December 18, 2017
Most people only have a few minor car accidents over the course of their lives. Maybe they’ll have one serious accident that requires some medical treatment. Hopefully, they’ll never get into an accident at all.
While never getting involved in an accident is the best option, it also means that most people who get into an accident aren’t familiar with the car accident claims process. They may not know what bills they should expect to be covered or how fault affects their claim.
Even fewer people get into accidents with semi trucks. Unfortunately, semi truck accidents tend to be even more severe than car accidents.
Maybe you’ve been in a car accident before and hired an attorney, but if you’ve been injured in a truck accident, you may not know what to do next. Can a car accident attorney handle a truck accident claim? How is a truck accident different from a car accident?
Here are three reasons why you should consider hiring an experienced truck accident attorney if you’re ever injured in a truck accident.
1. Different Laws Apply to Truck Drivers
If you choose to hire an attorney, you’ll want to make sure you find someone who handles truck accidents specifically. That’s because different laws apply to truck drivers, and you need an attorney who is familiar with those laws.
For example, truck drivers are subject to the Hours of Service regulations. These regulations limit the amount of time truck drivers can spend on the road before they have to get some rest. If truck drivers violate the Hours of Service regulations, they’re not just going against a recommendation—they’re breaking the law.
There are also rules about when and where hazardous cargo can be transported and rules about weight and height limits on cargo. You need an attorney who’s used to dealing with these rules and isn’t learning about them for the first time.
Some car accident lawyers also take on truck accident cases. At Hensley Legal Group, we have experienced attorneys who have gotten results for clients in both truck accidents and car accidents. Make sure if you’ve heard of an attorney because of their car accident practice, you verify that they have experience with truck accidents.
2. Truck Drivers Are on the Job
If you’ve ever been involved in a car accident, chances are the person that hit you wasn’t working. Maybe they were heading home after a long day or backing out of a grocery store parking space. But if you get into an accident with a semi truck driver, they’re definitely on the clock.
Because driving is a truck driver’s job, any accident that occurs has to be handled differently from a typical car accident. The trucking company may be found negligent if the truck driver was underqualified or engaging in dangerous behavior, like texting while driving.
An experienced truck accident lawyer will know to focus your claim on the trucking company’s insurance, not the truck driver’s personal assets. They can make sure that you hold the company responsible if their negligent employment practices contributed in any way to your truck accident.
3. More Evidence May Exist in a Truck Accident Case
If you’ve ever been involved in a car accident, you know that evidence is key in making your case. Eyewitnesses can contribute statements, and a police report can shed light on what really happened. Still, there may be some facts of the case that remain disputed, leading to lengthy negotiations with the insurance company.
In a truck accident, more evidence may be available. Starting today, December 18, all semi trucks will be required to have an electronic logging device, or ELD. ELDs track a trucker’s hours on the road. They can also record if the semi truck is moving. All ELDs follow a standard format, which makes it easy for law enforcement to download and understand.
Although there’s a six-month phase-in period in which drivers won’t be penalized for not having ELDs, soon, it’ll be the norm for everyone to have one. That means that if a truck driver was over his hours, the ELD will be able to prove it. It also means that if, for example, you claim the truck driver hit you, but the truck driver insists he was parked, the ELD will confirm whether or not the truck was in motion at the time of the accident.
Help from an Indiana Truck Accident Lawyer
Hopefully, you’ll never be involved in a motor vehicle accident. But if you’ve been injured and don’t know what to do next, put your trust in someone with experience. If you’ve been hurt in a truck accident, Hensley Legal Group can help. Call us today or contact us online for a free case review.