Trucking Accident FAQs

1. What are the common causes of accidents between commercial trucks and other vehicles?

Willful disregard of the rules and regulations governing the use of roads and highways often results in accidents. Automobile and truck drivers must be aware of the truck’s characteristics and performance capabilities, including acceleration and braking limits, plus visibility limitation to avoid accidents.

2. Is there a difference between automobile and truck insurance policies?

Yes. Trucks are required to carry higher amounts of insurance coverage than automobiles to cover the damage that is often higher in a trucking accident.

3. Is there a difference between an automobile driver’s safety standard and truck driver’s?

Trucking companies are liable when their drivers are involved in traffic accidents; this is the reason why they perform background checks prior to hiring drivers. Hired drivers are subjected to periodic evaluations. Drivers are required to log the number of hours they are on the road because there is a limit to the number of hours one can drive without a break and during a certain period of time. Also, trucks travel in interstate commerce and therefore, are subject to many federal regulations that do not apply to other vehicles. Drivers are also subject to alcohol and drug testing, both randomly and in the event of an accident. Violations of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulation Act can provide the basis for establishing fault on the part of the trucking company and it’s driver.

4. What should I do if my car was hit by a truck and I sustained “minor injuries” only?

You should take photographs of the vehicles involved in the accident, submit a report to your insurance company, and seek medical attention immediately following the accident. As most of your case is based off of your injuries, you will need to document these by a getting an evaluation from a medical professional. If possible, submit a report to the DMV and make sure police reports are filed. Do not talk to the claims adjuster of the trucking company. Seek legal advice if planning to claim compensation.

5. Who can sue the driver and trucking company if the other party sustained serious injuries or died as a result of the accident?

The injured victim, and in some cases the spouse, if the victim is in intensive care. In a wrongful death action, the spouse or a trustee for the family, on behalf of all family members, can bring a claim or suit against the truck driver and trucking company.

6. If the semi-truck driver was at-fault but is financially constrained, who can be sued aside from the driver?

The owner of the tractor, owner of the trailer, and the company identified on the trailer can be sued. In some circumstances the loading facility that placed the contents in the trailer and possibly the owner of the contents of the trailer may be included in the lawsuit.

7. How soon should I contact a lawyer to file my personal injury case?

Ideally, it should be right after an accident. This is for the lawyer to immediately access evidence to use in your claim. Initial consultation is free and during this visit the lawyer can usually tell you if you have a strong case.

8. What is a contingency fee?

Some personal injury lawyers accept cases on a contingency fee basis. It means that you only pay attorney’s fees if you are successful in making a recovery.

9. If I may have been partially at fault for the accident, am I still entitled to compensation?

The court will compare the negligence committed by the plaintiff and defendant. The portion of liability determines the percentage of the resulting damages he or she must pay. In most states, you can’t recover anything if your own carelessness was 50% or more responsible for the accident.

10. What does “No Zone” on a commercial truck mean?

The “No-Zone” refers to the areas behind and beside a commercial truck, where the truck driver has limited or zero visibility. One should not travel too closely to a commercial truck because of this limited visibility, especially in the left rear quarter, right rear quarter, or directly behind the truck. If you have been injured in a trucking accident, please do not hesitate to contact us at Christensen & Hymas to discuss your case by calling (801) 506-0800. To read more, visit our article about truck accidents.

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