Accidents involving collisions between passenger vehicles and large commercial vehicles claims are taken seriously by both trucking companies and their insurance companies. This is because a typical unloaded tractor with trailer weighs approximately 30,000 pounds, and a tractor with a fully loaded trailer can weigh up to 80,000 pounds. Trucking companies and their insurers know that being involved in an accident with such a large vehicle can (and often does) cause severe injuries.
Due to the possibility of serious damage resulting from these types of accidents, federal regulations require that large commercial truck vehicles typically carry larger insurance limits, typically a minimum of $750,000.00. Due to the likelihood that an accident involving a tractor-trailer will involve serious injuries and medical expenses, insurance companies often retain defense counsel and experts very soon after the accident in order to preserve evidence and to put themselves and their trucking company clients in the best possible position to defend these cases.
One common cause of truck accidents involves inexperienced or improperly trained drivers. Driving a large tractor and trailer is much different than driving a standard vehicle, and drivers are required to hold commercial driver’s licenses. Inadequate training or inexperienced drivers who do not have the proper training or experience can be a danger on the roadway.
Another common cause of truck accidents is improper maintenance or lack of regular inspection of the vehicle. Truck drivers are required to perform daily pre-trip inspections of both tractor and trailer prior to any trip to ensure there are no hazards or conditions that would make operating the vehicle unsafe. Failure to perform these regular inspections or to perform regular necessary maintenance to the vehicles often can result in accidents.
Overloading a trailer can cause the weight of the vehicle to be too heavy, which can result in the vehicle becoming unstable and therefore more likely to cause an accident. Similarly, improper loading of a vehicle, such as not properly securing items on a flatbed trailer can result in items becoming dislodged and falling off the trailer, which can create another serious hazard on the roadway.
Federal and State Regulations govern the safety operation of truck drivers in the United States. These rules are for the safety of both the drivers and the public, and violations of these safety rules puts everyone on the road at risk.
One of the most common violations which can lead to accidents is the failure of a driver to follow the hours-of-service regulations. The applicable regulations as stated in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Act Regulations (“FMCSRs”) state a driver may drive a maximum of 11 hours after 10 consecutive hours off duty. The 60/70-Hour Limit states that a truck driver cannot drive a total of 60 hours on duty in any seven-consecutive day period or a total of 70 hours on duty on any eight-consecutive day period. The seven- or eight-day period restarts after an “off-duty” period of 34 or more hours. Drivers will sometimes push past these limits or fabricate their logs if they are under pressure to complete a delivery on a tight schedule. Pushing past these limits can result in a danger to other drivers on the road.
Trucking and insurance companies always want to pay as little as possible for any accident involving large commercial vehicles. They will often look to shift the blame for the accident to the other driver and minimize the injuries resulting from the accident. They will often seek to cast aspersion and deflect blame for these accidents onto the other, often injured, driver.
As a former insurance lawyer who specialized in defending trucking companies in motor vehicle accidents, I am familiar with the tactics and strategies used by these trucking companies and their insurers. Typically, trucking companies and/or their insurers will retain counsel as soon as possible following an accident. Once defense counsel is retained, the defense lawyers will move quickly to hire experts to try to show their drivers were not at fault. During my time as a defense lawyer for trucking companies, we would often hire experts such as accident reconstructionists and biomechanical engineers to immediately inspect the scene of the accident, inspect the tractor and the other involved vehicles, and even take aerial photographs of the scene. We would also conduct immediate recorded interviews with the truck drivers and gather other evidence in anticipation of a lawsuit. Once a lawsuit was filed, we would be given wide latitude to retain experts, including medical experts, such as neurosurgeons, orthopedic surgeons, and other experts to discredit the Plaintiff’s claimed injuries and to testify at trial that their injuries were not related to the accident. Big insurance companies spare no expense to try to get out of paying for legitimate injuries caused by the truck drivers they insure.
Despite these advantages, the attorneys at Ladah Law Firm know the tricks and techniques used by defense lawyers to defend truck drivers in motor vehicle accident cases. Our firm has taken to trial and received substantial verdicts on behalf of our clients injured in truck accidents. Our attorneys have experience with defense tactics to distract from many instances of a trucking company hiring inexperienced drivers, drivers that fail to conduct proper pre-trip safety inspections, trucks that have not been properly maintained, or drivers not keeping proper logs or driving longer than the established permitted times as set forth in the FMSCRs. Having an attorney in your corner that is aware of these issues, and how defense attorneys try to get around them, is crucial for a successful outcome in your case.
Navigating through Las Vegas can be a daunting task, especially in the face of heavy traffic. While locals may be well-acquainted with specific road challenges and peculiarities, tourists are often at a disadvantage.
Identifying roads with heightened safety risks can aid drivers in steering clear of unnecessary collision hazards. It’s crucial to bear in mind that various factors, such as weather conditions, road states, and the driving behaviors of others, collectively influence the overall safety of each road.
In the unfortunate event of a motor vehicle accident, seeking prompt medical attention is crucial. The resulting increase in expenses may prompt individuals to consider pursuing compensation claims. Given the time-sensitive nature of such matters, seeking legal guidance promptly is advisable for those seeking to hold a negligent driver accountable for the repercussions of the crash.
Let our Las Vegas experienced attorneys at the Ladah Law Firm review your case. The attorneys at our firm have experience defending these cases on behalf of trucking companies and their insurers and are ready to put that knowledge to work for you.
At Ladah Law Firm, we know the last thing you need after a serious accident is to deal with insurance companies.Let’s get started today. Call or contact us now for a free consultation.