Special Rules are Applicable to Commercial Drivers
Because of the dangerous properties of commercial vehicles (especially those being operated at highway speeds), commercial drivers are subjected to more rigorous screenings and stricter requirements than the ordinary driver. For instance, whereas multiple moving violations may only cause a passenger vehicle driver’s insurance to spike, multiple moving violations for truck drivers can mean a loss of their license – and their job. Not only this, but truck drivers must routinely pass physical screenings designed to ensure they are able to safely operate a truck. Finally, regulations restrict the amount of hours a truck driver can operate his or her truck before he or she must stop and rest. When a truck driver does not follow these laws, rules, and regulations, that driver puts themselves and innocent motorists at risk.
Recovering After a Clinton Truck Accident
When a Clinton truck accident is caused by a truck driver who was acting negligently or recklessly, that truck driver (and, in some cases, the trucking company) should have to pay for the injuries and losses the victim(s) sustained in the crash. If the victim survives the accident, these losses may include medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other similar costs. If the victim dies in the accident, the victim’s family may also be able to pursue compensation for the loss of the decedent’s income and companionship, funeral and burial expenses, and certain other losses.
Unfortunately, some drivers and companies (and their insurance companies) are far more interested in protecting their bottom line and limiting their own legal liability for the victim’s injuries than in ensuring the victim is adequately compensated. As a result, the truck driver, company, or insurer will often approach the victim soon after the truck accident and attempt to tender an offer in settlement to the victim that is far below what the victim actually needs to be fully compensated. Unaware victims who accept these offers without carefully considering them may find out too late that they needed – and may have been able to obtain – more compensation.
WHAT MAKES TRUCK ACCIDENT CASES DIFFICULT
Presenting any motor vehicle car crash can be complicated and require the use of detailed information and expert witnesses. Trucking accident cases are no exception, and in many cases are even more complex. This is true for a variety of reasons:
- Additional applicable laws and rules: Violating the law or an accepted industry standard without just cause for doing so may be considered, in some situations, evidence of negligence and liability. With truck accident cases, there are many more laws, rules, and regulations that must be examined than in a case involving a collision between two cars.
- Additional evidence: Truck drivers are required to maintain a current physical clearance certificate and a logbook that details how long they have operated their trucks and how long they have rested. These are crucial pieces of evidence that can be easily lost if they are not found and preserved quickly. Not only this, most trucks come equipped with a “black box” that records certain information about the truck (such as its speed and whether the brakes were applied) in the moments before a crash. The data contained in this “black box” is very useful for accident reconstruction experts and can mean the difference between your truck accident case succeeding or failing.
- Experienced counsel: Trucking companies and their insurers often retain the services of experienced law firms who are committed to limiting the legal liability of their clients. A truck accident injury victim seeking compensation can easily be intimidated by these firms and doubt the strength of their lawsuit. As a result, they can be pressured or intimidated into accepting settlement offers that are not in their best interest but rather in the best interest of the truck driver, company, and/or insurer.
The solution to these difficulties is simple: Retain the services of a knowledgeable and experienced Clinton truck accident lawyer. Such an attorney will be familiar with the laws and rules applicable to truck drivers and be able to tell whether any such laws or rules were violated in your case. Your legal council will also know what steps to take to find and preserve important information about your case to ensure that all obtainable evidence is available for examination by experts and use at trial. Finally, a truck accident lawyer evens the playing field by helping you stand up to bullying defense councils. Your attorney will provide you with honest counsel and advice, ensuring that you do not settle your case unnecessarily.