The trucking industry is regulated by a complex series of federal and state laws intended to make the roadways safe for everyone. Unfortunately, truck drivers commonly break these rules in an effort to make more money, potentially creating dangerous situations that lead to devastating accidents. Victims of trucking accidents are often left with serious injuries and are unsure of what to do following an accident. The Charpentier Law Firm in Melbourne, FL, would like to provide these trucking accident FAQs to help you understand your rights.
If I Am Injured, Who Is Held Responsible?
Your insurance claim or lawsuit will depend on who was found to be at fault for the accident. This could be the truck driver, trucking company, or the manufacturer, depending on the circumstances surrounding the collision.
Any settlement should carefully calculate healthcare services already rendered, as well as services deemed medically necessary in the foreseeable future.
While a truck driver’s negligence may be directly responsible for the accident, often their employer can be held responsible for their actions. For example, if a driver has a history of poor driving, such as a record of driving infractions, then the trucking operator may be found to be at fault for not correcting the driver’s behavior or terminating their employment. Companies may also attempt to hide driver negligence, such as tampering with work logs to make it appear that an employee did not work beyond their restricted driving hours.
What Kind of Settlement Can I Receive?
Trucking accident victims are entitled to compensation relating to:
- Property damage
- Rental vehicles
- Medical and pharmacy bills
- Ambulance and emergency care
- Physical therapy
- Lost wages from time off work
- Pain and suffering
Victims should keep in mind that they have the right to compensation for current and future medical bills. Any settlement should carefully calculate healthcare services already rendered, as well as services deemed medically necessary in the foreseeable future.
How Does a Trucking Accident Case Differ from Other Accident Types?
The trucking industry must comply with an additional set of laws as provided for by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), a division of the U.S. Department of Transportation. These laws are in place to protect the public from semis and other large commercial trucks, which by virtue of their sheer size, can pose a serious risk of extensive property damage and injury to others drivers. FMCSA laws are inclusive of issues particular to the trucking industry, such as driver time restrictions, cargo limits, and maintenance requirements. Because of these regulations, trucking cases will involve navigating laws and proving fault in ways that differ from driving accidents involving non-commercial vehicles.
How Do I Prove that the Accident Was the Truck Driver’s Fault?
There are a number of ways to prove that the driver or operator violated the law and is responsible for the accident, including:
- Police reports
- Witness testimony
- Expert medical or technical witness testimony
- Accident scene reconstruction
Why Should I Hire an Attorney?
When it comes to a trucking accident, there is typically so much at stake - health concerns, mounting medical bills, loss of income - that victims cannot risk losing their claim. An experienced attorney can help establish liability and determine an appropriate amount of compensation to pursue, allowing you to focus on healing and your recovery.
Contact Us Today
The Charpentier Law Firm has been representing trucking accident victims for nearly forty years. Let us use our expertise to build a strong case that will secure the compensation you need to move on with your life. Contact our office or call (321) 308-8020 to arrange a free case evaluation.