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.

Everything you Need to Know about Commercial Truck Accidents

Truck Accident Attorney
Commercial Truck Accidents

The number of large commercial trucks rolling on the roadways of the United States is increasing with every passing year. Sadly, the statistics of the accidents in which these trucks, 18 wheelers, trailers, etc., are involved are also the same.

Unlike olden days, most people tend to rely on several online stores to purchase different products. This as well contributed to the upsurge of commercial trucks on the roadways. Some significant points that you must know about commercial truck accidents are given below. This will surely help you in case you have to deal with such accidents or to consult a truck accident attorney.

The Common Causes of Commercial Truck Accidents

One of the main causes of truck accidents is fatigue. Without any doubts, a tired driver is likely to be as fatal as a drunken driver. Note that the long-distance driving and lack of proper rest are the main reasons that tend to make truck drivers tired. After all, most of these drivers will be rushing to meet the time requirements set by their employers. In such cases, the employers as well are held liable for truck accidents.

Another cause of truck accidents is overloading. In such cases, the chances for rear-end collisions are extremely high. Similarly, improper loading as well can result in fatal truck accidents. Note that overloading truck in an unstable way can make the vehicle lose balance on the way and may result in collisions, especially fatal rollover accidents. Undoubtedly, truck accidents are one of the main reasons for wrongful death cases.

Furthermore, the insurance coverage for truck accidents is way more than car accidents or any other road accidents. However, having a credible and reliable truck wreck lawyer on your side is significant to prove the liability and obtain fair monetary compensation.

Steps to Take after a Truck Accident

The first step you must consider after a truck accident is to seek immediate medical assistance irrespective of the severity of your injuries. Then, consult a well-versed truck accident attorney and file a lawsuit against the opposite party to claim your damages. You can either settle the matter out of court or may take it to trials. Usually, most truck owners prefer the former option.

However, you will have to file the lawsuit within the set time known as the statute of limitations. Otherwise, you will be eternally barred from bringing your case to the court and fighting for your rights. Additionally, make sure to consult an experienced attorney for better results.

Most Common Defective Parts of a Truck Which Cause Accidents

Truck Accident
Truck Wreck Lawyer

The negligence of drivers is the common cause of truck accidents. However, a large number of commercial truck accidents happen due to defective parts.

Brake Systems and Brakes

Brakes are an important part of a truck, used for transporting goods. Air brake systems make and maintain the compressed air which transmits pressure to brakes, which potentially helps stop a truck fast. If an emergency comes about and a truck has to brake suddenly, working brakes help prevent an accident.

Brakes can be damaged due to the way these were made. In other situations, issues with brakes can be the consequence of poor maintenance. Frequent brake inspections help spot any issues with a truck’s air brake systems, like issues with brake lines or brake hoses. Drum brakes have to be checked for overheating or cracks.

There are usually warning signs when a vehicle’s brake system is being compromised, like screeching sounds, dash lights, fluid on the surface, and vibrations. If these signs were ignored, then the driver, the company that employs them, or the entity which serviced the vehicle could be held responsible for resulting injuries.

Fuel Tanks

Some trucks have side-saddled tanks, despite the fact that having one in that position is risky. In the case a fuel tank is hit in an accident, an explosion or fire may arise. If you were injured in an accident due to that collision, then your truck wreck lawyer might just be able to find out the source of that fire and whether the location of the tank also contributed to the incident.

Rear Underride Guards

These parts keep passenger automobiles from sliding below the truck if a rear-end collision takes place. If the guards of a truck do not conform to the minimum standards, then severe injuries or deaths may arise if a passenger auto collides into the back side of that truck.

Windshield Wipers

These wipers are required to clear the front window of a truck of raindrops and other obstructions to vision. If these are not in working order, then the driver of that truck may not see autos or other dangers on the roadway while driving through a heavy downpour or some other inclement weather.

Tires

Another common reason for a truck accident is a blowout. Tire blowouts can happen when these parts are not inflated as they should be or are worn down. Tires can wear quickly when these are not maintained in the proper way, which makes handling the vehicle more tricky for the driver.

Most of these issues can be avoided in an effective way by careful check of the air pressure, tread depth and tread separation of tires. Inspections have to also assess these parts for cuts and cracks.

The Benefits of Hiring a Truck Accident Attorney

Truck Wreck Lawyer
Truck Accident Attorney

The number of trucks rolling on the roadways of the United States of America is increasing with every passing year and so is the number of truck accidents. Unlike most other road accidents, truck accidents are often fatal and devastating. Mostly, this is because of the heavy load and the size of the trucks. In most cases, the life quality of the truck accident victims is likely to get affected badly when compared to other accidents that involve passenger vehicles.  So, hiring a truck accident attorney is significant to hold the person responsible for your loses as well as to obtain financial coverage for your damages. This is ideal to ensure a healthy settlement as well.

On top of that, the chances for multiple parties to be involved in truck accidents are high. Hence, legal proceedings can be a bit complicated. Usually, the truck driver, truck owner, employer, manufacturing company, government entities, etc., are held responsible for truck accidents. Hence, it is indispensable to rely on an efficient team who are specialized in truck accident cases. Furthermore, the rules and regulations in the trucking industry are somewhat different from that of other vehicles. If you are still skeptic about the same, below are some more reasons that favor the idea of hiring a truck accident attorney to represent your case in court.

Truck accident cases are more complicated

When compared to other motor vehicle accidents, truck accident cases are more complicated. Plus, it will be challenging to prove the liability in this case. As mentioned earlier, multiple parties likely to be involved in most truck accident cases. An experienced truck wreck lawyer will be able to easily assess the case and determine who is at fault. Plus, they will be able to litigate with the right parties and obtain the maximum monetary compensation that you are entitled to. Needless to mention, it will be really challenging to win the case if a government entity is involved in the case. For instance, you can sue the government if the accident is caused because of a faulty traffic signal of potholes. In such cases, having an experienced truck wreck lawyer on your side is really significant.

The right legal strategy

Choosing a specialized truck accident attorney will be the best option to get financial coverage for non-economical losses such as trauma, suffering, pain, mental distress, loss of companionship, etc. When it comes to personal injury lawyers, they are likely to concentrate solely on obtaining compensation for the injuries and property damages. The experts in the field will, however, employ the right legal strategy to achieve financial coverage for both economical and non-economical damages.

Important Points to Consider Before Hiring a Truck Accident Attorney

Truck Accident Attorney
Truck Accident Law

If you have ever been injured in a truck crash, you would have probably suffered a lot of pain, mental distress, and frustration. At the same time, you would also think about filing a truck accident claim and hold the person liable for your condition. Even though this will not make things back to normal, you can obtain financial coverage for your damages. Note that unlike other road accidents, truck accidents often result in catastrophic injuries such as brain damage, spinal injury, compound fracture, etc. Needless to mention, this will pose a negative impact on your profession and, thereby, your daily wages. By hiring a credible truck accident attorney, you can obtain financial compensation for all your suffering, pain, loss of income, medical expenses, mental trauma, etc. However, since there are several truck accident lawyers in the field, you are likely to get confused when it comes to choosing one. Some of the factors that you must consider while choosing one are listed below.

Is your advocate specialized in the truck accident field?

The main thing that you must notice is to hire a truck wreck lawyer who is specialized in the field rather than a personal injury lawyer. Note that there are many rules and regulations in the truck industry that can be easily assessed by an advocate who deals with similar cases every day. Moreover, it will be really challenging to obtain monetary coverage for your damages in truck accident cases since multiple parties are likely to be involved in a case. So, you must never compromise while choosing your truck wreck lawyer.

The expertise of the truck accident attorney

The prime consideration you must give while choosing a truck accident attorney is their experience. It is to be noted that a well-versed advocate can easily assess even a complicated case and obtain the maximum compensation that a victim is entitled to. Some of the important points you must note in this case include;

  • The years of experience in the truck accident field
  • Does your lawyer handle cases other than truck accidents?
  • The track record of your attorney in dealing with similar cases and their success rate

The attorney fee

Another factor that you must consider is the fee imposed by your truck wreck lawyer for their service. It will be better to consider a lawyer who works on a contingency fee basis. That is, you will have to pay them a percentage of your settlement as you get it.  In other words, you will have to pay your truck accident attorney only if you win the case. Furthermore, you may try to negotiate and trim down the contingency fee percentage. Plus, make sure that you will get at least 75% of the overall settlement amount after all other expenses including your attorney fee.