Vehicle crashes involving large trucks present unique challenges for lawyers due to complex factors that distinguish them from typical car accidents. Here are some aspects that make these cases difficult to settle or bring to trial:
Serious Injuries and Damages
Accidents involving large trucks often result in more severe injuries and greater property damage due to the size and weight disparity between trucks and passenger vehicles. Calculating appropriate compensation for these higher damages can be extremely complex.
The Number of Parties Involved and Level of Liability
Trucking accidents almost always involve multiple parties, including:
Determining who is liable for the accident, and to what extent, can be challenging.
The trucking industry is subject to numerous federal and state regulations, such as hours of service, truck weight limits, maintenance requirements, and more. Here are a few examples:
- Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) – These comprehensive regulations set safety standards for commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) and their drivers.
- Hours of Service (HOS) Regulations – FMCSA mandates the maximum driving hours and mandatory rest periods for truck drivers to prevent driver fatigue and ensure road safety.
- Electronic Logging Device (ELD) Mandate – ELDs are used to track a driver’s hours of service electronically, replacing written logbooks.
- State Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) Regulations – While states must adhere to federal CDL requirements, many have additional regulations and endorsements specific to their jurisdiction.
- Intrastate Operating Authority – Some states have their own requirements for intrastate commercial operations including permitting and leasing.
- State-Specific Safety Regulations – Many states have additional safety regulations that go beyond federal FMCSRs. Most often, they address regional concerns.
Proving violations of these regulations and their role in an accident requires specialized knowledge.
Black Box Data and Evidence Preservation
Many trucks are equipped with electronic data recorders (EDRs) or “black boxes” that store valuable information about the vehicle’s speed, braking, and other critical data. Retrieving and analyzing this data requires specific expertise. Generally, an accident lawyer will need to access the information through a court order or an agreement with the driver’s insurance company, and will have to hire a qualified engineer to analyze the data.
Due to the complexity of trucking accidents, accident reconstruction experts are often needed to determine the sequence of events and establish fault. Although it adds to the cost and complexity of a case, it is often necessary to prove that the truck driver was at fault.
Because trucks cause more damage, they are usually required to carry more insurance, and often have different types of insurance policies, such as liability, cargo, hazardous materials and more. Minimums are based on such things as the type of cargo, and whether the truck is traveling out of state. Coordinating the different coverages and determining policy limits can be intricate, and is best handled by a lawyer with significant experience handling trucking accident cases.
Differing State Laws
Trucking accidents that occur across state lines may involve different state laws, which may affect liability and compensation. Lawyers taking on trucking accident cases must be well-versed in interstate regulations.
Corporate Resources and Legal Teams
Trucking companies usually have large legal teams with significant experience and major resources that help them defend against claims. That’s whey it is important to hire a qualified legal team, like the truck accident lawyers at GOLDLAW, to represent you in your trucking accident claim.
Negligence vs. No-Fault Jurisdictions
Depending on the jurisdiction, the case might be handled in a negligence-based system or a no-fault system, affecting how liability and compensation are determined. Florida is a no-fault state, so to establish your right to monetary damages, you will need to show evidence that the accident was the direct result of the operator’s failure to drive safely. Examples of negligence include:
Driving while drunk or impaired
Running red lights
Erratic lane changes/turns
Long Legal Process
The complexities involved in large truck accident cases can lead to a longer legal process, due to the investigations, evidence collection, and negotiations required, and potential the trial that may ensue.
Impact on Victims’ Lives
The severity of injuries in large truck accidents can have a major impact on victims’ lives, including long-term medical care, disability, and emotional distress. Many victims often develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), as well as mood and anxiety related disorders. Because of this, victims’ family members may also experience significant trauma as well.
When you or a loved one is involved in a truck accident, it is essential to realize that the claims process can be complicated. That’s whey you need to call GOLDLAW. The truck accident lawyers at GOLDLAW have decades of experience helping clients with trucking accident claims, and know what it takes to get victims the compensation they deserve. Why is GOLDLAW the right choice for your trucking accident claim?
We have the financial resources and firepower that smaller firms don’t have, so we can battle the insurance industry, no matter how large the company may be, and regardless of the resources they may have behind them.
We fully understand the pain and anguish you and your family are feeling and going through. We want to help you regain control of your lives in any way we can.
If you need help with a West Palm Beach truck accident claim, contact GOLDLAW to schedule a COMPLIMENTARY and CONFIDENTIAL consultation.