Thousands of accidents involving heavy trucks occur each year on our roads and highways. These accidents result in thousands of deaths as well as serious, catastrophic injuries. The majority of heavy truck accidents are caused by drivers of cars, suv’s and other passenger vehicles. Nevertheless, plantiff attorneys are quick to blame truck drivers for causing these accidents. Accidents involving heavy trucks especially semi trucks also get a lot of media attention possibly because they attract more attention than passenger vehicle collisions.
Plantiff attorneys will jump on these cases in the hopes of securing huge settlements or other favorable verdicts for their clients. Awards in these cases can be in the millions of dollars. Consequently, plantiff attorneys will look for any reason or excuse to blame the driver or the carrier for causing the accident in order to strengthen their cases.
For example, they will check driver logbooks looking for discrepancies. If you keep paper logbooks you should make sure they are accurate. Beware that falsifying logbooks can result in serious consequences including fines, penalties and jail time. Attorneys will also check to see if you have been disciplined for various reasons or if you have a poor prior driving history.
These attorneys will look for anything they can find to use against you in court. Oftentimes, a plantiff attorney will also investigate the carrier to determine if the trucking company you work for has a history of allowing less than safe equipment to go on the road. This can include looking at carrier maintenance records to determine if they can find any problems with the truck you were driving or any other trucks in the fleet. These attorneys are hoping to be able to show a “pattern of neglect” of the company in maintaining the safety of their trucks and equipment. Attorneys can claim this even if there were no mechanical or other problems with the truck actually involved in the accident.
Truck drivers greatly benefit by having competent well qualified truck accident attorneys to represent them in these cases. Knowledgeable, experienced trucking attorneys can do a wonderful job of defending truck drivers unfairly accused of causing accidents. If the driver did cause the accident and readily admits it there is usually no reason to go to court as the insurance company will cover the claim. The same applies if you were not driving within your allowable legal limits.
For example if you were involved in an accident outside of your allowable driving hours you would most likely be held responsible for causing the accident. The reason being is that if you were driving and didn’t have legal driving hours to be driving you had no business being on the road. Consequently, a plaintiff attorney can easily convince the jury that “but for” you being at that specific place at the specific time of the accident, the accident could not have possibly occurred. You simply don’t have a legal defense.
You could claim that you were not sleepy or otherwise impaired at the time of the accident but it will not help your defense. Legally, you should not have been on the road at all. Consequently,the insurance company will be responsible for paying the claim. Additionally, you might also face other charges.
If you did not cause the accident you should take the necessary steps to protect yourself, your job and your reputation. This means you should consider hiring an experienced truck accident attorney. Semi truck accident attorneys do an excellent job of defending truck drivers in most cases. Consequently, trucking accident attorneys will be able to give you the best possible defense in proving your case.