Have you read about the ELD mandate, which came into effect in December 2017? It’s good to be aware of it, because it affects truck accidents.
The mandate required all truck drivers to keep an electronic-logging device (ELD). Under this rule, truck drivers shouldn’t drive for more than 11 hours a day, and they must take regular breaks.
The question though is whether the mandate has reduced the number of truck accidents. Some drivers say it actually did the opposite with its implementation.
Of course, for everyone on the road, that means we all have to be even more cautious when driving. After all, truck accidents are a serious matter. And a truck accident is way different from an accident involving a standard-sized passenger vehicle.
That said, here’s how truck accidents differ from an average car accident.
1. It May Not Be the Driver’s Sole Fault
Sometimes, a truck accident lawsuit will also implicate the trucking company. This is because human error isn’t the only cause of truck accidents.
It’s possible that equipment failure played a role in the accident. Now, while this doesn’t absolve the driver from liability, it could mean someone else is at fault—and that someone else should also compensate the victim or victims of the accident.
Of course, to prove this, you need a truck accident attorney’s expertise. It’s critical that you consult one ASAP if you’ve been in an accident with a truck.
2. The Insurance Policies Are Bigger
How do the parties involved in a truck accident lawsuit arrive at a specific number? (Let’s say in the case of 18 wheeler accident settlements…)
Sometimes the injured party will get a pittance. This is shocking considering the insurance policies are always bigger with commercial trucks.
Remember that a large truck such as a semi can inflict so much more damage than a regular passenger vehicle. This means you’re looking at millions of dollars worth of insurance policies.
Now with such a huge amount of money, insurance carriers find ways to not pay—or at least to lower the amount they have to cover. Often, they do this by putting some of the blame on the victim.
3. Proving Violation of Federal Regulations Is Hard…
…unless you’re an experienced lawyer.
If you’re representing yourself, you have to know commercial trucking regulations.
You have to prove that the driver and the company he or she works for has violated safety standards. It’s on you to show that the defendants broke federal regulations to win the case.
4. Medical Bills for Truck Accidents Are Higher
The injuries are often more severe with truck accidents. What that translates to is a longer time recovering and possibly a longer hospital stay. It also means more time away from work and higher medical bills.
This is why you need a lawyer who specializes in personal injury to be on your side. Your future financial situation could be a mess. Get a lawyer who knows how to get the right amount of compensation for his or her clients.
5. A Truck Accident Lawsuit Shouldn’t Be a DIY Project
Yes, you’re worried about how much to pay for an attorney. And you’re not sure if you have enough funds to go through an intense legal battle.
But you should also think of your future, as well as that of your loved ones. It may be tempting to accept the first offer you receive. But will that amount be enough if you sustained a debilitating injury?
When you weigh the pros and cons, you’ll see that it’s always best to go with the advice of an expert.
Need a Truck Accident Attorney?
We can help. Kastl Law, P.C. has helped many victims in car and 18 wheeler truck accidents for more than a decade.
Don’t hesitate to contact us for a free consultation. We look forward to discussing and helping you with your case.