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What Makes Truck Accident Cases Different From Other Cases?

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Truck drivers have special considerations when it comes to roadway safety and the effect of an accident. Truck drivers must carry higher liability insurance limits than most other drivers, and they are bound by a series of federal and state regulations that don't apply to standard vehicle drivers. If you've been involved in an accident with a truck driver, it's important to understand what makes it unique. Here are a few things that you should consider.

The Federal And State Regulations Contribute To The Case

The specific laws and regulations that truck drivers and trucking company owners are bound by will be a significant consideration during a truck accident case. You'll want to have your truck accident attorney look into each of these factors because a violation of any of these regulations can help to prove your case.

For example, consider how much weight was in the load that the driver was carrying. Whether the truck was over the weight limit is important to know. After all, the more weight there is in the trailer, the harder it is for a truck to stop. If the driver is violating regulations by going over any weight restrictions, he or she may be held liable for the accident.

In addition, you will also want to have the driver's log hours evaluated. Most log books are kept electronically now, which prevents drivers from being able to falsify the hours they spent on the road. It automatically logs when the truck is moving and how long it's been since the driver took a break or a mandatory rest period. If the driver is exceeding driving hour restrictions, that can also help your case.

There Could Be More Than One Liable Party

Although it won't apply to every trucking accident, there are some instances where the driver of the truck isn't the only responsible or liable party. Having multiple defendants is more common in trucking accidents because of the companies that own the trucks, those that load the trailers, and more.

The first defendant usually listed on a lawsuit after a trucking accident is the driver of the truck. If it was found that the driver personally did something negligent, he or she may then be the only named defendant. However, if there were other contributing factors to the accident, you should make sure to hold everyone accountable.

Trucking companies that employ drivers, as opposed to self-employed or independent drivers, can also be named as defendants in a case like this. After all, if they knowingly put their driver in a position to drive extended hours, failed to hold to safety protocols like random drug testing, or were otherwise negligent in the accident, you can hold them accountable as well.

Additionally, if the accident occurred as a result of a mechanical failure, you might even be able to name the mechanic, maintenance technician, or shop responsible for the preventative maintenance and repairs. Truck maintenance is a serious factor, and it must be done in a timely manner as well as correctly and thoroughly. Have the maintenance logs inspected to see if the failure was connected to a repair or maintenance error. If the truck hadn't been maintained the way it was supposed to be, that will show in the maintenance logs. Have your attorney and a truck driving maintenance technician evaluate those logs because they have the training to spot those issues.

The risk of injuries is far more severe in a truck-related accident than one that only involves passenger cars. You'll need to take the situation seriously and seek the help of a semi truck crash attorney if you've been involved in such an accident.