How Truck Accident Rules Prove Liability in Drowsy Driving Cases

Truck Accident Attorney
Truck Accident Rules

One of the major causes of truck accidents in California is drowsy driving. Such crashes often results in catastrophic injuries since the driver is unlikely to have control over the truck. On top of that, it is extremely challenging to prove drowsy driving cases since there are no objective tests to prove fatigue and drowsiness. Plus, truck drivers are unlikely to admit that they were behind the wheels for a long period of time.

When it comes to drunk driving, your truck accident attorney will be able to prove the liability easily by doing some tests to check the alcohol content in the blood of the defendant. To tackle this issue, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations have put forward some rules so that a truck wreck lawyer can prove liability easily in case of drowsy driving crashes as well.

Trucking rules to prevent drowsy driving

One of the major rules that were aimed at preventing collisions because of drowsy driving is the Hours of Service. According to this regulation, truck drivers are given an ultimatum regarding the time limit that they can spend behind the wheels. They are also expected to take mandated rest in between for a few hours. The regulation mainly imposes a number of limitations on the truck drivers who transport cargos in commercial trucks. A truck accident attorney can easily prove the liability by proving that the defendant failed to follow any of these rules. Some of those crucial rules include;

  • The maximum hours a trucker can drive over the course of the day is 11
  • A truck driver can be on duty only for 14 hours a day. In other words, a trucker must have 10 consecutive hours of off duty each day
  • Usually, truck drivers are unlikely to spend their rest time in the trucks. However, if a driver has sleeper birth provision in his truck, they are expected to take advantage of it. According to the rule, the drivers must be on the sleeper birth for at least eight hours during their rest time.
  • The long-haul truck drivers who often drive a lot are expected to take a mandated rest of minimum 30 minutes after driving the vehicle for consecutive 8 hours.
  • When it comes to driving hours, the maximum limit a truck driver is allowed to drive over a seven-day and eight-day period is 60 hours and 70 hours respectively. Once a driver reaches the limit, he must take rest of at least 34 hours off duty
  • Drivers who transport passengers will have to follow even stricter time limitations. Note that they can drive only up to 10 consecutive hours after which they will have to take rest at least 8 hours off duty

About Pursuing Disability Claim after a Truck Accident

Truck Accident
Truck Accident Lawsuits

As per statistics, truck collisions are more dangerous than the ones involving only cars. Unsurprisingly, the truck accident victim is likelier to have injuries which keep them from going back to their work. In the event you were involved in an accident, you may be entitled to seek a disability claim. It is still essential to properly assert your rights. That is where an experienced and skilled truck wreck lawyer can help.

Types of Benefits Available to a Victim

A short-term disability program bridges the gap between your catastrophic accident time and the time where you establish permanent disability status. The California State Disability Insurance program gives those who work for companies, involved in the SDI program, a maximum of 52 weeks of insurance coverage. The program benefits cover 60% to 70% of the income you were making before your accident.

If you have had to reduce the working hours because of your accident injury, then you may also be eligible for partial benefits. You will be eligible for it even when you get different federal disability benefits, like Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI).

To get these benefits, you need to apply for the same inside seven weeks of establishing that you cannot go back to work due to the injury. You will also have to file a disability claim form duly signed by the right medical authority.

Some individuals find getting the right medical practitioner or filing their claim to be overwhelming following a truck accident. The concerned truck driver may need to cope with the employer who fails to give the claim form the driver needs, or who demands them to report back to work before they are able. An attorney specializing in automobile and truck accident law can help you with filing this claim and dealing with the employer.

Long-Term Disability

In the event you cannot go back to work in the foreseeable future, you may be able to apply for a permanent disability claim through the Social Security Administration. The SSA bases the benefits on the number of years you have worked and how much you have earned in those years. They manage two kinds of disability income: Supplemental Security Income and Social Security Disability Insurance. As mentioned above, Social Security Disability Insurance is calculated on the basis of factors like your average income in the period of time you were employed. The benefits of Supplemental Security Income are available to those with limited income who are disabled, blind or are aged 65 years or above. You may be able to collect both SSI and SSDI at once.

Injuries Which May Deserve a Disability Benefit

As said earlier, you should apply for SSD benefits and will have to provide documentation that explains why you cannot go back to work. Some of the injuries which may qualify the accident victim for SSI or SSDI benefits can include the following.

  • Seriously injured legs or arms
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Partial or full paralysis
  • Brain injuries
  • Burns

How to Fight the Denial of a Disability Claim

There are several reasons your SSD or SDI claim could be turned down. Some of the common reasons for denial include the following.

  • Lack of medical evidence that can be verified
  • Earlier denials of a claim similar to this
  • Not cooperating with agency personnel who evaluate your claim
  • Not following your treatment plan

Besides the above, several truck accident victims find that the injuries they sustained are challenged by the company which employs them. Rely on a law firm with experience to help you file your claim again to make a relatively more convincing case.

Disability Benefits versus Injury Lawsuits

When you have sustained life-changing injuries in an accident of this kind, SSDI/SSI and SDI can provide access to the funds you need for daily survival, medical requirements and to give your family. A rather important source of income will likely be found by filing an injury lawsuit against that negligent driver, who is to blame for your injury.

Many parties can be found by the court or jury to be guilty in a truck versus motorcycle or passenger car accident. They can include the truck’s manufacturer or mechanic, the driver’s employer or their shipping agent, and the agencies responsible to ensure road conditions are safe. Even when you are found to be partially guilty for the truck accident, you may seek damages in the event the other parties are more at fault.

Disability originating from the accident can play a big role in your injury case. The disabling injuries you sustained may factor into the following.

  • The loss of your future wages
  • Lost wages
  • Medical costs
  • Punitive damages when the negligence was intentional or extreme

Gathering evidence right at the accident scene as soon as you can is an essential part of seeking compensation for damages based on your disability. It is also important to make your injury case persuasively. Your odds of winning a settlement or the grant at trial which you deserve will improve considerably when you retain the services of an experienced injury attorney.

Truck Accident That Can Ruin your Successful Claim

Truck Accident Lawyer
Truck Accident Claim

An accident with a huge commercial truck can be very dangerous and could be life-threatening. Truck accident victims usually face much pain along the journey to recovery because of the depth of the injuries. This comes in addition to medical bills and loss of time from work. Victims are confused by the questions like how to reclaim the losses, and how to get back to their normal life. Note that it is better to consult a truck accident lawyer to get the compensations you deserve. Below is a discussion regarding the mistakes you have to avoid to help you complete a successful claim.

Failure to Consult Medical Care Immediately

One mistake the casualties usually make is that they do not seek medical care right after the accident. In several cases, the casualty has to be carried away on an ambulance. Many people still refuse treatment or medical attention right on the spot of the accident. This is a costly error. It is possible that the accident seemed minor in the immediate aftermath. However, it may turn out to be a damaging one and take weeks to find out. Sometimes, if you do not seek treatment right away, the opposing party may accuse that the injuries are not a result of the accident. Hence, keep the above point in mind.

Speaking to the Faulty Driver or Insurance Agent

Many people speak to the driver at fault, the trucking company, or the insurance executives before consulting a truck accident lawyer Los Angeles. You may consider the exchange normal, but the things you say might end up working against you in the eventual course of the case. It could even cut short the amount you are eligible to claim. Hence, it is the right thing to let the lawyers do the talking.

Settling Too Fast

The most common mistake seen among truck accident victims or driver is that they tend to settle too fast. You may want to end the whole matter fast and get along with your normal life, but this may affect the settlement amount you acquire. Hence, remember to seek the best possible compensation instead of settling initially.

Seeking the Incorrect Settlement Amount

Sometimes people end up asking too much or too little as compensation amount for the truck accident cases. This is a serious error as the insurance companies might then view you as uninformed. Hence, make sure you take expert help before you claim the compensation.

Make sure you do not commit the above errors as you go ahead with the truck accident case.

Frequently Asked Questions about Truck Accident Lawsuits

Truck Accident Attorney
Truck Accident Lawsuits

One of the most terrifying and stressful moments in the life of a person will be experiencing a crash. Things will be even worse if it involves a commercial truck that can pose serious damage to the vehicle as well as life-threatening injuries to the passengers involved. Unfortunately, as a result of extreme stress and fear, most people may go numb and will not be sure about the steps that are to be taken further.

Note that you can consult a credible truck accident attorney and file a lawsuit to claim compensation for your damages. However, before this, you must take some actions to strengthen your lawsuit and, thereby, increase your chance of the win. In order to help you out with all the necessary details, below are some frequently asked questions about truck accident lawsuits.

Can you File a Lawsuit in California after a Truck Accident?

Any person who is involved and injured in a truck accident is free to consult a truck accident attorney and file a lawsuit to claim his/her damages in California. If the truck wreck lawyer of the plaintiff succeeded in proving the liability of the truck driver or trucking company, the victim can recover compensation for the following.

  • Medical bills
  • Loss of wages
  • Lost future earnings
  • Loss of consortium
  • Pain and suffering
  • Punitive damages

Can you File a Lawsuit if you are Partially Responsible for the Collision?

Yes, it is possible to file a lawsuit against the truck driver or trucking company even if you are partially responsible for the collision. Note that California State boasts comparative negligence law and hence, the victim will be able to recover their damages whether or not they played a role in the collision. However, the compensation amount that the victim is entitled to will be reduced depending on their share of fault.

What are the Major Steps One Must Take after a Truck Accident?

Firstly, seek medical assistance and make sure that there are no hidden damages. In most cases, some injuries will be hidden and tend to show off only after a couple of weeks or months. Plus, get a medical report regarding the severity of your injuries. This will surely help you with the case. Then, report a police case regarding the accident documenting every significant detail. The police will report the case including your side of the story as well as that of the other party’s and witnesses’. This will be helpful to prove the liability of the opposite party in court.

What are the Pieces of Evidence That you Can Collect from the Accident Site?

If you can, it will be better to collect important pieces of evidence from the accident site. Note that the former ones are in the hands of medical officers and police officers. If you can gather enough information from the accident site that points to the negligence of the opposite party or your innocence, it will be a huge brownie point for your truck wreck lawyer and you are most likely to win the case. For this, make sure to collect information such as driver’s license number, company information, license plate, contact information, insurance information, etc. Additionally, get the contact number or address of the witnesses as well.

Most importantly, try to click as many pictures as you can of the accident scene. Haven’t you heard the phrase ‘a picture speaks louder than 1000 words’? On a related note, try to take the pictures of your vehicle from inside and outside to show the damages. Moreover, try to include the pictures of the truck that mainly reflects the cause and mode of the collision such as any kind of obstructions, tire marks, damages on the roadways, etc. Finally, take pictures of your potential injuries before getting it dressed. All these factors will help you to seek the compensation that you deserve.

How to Deal with the Insurance Company of the Opposite Party?

Once you file a lawsuit against the opposite party, their insurance agents are likely to get in touch with you for out of court settlement. Note that insurance agents will be skilled to trap the unskilled victims with their words. In most cases, the victims are likely to blurt out something in their present state of mind and the insurance people will try to use it against them in court. Worst, if you signed any of their documents. Furthermore, they may try their best to delay or deny their claim. Otherwise, they may try to trap you with a lowball offer.

In order to tackle such issues, it is recommended not talk to them unless accompanied by your truck accident attorney. Otherwise, make sure to seek their suggestions at least. Needless to mention, with a credible truck wreck lawyer on your side, you can make sure whether or not the compensation amount that you are getting is fair. It is to be noted that skilled lawyers will be good in negotiations as well as litigations.