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  • Frequently Asked Questions

    How are truck accidents different from other types of accidents?

    Essentially, there are three factors that make a commercial truck, tractor-trailers or bus accident different from other types of accidents, like accidents involving cars, motorcycles, vans, SUVs and pick-up trucks:

    1. The sheer size and weight of a commercial truck, tractor-trailer or bus is going to dramatically impact the outcome of an accident. A large truck accident is more likely to be a catastrophic event resulting in serious injury and loss of life. The end result of loss of control of a 65,000-pound vehicle traveling at a high rate of speed, particularly if it is carrying an unstable or improper load, is going to be much different than loss of control of a smaller, personal vehicle like a family sedan.
    2. The trucking industry is highly regulated, both by federal and state governments. For example, truck drivers are only permitted to drive a certain number of hours each day, and are legally mandated to rest a certain number of hours before getting back behind the wheel of their truck. Trucking companies are legally mandated to properly train and monitor their truck driver employees to ensure they understand these regulations and follow them to the letter. If the truck drivers and the trucking companies do not strictly adhere to government regulations, and these violations lead to accident, serious injury and/or loss of life, the compensation for victims may be higher then it would be for an accident between other, non-commercial types of vehicles.
    3. In an accident involving a commercial vehicle, such as an truck, tractor-trailer, or bus, generally, more people than just the vehicle driver may be held liable. In a personal car accident, it may be that one of the drivers was negligent, caused the accident and will be held liable. However, in a commercial vehicle accident, not only may the driver of the vehicle be held liable, but the company or governmental entity that owns or is responsible for the driver and the vehicle may be held liable as well.

    If you’ve been injured, or lost a loved one, in an accident involving a truck, tractor-trailer, bus or any other type of commercial vehicle, it is important that you contact an attorney who has experience and knowledge in truck accidents. It is not enough that he or she is a “personal injury attorney.” Your attorney must understand the three factors that differentiate a truck accident from other types of accidents.

    If you’ve been injured in a trucking accident, call National Truck Accident Attorneys today for a FREE evaluation of your case. Toll-free 844-334-5787. We are waiting to take your call anytime, day or night. Let us help you get the compensation you need for your recovery.

    What types of laws and regulations does the government impose on the trucking industry?

    The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is the agency in charge of regulating the nation’s commercial trucking industry. Every commercial truck driver, trucking company, and government entity with commercial vehicles on the road (such as buses), must adhere to these laws and regulations or face stiff penalties. The purpose of these laws and regulations is to keep all travelers safe on the road. When an accident involving a large truck occurs, there may be many contributing factors, and the consequences most often are severe, resulting in serious injury and even death. Many times, accidents occur because the truck driver or the trucking company has violated the law by:

    • The truck driver driving longer hours than he or she should have, or not resting enough;
    • The truck driver driving while impaired by alcohol, illegal drugs or prescription medications;
    • The trucking company and/or the truck driver failing to properly maintain or repair the vehicle;
    • The trucking company or truck driver failing to maintain the proper weight limit of the load;
    • The trucking company or truck driver failing to load the truck properly, thus causing instability of the load;
    • The trucking company failing to effectively train and monitor its drivers;
    • The trucking company or truck driver transporting hazardous materials improperly.

    Driver Mandated Hours of Service

    The Department of Motor Vehicles has determined that driver behavior is ten times more likely to cause large commercial truck accidents than any other factor (see the study). Driver fatigue can lead to the driver falling asleep behind the wheel, slow reflexes which could result in loss of control of the vehicle, inability to focus, and drug and alcohol abuse. To try an prevent these outcomes, the federal government has mandated:

    • Drivers may drive up to 11 hours in a 14-hour workday. After they go off-duty, drivers must not work for 10 or more consecutive hours.
    • The 14-hour on-duty window may not be extended with off-duty time for meal and fuel stops, etc.
    • Drivers may not be on duty for a total of 60 hours in 7 consecutive days, or 70 hours in 8 consecutive days, but they may “restart” the 7/8=day period anytime they have spent 34 consecutive hours off duty.
    • Drivers using a sleeper berth in their trucks must take at least 8 consecutive hours in the sleeper berth, plus 2 consecutive hours either in the sleeper berth, off duty, or any combination of the two.
    • All hours and miles driven must be documented in a driver’s log.

    Driver Alcohol and Drug Testing

    In most states, non-commercial drivers will not automatically be deemed “legally impaired” to operate their vehicles with a blood-alcohol content up to .08 percent, commercial drivers are held to a higher standard. Generally, commercial drivers will be considered legally impaired if their blood-alcohol content is .04 percent or greater. The reason for this is because the consequences of losing control of a large commercial vehicle typically are much more severe than the consequences of losing control of a personal vehicle such as a car.

    The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations require commercial truck drivers to be periodically tested for alcohol and drugs. Trucking companies are required to conduct random, unannounced tests. A truck driver who tests positive for alcohol and/or drugs, even prescription medications, could be removed from duty.

    Requirements for Maintenance and Repair

    Trucking companies and truck drivers make their money by moving goods from one place to another as quickly as possible. The requirement to stop for safety checks, maintenance and repairs is a hassle because if means time is lost, and time is money for truck drivers and trucking companies. However, ignoring or delaying repairs and maintenance can be a deadly decision. Thus, the FMCSA has established minimum inspections standards for commercial motor carriers. Trucking companies must create training programs and safety, repair and maintenance standards, and all routine safety inspections and repairs must be well documented.

    Truck Height and Weight Limits

    Trucks that are too heavy or too tall are harder to control, increase the risk of rollovers and collisions with other vehicles, and can severely damage the roads, negatively impacting other drivers and people on the roads. The FMCSA has established weight and height limits for trucks to prevent trucking companies and truck drivers from exceeding safe load height and weight. They’ve also mandated that drivers periodically check in at weigh station checkpoints so that law enforcement officials can verify compliance with these standards. Truck drivers and trucking companies try to cut costs by overloading their trucks often will try to avoid these checkpoints. The consequences of overloading large commercial trucks can be catastrophic if it causes the vehicle to travel out of control, causing serious injury or even death to other people on the road.

    If you’ve been injured in a trucking accident, call National Truck Accident Attorneys today for a FREE evaluation of your case. Toll-free 844-334-5787. We are waiting to take your call anytime, day or night. Let us help you get the compensation you need for your recovery.

    What are some of the most common causes of truck accidents?

    The causes of truck accidents vary. Many times, more than one factor contributes to the accident. Some of the most common causes of large truck accidents, however, appear to be:

    • Aggressive driving and speeding. Trucking companies usually claim that safety is their first priority, and that they want drivers to follow the laws and drive at a safe speed. The reality, however, is that the trucking companies are in business to turn a profit, and truck drivers may be offered incentives to get the load delivered on time, or penalized for not meeting target times, regardless of whether the driver has to speed to meet the deadlines.
    • Vehicle failure. To save time and money, truck drivers and trucking companies may rush thru required safety checks, and delay costly or time-consuming repairs to avoid having to take a truck out of service.
    • Driver fatigue and inattention. Trucking companies are responsible for ensuring drivers of large commercial trucks are properly trained and supervised. Although the law limits the number of hours commercial truck drivers can spend on the road between rest breaks, many trucking companies and truck drivers may try to bend these rules if they get the chance. Sleepy, inattentive and poorly trained or managed drivers pose a hazard to everyone on the road.
    • Drug and alcohol abuse. Commercial truck drivers are held to a higher standard than the general public when it comes to driving their vehicle impaired. The reason for this is the inherent danger in driving such a large and heavy vehicle. While trucking companies are required by law to conduct random, unannounced tests, and mandated to ground drivers who fail these tests, sometimes, these dangerous drivers can slip thru the cracks.
    • Improperly loaded and oversized trucks. There are legally mandated weight and height limits for large commercial trucks. All drivers and cargo loaders undergo training to learn about the risk of cargo shifting during travel and how to prevent this from happening. When trucks are incorrectly loaded, they can become too heavy or too tall increasing the chances of serious damage to roads, out of control vehicles, rollovers and/or collisions. Improperly loaded or over-burden trucks pose a serious danger on the roadways, and could lead to serious injury or even death of innocent parties.
    • Poor weather or road conditions. Every driver on the road must contend with inclement weather as some time or another. Often times, truck drivers in a hurry to meet their deadlines, may refuse to slow down as the weather dictates. This reckless behavior can lead to collisions causing seriously bodily injury or even death to other drivers.

    If you’ve been injured in a trucking accident, call National Truck Accident Attorneys today for a FREE evaluation of your case. Toll-free 844-334-5787. We are waiting to take your call anytime, day or night. Let us help you get the compensation you need for your recovery.

    Who Can be Held Responsible for a Collision Involving a Large Commercial Truck?

    One of the factors that makes truck accidents different from other types of vehicle-related accidents is how we answer the question: “Who must be held responsible?” Many parties could have contributed to a truck accident. As such, many parties may need to be included as defendants in a lawsuit designed to obtain full compensation for accident victims. These could include:

    • The owner(s) of the truck (This could be a trucking company or another type of business.)
    • The owner(s) of the tractor-trailer cab and trailer.
    • The owner of the freight.
    • The driver of the truck.
    • The employer of the driver.
    • A parent company of the owner of the truck or employer of the driver.
    • The manufacturer of the truck, cab, trailer or any truck part.
    • A third-party maintenance company.
    • The driver and owner of another vehicle.
    • The manufacturer of another vehicle.
    What Type of Compensation is Recoverable after a Commercial Truck Accident?

    Compensation recoverable after a truck accident resulting in injuries and/or wrongful death may vary but could include:

    • Medical expenses, past and future
    • Lost wages
    • Lost future earnings, pain and suffering
    • Loss of quality of life
    • Other damages
    • Lost economic contributions
    • Loss of care and companionship
    • Funeral expenses

    If you’ve been injured or lost a loved on in a commercial truck accident and require compensation, it is critical you contact an experienced, qualified truck accident lawyer immediately to discuss your rights and the particulars of your case. National Truck Accident Attorneys are standing by to take your call and provide a FREE evaluation of your case.

    Why is it Important to Hire an Experienced Truck Accident Lawyer?

    The last thing that a trucking company wants you to do after an accident is to hire an experienced trucking lawyer because they know that once a lawyer is involved to represent your interests, they won’t get away with making you an unfair settlement offer.

    It is not uncommon for trucking companies and insurance claims adjusters to make an offer quickly to victims of truck accidents. They hope that you will so desperately need the money, they can pay you pennies on the dollar instead of the full compensation you require to recover from your injuries and losses. Insurance companies may even go so far as to tell you the settlement is only valid for a few days, and that if you don’t accept it, you will get nothing. DO NOT BELIEVE THIS! Before you accept ANY OFFER, contact an attorney with experience and knowledge of truck accident cases similar to your case. DO NOT ANSWER ANY QUESTIONS WITHOUT YOUR ATTORNEY PRESENT. DO NOT SIGN ANYTHING. DO NOT GET LURED INTO CONVERSATIONS WITH SEEMINGLY “CONCERNED” INSURANCE ADJUSTERS. They may tell you they have your best interests at heart, but that simply is not the case. It is the sole job of the insurance claims representatives to keep the insurance company from paying out claims or paying as little as possible for a claim. The only person who will have your best interests at heart is the attorney you hire to represent you. Make that decision wisely.

    What Steps Will We Take On Your Behalf if You Hire NTAA?

    First, we will gather the evidence needed to establish all responsible parties. Among other actions, our team inspects all vehicles involved. Our accident reconstruction team visits the scene of the collision, studies the accident, takes measurements and photographs, and recreates the collision. We review police reports, depose witnesses, and check the truck’s GPS records and black box (which can provide information on how fast the truck was traveling at the time of the collision, and how fast the driver started braking). We obtain and read the driver’s log books, which can help us determine whether the driver was in violation of federal laws regarding service hours. If applicable, we seek toxicology reports on the driver to determine if the driver was impaired while behind the wheel of the truck. We inspect safety records to determine the state of the load at the time of the accident, and we determine what type of load was being hauled, and how it impacted events. We acquire insurance information, ownership records, the driver’s driving and accident history, and the truck maintenance history.  The list goes on. Ultimately, we obtain all the information we need to file suit on your behalf and to obtain full and fair compensation for you so you can focus on recovery from your injuries or putting your life back together after the devastating loss of a loved one.

    But I Don’t Have Any Money—in Fact, I Need Money to Pay My Medical Bills—How Can I Afford an Attorney to Represent Me Against the Powerful Trucking and Insurance Companies?

    Victims of truck accidents—or any accident that is the result of negligence of others—should never have to worry about how they are going to pay their lawyers. National Truck Accident Attorneys work strictly on contingency. What this means is that we don’t get paid unless we obtain compensation for you. We only get paid when you get paid. This provides an incentive for us to fight for you all the way to trial if need be.

    Do not wait. If you’ve been injured or lost a loved on in a commercial truck accident and require compensation, it is critical you contact an experienced, qualified truck accident lawyer immediately to discuss your rights and the particulars of your case. National Truck Accident Attorneys are standing by to take your call and provide a FREE evaluation of your case.