attorney is highly recommended, as they can guide you in gathering and preserving the necessary evidence effectively, ensuring your claim is well-supported and your legal rights are protected.

It’s generally not advisable to communicate with the trucking company’s insurance company on your own after a trucking accident. Insurance companies are skilled at minimizing their liabilities and might use your statements against you to diminish your claim’s value. Instead, it’s recommended to consult an experienced trucking accident attorney before engaging with the insurance company. An attorney can guide you on how to communicate effectively, ensuring that you don’t inadvertently provide information that could be detrimental to your claim. They can also negotiate on your behalf, present a strong case supported by evidence, and work to secure the maximum compensation you deserve for your injuries and losses resulting from the accident.

In a trucking accident case, you may potentially recover various types of damages to address the physical, emotional, and financial toll of the accident. Economic damages encompass medical expenses, covering immediate and ongoing treatments, surgeries, rehabilitation, medications, and necessary medical equipment. Compensation can also extend to lost wages and diminished earning capacity if the accident resulted in your inability to work. Non-economic damages aim to compensate for intangible losses like pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, and impact on personal relationships. Additionally, if the trucking company’s negligence was particularly severe, punitive damages might be sought to punish them and deter future misconduct. Consulting an experienced trucking accident attorney is crucial to accurately assess the full spectrum of damages applicable to your case and navigate the legal process effectively in pursuit of fair compensation.

A lawyer can provide invaluable assistance when negotiating with insurance companies and trucking companies after a trucking accident. Lawyers are well-versed in the tactics used by these entities to minimize payouts, and they can level the playing field by advocating for your rights and interests. They analyze the evidence, such as accident reports, medical records, and expert opinions, to build a strong case that supports your claim’s validity. Lawyers understand the intricacies of trucking regulations and industry practices, which can be vital in demonstrating negligence or fault on the part of the trucking company. They communicate with insurance adjusters, presenting your case professionally and ensuring you don’t inadvertently provide statements that might harm your claim. With their negotiation skills, attorneys work to secure a fair settlement that encompasses all your damages, from medical expenses to pain and suffering. In cases where negotiations falter, they are prepared to take the matter to court and represent your interests effectively.

If the truck driver was fatigued or under the influence at the time of the accident, it can significantly impact the legal and liability aspects of the case. Fatigue is a common issue among truck drivers due to long hours on the road, and it can impair their ability to operate the vehicle safely. Proving driver fatigue often requires analyzing logbook records, electronic logging device (ELD) data, and other evidence to determine whether the driver exceeded hours-of-service regulations. Similarly, if the driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, it constitutes a clear breach of safety standards. In such cases, both the driver and potentially the trucking company could be held liable for negligence. Consulting an experienced trucking accident attorney is crucial to assess the available evidence, investigate the circumstances, and build a strong case that addresses the driver’s impaired condition and its contribution to the accident.

Yes, it is possible to file a lawsuit against both the truck driver and the trucking company in a trucking accident case. Depending on the circumstances of the accident, both parties can potentially share liability. The truck driver’s actions or negligence may have directly contributed to the accident, such as reckless driving or violation of traffic rules. Simultaneously, the trucking company could be held liable if they failed to properly train their driver, enforce safety regulations, maintain the vehicle, or ensure compliance with hours-of-service rules. Filing a lawsuit against both the driver and the trucking company allows you to explore multiple avenues for seeking compensation for your injuries and losses. An experienced trucking accident attorney can assess the details of your case, identify potential liable parties, and build a strong case to ensure all responsible parties are held accountable for their role in the accident.

Navigating the legal process for trucking accidents presents unique challenges. One major hurdle is the complexity of trucking regulations and industry standards, which require a deep understanding to identify violations and prove negligence. Gathering evidence is intricate, involving accident reconstruction experts, black box data analysis, and expert medical opinions to establish liability and the full extent of damages. Additionally, trucking companies and their insurers might deploy aggressive tactics to minimize payouts, demanding a proactive legal strategy. Cases involving multiple liable parties, such as both the driver and the trucking company, can add layers of complexity. Furthermore, jurisdictional issues might arise if the accident occurred in a different state than where you reside or where the company is based. An experienced trucking accident attorney can navigate these challenges, ensuring your rights are protected, all responsible parties are held accountable, and you receive the compensation you deserve for the profound impact the accident has on your life.

Choosing the right attorney for your trucking accident case requires careful consideration of several factors. Look for an attorney with a proven track record of successfully handling trucking accident cases and a deep understanding of trucking regulations and industry practices. Effective communication is crucial – opt for an attorney who listens to your concerns, explains legal complexities clearly, and keeps you informed throughout the process. Experience in negotiation and courtroom litigation is valuable, as trucking accident cases can often involve complex legal strategies. A commitment to personalized attention and a client-focused approach helps ensure your unique needs are prioritized. Transparency regarding fees and a willingness to work on a contingency basis, where fees are only paid if you win the case, are important. Lastly, a strong rapport and a sense of trust should guide your decision, as trucking accident cases can be emotionally taxing. Consulting with potential attorneys in initial consultations can help you assess their compatibility and expertise in handling your specific case.