A serious truck accident can cause terrible damage. Due to the increased size and weight of the vehicle, when a big rig is involved in an accident with a car, motorcycle or pedestrian, the results can be quite catastrophic. If you or a loved one have been involved in an accident of this nature, it is important to consult as soon as possible with a qualified and experienced personal injury lawyer. An accident of this type is very different than a typical one involving cars. One of the major differences is that you need to know that there are state and federal laws involving trucks that may need to be taken into consideration.
You may not fully realize that the regulations may control how soon you can receive compensation for your injuries. Those laws cover drivers as well as the company who owns and operates the trucks, in addition to helping to determine responsibility and liability. If it was found that the cause of the accident was due to driver negligence or error, that will make a difference in your case settlement. Some of the federal laws which govern the industry are as follows:
• There are very strict guidelines regarding the amount of time a driver can be behind the wheel, and getting proper sleep
• A commercial license is needed to drive an 18 wheel truck
• Weight requirements are very strictly enforced. Any violation such as driving an overloaded vehicle can cause a serious accident
The federal laws are controlled and enforced by the FMCSA -Fed Motor Carrier Safety Admin and the DOT- Dept of Transportation. Generally speaking, states all have their own departments which handle traffic enforcement laws and guidelines
If you or a family member were in a big rig trucking accident that was clearly the fault of the actions by the truck driver and/or the owner of the company, you will need the services of a top notch, experienced personal injury lawyer who has handled such a case before. Some of the things your attorney will need to investigate include the overall truck operations, such as maintenance records, driver history and licensing. Other factors which may be important involve inspections, legal weight and size limits, routes the truck uses, and weigh station records.
Obviously, a big rig truck accident is more involved that a regular car accident. Just the investigations alone are very time consuming. Reviewing all of the truck’s records and seeing if they are legally in compliance are an involved part of your case. The right attorney will have a team of people who are experienced and capable of finding out all of the particulars and details of your situation.