People are often surprised to learn that accident claims involving commercial trucks are often significantly different from those involving personal vehicles. The trucking industry is highly regulated and drivers must comply with numerous federal procedures that simply do not exist for other vehicles. Additionally, accidents that do occur are more likely to result in catastrophic injuries. If you or someone you know has been involved in a crash with a commercial truck, it is vital to understand what separates a truck accident from other car accident claims.
Differences between car and truck accidents can include:
- Vehicle size: Semi-trucks are often much bigger than the other vehicles on the road. Smaller cars simply may not be able to hold up to the size, weight, and momentum of a truck. This is a principle reason why truck accidents can often result in severe injuries.
- Hours of operation: Driving while tired can be just as dangerous as driving after a few drinks. When operating a personal vehicle, motorists are given the freedom to judge for themselves if they are too tired to drive. Truck drivers, on the other hand, are held to strict standards which regulate exactly how long they are allowed to operate their vehicles before a break is required.
- Logs and records: In addition to operation and maintenance regulations, truckers are also required by law to keep detailed logs of their activity. In the event that an accident occurs, an attorney can help you to review these files in order to determine if negligence played a role in a wreck.
- Drunk driving: When not driving for work, a person cannot have a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08% or above while operating a vehicle. Again, truckers are held to higher standards as a BAC of .04% and above can constitute drunk driving.
- Maintenance and repairs: Federal regulations also extend to cover when and how truckers (and companies) must repair their vehicles. If an inspection was missed, or a part was not kept in proper working order and an accident occurs, the driver may be found liable for resulting damages.
- Liability: In addition to the truck driver, the trucking company must also adhere to strict federal regulations. For example, if a company does not conduct proper hiring practices or does not engage in proper truck maintenance, they may incur liability for resulting accidents.
Injured in a Motor Vehicle Accident? Call (205) 333-3333
If you have been injured in an auto wreck in Alabama, Jaffe & Erdberg, P.C. can help you to fight for the compensation that you deserve. Our Birmingham personal injury attorneys possess more than 80 years of collective experience and are highly knowledgeable in the laws and regulation specific to truck accidents. We have recovered millions of dollars for our past clients and no accident case is too complex for our firm to handle.
Schedule a FREE consultation with our attorneys and learn about your legal options. Our legal team is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.