Have You Been In a Truck Accident?
Accidents can cause severe outcomes, especially when they involve a commercial truck. The medical implications are troubling enough, but on top of those, all truck accidents are often followed by complicated claims with the trucking insurance company.
The first thing you need to do if you’re a truck accident victim is to get medical help. Make sure you and everyone else involved in the accident get the proper medical aid before even thinking about anything else.
Once everyone’s taken care of, the second most important thing is to call a truck accident attorney as quickly as possible. Contacting your lawyer and explaining to them what happened is vital if you want to protect your rights and make things a lot simpler for the procedure ahead.
A truck accident lawyer will inform you about all the necessary steps that need to be taken and explain to you whether you need to take photos, take the numbers of people who witnessed the accident, etc.
Do I Need a Truck Accident Lawyer For My Case?
The legal resolutions to truck accidents are often troubling and complex. Therefore, hiring a truck accident lawyer is the best thing you can do. A truck accident is a severe problem; many more parties are involved, so the entire legal procedure is much more complex than a regular car accident. That’s why you must be prepared for the process that will follow and get a truck accident lawyer to help protect your rights.
Trucking companies are often faced with such accidents, which is why they are always prepared for such events. A trucking agency will immediately send investigators to the scene when notified about the crash. An accident can be very costly for the agency, which is why they’ll try to gather all evidence against you to put the blame on you as a driver instead of admitting their fault.
That’s why we strongly recommend you get a good truck accident attorney as quickly as possible. Regan Zambri Long PLLC is a personal injury law firm specializing in truck accidents. The professional team will immediately dispatch a response team to secure the scene of the event and gather evidence proving your innocence.
However, this has to be done as quickly as possible if you want to ensure that the trucking company doesn’t temper the crash scene. Immediately contacting your truck accident lawyer can help you get a head start and prove your innocence before the company tries to put all the blame on you.
Why is a good truck accident lawyer necessary?
Trucking companies are often large businesses that have entire law firms and best insurance companies behind them. When an accident occurs, they’ll put all available assets to minimize their financial implications. That’s why you need a proper attorney who knows how to handle these procedures.
Regan Zambri Long’s law firm has a professional team of truck accident lawyers that can help you manage your way across the complexity of legal outcomes following truck accidents. The company has a vast experience in personal injury law in several counties, including Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia. They have an incredible success ratio and many settlements to be proud of. In a recent case, the company secured a $15 million settlement for the family of a truck accident victim.
Who Can Be Held Responsible for a Trucking Accident in Washington, DC?
Although we honestly hope you never get involved in a trucking accident, you have to be prepared for the worst outcome. To be well-prepared for any possible event, you have to be aware of how things usually take place for trucking accidents. Unlike a regular car crash, in truck accidents, there are several parties involved. Therefore, the interested parties in a trucking crash include the truck driver, the trucking company, the company’s insurance, and third-party brokers.
Liability for such an accident needs to be determined considering several factors, including:
The driver’s activity at the time of the crash
The first thing that’s taken into consideration is what the driver was doing at the time of the event. The driver may have run past a red light, causing a chain-reaction accident or a pile-up collision. In such a case, the authorities and all involved parties will investigate what caused the driver to run the red light. Questions like whether they were driving under the influence or distracted by their phone will inevitably emerge. The police will also ask how long the driver’s been on the road, as exhaustion can also cause an accident.
The trucking company’s actions
Before sending a truck driver on the road, trucking companies have to provide their employees with proper training. Companies must also be realistic about their expectations and deadlines and shouldn’t put unreasonable pressure on the driver. However, these things are often overlooked by truck companies. Nonetheless, you might have difficulty proving that without the help of a professional truck accident attorney.
Mechanical malfunction is a common reason for truck accidents. It could result from a manufacturing fault or improper care. In both cases, the trucking company should be held responsible since it either failed to notice or repair the defective part and keep the vehicle in proper working order.
In such a situation, not only your but public safety is on the line, so a good accident lawyer can help you protect yourself and sue the truck company.
Unsecured loads and overload
The load is another common reason for truck crashes. Things can go badly if the truck is driving an unsecured load or an overloaded truck. In such a case, the company responsible for the load can be held accountable if their employees fail to secure the load or load more than the truck can carry.
Regardless of who’s responsible for the accident, the legal procedure must be resolved as quickly as possible. To make your case and stand a chance against corporate law attorneys, you’ll need an experienced truck accident lawyer.
What Makes Truck Accidents Different Than a Typical Car Accident in DC?
Truck accidents are treated very differently than a typical car crash. The reason is that larger and bigger vehicles pose a higher risk to road traffic safety. Operating a heavy vehicle is a much larger responsibility than driving a passenger car. Considering the size and load of the truck, a truck accident can cause catastrophic outcomes that might be unrepairable.
Other reasons that differentiate truck accidents from regular car accidents include:
Special regulations for commercial trucks
Driving a semi-truck requires a special license, but it also calls for additional regulations. One of the regulations that are often violated is the federal limit on how long drivers can drive without taking a break. Drivers must track their driving and break time and perform routine maintenance and weight checks.
These regulations are designed to keep 18-wheelers safe on the road. The driving time limit was created to improve the work conditions of truck drivers and protect them against the pressure of their employers. Although federal regulations are pretty rigorous, many drivers are still pressured to drive for longer than what they’re allowed to and forge their break or driving records.
Any violations of these federal regulations will reflect on both the truck driver and the employer. Moreover, if these issues are directly related to the cause of the accident, you might get additional compensation. Regardless of the specific situation, a DC truck accident lawyer will better understand all the additional factors revolving around semi-truck accidents and be able to investigate all issues to help you make a solid case.
Additionally, many states have additional rules for truck drivers, and they should be familiar to your professional accident attorney.
Truck accidents pose numerous additional risks
Semi-truck accidents pose extreme traffic risks. There are cases when truck drives have plowed through 453 feet of traffic before coming to a stop. The accident took the lives of four people and injured a dozen others.
According to data analysis, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs makes for many truck accidents. Recent data shows that 6% of drivers involved in fatal accidents tested positive for illegal substances. However, not all drivers are tested on the scene, which can significantly affect your claim. That’s why you need to hire an experienced attorney to address all oversights.
Trucks may transport hazardous cargo
The cargo carried by truck can cause additional implications. When talking about hazardous cargo, we’re referring to goods such as gasoline or fuel oil. Crashing into a cargo truck carrying flammable liquids can significantly worsen things. The dangerous material being transported can cause additional risks and injuries, raising the odds of fatal outcomes.
That can significantly affect your case and the height of the compensation claim.
Truck accidents don’t just involve drivers
Truck drivers don’t transport cargo for personal use; they work for large corporations. That significantly broadens the participants in the legal claim, so instead of dealing with the truck driver, you’ll also be faced with the trucking company, their insurance provider, and the truck manufacturer. Furthermore, if the cargo is proven to have contributed to the accident, the manufacturing, packing, and loading company may also be involved.
To make things even more complex, trucking crashes often cause chain reactions, increasing the number of parties involved.
The involved parties will use all means possible to prove their innocence and put someone else under the blame. That’s why you must be prepared and well protected, so your best chances are to hire a professional lawyer.
How Can a Truck Accident Lawyer Help With Your Washington, DC Case?
Hiring a professional truck accident attorney will help you get the compensation you deserve for the medical and emotional pain caused by accident. The attorneys of law at Regan Zambri Long’s firm are ready to step in and help in any way possible. Participating in a truck accident may not place compensation as your ultimate goal, but with the right attorney, you can get the recompense you’re owed.
If you aren’t entirely sure about whether a truck accident lawyer would be a suitable solution for your situation, you can always get a free consultation. During your free time with the attorney, they’ll investigate the event to discover relevant facts and information that will help you build your case. The lawyer will help you gather vital evidence and understand the entire process.
Regan Zambri Long has already helped many truck accident victims get the compensation needed to cover the material damage, physical injury, and emotional suffering. The professional team knows the depths of commercial truck regulations, so they can help you prove negligence and get justice for the wrongful act that caused the accident.
What Does a Truck Accident Attorney Do?
A truck accident lawyer is responsible for identifying the liable party or parties, collecting evidence about the crash, interviewing eyewitnesses, negotiating deals with the liable party or the insurance company, and representing you in court in case of a trial.
Should I hire a professional truck accident lawyer?
Truck accidents are common whether you often take the highway or city streets. These types of accidents are on the rise, so you should be very careful when driving past a semi-truck.
You should consider hiring a professional accident lawyer if you’re a truck accident victim. If it is unlikely that the insurance company will provide you with a settlement to cover your losses, you’d want to hire a professional personal injury lawyer to help you get compensation. Truck accidents can have extremely complex legal resolutions. There are several parties involved, and victims may often struggle to collect evidence and prove their case.
If you aren’t sure whether hiring a truck accident lawyer is a good idea in your case, we suggest you schedule a free consultation. During the consultation, the attorney can examine your case and help you determine whether hiring them would be cost-effective.
You can also opt for a contingency fee, so you won’t have to pay any upfront costs, as the attorney will take a percentage of your settlement to cover the attorney fees and other legal expenses.
Frequently Asked Questions About Truck Accidents in Washington, DC
Q: What are the most common types of truck accidents?
Heavy commercial vehicles only make for less than 5% of all registered vehicles in the United States. Still, reports show that over 13% of fatal crashes on roadways involve at least one commercial truck or bus. According to data, 7 out of 10 individuals killed in truck crashes on American roads are occupants of other vehicles.
There are various types of tractor-trailer accident cases, but the most frequent ones include:
A rollover is a catastrophic accident. Truck trailers have a much higher center of gravity than passenger cars, so drivers must be careful when making tight turns or sudden swerves. Sharp turns may cause the trailer to flip and roll the entire truck over, creating a deadly hazard for all traffic on the road.
Because of commercial trucks’ large size and weight, rear-end collisions often lead to entire passenger vehicles being crushed upon impact. Distraction, speeding, tailgating, and fatigue are some of the most common causes of rear-end accidents.
Negligence, recklessness, or any other cause for the driver to lose control over the trick can result in them exiting their lane and heading straight into oncoming traffic, causing head-on collisions. These types of accidents can also occur at traffic lights, stop signs, and other intersections if the driver fails to observe the proper right of way.
T-bone accidents or side-impact crashes usually occur at intersections. Large trucks traveling at perpendicular angles may run a red light, ignore stop signs, or violate the proper right of way in another way. The outcomes of such negligences are T-shaped collisions, where the truck collides with the side of other cars.
These side crashes can be fatal for the passengers or drivers sitting on the side of the vehicle that absorbs the crash impact.
Right-hand turns can be much tighter and more complicated than left-hand turns, so many truck drivers make the turn by swinging their cab to the left and then circling through the right-hand turn to get more room to make the turn. It creates a very dangerous situation for ongoing traffic and vehicles in the neighboring lanes, which can crash into the trailer or get caught underneath the truck.
Q: What damages can I collect for a truck accident?
If you’re a truck accident victim and want to recieve truck accident claim , you can receive two types of damages: economic and non-economic. However, to get compensation, you’ll need to gather evidence and make a solid case, which is best to be handled with the help of a professional truck accident attorney.
Economic damages are measurable damages that can be expressed as a set dollar amount resulting from the truck accident claims. Monetary damages include medical bills for any injury from the accident, additional healthcare expenses such as rehabilitation or medical equipment for the injuries, lost wages and loss of future wages, and funeral and burial costs for fatal truck accidents.
To collect these losses, you’ll need to provide a record of your medical reports and bills, get a professional assessment of the severity of your injuries to determine future expenses, gather pay stubs, record physical pain, and so on.
You’ll need to keep the funeral and burial bills for fatal truck accidents.
Some losses don’t involve a set dollar amount so that the court will assign a non-economic compensation. To get non-economic damages, you must establish that you’ve experienced pain and suffering or that the accident diminished the quality of your life.
If the truck driver is proven to have been acting reckless, you may also collect punitive damages in addition to the economic and non-economic compensation.
Q: What trucking laws do big rig drivers and companies need to abide by?
To protect the safety of truck drivers and all participants in road traffic, the Federal Motor Safety Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) bureau enforces specific rules and standards that apply to truck drivers and companies.
Hours of service
FMCSA clearly states the number of hours a driver may spend on the road. There are also mandatory sleep and rest breaks that the driver has to take. All of these things need to be recorded by the driver and verified by the authorities to prevent exhaustion, as drowsy driving is a significant concern for traffic safety.
Electronic logging devices (ELDs)
ELDs were introduced in 2017 to prevent drivers from walking around the regulations of hours of service. The devices help prevent the falsification of logbooks, which was very common among truck drivers and encouraged by companies.
Inspection and maintenance
FMCSA requires the carrier to perform regular inspections and maintenance to lower the risks of truck accidents. A defective truck or truck part can cause a significant traffic risk, so the FMCSA obliges carriers to run regular safety checks and upkeep.
Tests and training
Truck companies must perform drug, alcohol, and other medical tests before hiring drivers. Although truck drivers need to have a valid commercial driver’s license, companies need to provide proper training before allowing them to make deliveries.
Cargo loading should also follow FMCSA regulations. The cargo needs to be safely loaded onto the truck. Employees need to ensure that the truck is properly loaded and that the weight of the load doesn’t exceed the truck’s limit.
So, the first thing you need to do after a truck accident case is to seek medical attention. Afterward, you need to contact a personal injury lawyer as quickly as possible. A professional truck accident lawyer will handle all aspects of the accident while you focus on healing or taking care of any injured family members as truck accident cases are increasing day by day.
To sum it up, a professional truck accident attorney will be able to help you establish your rights by notifying you about how insurance companies may try to limit your ability to ask for compensation. They do so by providing information about medical treatment, keeping bills to build your case, and helping you decide whether it is best to settle the case outside of court as there may be limitations for filling a truck accident lawsuit or file a personal injury lawsuit. Therefore, hiring one to help you out on such cases would be the best choice to protect your rights and more.