Commercial Trucks, Accidents & The Law:
What To Do If You Are In An Accident – Part 2
Last week, we wrote about the causes of commercial truck accidents and the damage that can be the result. This week we are addressing what a victim of a commercial vehicle accident should do from a legal perspective.
An injury case involving an accident with a semi-truck or big rig will present some unique issues. Semi-truck operators must follow federal and state regulations and are required to carry insurance with higher limits than standard vehicle drivers. Additionally, parties other than the semi-truck driver may share financial responsibility.
For these reasons, a person injured (the plaintiff) by an at-fault semi-truck driver (the defendant) has a better chance of reaching an injury settlement that matches his or her damages than a plaintiff in a “standard” car accident.
In commercial accidents, it is important to prove who is liable or at fault. The following are 3 elements to every case involving an accident with a commercial vehicle:
- Every commercial driver is responsible for exercising a reasonable degree of care while operating the commercial vehicle to avoid causing injury. As an operator of a commercial vehicle on public roads, the driver has a responsibility toward other vehicles on the road, pedestrians, and passengers and should operate any commercial vehicle using caution, while obeying the rules of the road.
- The injured party will have to prove that the commercial driver failed to exercise reasonable care, or in legal terms, “breached” the duty of reasonable care. Also, a truck driver who was speeding, texting, sleeping and/or driving while intoxicated, or acting in violation of the law will likely have breached the duty of reasonable care.
- The driver’s failure to exercise the duty of reasonable care caused harm to the accident victim.
All accidents are dangerous, and can be life threatening. Due to the nature of the accident, commercial truck accidents can bring about a whole new level of threat and complication. And, given the fact that the trucks are usually owned by another entity for business purposes, the insurance coverage and liability will, most likely, be different than that of a passenger vehicle.
If you, or someone you know, have been involved in a commercial truck accident, please contact the law offices of Martin, Harding & Mazzotti, LLP to learn more.
Also, The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMSCA) provides a safety section with tips and resources for commercial truck drivers and other motorists.
If you or someone you love have been injured in an accident involving a commercial vehicle, you or they may be eligible for compensation. Contact the law offices of Martin, Harding & Mazzotti, LLP at 1.800.LAW.1010 (1-800-529-1010) or fill out a contact us form for a free case evaluation.