Truck accidents often involve catastrophic or even fatal injuries. What’s more, they are often much more complicated than your typical car accident case and require an intimate knowledge of the trucking industry. Do not feel as though you need to handle this alone. A truck accident lawyer in Port St. Lucie from the Law Firm of Anidjar & Levine can handle your case from start to finish.
Give us a call today to get started: 800-747-3733.
Why are truck accident claims so complicated?
There a quite a few reasons truck accident claims are more complex than your typical car accident claim.
In a car accident, your liable party is typically one of the drivers involved in the collision. With a truck accident, even if the truck driver is 100 percent responsible for the accident, your liable party is often the trucking company due to a concept known as “vicarious liability.” This concept holds employers liable for the actions of their employees so long as the employees perform these actions within the scope of their employment.
Holding the trucking company liable means that you have the chance to receive a higher payout, but it also means you are facing an uphill battle. Trucking companies usually have large, experienced insurers and legal teams to back them up.
But you are not alone. The team at the Law Firm of Anidjar & Levine has years of experience handling truck accident cases and will use the knowledge we have gained over the years to get you the compensation you deserve.
2) Different Laws
While all road users must follow all traffic laws, truck drivers and companies must follow other regulations set forth by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).
These regulations dictate:
How Long a Driver Can Be on the Road
Fatigue is a leading cause of trucking accidents. A study published in Nature shows that when a driver goes without sleep for 19 straight hours, the driver’s reactions behind the wheel are the same as someone with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .05 percent. At 24 hours, a driver performs as if he had a BAC of .10 percent.
While any fatigued driver is a danger, a fatigued driver behind the wheel of an 80,000-pound truck can be deadly.
To combat the problem of fatigued driving accidents, FMCSA laws limit drivers to 60 hours over seven days, or 70 hours over eight days of work per week. Drivers must take a consecutive 34-hour break to restart the week. Drivers must also take 30-minute breaks every eight hours.
To make sure that trucking companies are complying, the law requires that drivers log their hours either manually (e.g., in a notebook) or electronically (e.g., using the truck’s data recorder). The hours of service logs can be one of the most important pieces of evidence in your case.
We will use the driver’s logbooks to establish he was driving longer than FMCSA regulations allow.
How Trucking Companies Must Inspect and Maintain Their Fleets
Because of their heavy loads and the amount of time they spend on the road, large trucks require frequent maintenance. When trucking companies do not schedule regular maintenance or companies perform inadequate repairs, accidents can happen and they can be deadly.
Many parties can cause a truck accident. The trucking company may be negligent for failure to inspect or schedule maintenance and mechanics may be liable for failure to properly repair the trucks.
3) Trucking Companies Possess Much of the Evidence We Need
Truck accident claims require a wealth of evidence. The evidence we might need includes:
- The driver’s personnel file
- The driver’s hours of service logs
- The truck’s maintenance and inspection records
- The driver’s drug and alcohol test results
- Any accident reports
- The truck itself
Unfortunately, most of the evidence we need is in the hands of the trucking company. What’s more, the trucking company can destroy much of this evidence after a certain period of time.
Our lawyers will spring into action and send a spoliation letter immediately to ensure the preservation of the evidence we need.
What is my truck accident case worth?
There is no specific method for determining exactly how much your case is worth. However, our attorneys will ensure your settlement contains an adequate offer for both economic and noneconomic damages.
Economic damages are those that you can calculate. For example:
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Medical expenses (past, current, and future)
- Any miscellaneous costs (e.g., travel costs for medical care, the costs for modifying your home or vehicle to accommodate your disability, etc.)
Noneconomic damages are more difficult to calculate because you cannot simply consult a bill or receipt to determine the value. However, these damages are often significant and include:
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of companionship
- Anger and frustration
- Mental anguish
Because trucks are so large and the accidents they are involved in can be so significant, we often see clients with catastrophic injuries as a result of a trucking accidents. Our firm uses all its resources, which might include the testimony of experts, your own doctors, and videos, to prove how the accident has changed your life.
Call the Law Firm of Anidjar & Levine today.
If you or a loved one suffered injuries in a truck accident in Port St. Lucie, make sure you have attorneys that understand how to handle these cases. The team at the Law Firm of Anidjar & Levine has experience handling these cases — and more importantly, winning them.
Contact us today at 800-747-3733 for a free consultation to discuss your trucking accident case.