Commercial trucks are heavyweights of the road that can cause catastrophes with very little effort. Because commercial trucks are extremely large and capable of great damage, the federal government heavily regulates their operation. With heavy regulation comes more opportunities for the victim of a truck crash to seek remedies in court. But victims of negligent commercial truck drivers will likely need the expertise of an attorney to recoup their damages.
Being a truck wreck lawyer is difficult because they have to know many laws to maximize an injured client’s recovery.
In 2018, there were approximately 499,000 police-reported crashes involving large trucks. Of those reported crashes, 107,000 involved injury and 4,415 involved death. Not surprisingly, 82% of those who died in large truck crashes were not the occupants of the large trucks.
Commercial vehicles have devastating effects on the pedestrians and motorists they negligently encounter. It is crucial that victims have broad access to remedies under the law. A truck wreck attorney should know how to successfully sue for wrongful death and for damages suffered by surviving claimants.
A typical negligence case in a motor vehicle crash requires that an injured party prove the following:
A long list of commercial vehicle regulations broadens a victim’s opportunities to prove duty and breach of duty in a truck crash case.
To legally operate a commercial vehicle, a driver must obtain a commercial driver’s license (CDL). CDL’s have more stringent requirements than regular driver’s licenses. For example, to obtain a regular driver’s license, a driver must have at least 20/60 vision in one eye, and they must pass their tests with a minimum of 75%. Meanwhile, a CDL driver must have at least 20/40 vision, and they must pass their tests with a minimum of 80%. The blood alcohol limit for drunken driving is also much lower for CDL drivers than the typical driver over 21, and CDL drivers cannot consume alcohol within at least four hours of driving.
There is an incredibly long list of rules for drivers of commercial vehicles, and a truck wreck attorney should thoroughly investigate potential breaches.
According to this truck accident lawyer, there are multiple actors in the trucking industry who could be liable for the same wreck. A truck wreck attorney should be familiar with commercial vehicle rules and industry standards, so they can easily identify the best opportunities to prove liability.
A truck wreck attorney may have to undo harm that a victim mistakenly causes in the early stages of their case.
Unfortunately, the victim of a truck crash has a good chance of landing in the hospital after the crash. A hospitalized victim may not think of hiring an attorney right away. Insurance companies approach unrepresented victims to quickly settle claims or have the victims make statements. If a victim makes an inaccurate and prejudicial declaration during their statement, the insurance can use it to deny compensation. An attorney is the best shield against this kind of risk.
In certain states, the law protects a hospitalized victim from insurance inquiries and offers only for the first 15 days of hospitalization. On day 16, the floodgates of the insurance company could open and overwhelm an unrepresented injured victim with inquiries. Fortunately, laws in some states allow bodily injury and property damage cases to be brought separately in court. Settlement or judgment in one claim does not negate the viability of the other claim. If a victim makes a mistake with the insurance company before they hire an attorney, the truck wreck attorney may need to be creative with the victim’s remaining recovery options.
Truck wreck attorneys have to combat threats early on in a case, and they have many strategies to consider. Truck wreck victims should speak to an experienced attorney as soon as possible to protect themselves.