If you or someone you love has been injured in a truck accident, you may be facing high medical costs, may be struggling with catastrophic injury and disability, and may wonder what your rights are and what your next steps should be. Truck accidents can sometimes be more severe than passenger vehicle accidents because trucks are heavier than passenger vehicles, take longer to stop, and because the design of certain trucks can make it more likely that a car could slide under the truck, resulting in serious injuries or death. Thousands of people die each year in truck accidents and many thousands more suffer serious injuries.
Truck accident claims can differ from personal injury claims involving passenger vehicle accidents because in a truck accident claim there may be multiple stakeholders involved. In a passenger vehicle accident, settlements often involve the drivers and their insurers, but in a truck accident settlement, the claims process can involve truck companies, their insurers, truck drivers, their insurers, and other parties. Truck companies and drivers are also required to follow a range of federal and local trucking laws. If drivers or truck companies violate these laws or cut corners, and this results in an accident, victims and their families might be entitled to seek damages for their losses. Kruger & Hodges: Attorneys at Law is a truck accident law firm serving Fairfield, Ohio that works with accident victims and their families to help them get the settlement they may deserve under the law.
How Trucking Laws Can Impact a Personal Injury Claim
In order for a victim to seek damages for a truck accident personal injury claim, the victim must show that the other driver was negligent for the accident. In the case of a truck accident claim, the victim must show how the truck driver or truck company was negligent for his or her crash. Because the trucking industry is so highly regulated, our truck accident lawyers will need to investigate the circumstances of your accident, identify factors that may have contributed to the accident, and determine if the truck company or driver violated any laws.
For example, truck companies and their drivers must follow federal hours of service laws that limit drivers, in most cases, to 11-hour-long shifts. However, sometimes truck companies and drivers cut corners to meet deadlines, and this can result in a driver operating a truck while fatigued. Even drivers who have only been on the road for more than eight hours can pose a risk to others on the road. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, drivers who have been behind the wheel for more than eight hours were found to be twice as likely to be in an accident.
Hours of service laws are not the only regulations that truck drivers and companies must follow. Companies must abide by weight limits, must regularly maintain their vehicles, and drivers must pass strict medical tests to maintain their commercial driver’s license. Overloaded trucks can take longer to stop in an emergency. Improperly maintained vehicles can have brake or tire failures that can result in catastrophic accidents. And drivers who are taking certain kinds of medication or those who have certain medical conditions could be more likely to be involved in an accident.
Truck companies are often required to carry high-limit insurance policies to protect them and drivers in the event of an accident. Because trucks carry so much weight and because the risks of serious injury in a truck accident are higher, these high-limit insurance policies can protect drivers and passengers who have been hurt. Kruger & Hodges: Attorneys at Law is a truck accident law firm serving Fairfield, Ohio that can assist you with your claim. Our truck accident lawyers can speak to insurance companies, negotiate with insurance adjusters to help you get the settlement you may deserve, and fight to hold truck companies accountable if they cut corners or violated trucking laws. Contact our firm today to learn more.