(844) 815-9632

big rig crash

3 Ways Truck Crashes Can Differ From Car Crashes

Any motor vehicle accident can lead to property damage or injury, but are there many potnetial ways in which a truck crash can differ from an "ordinary" car crash. From special insurance coverage to commercial truck laws, there are actually several factors that can make truck accidents unique. Here are three common differences between commercial truck accidents and standard car accidents: Commercial truck laws. A variety of laws impose special rules and restrictions on commercial truck drivers and trucking companies. When you're involved in a truck accident, those special commercial truck laws may come into play, such as how many hours the driver was behind the wheel, whether the driver was on a cell phone, whether the truck was properly maintained, and whether the truck was hauling hazardous material. Vicarious liability. Unlike ordinary car accidents involving individual drivers like yourself, truck accidents present a host of potential vicarious liability issues, including whether the truck driver was an employee or a contractor, whether the driver was acting in the scope of his or her employment during the accident, and whether the driver was engaging in a detour or frolic. More parties (and more lawyers) involved. When you're involved in a "regular" car accident, your lawsuit is typically limited to the other driver and his or her insurance company. But in truck accidents, you may have vicarious liability issues on the table, so you're potentially looking at many more parties involved in the case than an ordinary car accident case. Even if you can't find fault with the driver, there might be others who could be held liable, such as the truck company (for example, for negligent hiring, training, or retention) or a truck parts manufacturer (for a defective part that caused the accident). Because of these various parties, there could be many attorneys involved, representing the trucking company, the company's driver, equipment manufacturers, and others. These are just a few common ways that truck crashes can differ from car crashes. If you're ready to meet with an attorney who knows the ins and outs of truck accident cases, then head over to FindLaw's Truck Accident Lawyer Directory to connect with one today. Related Resources: Five Things to Research Before Meeting a Truck Accident Attorney (FindLaw) Proving Fault in a Truck Accident Checklist (FindLaw) Truck Accident Damages: How Much Can You Collect? (FindLaw's Injured) Truck Accident Injuries Up 18%: NHTSA Report (FindLaw's Injured)
continue reading

1 in 4 Car Crashes Involves Cell Phone Use: Report

More than one in four car crashes involves cell phone use, according to a new report by the National Safety Council. Perhaps even more surprising, only 5 percent of cell phone-related crashes involve texting, while 21 percent involve drivers talking on handheld or hands-free cell phones, according to the report. The findings serve as a grim reminder than talking on a cell phone while behind the wheel -- even on a hands-free device -- can be incredibly dangerous. Distracted Driving Is Underreported, NSC Believes In 2012, 3,328 people were killed and 421,000 were injured in crashes involving a distracted driver. According to the National Safety Council's report, 26 percent of crashes involved cell phone use. It is believed cell phone use (even hands-free use) contributes to so many car accidents because drivers get wrapped up in their conversations and stop paying attention to the road -- the exact definition of distracted driving. As far as crash data collection goes, nearly all states include at least one category for distraction on police crash report forms, although the specific data collected varies. The Model Minimum Uniform Crash Criteria guideline provides best practices on distraction data collection, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association. Nevertheless, the NSC believes the data on distracted crashes is underreported, WCBS-TV reports. If so, that means cell phones could be involved in far more car accidents than most people realize. Distracted Driving Laws Here is a breakdown of state laws on distracted driving, as provided by the GHSA: Hand-held cell phone use. Twelve states and Washington, D.C., prohibit drivers from using hand-held cell phones while driving. These are "primary enforcement" laws, meaning an officer can cite a driver for using a hand-held cell phone without any other traffic offense taking place. All cell phone use. No state has a complete ban on all cell phone use while driving, but 37 states and the District of Columbia ban all cell phone use by novice drivers (for good reason); in addition, 20 states and D.C. prohibit cell phone use by school bus drivers. Text messaging. Currently, 42 states and Washington, D.C., prohibit text messaging for all drivers. Another five states prohibit text messaging by novice drivers and three states restrict school bus drivers from texting as well. So if you find yourself receiving text messages while behind the wheel, do everyone a favor and pull over to the side of the road to catch up, gossip, and figure out dinner plans. Otherwise your next call may be to an experienced car accident lawyer near you. Related Resources: Distracted Driving Awareness Month: Cell phone use increases accidents (Nebraska City News Press) Texting and Driving? There's an App to Stop That (FindLaw's Injured) What's More Dangerous Than Texting and Driving? (FindLaw's Injured) Driver Tweets '2 Drunk 2 Care,' Then Kills 2 (FindLaw's Blotter)
continue reading

10 Things to Do After a Big Rig Crash

Big rig crashes can be unsettling for even seasoned drivers, so it's best to have a plan just in case. Here are 10 helpful reminders for what to do following a big rig crash: Check to see if everyone is OK. Just like you would in a regular car accident, check to see that all passengers and drivers are uninjured. If someone is injured, the first thing you should do is call 911. Document your injuries. If you are injured -- and the odds are in favor of truck accident injuries -- make sure that you take pictures and retain medical records of your crash-related injuries. Contact your insurance company. Even if you believe that you were following too closely before the accident, notify your insurance company of the crash. Speak with witnesses. Often truck accidents involve multiple cars or even pedestrians. Make sure to speak with these and any other witnesses about the crash, including onlookers who may have observed something important. Don't admit fault. Yes, there are many ways to avoid truck accidents, but now is not the time to verbalize the things you could have done or didn't do. Consult an attorney experienced in dealing with truck accident cases. You'll likely have lots of questions to ask before you find an experienced truck accident lawyer who can properly represent you in your big rig crash case, and you should find one that answers all of them. Come clean to your attorney. Admitting fault at the scene of the crash: no. Being earnest about your driving mistakes to your truck accident attorney: yes. You don't have to be blameless to have a proper truck accident claim. Investigate the cause(s) of your accident. There are many ways a big rig crash can happen, and you and your attorney can discuss how to go about investigating it. Assess total damages. After reviewing your property damages, medical expenses, lost wages, and other losses, your attorney can explain how your total damages will compare to your chances of collecting from other parties. Discuss whom to potentially sue. Big rig accident cases typically involve multiple defendants: the driver, the trucking company, or even a bar who served the trucker. Pursuing the right party can increase your chances of recovering for your injuries. To learn more about big rig accidents and the unique legal challenges that can arise in truck-crash lawsuits, check out FindLaw's comprehensive section on Truck Accidents. Related Resources: Proving Fault in a Truck Accident Checklist (FindLaw) Top 10 States for Fatal Truck Crashes (FindLaw's Injured) 3 Common Truck Collisions and How to Sue (FindLaw's Atlanta Injury News Blog) Who's Liable for Drunk Truck Drivers? (FindLaw's Atlanta Injury News Blog)
continue reading