Truck drivers are regulated by law how many hours they can be on duty in a 24-hour period as well as how many hours they must rest in between. Obviously, this is primarily for the safety of everyone on the road and the cargo secondarily. Professional truck drivers can rack up 100,000 miles or more annually. With this much time spent on the road, it's only a matter of time before a semi driver is involved in an accident. If you are one of the unfortunate ones, here's what you should know.
You Need Your Own Legal Representation
Transportation companies have a huge investment in their equipment. They are also responsible for getting thousands and thousands of pounds delivered safely. Semi-trucks can do a lot of damage if they get in an accident. With so much at risk, they are massively insured to protect them from liability. The last thing the insurance company wants to do is pay out an equally massive claim. If you have been involved in an accident with a trucking company, contact an attorney the minute you are able to.
An Accident With A Semi-Truck Driver Can Be More Complicated Than A Vehicle
The Department of Transportation as well as the employer require drivers keep a legal record of their driving and rest hours in a log. This is a paper book with carbon copies in which the driver fills out what he is doing and when.
Truck drivers aren't making money if they aren't driving, and many loads require strict delivery times, which they are pressured to meet. Logs are rarely inspected, which means the driver could easily record false times. This may mean you were involved in an accident with a truck driver who was driving when he shouldn't have been. An experienced attorney will closely look at the driver's log and verify if it is accurate or not. If the driver is found to have been driving when he legally shouldn't have been, this will make your case much easier to prove. Had the driver been following the law, he would have never been there to cause the accident.
There Are More Rules
Semi-trucks also have far more regulations than the typical vehicle. In addition to state laws, they have federal laws and regulations to meet. For example, a truck driver is considered driving under the influence with a lower blood alcohol content than someone who doesn't hold a commercial license.
Without your own lawyer, you would have a hard time finding out if they were in violation. And because there are so many additional regulations and laws, it's important you have someone who is an experienced truck accident attorney.