Trucking accidents require more complex protocols than standard auto accidents, and the officers will evaluate the driver and the truck thoroughly. A comprehensive investigation determines if the driver followed all state and federal laws that pertain to them and their commercial vehicles. When starting a legal claim, the victim must collect information from the investigation.
Was the Driver Intoxicated?
The officers must test the commercial driver for drugs and alcohol after an accident. If the driver is guilty of a DUI, the commercial driver may be deemed at fault for the accident, and they will face criminal charges for their actions. The driver may also face the loss of their commercial drivers license if a victim is injured severely or if the victim dies as a result of the accident.
Did the Driver Follow FMCSA Regulations?
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration issues regulations commercial drivers must follow at all times. The drivers must follow all regulations by taking rest periods after long driving shifts to lower the risk of an accident, and they must record all their driving hours.
After an accident, the law enforcement officers review the drivers log and complete assessments to ensure that the driver isn’t guilty of exhausted driving. Commercial drivers aren’t allowed to use stimulant medications when driving either, and any sign of these medications could lead to issues for the driver.
Who Owns the Commercial Truck?
The party that owners the commercial truck must maintain insurance coverage, and if they are at fault for the accident, they must complete an insurance claim to provide compensation for the victim. The owner is either an owner/operator or a trucking company owns the vehicle. People who were injured in a truck accident contact an attorney for more information.
Does the Truck Owner Have Insurance?
When it comes to an insurance claim, the policies have a maximum coverage limit, and if the maximum doesn’t cover all the victim’s expenses, the owner faces out-of-pocket expenses. Even if the victim receives compensation through an insurance claim, they could file a lawsuit if they sustain serious injuries that require ongoing medical treatment and incur other costs. Serious injuries include loss of limb, organ function, or traumatic brain injuries.
Was a Settlement Offered to the Victim?
Some trucking companies may offer a settlement offer to the victim, but the injured parties shouldn’t communicate with the trucking company themselves. By allowing the attorney to negotiate with the trucking company, a victim can avoid low-ball offers that will not cover their expenses or financial losses. The attorney can present the case in court if the trucking company won’t make a fair and reasonable offer to the victim.
After an 18-wheeler accident, the victims or the commercial driver must report the accident to law enforcement. The accidents require more complex investigations that evaluate the truck and the driver thoroughly. State and federal laws apply to 18-wheeler accidents, and the driver must be compliant with these laws. Victims can learn more about the legal claims by contacting an attorney now.