Commercial Truck Accidents
While most of us drive, cars, trucks or SUVs on a regular basis, the majority of drivers also share the road with commercial trucks just about every time they take the wheel. Of course, usually, this is hardly a noteworthy experience. However, when an accident occurs involving a commercial truck, the results can be severe. Considering that many of these vehicles represent over 10,000 pounds and can easily get up over the speed limit, it’s easy for innocent people to become injured or much worse when things go wrong. This is why it’s essential that you know how to react in the face of such an accident.
A Truck Accident Attorney Is a Must
If you or a loved one has been affected by an accident involving a commercial truck, it’s not at all like the kind you might get into with another private driver, from a legal standpoint.
When it involves another person driving, say, a sedan, you can expect that they may hire an attorney. You should definitely do the same and the two representatives will fight it out in court.
However, when you get into an accident with a commercial truck, there’s no “may” involved when it comes to attorneys. The truck driver’s employer will definitely be hiring one. If they’re part of a union, that party will provide one too. Then there is the insurance company for the commercial trucking business. Not only will you have a number of legal teams to contend with, but they’ll all be very experienced when it comes to these accidents.
You Must Call an Attorney Immediately
In the wake of a commercial truck accident, evidence will start disappearing quickly. Much of it will be cleaned up by road crews, of course. However, a potentially far more important form of evidence is witness statements and they’ll be difficult to track down the longer you wait.
This, than the statute of limitations, is why you have to call an attorney who has experience with commercial truck accidents ASAP.
Various Factors That Come Iinto Play
Commercial truck accidents aren’t always the fault of the driver, but let’s start there. One reason you need an attorney who is experienced with commercial truck accidents is because they’ll understand the many reasons a driver may have messed up while behind the wheel.
A number will have simply been negligent. They were going too fast, driving recklessly, or not properly taking the weather conditions into consideration. Some are simply new to the business and made a beginner’s mistake.
Other times, though, something far worse is at play. Their negligence may be because they’ve been driving for far too long without getting any sleep. A driver must take a 30 minute break every eight hours and is supposed to stop for the day after 11. Aside from breaking the law, if they don’t follow these rules, they can actually doze off while in command of a 10,000 pound machine.
Unfortunately, some drivers attempt to get over the issue of drowsiness through illegal substances. As you can imagine, this rarely ends well.
An experienced lawyer will also know when it’s a waste of time to go after the driver. It may be that their truck malfunctioned, which would mean the manufacturer is responsible. Perhaps the trucking company that owns the vehicle wasn’t giving it regular maintenance or otherwise checking for issues that could have caused the accident.
These are just some of the reasons only a lawyer who has dealt with commercial truck accidents in the past should be trusted to do so for you. If you or a loved one has been affected by such an accident, right after seeking medical attention, you should speak to a qualified attorney.