Trucks, particularly commercial trucks carrying a cargo, are not only bigger than the average vehicles, but heavier as well. When an accident involves a truck and smaller vehicles, the smaller vehicles and their passengers are usually the ones getting damaged and injured the most.
The regulations and laws surrounding truck accidents are designed to take these factors into consideration. Here are some of the most important things you have to know about truck accident law.
Driver Conduct Matters
The trucking industry is a heavily regulated industry, particularly when it comes to safety. There are regulations from the Department of Transportation and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, put in place to ensure maximum safety within the industry.
Every trucking company must make sure these regulations are followed – and the standards met – by their driver. If the drivers don’t follow the law regarding safety and driver conduct, the company is partly responsible.
Some of the notable requirements are a commercial driver license, enough rest for the driver, maximum permitted weight for the vehicle, maintenance of the trucks, and handling of sensitive cargo such as toxic waste. All of these factors will influence the case you are building for your client, especially when determining against whom you need to file the claim.
Different Types of Damages
There are also several types of damages that can be included in the claim, starting with any medical expense related to the accident. This covers ambulance fees, hospital bills, and future care required for the victim – your client – to recover. Pain and suffering caused by the accident are also among the damages you can claim.
A trucking accident often inflicts injuries that require extended care, which may result in lost wages and loss of the ability to earn income in the future. These are the damage claims your client needs the most in order to maintain his or her standard of living and wellbeing.
Lastly, there are additional damages that the court will acknowledge, namely loss of companionship (i.e. when the accident resulted in a loss of romance or affection in a marriage or a wrongful death of a loved one) and special damages.
Get to the Client First
Getting to the client and providing him or her with proper representation is even more critical in a trucking accident case. According to truck accident attorney Stephen Babcock, an experienced attorney in this field, representatives of the insurance company and the trucking company will be at the scene of the accident faster than the client can recover from the shock of the accident, making them very vulnerable. Fortunately, many online law resources now help people understand the hazards of talking to insurance and trucking company representatives.
You also have the ability to gather more information the sooner the client contacts you; the accident is still freshly remembered in this case. Information and evidence are critical elements of the client’s claim and they need to be collected and preserved the right way.
Dealing with a trucking accident case can be complicated. It is your responsibility to make the process as simple and easy-to-understand as possible, especially for the victims of the accident. These important details will help you provide clients with the best service from the start.