Trucking Accident Questions

What is the difference between a tractor trailer accident and a car accident?

Tractor trailer, or trucking, accidents are different from auto accidents in many ways, one of the most serious being the extent of damages and injuries when a truck and an automobile collide. Because tractor-trailers can weigh in excess of 80,000 pounds, a trucking collision can have deadly consequences.

Are there special laws that apply to truckers to keep the roads safer?

There are unique laws and regulations that are designed specifically to protect motorists from the negligent actions of truck drivers and trucking companies. Federal and state regulations require truckers to have adequate rest to prevent driver fatigue on the highway. There are also other specific rules for trucks including proper loading of the materials the truck is carrying and safety rules that govern traveling speeds and maneuvers such as passing and making turns.

Are there any federal regulations governing truck drivers and trucking companies?

Trucking companies are required to follow the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s regulations concerning equipment and hours of service. Most truck drivers are also required to maintain a driver’s log, however the timeframe for preserving the log is limited. For this reason, if you or a family member have been injured in an accident that was the fault of a large truck driver or trucking company, it is important to seek legal advice early. Federal regulations require commercial trucks to carry certain levels of insurance coverage, depending on the nature of materials hauled. These regulations protect victims of large truck crashes from truck owners who may not have the financial resources to pay damages out-of-pocket.

What are some of the most common tractor trailer accidents?

  • Center lane crossover
  • Jack-knifed trucks
  • Loss of control of vehicle
  • Head on collisions
  • Broadside collisions
  • Rear end collisions
  • Lane change collisions
  • Hit and Run

What are the common causes of truck accidents?

Some of the most common causes of trucking accidents include:

  • Lack of training
  • Mechanical failure
  • Oversized trucks
  • Brake failure/defect
  • Poor driving conditions
  • Driver inexperience
  • Fatigue
  • Overloaded trucks
  • Speeding
  • Failure to yield the right of way
  • Driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol
  • Dangerous or reckless driving
  • Running off the road
  • Aggressive driving behavior

How do I recover compensation for damages in a trucking accident case?

In order to get compensation, an attorney will need to show the truck driver failed to use due care in the operation of the truck, or that the trucking company failed to follow required federal and state safety regulations. Typically, in cases where serious injury has resulted, a plaintiff may have claims for reimbursement of medical bills, lost wages, permanent injury, pain and suffering, and for a family member, loss of consortium. Where death has resulted from a trucking accident, the victim’s family members may bring a claim for the loss of the victim’s income and companionship.

How soon do I need to bring a case in a tractor trailer collision?

If you or a loved one has been injured by a big truck, it is best to contact an attorney right away. In truck collisions, federal regulations require that certain essential evidence only be maintained for a limited amount of time. For instance, the truck driver’s log may be destroyed after six months if an attorney does not obtain a court order or take other immediate action.

Who will pay my medical bills in a tractor trailer accident?

The truck company may not pay your medical bills immediately. However your own insurance will often contain medical payment provisions to pay for bills ranging from funeral costs to x-rays. It is usually in your best interest not to sign a medical release or authorization, and not to give a statement to the trucking company or any insurance company before contacting an attorney. You may contact an attorney at Copeley Johnson Groninger at any time to discuss your situation and injuries.

What damages can be recovered in a personal injury claim involving a large truck?

A person injured in an accident involving a large commercial truck may be entitled to recover:

  • all of his or her past and future medical expenses;
  • past and future loss of income/earning capacity;
  • past and future pain, suffering and emotional distress; and/or
  • punitive damages

If a person dies in a truck accident, the survivors may recover monetary damages for their economic losses and damages for the loss of the companionship, love and comfort of the victim.

Do I need an attorney to handle my truck accident case?

Unless you have a minor injury, which is rare in truck accident cases, you should retain an attorney immediately to protect your rights. An experienced truck accident attorney can secure vital evidence before it is destroyed, and can establish who was at fault early so that your rights can be protected.

Subscribe to our mailing list here and receive interesting news and updates to your inbox.

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.