Eighteen wheelers, semi-trucks, or tractor trailers, whatever you call them, may strike a little bit of panic when you make your way around them. If the weather is nasty or it’s windy outside, you don’t want to be near one on the highway. 18-wheelers block your view and they can weigh up to 80,000 pounds fully loaded, so it’s no wonder that they are feared on the road and cause so many accidents.
If you’re involved in an accident with an 18-wheeler, the damage can be more serious, since semi-trucks are larger and harder to stop. Many of the semi-truck accidents happen due to driver negligence. Semi-truck drivers can be held to higher standards than passenger car drivers are.
Since 18-wheelers are responsible for complying with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations, they are required to do a lot to insure they are qualified to drive and their rigs are safe on the road. While passenger vehicles only need to comply with traffic laws, try to avoid being in an accident, and looking out for other cars, 18-wheelers and the companies that hire them must do much more.
In order for truck drivers to remain lawful, they must obtain a commercial driver’s license (CDL) and pass a series of tests with the Department of Transportation. Truck drivers need to be able to handle some maintenance, maneuvering a large vehicle as well as backing it up and parking it. They must also pass a drug test and physical to be able to obtain their CDL.
Truck drivers are also required to log their trip by recording the hours they drive each day and how many hours they rest for. Truck drivers do not always update these logs, which can help prove negligence in a personal injury case if fatigue is a factor. They also must log the destination, date of delivery, and the day they picked up their cargo. They must also perform pre-trip and post-trip inspections of the rigs they are driving to insure safety.
An attorney’s office can gather information on whether or not the driver’s CDL was expired, Whether required background checks were performed, if the driver has a criminal record, how long the driver rested for before the accident, or whether they deviated from their intended route to their destination. There are many factors that can help prove negligence in an 18-wheeler accident.
Law firms like Springer & Lyle can help you navigate the complicated requirements for semi-truck drivers. No matter how severe your injury, you still may be entitled to some compensation if the truck driver is at fault or if the company that hired them was at fault. When specialized vehicles are involved in an accident, there can be complicated federal laws surrounding them so, seek professional help from the experts that can make sure you get what you deserve. Call us today at (940) 387-0404 for a free consultation.