I Was Hit by a Semi Truck. What Now?
Semi Truck Accident Lawyers Can Help
If you or someone you love has been injured in an accident involving a semi-truck (aka big rig, tractor-trailer, or 18-wheeler), it is vital that you hire a truck accident lawyer who is knowledgeable in state laws and trucking regulations. You will need a legal expert at your side if you want to successfully navigate the complex procedures involved in these types of cases, and obtain a full and fair settlement or verdict.
Truck Accident Claims and Their Unique Challenges
Semi-truck accidents are not your typical fender benders. Due to the destructive capabilities of heavy and huge semi-trucks, the damages involved in these cases are often far more severe than those involved in regular passenger vehicle accidents. Also, most legally operating semi-trucks carry commercial policies that are mandated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), and they don’t follow the same rules as policies required for passenger vehicles.
The Most Abused State and Federal Trucking Regulations
In order to win your injury claim against the trucking company and/or driver, you will need to prove that their negligence was the proximate cause of the accident and therefore your injuries. Perhaps THE most effective way to win semi-truck accident claims is to prove that the trucking company and/or driver violated a state or federal regulation; courts have traditionally said these violations constitute clear and indisputable proof of negligence.
While there are several types of regulations that can potentially be violated by truck driver or company, the following are the most common:
- Hours of Service (HOS) – Federal law specifies the amount of hours a truck driver can drive in any given day or span of days before he is required to take a break, the length of which is also specified by law. These limitations are in place to prevent fatigue, a common factor in trucking accidents.
- Truck and Load Weight – In California, a semi-truck’s trailer cannot exceed 53 feet and its load cannot exceed 80,000 pounds. An overloaded truck may not be able to stop when traveling down a hill due to weight restraints on the brakes. Furthermore, an overloaded truck could easily crush a motorist or pedestrian in a crash.
- Approved Routes – Truck drivers in California must abide by certain signage posted by the California Department of Transportation. Failure to abide by posted signs could result in an accident.
Finding Evidence to Support Your Truck Accident Injury Claim
An experienced personal injury attorney can use various effective legal strategies to collect supporting evidence for your truck accident injury claim. He can subpoena all information, conduct a pretrial discovery and gain access to the truck driver’s actual logbook, and even take statements from the driver, his employer, and coworkers. Other crucial information can be extracted from analyses of the involved truck’s onboard systems, the driver’s CDL license history checks, drug screening results, etc.
#1 Truck Accident Lawyers in California
At Wilshire Law Firm, we utilize cutting edge technology for litigation management, legal and medical research, and data collection. In addition, we have highly trained specialists handle all aspects of a case – from medical treatment to liens reduction to litigation. If you need an attorney who has the skills and resources to obtain a high settlement or verdict in a truck accident case, call us today at (800) 522-7274. We offer FREE consultations.
Our lawyers have decades of experience in providing excellent results in these areas of practice.