Driving next to a semi-truck or large commercial vehicle on the highway can be a little scary, especially if a mechanical failure, tire blowout, or driver error causes a serious truck accident. You may be knocked off the road or flipped all in a matter of seconds, suffering serious or even catastrophic injuries in the process.
Whether you realize it at the time or not, it’s important to preserve evidence such as the truck’s “black box” and the driver’s logbook after a truck accident. That’s because this evidence can oftentimes show whether the driver was speeding, driving tired, or negligent in some other way, which can help your claim for compensation.
At Chatham Gilder Howell Pittman, we understand the stress you’re feeling in the aftermath of your accident. Let us help you through the recovery process by reviewing your case during a free initial consultation.
Are Their Regulations For Truck Drivers?
Truck drivers are required to follow many more regulations than other motor vehicles on the road because of how much damage a truck can cause on the event of an accident. One of these rules, determined by the FMSCA, is called the hours of service regulation. These rules are aimed primarily at preventing fatigued driving and overworking truck drivers, both of which can lead to accidents. According to these rules:
- Truck drivers can work up to 14 hours in a day but can only drive for 11 hours of these hours. The remaining three hours must be spent on rest or meal breaks.
- Drivers must rest for at least 10 consecutive hours before starting a new workday
- Truck drivers must take days off work at regular intervals
Who is Liable After A Truck Accident?
A truck driver is not usually the one who is held liable after an accident, in fact, it’s most often the trucking company who is held liable. While there are several reasons for this, a main one is that trucking companies are often caught encouraging their drivers to break trucking regulations in order to save their company time and money.
A times the truck driver is the one held liable especially if the accident was caused directly by their negligence, such as driving while drunk. There are other parties that can be held liable, although it happens less often. These parties can include the truck manufacturer or cargo loading team. The legal team at Chatham Gilder Howell Pittman is experienced in investigating truck accident claims and is ready to help you today.
Dealing With Insurance After A Truck Accident
By law, interstate trucking companies must carry at least $1 million in liability insurance to pay for the damages of people who are injured in accidents. Because potentially large damage claims can be at stake, the insurance companies hire lawyers who are experienced at defending these claims, making it even more difficult to deal with an insurer after a crash.
The insurance company can reduce its liability by any percentage of fault it can assign to you. If it can show that you were 100 percent at fault, it won’t have to pay you anything. Insurance company investigators typically appear at the scenes of serious 18-wheeler accidents within a few minutes of the collision, taking pictures and statements, and looking for ways to minimize liability. To protect your rights, you will need an experienced lawyer on your side as soon as possible.
Our lawyers will take immediate steps to collect and preserve evidence such as:
- The history of the truck driver
- Maintenance records of the truck and trailer
- Evidence that might point to a defective tire or auto part
- The black box or GPS, which records trucks’ speeds, braking, and other information
- The driver logbook, which can show whether the driver took legally required rest breaks
Even if the truck driver created false logbook entries, our lawyers can compare the logbook entries with credit card receipts for fuel and other records. Whether you’re seeking compensation for yourself or a deceased loved one, our lawyers are here as your experienced guides and compassionate support. Contact us today for a consultation.
Chatham Gilder Howell Pittman helps those who have been injured in a truck accident throughout Northern Mississippi including the cities of Southaven and Hernando as well as the counties of DeSoto, Marshall, Tate, and Tunica.